There's a lot of great information in this post and I encourage you to read through it ... however, if you don't have the time right now, you might find the following quick links helpful:
Last week we began daily challenges as part of the Ecumenical Lenten Carbon Fast. The activities are being suggested by The New England Regional Environmental Ministries and I've found it interesting to see what they come up with each day. Some challenges have been easy ... things which we've accomplished in the past. Some have been a slightly new slant on green ideas which we are all familiar with. There have been challenges which aren't possible for everyone and ones which are great reminders of things we might have gotten away from. Here's a recap of the week's activities:
- Day 1 - Calculate your carbon footprint
- Day 2 - Say no to bottled water and drink tap water
- Day 3 - Only use your washing machine when you have a full load
- Day 4 - Get a home energy audit from your local utility company
- Day 5 - Save energy in the kitchen
- Day 6 - Remove one light bulb from your home
- Day 7 - Learn about current scientific thinking on how extreme weather events are caused by climate change
The Honor Society are those people who help us spread the "green" word by writing an article about our challenges and/or leaving pertinent comments. Let's see what they had to say this week:
- Struggle: climate is a UK site so not all questions are relevant, native assumes all houses have same footprint, and carbon assumes we all drive. Is there a US calculator like the climate one we can use? Otherwise we're not collecting accurate data...
- Ive been a fan of Oregon tap water for eons :) it's amazing how the media has taught us water has to taste a certain way. I dont have a brita and my water goes into a kleen kanteen (no bpa in lining). Strongly encourage folks Not to buy plastic water bottles - even without BPA in those, other plastic chems are absorbed into the body -will plus of course they're made from petroleum. :(
- Already done! Important to remember too that detergent is made for cold water these days. I only do hot for my dogs bedding
- AV calculates his Brazillian footprint
- No water bottles, no washing machine, no dryer & no hot water ... and he upped the ante
- EcoGrrl, a suggestion for the dog's bedding, use a smaller quantity of boiling water (guaranteed to kill doggy type bugs) and then wash in cold water
- in some cases bottled water is a necessary evil because of the evil powers-that-be
- Day 1
- Oh if our water was only drinkable. We HAVE to buy bottled water for about $2.25 a 20 liter bottle. Not so bad because we filter even that water. Doing this challenge right along with you!
- Day 2
- Day 3
- Day 4
- Day 5
- Day 6
- Day 7
- I so agree that the vanity lights are unnecessary. The only reason I need them is to pluck eyebrows and that's even better to do in the sunlight! I swear we must be kindred spirits.
- I wanted to come by and comment directly on your blog about what you said about the ZEN quality of slow cooking. That is 100% correct. If people would just understand that if they peeled themselves away from the TV, grabbed the kids and headed to the kitchen, I am sure we would have stronger families. I was seething yesterday reading that. Luckily I couldn't figure out who to write to yell at!
The Monkey Dragon:
- We just moved from Washington state to the Midwest - so your post is very timely - we have someone coming today to talk to us about whole house filtration systems. We always used tap water in reusable bottles before (WA), but after reading the municipal water quality reports here (and identifying what the federal waivers are - asbestos, dioxin and glyphosate) we now how to up our game! The link you provided is really helpful. I didn't know reverse osmosis does not remove VOCs.
- Love this challenge! Go Grand Canyon! ;)
- I live in Oregon too and have wonderful tap water! We do filter in the kitchen because our city water has tested at high levels of lead and we don't want to take the risk.
The kids take reusable water bottles to school (klean kanteen) and we all take them when out and about or traveling. I see no good reasons to buy bottled water here. Ever.
I am thrilled that the Grand Canyon won't be selling bottled water any more. I just hope that more people opt to not bring them in to the park as well!
- I pledged to be water-bottle free a few years ago, and I have a very hard time drinking out of plastic water bottles, even when I have nothing else to drink and I'm thirsty. I was glad to find out that here at UCSC there's a movement called Take Back the Tap, which is trying to get rid of the sale of plastic single use water bottles on campus. It would be awesome if this movement spread all over the country and if stores just stopped selling plastic water bottles... If you're interested, here's their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Take-Back-the-Tap-UCSC/253056658070353
- If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, check out California Youth Energy Services: http://www.risingsunenergy.org/content/cyes.html
They hire young people (15-22), train them on energy & water efficiency so they can go into the homes of people in their community and educate them on ways to save energy and money. The program is free and it supports local youth through green summer jobs. I worked for them last year and have to say it's an amazing program.
I posted about the program on my blog. If you're interested in learning more, send me an email or comment on my blog.
- I'm living in a college dorm, so for me this works well to some degree. I always wait until the last day to do laundry since I am busy with school and work, which means I always wash a full load. I can set the washing machine to cold, but I can't change many of the settings. But this is a great reminder to wash with cold water. Thanks!
- I've mentioned this one on my blog (Eco-friendly laundry). I always use cold and have two laundry lines in my laundry room. I can't use outside ones due to allergies though.
- I've mentioned this one in my latest post. We're kinda doing this one .. by accident. haha Read it HERE.
- If you live in Massachusetts, you are entitled to a free energy audit once a year through a program called Mass Save. You actually help pay for the program through your electric and gas bills so take advantage of it if you can. For more info: CLICK HERE.
- I already do most of these. With 5 people in the house,it's not too tough to get a full load each time. I wrote an article a while back about these and other ways to save energy in the laundry room: Eco-friendly laundry.
- When we moved into our house 13 years ago, the bulb in our dryer blew. I never replaced it. At the time it was more because I had no clue how to or what kind of bulb. 13 years later, do you really need a bulb in there????? I think not.
- This is something my family is very good at. We really don't use many lights in our home. Good idea! ;)
- I did 3 posts of how students from a secondary school came to help our seniors of my primary school build a pizza oven out of dirt,, woodchips and sand. We removed the bulbs of our hallway. For more info: CLICK HERE.
- call me lazy, call me efficient, when I cook meat, I always cook a big batch and freeze them. Yes, I cook on stove top with a cover. My power bill is not very high. I seldom use the oven. When i dom I cook in batches too.
-My belated #CTWW since today didn't go as planned was timing my dishwasher to save hydro. I try to time appliance use when I can.
-Oh! And my better #CTWW was using baking soda & vinegar to clear the drain today. Very effective & non-toxic.
-It's a day late but between the house and the car I use 6.31 tonnes of CO2 per year!
-I will also defrost my freezer and get water savers for the toilets
-We've got a blue bin!!! I can now recycle cardboard, paper, cartons, tetra packs all from home!
-I prefer tap water; already have re-usable bottles. Only resort to bottled water when I'm disorganised and forget.
-I've saved £75 approx by meal planning and sticking to the list!
-My washing machine's not great. But always make sure it's full load and press energy save button
-2 more big bags gone to the hospice shop
-Wednesday's tea going to be done in the slow cooker, won't be any leftovers as it's feeding 6!
-we have a filter jug that we keep in the fridge & always reuse bottles
-I've just got a new washer & it is much better than the old one. I can wash at v low temps & time it to run at night
-just cooked roast chicken potatoes & carrots. Left over chicken & carrots go into a pie & spuds are sautéed to go with
-I drink tap water or tea made from tap water at home & work. Kids take reusable bottles to school with tap water.
-Do you still drink bottled water? As an individual, choosing to use a reusable bottle for water makes a huge impact!
-Nestlé is an infamous bottled water company, see why it is so destructive and what we can do about it: bit.ly/xHApHb
-Our well water isn't safe to drink so we have a water distiller. This gives us pure, safe drinking water without the plastic bottles.
The #CTWW Gang are those folks who share our challenges on twitter using the hashtag #CTWW. If you're a Twitter member, I highly recommend following them ... they have a lot of great things to say. Let's meet them:
Great Job Everyone!!
Are you ready for another week of daily challenges? Here we go ...
Reduce the number of plastic bags you use by getting a fabric or reusable bag for shopping. Although plastic bags use 70% less plastic than they did 20 years ago, most are still made from polyethylene, a non-degradable plastic. If you live near a brewery, you can obtain 15-20 gallon durable, synthetic grain bags which breweries usually throw away. These can either be used as garbage bags or rinsed out and re-used to take trash to the dump.
Until tomorrow ...
WE'RE CHANGING THE WORLD ... ONE CHALLENGE AT A TIME!