Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Change The World Wednesday (#CTWW) - Litter

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 challenged ourselves to take on an activity which we've wanted to accomplish but just haven't done. I chose recycling as my task. My town used to have convenient, self-serve recycling stations. Living in an apartment, we weren't eligible for curb-side pick-up but it was easy enough to place boxes in our laundry room and, when full, take them to the nearest station which was conveniently located and on our way to just about anywhere. Then the city changed the rules, closing the self-serve stations and leaving us with a recycling drop-off facility. The facility has limited operating hours and asks that all recyclables be placed into blue plastic bags (yep, you heard that right). They are also inconveniently located, requiring a special trip. Let's just say that recycling became extremely inefficient and difficult ... and I stopped making the effort. So this week, I took steps to find a way to make it work. Unfortunately, I haven't come up with a good plan yet. But I'm not giving up. I will find a way to put recycling back into our lives.

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, That One Thing and shared an impressive list of the activities she's currently accomplishing. She then, very bravely, asked her readers to help her come up with a challenge. Change the World, Part 2 discusses the task she decided on. Want a hint? It has to do with being a "night owl". That article also talks about how she completed another challenge ... eliminating paper (or nearly all paper) from her life. It is a terrific post full of great tips and ideas!

This edition of Sunflowers & Edibles included a CTWW mention. There are quite a few other interesting headlines such as "No Shoes in the House", "How to Translate Your Love of Animals to Action in Your Everyday Life", and "Grow More Vegetables with these Seven Gardening Secrets: Organic Gardening". This Edition picked up some of your articles. Was yours included?

When the words "I am Tired and Bitchy" appear in the first few lines of a post by Argentum Vulgaris (AV), one can assume that the morning hasn't gone well. As it turns out, AV had a frustrating 17 hours prior to finally regaining Internet access. So, I wasn't expecting much, especially since he was operating on low caffeine levels (not a good thing). It was a pleasant surprise to read that he has decided on a task and has made plans, at additional expense to himself, to get it done. Find out what he's doing in Change the World Wednesday – 12 Feb.

In a comment, Ann said "I protested the removal of a perfectly beautiful public garden to make way for another." Read When it isn't ruin, don't fix it where you'll learn what's happening and who, surprisingly, shares Ann's concerns.

Betsy left an interesting comment, "Can i confess my challenge without doing anything about it? Mine is composting. But I'm not in a position to take on any major projects at the moment. I'm on the brink of insanity trying to night-wean my "spirited" 2yo." Actually, Betsy, identifying an area for improvement is the first step. I'm sure, that when things calm down for you, you'll find a way to make it work!

Greening it Forward ‘Daily’ gave CTWW a nice mention. I found another interesting article about probiotics for the soil.

The Shopping Charity mentioned CTWW and included mentions, by other Tweeters, of your challenge posts. Check it out to see if your post was included.

Mrs. Green spent a lot of time considering this challenge. She's a dedicated "greenie" and pretty much is doing it all. There are a couple of areas which she's been considering. They are areas which would require her to spend quite a bit of money. In Mrs Green says no to the environment she discusses the dilemma of balancing a green life with finances. In the end, did she take on a new task? Hop over to find out!

In a previous challenge, we asked that everyone adjust their thermostat by 1-2 degrees. Katie dropped in to give us an update. She shares, "This challenge has been on my mind for the past two weeks and I have been trying to turn the temp down 1 degree when possible. We've had some very cold days, but on the warmer ones, I have been turning it down 1-2 degrees!" Yay ... Nicely done, Katie!

Alicia, another dedicated "greenie" is looking at a "big ticket" change in her life. She says, "One of the green living practices that we want to do better at is fuel economy. We live pretty far from town so I always try to make my trips into town really count. Also our business requires that we sometimes need to do quite a bit of driving. We use to use a pretty fuel efficient car for this but because we have been blessed with such dealer growth we have had to get a van. We would love to be able to use bio diesel and are looking into some other options." Let us know what you decide on, Alicia!

Our Twitter friends joined the conversation and shared the following:

From @KrmbalClothing
- Here's my #CTWW ? - found some old soap w/ the tiny plastic microscrubbers - any tips on how to dispose of it in a good way?
      From @gipsonwands
      - you could soak it in water until its dissolved. strain out the plastic and use the soap as liquid soap.
         From @KrmbalClothing
         - straining may work, but also may not - micro plastics can get through water treatment plants

From @DarrenSproat
- Just create a memory you'd want to cherish for a lifetime! #CTWW

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:

@2kidsandacoupon @89linz @a_kiasi
@allnaturalkatie @beatepdx @bestofstorenvy
@bigall7 @bstoneblog @clothaddicts
@collegegogreen @counselorholley @daft_crafts
@darrensproat @dieselelephants @ecofriendlyfurn
@ecoholicnation @etsyrecyclersgt @frederickbrooke
@givetreegifts @gregorspeaks @groovygreenlivi
@guayaba @herbgir1972 @iamthelab
@kanelstrand @krmbalclothing @laalicia
@lady_bren @ladyjcmuses @ladyladuke
@lu_and_ed @marikokoloco @marjoriemcatee
@marykingwistv @mimibarbour @mizmeliz
@nebulousmooch @nikidanforth @ourfavadventure
@pinkladyapril @rckweddings @realityarts
@rulesofgreen @saybumpandtweet @sayhaytomeg
@scentfreeplanet @soulfullab @thefoxymango
@theworld4realz @tiffanywashko @treesgroup
@tweetpegasus @violetsbuds @wencdj
@whywelovegreen @zenfarmz

My Final Thoughts:

Sometimes, getting started on an activity is simply a matter of taking the first step. After that, it all falls into place and becomes part of our daily routine. At other times, getting started takes serious thought and planning because the task may affect our finances or, in some way, put a strain on our life. Living green requires balance and isn't always possible. The beauty of this challenge is that it gets us thinking. And that opens the window to solutions that work.

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:

Pick up litter for Change The World Wednesday (#CTWW)
After the snow ... Litter appeared!
When the snow melted in my area, an interesting thing appeared ... litter. Discarded items are dangerous to wildlife. They can be mistaken as food and, when ingested, harm (or worse, kill) innocent animals. Sometimes, the smell of food, left behind in a container, lures an animal to investigate further and ends in tragedy when the animal's head is trapped inside. Litter eventually finds its way to our water systems, contaminating aquatic life and introducing toxins to rivers, streams and oceans. It affects our food supply and ultimately our health. Simply put, it is BAD for animals, us, and the environment.

Here's your challenge ...

This week, pick up litter and dispose of it properly. As you go through your day, pay attention to the area and clean as you go. You might see trash as you walk between your car and your office. Perhaps you'll see plastic bags, etc. in the parking lot of a market. If you enjoy nature walks, browse the side of the trail. Get your kids involved and take litter walks or organize a neighborhood cleanup of a local park. The idea, this week, is to rid the area of litter!

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

Sneak Peek: Do real men eat quiche? Find out tomorrow!

Until then ...