Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Change The World Wednesday (#CTWW) - Preserving Local Produce

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:

Crossing the 400 ppm CO2 threshold is serious. As those gases trap heat in our atmosphere, the world gets warmer. Warming causes sea levels to rise and that, in turn, causes flooding, loss of habitat, fresh water contamination, etc. Last week we took positive action to help reduce those numbers. The main cause of CO2 is the burning of fossil fuels. That happens when we use electricity, buy foods which travel long distances to get to our shelves or buy new products (causing more new products to be manufactured). In my house, we took on all three levels of the challenge. We looked for additional ways to save electricity and found that sitting in the dark while watching TV late at night was very doable ... and pleasant. With a convenient farmer's market near our home, eating local foods was easy! And, finally, we only bought what was necessary last week, asking ourselves if we really NEED the item. Most of the time, we didn't!

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.

In Change the World Wednesday – 7th Aug Argentum Vulgaris shares why this month is special. He also shares some good news as part of accomplishing our challenge. Check it out!

Lois says, "I will take on all three this week. I'm not much of a shopper except for food and I mostly shop the farmers market and the garden for my food this time of year. Yes, the co2 in the atmosphere is a huge concern to me. What I haven't found yet is exactly what the consequences of being at 400 is expected to do to the both humans and wildlife. Have you found this information?" In response, I offered two articles which you can find HERE. In Change the World Wednesday, CO2 she shares some information she found on the subject and talks about how she accomplished all three levels of the challenge.

EcoGrrl has a clever way of reducing her energy use. She shares, "I keep a little African basket in my living room to hold all my phone, laptop, ipod, and other chargers, and have power strips by my TV and in my home office. I am on my laptop constantly as I work from home so I only turn it off when I go out of town, but the one by the TV only gets flipped ON when I'm watching TV. One of the great checklists to have when you go on vacation is to unplug or flip off your power strip switches (with exception of course of a light you might have on a timer - something I forgot about last time, haha)."

Brandi gave us a nice mention in The Monkie Daily. Other articles include one on the Tohoku Earthquake, a Verano mocktail recipe, and another about the crisis in Syria. It's a diverse and interesting publication.

One of our twitter friends, @untreedreads, offered an article entitled The Future of eReading by P.A. Bees for CTWW. It takes a look at where ereading might be headed and considers the possibility of moving beyond hand-held readers.

Alicia accepted the challenge and shares this, "We unplug our chargers and small appliances when we aren't using them.We have a built in microwave but never use it so we always keep it unplugged.We turn our computers off every night and when we are not at home. We work a local Farmers Market in the Nashville area and so we do our shopping while we are there. That way we accomplish two things with one trip. I really make such an effort to buy most things locally but haven't gotten to the point where it is all local. I usually write down a weeks worth of menu's and then make a list of all the ingredients that I am going to need. Then when I am delivering I do my shopping in that area which saves me from having to make a trip into town when I get home. I try to make sure that I get everything I need so I don't have to do multiple trips during the week. This is a great challenge!" While visiting Alicia's blog, I found a great article which talks about another way she keeps things local: Farmers Markets.

We've talked about several ways to avoid the use of fossil fuels. Ann offers us another idea. Want a hint? It involves sports. Check out FSO: It is (Hopefully) end of winter and beginning of spring.

Welcome to Loretta, a brand new member of our Honor Society!! We're so happy to have you with us, Loretta!! She shares this, "Challenge #1 is great - our library loans one of those voltage readers, which would be great to read the voltage drawn fro those electronic devices. We have cable now and that's the tough one to turn off - with all the shows set to record. Maybe a timer if you know the time range of the shows you like??? Once again, great challenge."

Our Twitter friends joined the conversation and shared the following:

From @givetreegifts
- How much can you save by unplugging appliances?
- 12 Household Appliances You Should Unplug to Save Money
- Top 5 Energy-Sucking Vampire Appliances
- Unplugging These 6 Gadgets Will Cut Your Electricity Bill
- How I Cut My Energy Bill By a Third with Tech and Common Sense

From @ecowarriorme
- As a stingy Scot, I love your third option for this week's challenge. That is my life!

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 @_lyal_ @a_kiasi
@afterlaundry @allnaturalkatie @anitaadamsnc
@aparentsprspctv @aspiemusings @beatepdx
@beckymcneer @bellasmile2 @bestrawesome
@biculturalmama @biggreenpen @bike2power
@boulderlocavore @bstoneblog @cellomomoncars
@changes4charlie @cleansediva @counselorholley
@crazedmom @crazykids6 @designerpens
@dinaj @dusdifissette @earthdaynetwork
@earths_choice @eco_novice @ecoexpert1
@ecothrifty @ecowarriorme @elizbethlmaness
@energysherlock @evelynmccpeters @factsabouttrees
@familyfocusblog @five_monkies @frederickbrooke
@ginavalley @givetreegifts @gr8fulgirl11
@greenforu @greenglobaltrvl @greeningwestfor
@groovygreenlivi @guayaba @herbgir1972
@hismerecry @iamagoodsteward @ithoughtiknewma
@jamiastar @jenniharris4 @jnjgogreen
@kanweienea @kayelleallen @kymgrosso
@laalicia @lady_bren @ladyjcmuses
@leaf @leighanneramsey @lifelovemusic1
@lorcadamon @mamapoolecooks @marjoriemcatee
@mgyerman @mike_feder @min_svart_ros
@mom2tle @momgamerwriter @mommyladyclub
@motorwiseuk @mygreenboston @myzerowaste
@nolafusion @oddlynn3 @partselect
@proamusa @rantravewrite @rckweddings
@realityarts @rulesofgreen @sammyrules62
@shannongrissom @skipbang @soulfullab
@soundless2 @sowandso @tammycurry
@treesgroup @untreedreads @wencdj
@whopaysthepiper @whywelovegreen @yfnjman

My Final Thoughts:

The consequences of climate change probably won't be severely felt in my lifetime. Future generations, however, will be faced with a far different reality from the one we know today. Unless we act now to reduce CO2 levels, they will face unimaginable hardships. While doing our part by unplugging electrical units and shopping local is important, it won't solve the problem. Doing so will require a commitment, and immediate action, from world leaders to reduce the use of fossil fuels. I encourage you to speak out and support any activities which will help meet the goal of reducing CO2 levels.

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:

In March we began preparations designed to ensure that we have local produce next winter. You can read that challenge HERE. Let's put those plans into action this week. Here you go ...

This week preserve local produce. This could be large scale (e.g. canning fruits and vegetables) ... or simply freezing some herbs. You might want to dehydrate fruit for healthy snacks, make a small batch of freezer jam or shell some peas for the freezer. Canning, freezing, dehydrating, curing, pickling, etc. ... the choice is yours. The goal is to preserve local produce, perhaps from your own garden, for use in the winter.

OR ...

If you are experiencing winter instead of summer and don't have fresh produce to preserve, please prepare at least one meal this week using local foods. This might include items preserved from last summer's harvest, canned goods sold by local farmers, etc.

Are you up for this challenge? I know that you are!

Until next time ...