Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Change The World Wednesday (#CTWW) - Sign A Petition

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:

During periods of hot weather, using counter-top appliances is preferable to heating up a kitchen with the oven or stove. Farmer's markets are overflowing with produce, making raw foods a good option as well. So meeting last week's challenge wasn't all that difficult. In my house, we prefer a crockpot, toaster oven and electric fry pan over either the stove or oven. We also use a pressure cooker which cuts down cooking time significantly. And raw salads are one of our favorite summertime meals. As the week progressed, I thought about how we could use these techniques in the winter, when local, fresh produce isn't plentiful ... and when hearty, warming meals are preferred. When the temperatures drop and the heat from an oven feels good, that's when our Eco-commitment comes into play ... it's something to think about!

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.

This challenge was timely for Laura who not only accepted it but offered additional ideas: "It's so cool that you wrote this as I just purchased a toaster oven and set it up 2 days ago. Plus I can suggest two other ways to cook food that some may not know about. One is a dutch oven. Good ones are hard to find, but they cook faster than other types of appliances and with less energy and bonus they keep all of the moisture in the food including meat if you are a meat eater (sorry I still am). The secret is the tight fitting lid. There is also the "smoker" which is like a grill except it comes with a water pan to keep the food moist and also with a temperature gauge so you know you have the temperature in the correct range if you are cooking a big chunk of pork,beef or a whole chicken. Just a few ideas for those who eat meat, but vegetables can be cooked with these appliances as well." Thanks, Laura ... a dutch oven and a smoker are both terrific suggestions!

When I think of Brazil I think warm temperatures, bathing suits and sun ... lots of sun. It was a total "shocker" to read Argentum Vulgaris' post, Change the World Wednesday – 24th Jul, and find the reason behind this statement: "This weeks CTWW is just not going to happen!" Socks with flip-flops??? Oh no!!

Did you know that you can use your rice cooker to prepare other foods? In Change the World Wednesday, Cooking, Lois talks about her purchases from a local farmer's market and which vegetable she won't eat raw. Here's a hint ... it's not corn, which she enjoys uncooked.

CelloMom stopped by and shared this, "The height of summer is when produce is at its best - you can (I've done this) eat corn right off the stalk without cooking it. Add some tomatoes of the heirloom type, and you have a meal! Right now things are best eaten without too much interference from the cook, anyway. This avoids heating up the kitchen, reduces the need for air conditioning, plus you don't have as many dishes to clean. I love this season. Had a gazpacho the other day, and am thinking of trying one of those pasta sauces which are raw." By the way, CelloMom recently wrote a terrific post about a small town in Switzerland going car-free. It's really an interesting post and makes me wonder if we could do it in our city.

Alicia suggests another method of cooking to reduce energy use: "We grill a lot and I got a dutch oven this past year and Laura is so right it does cook faster. We are trying to incorporate more raw food recipes into our weekly meal planning. Also we are looking into buying a crock pot. It has been years since we have had one and I am excited to use one again."

Lisa's post, Easy Energy Saving Ideas, includes a fascinating table which compares energy use and cost of various cooking methods. Any guesses on which method uses the least amount of energy? Does low energy equal low cost? Visit Lisa to find out!

If you tried an alternate cooking method which resulted in a "vile" meal, would you try it again? Not only did Mrs. Green try again, she tried a third time after creating a second dish which could only be described as ... well ... I'll let her tell you. Check out Why I ate lunch at 10am to save the world to find out what didn't work and whether or not she came up with an energy-saving way to fix her favorite lunch. Here's a hint ... oh yes she did!

Our Twitter friends joined the conversation and shared the following:

From @givetreegifts
- I invested in a cookbook that highlights recipes that feature & fully utilize your counter top appliances. It's awesome.
- 1 of my fave counter top appliances is a George Foreman roaster. I can make a roast & even brownies for dessert without using the oven
- Another fave countertop appliance is the slow cooker. Awesome, homemade meals including stew, soup, roasts...mmmm

From @laalicia
- Youth Orchestraâ??s Instruments All Made From Recycled Landfill Trash

From @rulesofgreen
- So many good recipies to try this week! #rawfood #CTWW here is one: Hovkonditorn: Raw Blueberry Lemon Cheesecakeâ?¦

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:

@a_kiasi @allnaturalkatie @anitaadamsnc
@beckymcneer @biggreenpen @bstoneblog
@cleansediva @clothaddicts @conservationm
@counselorholley @crazykids6 @dusdifissette
@eco_novice @ecoexpert1 @ecopro_co
@ecothrifty @ecwrites @evelynmccpeters
@familyfocusblog @friendsoftrees @ginavalley
@givetreegifts @gr8fulgirl11 @groovygreenlivi
@hismerecry @ithoughtiknewma @jadekerrion
@jnaquins @jnjgogreen @juliarbarrett
@kayelleallen @laalicia @lady_bren
@ladybugpicnics @ladyjcmuses @leslieveg
@lifelovemusic1 @lorcadamon @mamapoolecooks
@marjoriemcatee @mom2tle @nolafusion
@ppatch_blog @rantravewrite @rckweddings
@realityarts @rulesofgreen @ruralmoms
@skipbang @soulfullab @soundless2
@tammycurry @timsimms @treesgroup
@trinathomas48 @tristinandtyler @wencdj
@whopaysthepiper @whywelovegreen @women4earth

Thanks, everyone! If you wrote an article, I Stumbled, Tweeted, Facebooked and posted it on Google +.

Please help spread the "green" word by using the share features located below this post.

This Week's Challenge:

This week we're going to become activists. Here's your challenge ...

Have you heard about the Tar Sands Oil Pipeline? It not only threatens wildlife and natural habitat, it threatens drinking water. While it directly affects Canada and the United States, it sets a dangerous precedent worldwide ... that the use of fossil fuel is acceptable. Let's raise our voices and let the world know that we not only want to stop the Tar Sands Oil Pipeline but we want sustainable, environmentally-safe energy. Please sign this Petition (appropriate worldwide).

OR ...

Choose any of the petitions found HERE (or choose a cause specific to your area) and take action.

OR ...

Contact your public officials via letter, email or phone regarding your environmental concerns.

Let's tell the world that we care! Will you join me?

Until next time ...