Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Change The World Wednesday (#CTWW) - Sustainable Decor

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's challenge was fun! We chose two outfits to wear for the week ... only two ... no more. Since I work from home, the task was easy. In thinking back to my "office" days, I decided that two outfits would be possible. It would require a bit of planning and careful selection. For example, I could choose two complete outfits using "separates" ... a black skirt with a colorful top and solid-colored slacks with a neutral top. That would give me, potentially, four days of unique outfits. Add in some interesting accessories (scarves, necklaces, etc.) and repeating one outfit wouldn't be a problem. Since I didn't work at a physical job, laundering the outfits after one use wouldn't be necessary ... but I would hang them up, either in the bathroom while I shower or outside, for airing. This challenge reminded me that wearing clothes multiple times, before washing, is very doable. That, in turn, extends the life of an outfit and saves both water and energy.

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 – 5th Mar, Argentum Vulgaris not only accepts the two-outfit challenge but gives us an analysis of his wardrobe. While he isn't sure about origin, he does say that most things are made from natural fibers.

Carie dropped in and said this about our water challenge, "My Mom raised us to use as little water as possible so I can completely relate to this. I find I nag people when I see them letting water run while brushing their teeth or doing dishes. It is so ingrained in me it's crazy!" It's crazy good, Carie!

Alicia accepted our task and shared this, "I have already picked the two outfits out and I think I will be able to just wear them this week. I usually will take an outfit off and wear it again before I wash it if I haven't gotten it dirty.A few years ago I was made aware of how important it is to be Eco Friendly where our clothing is concerned. I started checking consignment stores, Goodwill and local thrift shops for some of our clothing. I try to buy mostly cotton and not only does it make me feel better because I know that I am "reusing" but it is a lot better on the budget as well!:

Tessa wrote a fabulous article entitled, Sustainable Textiles. Did you know that Rayon is made from bamboo ... and that it's on the list of textiles to avoid? Check out Tessa's post to find out why.

"I cut pictures out of magazines and put them in files." That's what Mrs. Green says in a post entitled Two outfits; one week for #sixitemschallenge. Does that mean she's a "fashionista", obsessed with clothing? You'll have to read her article to find out.

Samantha joined us. Here's her comment: "I love this challenge! I pretty much dress this way already, even though it's most likely because I just had a baby and not much fits me right now! I refuse to buy anything new for me or my children, everything we wear are either hand me downs or thrift store finds." By the way, check out Samantha's blog ... it's terrific!

Deborah accepted our challenge. She said, "I love this challenge. I have been concerned about toxic fashion and researching the best ecofriendly fabric choices and clothing sources for a while. I have greatly reduced my shopping for several years and mostly shop at my local thrifts where I also donate clothing. I basically wear the same black top and black pants each day, but I will keep a diary for this challenge and report back." How'd it go, Deborah?

Randy joined the fun. He says, "I would have difficulty with this particular challenge because gardening every day soils my clothes, but it did get me thinking about "Riding the Clothing Cycle" ... and you know, I *could* just hang my gardening clothes up to air out and re-wear instead of washing every time. The plants don't mind dirt on the knees .... so I guess this challenge is helping already!" Be sure to read his article. It is an excellent discussion of the clothing cycle.

Katie loves to shop and try on clothes ... she also loves to look fashionable. But, being a true "greenie", she accepted the challenge and chose two outfits for the week. Her biggest lesson learned involves a breezeway ... can you guess what it is? Read Two Outfit Challenge [#CTWW] to find out.

Our Twitter friends joined the conversation and shared the following:

From @CounselorHolley
- like the challenge! Always trying to live simply and not cluttered, this includes my closet. Less is always more! Thanks.

From @green_vibes
- We LOVE this new concept of #CTWW and are so honored to be a part of the gang! Look forward to learning more!

From @KrmbalClothing
- I'm hopeful we'll see some growth with hemp textiles too now that times have changed a bit
- even though hemp isn't the same plant as marijuana they are still related in public perception :/

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 @a_kiasi @allnaturalkatie
@angelosurmelis @aussierichluck @barrydarrdixon
@beakunz @beatepdx @befeld13
@bg_garden @biggreenpen @bike2power
@clothaddicts @collegegogreen @conservationm
@convetit @counselorholley @davidquickbooks
@decor8yourlife2 @dehelen @dieselelephants
@ecothrifty @familybetty @familyfocusblog
@francisphyl @frederickbrooke @givetreegifts
@green_vibes @greeningforward @gregorspeaks
@groovygreenlivi @guayaba @halliegrace2
@healthfulmama @herbgir1972 @jnjgogreen
@johannamhaack @kayelleallen @kgimson
@krmbalclothing @laalicia @ladyjcmuses
@ladyladuke @loridennisinc @lu_and_ed
@madeinusablog @mamapoolecooks @marcelajersey
@marikokoloco @marjoriemcatee @mimibarbour
@mindfulmomma @monicapedersen9 @nikidanforth
@nolafusion @ourfavadventure @pamela_o_plays
@pberk @perkins0039 @phebeohyes
@pinkladyapril @proamusa @rckweddings
@realityarts @rozdb @rulesofgreen
@sensuouspromos @sfcouncil @shannongrissom
@sophie2978 @soulfullab @storylinepr
@tbasecomm @tbaseedu @theworld4realz
@treesgroup @violetsbuds @wencdj
@wheeliesmom @withinyourhands @yfnjman
@zaidabeauchesne @zenfarmz

My Final Thoughts:

It is so easy to run to the mall and buy a new outfit. Maybe we've been invited to a party, have a special business meeting to attend, or simply look in the closet and think "I don't have a thing to wear". Clothing, like all "stuff", requires natural resources in the manufacturing process. Simply put, buying less conserves resources. But here's another reason to carefully consider purchases. The garment industry is notorious for paying low wages to employees who work long, tedious hours. In many factories, workers receive less than half of what they need to live, which places them in poverty. The newest fashions, offered at incredibly low prices, were probably made by a person who could never afford to wear them. It's a sobering thought! Yes, we need clothing. But our choices matter. Our purchases can promote an unethical industry or support the fair treatment of employees. It's something to think about the next time we look into our closets.

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:

Eco-friendly, sustainable furnishings.
Is your decor Eco-friendly?
Peggy Berk (aka @pberk on twitter) suggested that we do a challenge on home decor. Doesn't that sound interesting? Here's your challenge ...

If you haven't already done so, replace at least one incandescent light bulb with a CFL or LED bulb.

OR ...

If you have switched all your bulbs to Eco-friendly varieties, please conduct a brief analysis of your home furnishings. Are items sustainable and Eco-friendly, made from materials like bamboo, cork, or recycled content? Were they made locally? How many pieces are second hand? Do any items contain foam (cushions, pads, etc.) which typically are treated with fire retardants (toxic chemicals)? Has anything been varnished or finished with lacquers (both contain harmful pollutants)? Do you have wood furniture? If so, do you know where the wood came from and whether or not the trees were sustainably grown? The idea, here, is to start thinking about the sustainability of our furnishings and raise our awareness on the types of items we should both support and avoid.

OR ...

If you are thinking about buying new furnishings for your home, please consider "green" options and share your research. Have you been able to find Eco-friendly, locally-made furniture? If so, how did the prices compare to other varieties? What questions did you ask? Were answers easy to obtain? We'd like to benefit from your research.

Ready to accept this challenge? I know that you are!!

Sneak Peek: If you love upcycling, you won't want to miss Friday's post!

Until then ...