Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Change The World Wednesday (#CTWW) - Aerators

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:

How did you do with last week's challenge on litter? I was pleasantly surprised by the lack of trash that I found. After the snow melt, we found a few pieces, but overall there was very little. Hopefully it is an indication that people care for the earth. It was a good exercise and something which I'll continue.

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.

EcoGrrl accepted our previous "Just Do It" challenge and shares this: "For me, my achilles is clothing. Even though I shop maybe once a year, I know I should buy used, but I hate the store environments of Buffalo Exchange, Goodwill, etc. - the former being the loud music and the latter being the lighting. BUT I am working on it- my wedding dress will be from a local retailer that specializes in dresses made from repurposed vintage materials :) " By the way, if you haven't heard the news, our EcoGrrl has recently gotten engaged. Congratulations and best wishes, EcoGrrl!! Since she is a true "greenie", you won't be surprised to find out that her wedding will uphold her environmental ethics. Hop over to her blog to read about how she and her fiance' will start this new chapter of their lives without harming the earth.

Lois had to pass on our challenge this week. Why? Find out in Change the World Wednesday, What melting? At the end of the her article, she makes a great observation about preventing litter. Check it out and see if you agree with her.

Special Note: Our Lois has decided to step back from the blogging world and pursue some other, Eco-friendly pursuits. While I know that we'll all miss her and her brilliant posts, I hope you'll join me in wishing her the best of luck.

What does trimming bushes and the color orange have to do with this week's challenge? Find out in Change the World Wednesday – 19th Feb where Argentum Vulgaris reveals all and gives us an update on his guava tree, eating beef, and buying fresh milk.

Cody joined us. Welcome, Cody! She says, "I pick up litter everywhere we go! But this week I think I will organize a big clean up and document it via photos and blog!" Can't wait to read all about it, Cody!

The Shopping Charity gave CTWW a headline spot this week. WhooHoo! Some of your posts were also featured ... was yours one of them?

Our friend, Randy, joined in this week. So nice to see you!! In addition to helping the environment, picking up litter has other benefits. Read about it all in Collecting Cans While Walking .

Sunflowers & Edibles mentioned CTWW and has a lot of great content. I was particularly interested in a article entitled "8 Ways Eating Tomatoes Keeps You Young".

Welcome to Maria Smith. She shares, "As part of our green cleaning efforts my kids and I have been picking up trash as we go throughout our days. One of the kids got recognized for it at school."

Katie shares an interesting take on litter in Keeping the Trash in the Trashcan [#CTWW]. At the end of the piece she talks about how she'll use this exercise to teach her son about caring for the environment. Nice, Katie!

Mary dropped in and shares this: "I love this post! I'm so happy to see people getting involved. Like The Lorax (a Dr. Seuss character) said "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing's going to get better, it's not!" So true! Thanks for sharing. :-) "

Alicia accepted the challenge and shared this: "Since we have had a lot of rain these past couple of months it has caused a lot of trash to surface from the streams and creeks that are around here. We have also had really gusty winds that have caused a lot of things to get blown into our yard and around the road. We have had some warmer temps the past few days so it has been a good time to get these things picked up and sorted to go to the recycling center. It is amazing how much trash that has surfaced all around our area. Great time to get it all picked up and be ready foe Spring!!"

Our Twitter friends joined the conversation and shared the following:

From @VioletsBuds
- What green-living practice do you want to adopt? I want to try to go shampoo-free
- I'm not 100% sure. I am still in the research phase, but I have started using a cider vinegar rinse #ctww

From @HerbGir1972
- Once you have the #Realization that 'Everything is Connected' It should Inspire you to live #Greener

From @GiveTreeGifts
- We pick up litter while walking the dog. We live by the highway & travelers toss fast food containers, cans, bottles, diapers etc. #CTWW
- Litter Awareness. It's a matter of respect #CTWW
- What's worse is that people toss burning cigarettes out the car window leading to dangerous grass fires!

From @CounselorHolley
- nice challenge! At work, the woods, anywhere, I pick up trash to throw away for others. Both #kindness & helpful. #CTWW

From @Lu_and_Ed
- We just started turning our heat WAY down (68, to me that is freezing) to consume less electricity and gas

From @kirschan
- Love that you're focusing on #litter this week! That's what @litterati is all about! #onepieceatatime.

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:

@1millionwomen @2kidsandacoupon @a_kiasi
@allnaturalkatie @beatepdx @bg_garden
@bstoneblog @caitlyndawney @cleansediva
@collegegogreen @counselorholley @crazedkitchen
@dieselelephants @ecofriendlyfurn @ecopromotions
@ecothrifty @etsyrecyclersgt @evelynmccpeters
@floursackmama @frederickbrooke @georgehenry47
@givetreegifts @gregorspeaks @groovygreenlivi
@guayaba @healthfulmama @hedging_plants
@herbgir1972 @jnjgogreen @kanelstrand
@kirschan @krmbalclothing @laalicia
@lady_bren @ladyjcmuses @lorcadamon
@lschreurs @marikokoloco @marjoriemcatee
@mimibarbour @mindfulmomma @museumoflitter
@mzazeela @nikidanforth @ourfavadventure
@rantravewrite @rckweddings @realityarts
@robpolka @rulesofgreen @saybumpandtweet
@sfcouncil @shannongrissom @shoppingcharity
@soulfullab @spafloating @theworld4realz
@tiffanywashko @treesgroup @violetsbuds
@walruswinks @wellminded @wencdj
@wheeliesmom @whopaysthepiper @zenfarmz

My Final Thoughts:

The trash and litter of nature disappears into the ground with the passing of each year, but man’s litter has more permanence. -- John Steinbeck

In thinking about our challenge, I realized that litter isn't just about tossing a scrap of paper onto the ground. It's about the amount of trash we generate. Once it leaves our homes, we can't know whether it finds its way to a landfill, blows out of a garbage truck, or falls to the ground as the bin is being emptied. The items we toss out can very easily become litter. In addition to picking it up and disposing of it properly, we can reduce litter by reducing the amount of trash we generate. It's all related!

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:

Conserve water for Change The World Wednesday
Clean water is becoming scarce
If you've watched the news lately, then you know that California is suffering a severe drought. A recent government report stated that every square mile of the state is in drought conditions ... the agricultural area (over 14% of the state) is in exceptional drought conditions. Simply put, California residents are threatened. But the drought reaches further since much of the United States' food supply comes from California.

Other parts of the world are also experiencing drought. Malaysia is set to implement water rationing and Brazil's coffee crops are being threatened.

More, now than ever, it is important to conserve water. Here's your challenge ...

To begin, test your water conservation knowledge by taking this QUIZ.

THEN ...

Install at least one low-flow aerator on a faucet in your home. These are relatively inexpensive from hardware stores and are easily installed (just screw them on).

OR ...

If you've already installed aerators on your faucets, choose one other way to conserve water this week. Need some ideas? Eat no meat, pork or poultry (they all require a lot of water to produce). Reduce or eliminate spending (except for true essentials). Keep a pitcher of drinking water in the refrigerator instead of running the tap. Review your water bill history to determine periods of high use and make plans to reduce during those times (it's also a good tool for determining leaks). Fix leaky faucets or toilets. Consider removing some of the lawn (or all of it) and planting native shrubs, plants, trees, etc. When refreshing your pet's water, or changing the water in a fish tank, use it to feed your plants. Get creative and find a way to reduce your water footprint.

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

Sneak Peek: Tomorrow I'll reveal the results of February's survey ... they might just surprise you.

Until then ...