We are currently participating in daily challenges and have completed our third week (they began on Wednesday, March 9th, and will continue through April 24th). You'll find additional information by clicking HERE (information is located towards the bottom of the article).
Can you believe that we've completed three weeks of daily challenges? Wow!! I'd like to congratulate all of you ... you've stepped up and taken on these challenges with enthusiasm. As in the previous weeks, your comments and posts have kicked these activities "up a notch" and offered us such wonderful insight. I don't know about you ... but I've learned a lot!
Let's check in with the Honor Society:
From last week:
- Mrs. Green wrote this POST in support of Day 13's challenge and asks if readers could really take a Military Shower. Do you think Mrs. Green takes them?
- Ann commented on Day 14's challenge regarding setting our thermostats to a more efficient level. She shares that in many areas, commercial buildings overcompensate for temperatures outside, causing people to bundle up on hot days and "dress down" on cold days.
- What a Card comments on Day 14's challenge, as well. She keeps her home cool and dislikes malls and stores that keep their temperatures so high. As she points out, all the customers come in with heavy coats and then are way too hot. She also points out that schools are guilty of overheating, as well. So nice to see you, WAC!
- In this ARTICLE, Mrs. Green wonders if there is a point where being "green" becomes martyrdom. It's an interesting take on the possibility that we can go too far when it comes to Eco-friendly lifestyles. Check it out and weigh in!
Day 15 asked us to lower the thermostat on our hot water heater.
- EcoGrrl shared that if your water heater is in an insulated part of your home, it isn't necessary to wrap it for efficiency.
- Jennifer has her thermostat set to warm ... not hot. When hot water is required (ie when her husband shaves), she simply heats it up in an electric kettle which is fast and allows her to warm up a small amount rather than heat the entire water tank. Great tip!
- Andrew joined our challenge. He is the husband of one of our "regulars" ... here's a hint: his wife goes by Peaceful Mamma. Do you know her name? Here's one more hint ... she left a comment on Day 16's challenge. If you can't guess, check out Andrew's photography blog and you'll find his wife's blog in the side bar.
- Nicole B. has replaced her traditional water heater with an "on demand", natural gas version and shares that she noticed a significant drop in her utility bill. Nice! As Nicole points out, the new heater is a bit expensive but, depending on how many years one stays in a home, it might just pay for itself. By the way, Nicole is going to be hosting some baby-related giveaways on her site so, if you're a mom or dad, swing on over and check out the fun!
- Melanie was on the Honor Society for the first time last week and says that our daily challenges are inspiring her and her husband to take a closer look at their environmental impact. Yay ... my little green heart is happy!!
- Here's a riddle ... what is smaller than a breadbox, heats enough water for a shower and doesn't involve a water tank? Argentum Vulgaris gives us the answer in this POST and shares that this device is typical in Brazil.
- Mrs. Green uses an immersion water heater which she discusses HERE. In the winter, she heats her water using a wood burner. Mrs. Green mentioned one of our regular participants in her post ... was is you?
- What A Card points out that 120 degrees is a safe temperature for children. In fact, it isn't recommended that children come in contact to water which is any hotter because of the possibility of scalding. So, as WAC points out ... it's Eco-friendly and safe!
- Even though Mrs. Green lives in an area that is often rainy, she's perfected drying clothes on a line. Find out how she does it in this POST.
- London Lake Pickett likes this idea and says that she can imagine her dogs running through the yard with clean laundry in their mouths. LOL! As she points out ... it is called a "challenge". By the way, London is one of my artisan friends ... she makes fabulous jewelry! Drop by and check out her lovely creations.
- EcoGrrl had a tree which she used to run a clothes line. Now that the tree is gone, she's stumped (pun intended) as to how to put up another and wonders if anyone has a suggestion for her. Kris does ... read it HERE.
- Kris can't dry her clothes outside due to allergies but she's come up with a clever way to dry them indoors. Read about it HERE (and be sure to click through to her first post on the subject which includes pictures). Thanks, Kris!
- Alyson grew up line-drying and continues the practice as an adult. In the winter, she moves her laundry from the line outside to a metal clothes hanger inside. Brilliant!
- Argentum Vulgaris line dries his clothes ... even during the rainy season in Brazil. In this POST, he gives us a recipe for fabric softener using all Eco-friendly ingredients. Thanks, AV!
- This isn't much of a challenge for Cinella who already does it. She tells new moms to line dry diapers and ... she's planning to step it up a notch and hand-wash those diapers as well.
- What A Card brought up an interesting problem. She lives in wooded area, not far from a swamp, and has to contend with mosquitoes and ticks. So she's uncomfortable with hanging clothes outside. Does anyone else have this problem ... or a solution to it?
- Jen says that she line dries about 75% of her laundry ... and hopes to make it 100%. And get this ... she does it indoors. Wow! I asked her if she did small loads but nope ... full loads. I am impressed!
- EcoGrrl loves her Toto dual flush toilet. She also suggests shaving in the shower using the extra shampoo suds instead of shaving cream. As she points out, shaving cream is loaded with chemicals and not using it will make one's razor last longer. Wonderful tip, EcoGrrl!
- Le-Chat has been using rainwater, shower water and dishwater for flushing, cleaning and plant watering. She also only flushes when necessary. By making these changes, she was able to cut her water bill in half. Wow! Great job, Le-Chat! Now you might think that she went out and bought a lot of expensive equipment to help her make these changes but ... such is not the case. Le-Chat re-uses and re-purposes things she finds on "the curb". Check out this POST for pictures of her rain barrel. Fabulous!
- @waylandcook has 5 rain barrels and says that after a recent rain, they are full. She uses the water in her garden.
- Kris didn't buy a dual-flush toilet but when she and her husband remodeled their bathrooms recently, they installed new low-flow toilets and are saving water.
- Mrs. Green shares 7 tips for saving water in this POST. Which one is your favorite? Mine involves the cooking water. Thanks, Mrs. Green!
- In our house, we lit candles and enjoyed an hour of quiet. It's amazing how loud electricity is ... without the lights, computers, etc., it was like sitting around a campfire in the forest ... peaceful and relaxing.
- EcoGrrl had plans for the evening so her house was dark. Hey EcoGrrl - did you ask the bartender to turn out the lights for an hour. That would be awesome!
- Jen lights candles, makes a yummy dessert and just chills out for Earth Hour. She says, however, that she has a Love/Hate relationship with this event ... read this POST to find out why.
- Le-Chat didn't observe Earth Hour at 8:30 pm but, instead, shut everything off in the afternoon and worked in her backyard. And yep ... that counts, Le-Chat!
- Ann accepted this challenge and wrote about it HERE. As she says, "Teaching kids at a young age, " Don't forget to turn off the light" is very important." I agree, Ann - thanks!
- Rewinn wrote this POST which I hope you'll all take a moment to read. He talks about responsibility. I especially like this line in that article "But today, what passes as national pride seems to be mere vainglory: a celebration of strength, and an allergy to responsibility." In this PIECE, he talks about one communities efforts to help Japan and suggests that it's an example we could all follow. Imagine ... what if we adopted that attitude and worked together to help the planet. Wow! Thanks, Rewinn!
- Cinella says that maybe the big guys just need some sense knocked into them. But, as she points out, it's politics ... so she's sending good vibes their way and hoping they make the right decision. By the way, Cinella was kind enough to honor Reduce Footprints with the Stylish Blogger Award, which you'll find in our side bar. She won it, as well, so Congratulations to The Mommy Blog ... and thank you for passing it on to us!
- EcoGrrl says that her problem is not so much eating at home, but rather when she eats out and views the meal as a treat. She brings up an interesting thought that when we eat out, we tend to not think about where the food is coming from ... and definitely should.
- Linda Strother says that she's happy she made a Lentil Stew today. Sounds yummy, Linda!
- Melanie took the challenge and says that while she and her husband don't eat a lot of meat, they'll make sure to give it up totally one day a week ... and maybe that'll turn into more days. By the way, Melanie was out cleaning up the beach and learned, first hand, how much plastic is making it's way to the ocean. Her post, "I beg of you to think twice when using plastic bags & bottles..." includes pictures of the cleanup. Thanks, Melanie!
- Kris says that while she doesn't set aside a particular day to go meat-free, at least one day a week is a meatless day in her house. While she'd love to become vegetarian, she says she's a picky eater and finds it hard to venture into vegetarian recipes.
- What A Card made my day because she said that she has become more interested in vegan meals since reading Reduce Footprints. Yay! While she and her family do eat some meat, it is never the focus of a meal but rather small amounts as an addition to the meal.
- Alyson and her husband don't eat meat ... because of the planet and the treatment of animals. She does eat sustainably caught fish and, in this POST, shares web sites that will help one to choose wisely. She also includes a recipe in that post so ... if you eat fish, check it out! Alyson also suggests reading the book "Diet for a Small Planet?" I haven't read it ... yet! For any moms-to-be out there, check out this ARTICLE where Alyson talks about her "pescatarian" diet while being pregnant. Thanks, so much, Alyson!
- Alyson shares that she and her family don't print anything unless absolutely necessary. Every bit of paper that comes into her home gets reused and recycled. When her son wants to draw, she gives him the back of already used paper. And, Alyson's husband has found a "green" printer in their town which he uses in his business. Fabulous!
- EcoGrrl got rid of her printer some time ago and hasn't missed it at all. She shares that at work, while others use a filing cabinet (and print things out to put in it), she uses electronic filing. Her tip for saving paper is to buy the largest container of toilet paper possible, which saves on packaging. Thanks, EcoGrrl!
- Rewinn overs us several paper saving tips in this POST. My favorite has to do with silly feet. Oh ... you'll just have to go and read it!
Thanks to everyone who participated this week. If you wrote an article, I've Stumbled, Tweeted and Facebooked it.
Okay ... ready for more? I know that you are! Here it is:
Defrost your freezer to reduce ice buildup and maintain efficiency. Allowing space for air to circulate will also help it run more efficiently. Place jugs of water in your fridge to help retain cold temperatures and scrub down the coils on the back of your fridge for higher efficiency.
WE'RE CHANGING THE WORLD ... ONE CHALLENGE AT A TIME!