Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Change The World Wednesday (#CTWW) - Imagine Green

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 dug deep and came up with ways to reduce energy use by just a little more. In my house, we've already switched out light bulbs, plugged everything into a power bar, use counter-top cooking appliances, turn off the water heater, etc. So finding just one more thing was, indeed, a challenge. To meet it, we decided to go raw for a meal or two. With all of the beautiful produce at the farmer's market, and herbs from our garden, it was a delicious way to reduce energy. Let's check in with the Honor Society and see how they fared.

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.

Argentum Vulgaris (AV) continued to pick up litter this week ... it was a "near death" experience ... but, in the end, he was rewarded. He also reduced his energy use by a bit more. For those of you who follow AV, you know that he lives minimally, using very little energy. So how did he cut back? Find out in Change the World Wednesday – 26th Jun. By the way ... AV will be joining me, on Friday, right here on Reduce Footprints. It's going to be fun ... you won't want to miss it!

Lady JC joined us and shared this, " I still have one light fixture with non CF bulbs. They've been there since we moved in two years ago and I didn't notice them until the glass cover on the fixture broke. I should have taken that as a sign! Time to switch them out. I recently added a strip I can click off for my kitchen appliances. It has made a difference on our energy uses so I'll be doing that with other electronics and appliances. I also plan to make better use of my phone solar charger and have it be more than an 'emergencies' tool. I look forward to reading everyone's energy saving ideas! :) "

Teresa took a BIG step to reduce energy. She says, "Hmm, I do all those things already! recently replaced old washer and dryer with new, high efficiency models. I am now waiting for my shipment of wool dryer balls. Love those things! (And they're from NC too!)"

Strange things have been happening ... psychic messages traveling "across the pond" ... telepathic CTWW suggestions. Oh Yeah! Spooky! In 7 ways I’m using too much electricity you'll find out what prompted our energy-reduction challenge, how Mrs. Green communicates without using energy, and how she found solutions to 7 energy problems.

CelloMom expanded the scope of the challenge by a little. Here's what she had to say, "This is not strictly speaking in the home, but does reduce our overall energy use: we have left our car in the driveway and are in bikeland. Had a flat tire today, easy to fix. Bikes are SO much easier to maintain than cars!"

In Eucalyptus Ann includes our CTWW banner. The post is an interesting look at the benefits of the Eucalyptus plant. Did you know that it's a natural cockroach repellent?

Have you ever thought that making a change is too difficult? That you wouldn't be able to adjust? Alicia made a couple of changes this week. How did it affect her family? She says, "I have just recently started unplugging my phone charger after my husband told me that it was not good to leave it plugged in all the time. Looks like I should have realized that a long time ago!! I am happy to say that we pretty much do most of the things listed. Since Summer has arrived I have been looking for good Vegan salads to make ahead of time that we way we don't need to turn the oven on. We set our thermostat up a few degrees so that the air conditioner doesn't come on as often. At first it seemed a little warm but we got acclimated to it pretty fast!"

Clare joined us and offered an update to a couple of previous challenges: "The fridge challenge was easy (phew!) mainly because I'm so boring. A menu planned for the week ahead and shopping list derived from that, fridge stocked, and then we just work our way through it all during the week. I know exactly what's in my fridge, so no point in gazing into its depths. By Friday it's empty anyway. Very boring. But it works. And the door self-closes if I take longer-than-normal to pour a drink. Walking is something I love to do and I normally collect litter as it's a big problem where I live - although it does provide employment opportunities for the government (cleaners). Two relatively easy challenges - oh no, that probably means something's coming up that I'm going to find difficult (or that I'll need to re-train hubby on, sigh). Thanks for always keeping us aware of everything we do!"

Our Twitter friends joined the conversation and shared the following:

From @pinkladyapril
- a recent spell of good weather means I can dry laundry outside & unplug my heated airer & not use the tumble dryer!

From @SoulfulLab
- Closing blinds! For a PPD survivor its been tough but we close blinds on sunny side of house to keep cool-No AC needed.
- Its a tremendous help! DD's naps have been earlier and longer too.

From @Oneadayart
- for #ctww i'm unplugging my phone charger

From @ProAmUSA
- Did you know about the Change the World Wednesday hashtag? It's got tons of blog posts on making a difference.

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 @beatepdx
@biculturalmama @biggreenpen @bizclinic_sid
@bstoneblog @carolinaghmore @charityparkerso
@clubcontent @conservationm @counselorholley
@dominiquegoh @dusdifissette @eco_novice
@ecoexpert1 @ecopro_co @ecothrifty
@familyfocusblog @frederickbrooke @ginavalley
@givetreegifts @gr8fulgirl11 @greeneral
@groovygreenlivi @guayaba @hismerecry
@hwilson2009 @insignifblog @jadekerrion
@jnaquins @jnjgogreen @julialittlebit
@juliarbarrett @krmbalclothing @laalicia
@lady_bren @ladyjcmuses @linap
@lorcadamon @mamapoolecooks @marjoriemcatee
@mcmillendc @mom2tle @mombloggerplr
@momgamerwriter @mommyladyclub @myzerowaste
@oneadayart @pinkladyapril @proamusa
@rainyofthedark @rckweddings @realityarts
@rozdb @rulesofgreen @skipbang
@soulfullab @squishablebaby @stilettofiles
@tammycurry @treesgroup @tristinandtyler
@turningclockbac @vocalmedwoman @wencdj
@whopaysthepiper @whywelovegreen @zenfarmz

My Final Thoughts:

It would be nice if we could accomplish an activity, mark it off our green living "to do" list, and move on to the next task. But that isn't the way it works. As our lives change, so do our energy requirements. An Eco-commitment asks that we constantly review our use, make adjustments and ensure that we are using energy wisely and responsibly. It is an attitude ... one which cares about the world we live in and strives to protect the environment on a daily basis.

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:

Before unveiling our challenge, I'd like to point out a new page on Reduce Footprints ... Special Offers. Clicking the tab, located at the top of the blog, will take you to a page which contains discounts, freebies, etc., on Eco-friendly products ... products which I am comfortable promoting. We currently have two fabulous deals for you: 1) A 15% discount from our very own Alicia who, along with her husband Alan, owns Eco Natural Soap ... 2) A discount on Frederick Lee Brooke's newest novel and a chance to win a signed copy of any of his books and a $25 Amazon gift card. I'm in the process of working with other companies to bring you exciting deals. Visit the page to read the "fine print" for our first two offers and check back often for upcoming specials.

I read a fascinating article entitled Surprising Ways to Be Green With Your Imagination! In it, the author suggests activities like thinking about your ideal world, playing with your children and imagining a better neighborhood. That post is the basis for this week's activity. Here you go ...

This week, imagine what a perfect green life would look like ... or perhaps a perfect green world. Write down your ideas and then see if there are any on your list which you can turn into reality.

Think big ... think wild ... be creative.

I can't wait to see what you come up with!

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Change The World Wednesday on Reduce Footprints

Until next time ...