Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Change The World Wednesday (#CTWW)

Welcome to Change The World Wednesday (#CTWW)! If this is your first visit, please click HERE for information and a complete list of all the challenges we've taken on so far.

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:

How did your Eco-friendly spring cleaning go last week? I made the switch to natural cleansers quite some time ago. My arsenal consists of vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide and for polishing, olive oil with lemon juice. I also have some products from Etsy vendors which are basically combinations of these same ingredients with, perhaps, some essential oils tossed in to make them smell nice. Removing toxins from our life made a dramatic difference. In the past, cleaning meant headaches, nasal congestion and skin rashes ... a high price to pay for a clean home. Natural solutions have no adverse affects, they're inexpensive and they work. Good for me ... good for the planet. What could be better!

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. Here's what they had to say:

In "Change the World Wednesday – 10th", Argentum Vulgaris (AV) gives us an update on his meat-free week. What do you think ... did he succeed? I'm not telling! Check out the rest of the article for a clever way to use empty CD holders as well as AV's cleanser of choice. By the way, EcoCrap has an Apothecary page with do-it-yourself recipes. It's a great resource.

Lisa wrote a terrific article entitled "How Many CD’s Do you Own? – Change The World Wednesday". Did you know that DVDs are more earth-friendly than CDs? Lisa explains why. Be sure to read through the comments ... people shared some creative ways to use old discs. In "DIY Soap for the Dishawasher, The Dishes, and your Hands", Lisa tests a recipe. It seemed simple enough to make ... but did it work? You'll have to read the post to find out!

Thanks to Regina McDonald for the "front page" mention in the "The artists Daily". The paper includes several interesting articles and, a personal favorite, music videos.

Did you know that Mrs. Green is a published author? Oh yes ... her book, Self Sufficiency Household Cleaning is just a wealth of information. Read "How to have a green spring clean" for Mrs. Green's tips, ideas and recipes. If you'd like to download her book, you'll find information towards the end of the post.

Lois shared a complete list of cleaning solutions for every part of the home. I even found an idea for spot cleaning the carpet. In the beginning of the piece, Lois talks frankly about how she made the switch to natural cleansers. It's fascinating! Take a look at "Change The World Wednesday, Cleaning House"

Have you ever heard of an enzyme cleaner? Alicia is "brewing" her own. In her words, "We made it a goal several years ago to pretty much eliminate toxic chemicals from our home. We found that a majority of them were due to the awful cleaners we were using. Alan developed a wonderful household bar that we use for almost everything. I also use vinegar and soda. This past year I had been seeing a lot of blogs sharing a recipe for making your enzyme cleaner. I know from our research that enzymes are awesome at cleaning. I just got around to making this cleaner recently and it is AMAZING!! This cleaner consists of citrus peels, brown sugar and water. It needs to ferment for about three months and then it is ready to use. I had read that you could add a couple of teaspoons of yeast to it and it would be ready to use in about two weeks. That is what I did because I didn't want to wait the three months to try it. It really is awesome. The first place I used it was on the shower walls and floor. It cuts through soap scum easily. Next I am going to try it on some shirts that have some greasy stains on them. I am now making a huge container of this and letting it ferment for the three months. That way I can compare. Next I am going to make a dishwasher detergent. I think it is time to give it a try because it is the only household cleaning product that we buy. Everything else we make. If you have never made furniture polish it is so easy to make and works great. Our daughter made a paste of white vinegar and soda to clean the oven and I was so impressed. It is spotless without any harmful fumes. Trust me you will love getting rid of toxic chemicals from your home and it is so easy to do! I am so excited for everybody to give this challenge a try!!"

AspenClean shares green cleaning tips on their BLOG and on their PINTEREST PAGE. Have you ever used Cream of Tartar to clean? How about lemons to remove stains? These are just a couple of the great tips you'll find. For those who aren't interested in making their own products, check out AspenClean's Natural Cleaners (you can order them online).

Ann stopped by. She says, "I don't have CDs or DVD, the TV and computer are my source of entertainment."

Lady JC makes her own cleaning solutions. She shares, "Vinegar is a cleaning miracle! I've been making citrus cleaner by soaking orange peels in white vinegar. I let them soak in a large mason jar for around 5 weeks then fill spray bottles halfway with the solution and top up with water, shake and spray. It cuts through greasy messes in a jiffy. I also use plain white vinegar to clean mirrors, and mix vinegar with baking soda, castile soap and a few drops of essential oil (tea tree and lemon are great!) then sprinkle it in the shower to scrub the tile and tub." In "Homemade Hand Soap" she shares her recipe ... easy to make and cost effective ... perfect. By the way ... JC has a question, "If anyone knows a recipe for a cream bleach alternative specifically to clean those difficult stains on white ceramic kitchen sinks, I'd really appreciate it." Ideas?

Our Twitter friends joined the conversation ... here's what they had to say:

From @givetreegifts
- Hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle is handy for treating cutting boards. Follow w/ spritz of vinegar & let sit for 10 min then wash
- Don't go farther than the pantry for fabric softener. Use vinegar in the fabric softener receptacle of washer - softens & freshens
- I'm told citrus peels work wonders for clearing out garbage disposal. They're natural fragrance & the oils in the peel freshen & clean

From @laalicia
- <3 RT @ecokarenlee: How simple is this? 5 frugal ways to go natural. Thanks +The Soft Landing for the tips!

From @dusdifissette
- Challenge Accepted! Bought #Italsteam Steamer that doesn't need distilled H20 & switching to #EccoFriendly detergent.

From @rulesofgreen
- just learned how to clean my cermic stove in an eco-friendly way:

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:

@89linz @_zandraaaa @a_kiasi
@allnaturalkatie @amotherlife @anitaadamsnc
@anktangle @aspenclean @badgerdesigns
@beatepdx @beckymcneer @biggreenpen
@bstoneblog @campaignerkaye @chewyleecious
@chrysalisdesign @cleansediva @clubcontent
@conservationm @counselorholley @crazedkitchen
@crazy4grnlivn @crazykids6 @dusdifissette
@earthyurban @ecoexpert1 @eddiegear
@frederickbrooke @ginavalley @givetreegifts
@greeneral @groovygreenlivi @intricateknot1
@irishcarter1 @ithoughtiknewma @jadekerrion
@jaemacjustsayin @jenniharris4 @jnjgogreen
@laalicia @ladyjcmuses @lavishandlime
@littlegreenblog @lorcadamon @marjoriemcatee
@mcmillendc @millarjohn @mom2tle
@mombloggerplr @momgamerwriter @motherhoodlooms
@mrsgreensworld @ntiveheart @oneadayart
@pinkladyapril @rachelwild @rckweddings
@realityarts @rewildbritain @rulesofgreen
@ruralmoms @squishablebaby @thefadderly
@theworld4realz @timsimms @treehugga
@treesgroup @tristinandtyler @truenatureed
@tsue1136 @twicecreations @wencdj
@whopaysthepiper @whywelovegreen @woodlandtrust

My Final Thoughts:

Commercial cleansers are convenient and they work. But using them comes at a high cost. In addition to being more expensive than home-made solutions, they are toxic to the environment and harmful to all living things ... including us. We wouldn't dream of asking our loved ones to breathe in dangerous fumes ... and yet, that's exactly what's happening when we use chemicals in our homes. Eco-friendly options, especially those we make ourselves, are inexpensive, effective and harmless. The choice seems clear.

Thanks, everyone! If you wrote an article, I have Stumbled, Tweeted, Facebooked and posted it on Google +. You can help spread the "green" word by using the share feature at the bottom of this post.

This Week's Challenge:

Have you ever noticed how some good habits slide a bit with time? Maybe we let the water run a bit longer or take a few extra squares of toilet paper. So, let's revisit one of the "basics". Here you go ...

This week (yes, one whole week) banish paper towels/napkins from your life. This includes paper towels in public restrooms and disposable napkins in restaurants.

OR ...

Never use them? Great, please share your tips & tricks for getting along without them.

Are you with me? I know that you are!