Before we get started, I'd like to introduce you to our new feature. It's called "Up The Ante". Here's how it works ... if you are already meeting and exceeding the current challenge, challenge the rest of us to do better ... in other words, up the ante. For example, when we did our short shower challenge, asking everyone to spend no more than 10 minutes in the shower, readers came back saying they did better by taking only 5 minute showers ... and challenged us to do better. When we asked that everyone use no more than 6 sheets of toilet paper per trip, a reader came back saying she only uses 5. So that's the idea. Just leave a comment with the new challenge (be sure to use the words "up the ante") or drop me a line HERE and put the words Up The Ante in the subject line. As soon as I get it, I will update the challenge ... so be sure to check the post throughout the week to see if the challenges have been improved. Doesn't that sound like fun?
Last week our challenge asked us to reduce paper. This challenge proved something important ... these challenges are FUN! Read on and you'll see what I mean ...
Our Honor Society got busy and blogged about this challenge:
Mrs. Green had me laughing out loud with this ARTICLE. In one statement she says, "I gotta admit it, the idea of using just six sheets already has me crapping my pants and needing EVEN MORE toilet roll." It gets better from there including some great photos which shows another "side" to Mrs. Green. It's a delightful post that you don't want to miss!
Petunia Green Beans offered us a VIDEO in support of this challenge. Yep ... it's a video about toilet paper use. It's another "laugh until you cry" moment and shouldn't be missed. Petunia also introduced us to the "Community Dish Towel". Hm ... that sounds interesting. Check it out HERE.
Argentum Vulgaris, in this POST, offers us a great way to save paper. Here's a hint ... follow AV's suggestion and your guests will know that they are special.
Kristina shares two posts regarding ways to reduce junk mail (read them HERE and HERE). In those articles, she includes some wonderful links and resources. She also shares that she uses the return envelopes which often come in the mail to send permission slips, notes, etc. to school with her children. And speaking of school, Kristina has noticed something ... she has three kids and when the school sends home notices, they send one for each child. Yep ... the same notice three times. She's going to talk to her school and suggest that they only send one per family. Great idea, Kristina!
Jessica wrote this ARTICLE about our challenge. In it she shares a great idea for reducing paper. Here's a hint ... it involves your mobile phone! Hm ... intriguing! Be sure to read the comments of her post because her readers came up with some great paper-saving tips. Jessica also "upped the ante" by challenging everyone to use no more than 5 squares of toilet paper per trip. Wow ... were there any takers to her challenge? And ... if that weren't enough, she left another comment saying that she's down to 3 squares for #1 (she says that since her husband isn't taking the challenge, she's carbon offsetting his use).
Kris has reached Superstar status by doing all of the activities listed in our challenge. In this POST you'll learn how she accomplishes them and you'll find out one new way she's going to further reduce paper use. Thanks, Kris!
Do you organize training sessions or other events requiring printed material? Rewinn recently organized a session using paperless training materials. His idea saved money and time and was embraced by the students. It was a total Win-Win for both organizers and participants. Curious how he did it? Find out HERE. It just proves that small actions can have significant results! Congratulations, Rewinn, on such a successful idea!
Rewinn asks "Has anyone had experience composting paper? Sometimes when paper is just too skanky for recycling, I tear it up fine and put it in the compost heap - it seems to decompose ok." From what I've read, Rewinn, composting paper is safe and beneficial. Here's an article by the Environmental Protection Agency on the subject: The Benefits of Including Paper in Composting. Thanks for the question ... I learned something new while finding the answer.
Our favorite publication, The Shopping Charity, gave our challenge a front page spot HERE. Other articles in this edition include a piece on reimagined wedding gowns (a "Walking Art" fundraiser), products and entertainment for generation XYZ, and a cancer breakthrough.
Ann posted our banner HERE and shares that she doesn't use paper towels but rather a sponge or cloth.
We also had some great comments:
EcoGrrl wasn't sure about this challenge. She uses a checkbook and says that receipts help her to remember to post an entry. Anyone have ideas for her? She's also not sure that 6 sheets of toilet paper will work.
Alicia is another Superstar ... she accomplishes everything in our challenge. She added a couple of tips in her comment (both of which she employs) ... try e-cards instead of buying paper cards and make bags from recycled material instead of bought gift bags. Great ideas!! Alicia saves paper at home and she saves at work. She shares that, in her company, recycled paper is used for all product labels (our very own Alicia makes Eco Natural Soap products which you'll find through a link on her blog).
Thanks to everyone ... if you wrote an article, I have stumbled, tweeted and facebooked it. By the way, I've added share buttons at the bottom of this post and would really appreciate it if you would use them to pass the green word! Yeah, I'm greedy ... I want to increase our Honor Society & #CTWW Gang membership!
Speaking of the #CTWW Gang ... let's meet them! These great folks talked about our challenge on twitter using the hashtag #CTWW.
And finally, I'd like to introduce you to a brand new blog called Going Green. The author, T.M. Evans, is a 17-year old living in Minnesota whose goal is to one day be a writer. If you have a moment, stop in and show some bloggy support for this new "greenie".
Ready for a new challenge? Here it is:
This week, make your coffee or tea at home. Getting coffee/tea out every day not only costs a lot but also generates a lot of waste. Make it at home instead. And don't forget ... both coffee grounds and tea leaves are great in the compost bin.
If you don't drink these beverages or always drink them at home, choose one other food or beverage, which you typically buy at either a restaurant or grocery store, and make it yourself at home. And, of course, we'd like to hear all about it!
Or, if you're a Superstar, accept the "Up The Ante" challenge ...
Our bloggy friend, What A Card, is upping the ante on this challenge. She says, "Use the money you save by not going out for coffee/tea for some environmentally-friendly purpose. I use the money I saved so we could afford to switch to organic milk." Great challenge, WAC!
Or, wanna reach Super-Superstar status? Accept a second "Up The Ante" challenge ...
Whoops - this idea actually came from @CoffeeContessa ... not Jessica (thanks, Jessica for pointing that out). So, here's what @CoffeeContessa says "I'll up the ante and only brew organic certified!" Okay ... who's gonna take on this challenge?
Until next time ...
WE'RE CHANGING THE WORLD ... ONE CHALLENGE AT A TIME!