Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Change The World Wednesday (#CTWW) - Adjust The Thermostat

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 was so interesting and I learned a lot! Our challenge asked us to read a bit about GMO products and then either sign a petition in support of labeling or discuss food health issues of concern. A country which I thought had banned GMOs, changed it's mind and now allows them ... without labeling. Another country, currently allowing only GMO wheat for livestock, decided to ban all GMO testing in 2014, a switch from previous years. A GMO supporter offered quite a lot of information, via twitter, with some valid points. However, when asked his/her view on labeling, the response was "it's complex". As with many of our challenges, this one made me think!

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.

Lois wrote Change the World Wednesday, Small Footprints is Back!!!. In it, she talks about how some insects have become resistant to the pesticides and herbicides which have been genetically introduced to some GMO seeds. The proposed solution will shock you!

Mary joined us! She shares this: "What a fabulous article! I have to say that it is great to see more GMO-free advocate. I have been fighting the battle for over 15 years. Washington is a big one right now. I just talked to the Organic Consumers Association and I will be volunteering when they are in my area. I cannot wait. Hey, I have quite a few articles on GMO's that you might be interested in." She also shares a great article entitled GMO Labeling |The Right to Know. In it, you'll find out which companies are supporting labeling and which are not. The list is eye-opening. Want a hint? If you love Cascadian Farm, Larabar & Muir Glen products (which all fall under the General Mills banner), you're going to be greatly disappointed.

Katie joined us. She says, "I am so glad that you are featuring a challenge about food and GMO. I feel very strongly about GMO labeling and am happy to see such great coverage about it lately by fellow green bloggers." She went on to write an excellent article entitled Do You Know What You Are Eating? [#CTWW]. In it, she talks about her concerns, such as losing heirloom varieties of fruits and vegetables, and losing the ability to save seeds from one harvest to the next. Her article is very thoughtful!

Argentum Vulgaris (AV) wrote Change the World Wednesday – 22nd Jan. At one time, GMO products were banned in Brazil. However, in 2003 that changed. Unfortunately, the change didn't include labeling and consumers are, for the most part, unaware of the issue. AV talks about safety studies, conducted in Brazil, with disturbing results ... and yet, GMOs are allowed. If you have the time, head over and read the post ... you'll learn a lot. Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the article for AV's update on why it's so hard to get labeling for GMO products.

Anuja posted GM foods: What’s all the fuss about? This article speaks to genetically engineered crops and their connection to solving world hunger. There are some very valid points to consider. In India, GMO labeling is mandatory; however, it is not standardized.

Melanie accepted the challenge and signed the petition. Thanks, Melanie!

Ann stopped by. Nice to see you, Ann!

Mary joined us and shared this, "We do deserve to know what is in our foods. Thank you for this post and for raising GMO awareness!"

This edition of Sunflowers & Edibles gave CTWW a nice mention. Thank you, @HerbGir1972!

Our Twitter friends joined the conversation and shared the following:

From @anujasaw
- Why GMO Supporters Should Embrace Labels #CTWW @ramez

From @KrmbalClothing
- Hey look at this - Kashi has made a commitment to make their food more non-GMO #CTWW

From @GMOAnswers

From @HerbGir1972
- Genetically Engineered Foods May Cause Rising Food Allergies
- Freebie Fun: My collection of GMO learning resources in a download for you. Enjoy!
- Supreme Court refuses to hear historic food fight

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
@anujasaw @bethsegreen @biggreenpen
@bstoneblog @collegegogreen @como_water
@crazedkitchen @dieselelephants @dschvejda
@eco_novice @ginavalley @givetreegifts
@gmolessweek @groovygreenlivi @guayaba
@herbgir1972 @houweightloss @johnlundin
@jonsenior1 @justanotherhat @kayelleallen
@krmbalclothing @laalicia @lady_bren
@lowcarbongirl @madeinusablog @mamapoolecooks
@mizmeliz @mombloggerplr @momgamerwriter
@myzerowaste @nebulousmooch @nolafusion
@ourfavadventure @pinkladyapril @rckweddings
@realityarts @robpolka @ruralmoms
@sayhaytomeg @shannongrissom @socialhottweets
@theworld4realz @treesgroup @violetsbuds
@wellminded @wencdj @whopaysthepiper

My Final Thoughts:

The issue of genetically modified food is complex, to say the least. There are valid points in favor of their use, as well as legitimate reasons to ban them. Labeling, however, is not a complicated idea. We have the right to know what's in our food. In the same way that labels reflect trans fat, high fructose corn syrup, and hydrogenated oils, they must reflect GMO ingredients. GMO supporters will tell us that labeling is a concern because it will cost farmers and food manufacturers a lot of money. They warn that the cost associated with labeling will, in turn, be passed on to consumers. I have reservations about the truth of that statement; but, if that is the case, then so be it. I am willing to pay more for foods which are accurately labeled. The choice of what to put into my body, is mine. I do not, and will not, entrust that right to businesses or government whose interest doesn't rest with my health and safety.

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:

Lower the thermostat for Change The World Wednesday

Let's do something a bit different this week. Many areas are currently experiencing chilly temperatures and that tempts us to crank up the heat in our homes. Here's your challenge:

This week, turn down your thermostat by 1 or 2 degrees. That's 1 or 2 degrees lower than where you've had it during this cold season. If you get chilly, put on extra layers of clothing, cuddle under a blanket or exercise. PLEASE NOTE: IF YOU, OR SOMEONE IN YOUR HOUSE, IS ILL, IT MAY NOT BE APPROPRIATE TO ADJUST THE TEMPERATURE.

OR ...

If it's warm/hot where you're at, turn the thermostat up by 1 or 2 degrees.

OR ...

If you don't use a thermostat to control your home's temperature, please share the ways in which you keep comfortable.

Will you accept this challenge and save energy? I know that you will!

Sneak Peek: Planning a celebration or party? Our next post will help keep it green.

Until then ...


Image courtesy of foto76, /