Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Change The World Wednesday (#CTWW) - Your Choice

Welcome to Change The World Wednesday (#CTWW)!

Wondering how to live greener? You've come to the right place. Each week we challenge ourselves to try a new task ... or "amp up" something we're already doing. We raise our awareness, learn from each other and develop Eco-friendly skills which will improve our lives and protect our planet. Doing so together gives us power ... the power to Change The World!

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.

This post contains great information and I encourage you to read through it at your leisure ... however, if you are short on time, you might find the following quick links helpful:

Last week we tackled water reduction, a difficult challenge for me because my vegetable garden is in full swing. While I do water in the morning and try to give plants just what they need (easy since I grow everything in containers and can see the run off), the fact remains that watering anything outside means I'm using more than usual. Still, I can work towards minimizing consumption by using rainfall, "leftover" water from the kitchen, etc. Also, since I grow food every year, I can look back at my usage from last year and measure my efforts.

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.

Lisa gave us an update from last week and talks about a common "greenie" problem: "Last Wednesday, I went into a hole. I knew I couldn't do it. I depend on the internet for my blog. When starting out, it's all about being consistent. I thought about the challenge a lot, but in the end - even the little grasshopper was elusive. This is going to be a very long winded comment, so forgive me. This morning, I went to the gym with a friend. We were talking about big families and carbon footprints. She had a very interesting view. She said - I know how the world is going to end, so why should I care about greenhouse gases, smog and the like. I looked at her like she was a nut. I love her, but that was a nutty thing to say in my opinion. That renewed my energy. People need to know and accept that it is their problem and they need to do their part to make it better. Am I wrong? So I will accept this challenge in earnest." Nope, Lisa ... I don't think you're wrong!

Argentum Vulgaris (AV) has been addressing this issue for awhile. Have his efforts paid off? Find out in this POST which also contains news about AV's Mean Green Leaf Eating Machine.

The The David Robinson Daily gave Change The World Wednesday a front page spot. WhooHoo! Other stories include Travel Tips: Preparedness and Piranhas in Peru - Living Ready Online, Deborah Moggach's Rules for Writing - Telegraph and Young adult fiction: latest trend and a new websit.

Alicia plans to write a post about water use soon. She shares "I think for the next week I am going to take a shower every other day not everyday. It may be something I will continue to do. My hair really does better if I don't shampoo it everyday anyway. We have a low flow shower head that really helps out. I sometimes get in a habit of washing the dishes in the sink which uses more water than id I ran the dishwasher. So I am going to make a real effort to just load the dishwasher."

Clare's situation is a bit different than most in that she realizes a direct & quick consequence when using water. She says "Oooh, water - now that's a BIG thing for me. Water is precious everywhere, but we tend to forget just how precious when it comes easily out of the tap (faucet). When I moved to this little island, I needed to learn water management. Each house has a water tank. We get water coming into the tank each morning, for just over an hour. No more until next morning. If you use up your water, you do without until tomorrow. And it's not good to empty your tank, because next morning when the water comes in, there won't be enough time for it to fill up. It's amazing how water-conscious you become when you know you have a limited supply! Now, we're getting a little more water each day, and I've noticed I'm slipping - my water usage is increasing commensurately. Time to fix that! For this challenge I'm sharing water saving tips. I've just uploaded a revised video about saving water, it's short and fun:
And I've just published a blog on saving water with your washing machine:
Collect rainwater (if your state allows you to!) (see and use it to water the plants or bath the dogs or whatever. Let your lawn go brown this summer - it will survive perfectly (it just goes dormant) and you save a ton of water. And of course, keep all the water you use for washing veggies, cooking food etc and re-use for the plants / bird bath / humidifier / cleaning. But we're all doing that already! Thanks for a very timely challenge!"

Ann included our CTWW banner in an article entitled Photohunt: Something red,a red store which talks about how a local market made the decision to charge customers for plastic bags. She also includes the banner HERE.

Do you consider "Laziness" a virtue? Well, when it comes to conserving water, CelloMom says it pays off. Read all about that and get some great tips in How to Save Water (and Work) When Washing Your Car.

We all try to live green but what happens when we lack motivation (or consequences)? Mrs. Green addresses that topic in Reducing water consumption. She also published Softer water – more money, happy planet! which offers tips for making every drop count!

Our Twitter friends joined the conversation and shared the following:

From @conservationm
- Sweep outside with a broom. Yes, it's lots more fun using water, but just 5 minutes wastes about 25 gallons of water.

From @sewbeastly
- Taking the challenge! I'm timing my showers this week, @smallftprints. I usually take really long ones. Cutting it down to 8 mins!

From @counselorholley
- using less H2O & spreading the word - got it!

From @soulfullab
- Felt so proud of myself when water comp called to thank me for sweeping my driveway.

From @givetreegifts
- If you use eco friendly cleaning products, your gray water (bathing & shower) can be used to water plants & flush the toilet.
- Collect rain water in a water barrel for watering plants and veggies.
- When researching water purification systems, we discovered that reverse osmosis process wastes alot of water. We went with a distiller
- Indoor Water Conservation
- Water Usage Calculator, Water Conservation and Efficiency | Home Water Works
- WWF Canada - Fresh Water
- 100 Ways To Conserve | Water – Use It Wisely

From @squishablebaby
- Taking quicker showers will save more water
- HE appliances save lots of water/electric. With rebates it might even be less than non- HE counterpart

The #CTWW Gang are those folks who tweet our challenges using the hashtag #CTWW. If you're a Twitter member, I recommend following them ... they share great things. Let's meet them:

@89linz @a_kiasi @allnaturalkatie
@altcon @anitaadamsnc @beatepdx
@bestrawesome @biculturalmama @biggreenpen
@bstoneblog @campaignerkaye @cellomomoncars
@cleansediva @conservationm @counselorholley
@currenttimeww @dusdifissette @dw96
@earthyurban @eco_novice @ecoexpert1
@ecopro_co @ecwrites @etsnetworksinc
@familyfocusblog @frederickbrooke @givetreegifts
@groovygreenlivi @gwened02 @imagebrite
@ithoughtiknewma @jadekerrion @julialittlebit
@laalicia @ladyjcmuses @lavishandlime
@leblancdanny @lifelovemusic1 @linap
@lorcadamon @lyssaann42 @marjoriemcatee
@mcmillendc @mom2tle @mombloggerplr
@momgamerwriter @mommacuisine @mommyladyclub
@nescwvu @nolafusion @oneadayart
@rckweddings @realityarts @rulesofgreen
@sewbeastly @soulfullab @squishablebaby
@stacys_gh @startanewleaf @thefadderly
@theworld4realz @thinkpurema @tiffanywashko
@timsimms @treesgroup @tsue1136
@turningclockbac @twicecreations @vocalmedwoman
@wencdj @whopaysthepiper @whywelovegreen

My Final Thoughts:

Why save water? With less than 1% of the earth's supply fit for human use and with 7 billion people competing for it, there just isn't enough to go around. Yes, in some respects it is a sustainable resource, replenished via precipitation and ice cap melt. If that process were consistent and balanced throughout the world, we might do fine. But weather patterns and climate change have altered the game ... some people suffer droughts and others deal with flooding. Filling our reservoirs isn't a guarantee that we'll have plenty because, as experienced in California, the rains may fill them one day but the next may see the beginning of a long-term shortage. The water we save today could ensure our survival tomorrow.

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

This Week's Challenge:

We had a tie for second place in our survey about the toughest green-living activities ... driving less and eating meatless meals. Sounds like perfect challenge material to me! Please choose from the following:

This week drive less ... or not at all. Consider walking or bicycling. Plan out trips so that the least mileage accomplishes the most. Plan at least one day when you leave the car parked and perhaps stay at home. Avoid quick trips to the market or driving your kids around when they could walk. If you must make a trip, consider public transportation or carpooling with a friend.

OR ...

This week, for at least one day, go vegan or vegetarian. Yep, meatless for a day ... longer if you can. Search the Internet for great recipes. You'll also find wonderful dishes (tried & tested) right here on this blog (click HERE or use the tabs above).

OR ...

If you are an Eco-Superstar, do both activities ... perhaps for the whole week.

Which option will you choose?

Until next time ...