Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Change The World Wednesday (#CTWW) - Bees

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 protected our kidneys, and the health of the planet, by going vegan for a day. I'm a full-time vegan and have shared many delicious recipes on Reduce Footprints (you'll find them all HERE). A plant-based diet is (in my opinion) satisfying, and I enjoy knowing that I'm doing something good for my body. I also enjoy knowing that my food choices reduce the stress on the earth (raising meat, or any animal-products, takes a lot of natural resources). Better health and kind to the planet ... sounds like a WIN-WIN to me!

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 support of our air pollution challenge, Katie wrote Why We Don't Take the Bus [#CTWW]. The post reminds me that we are all affected by negative connotations and the often unfair views of society.

Deborah wrote Change the World Wednesday (#CTWW) - Air Pollution - 9 Green & Easy Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality. She offers some great tips like one about wallpaper glue and another about carpets. For this week's challenge she shares this, "This week's #CTWW Challenge really resonates with me because several friends and family members have had from kidney disease. As I watched loved ones suffer through months and sometimes years of this deadly disease--enduring dialysis treatments; waiting for compatible donors for organ transplants; suffering from painful and debilitating symptoms.This really made me think what we can do to keep our kidneys healthy naturally; how we can try to prevent the onset of kidney disorders? This blog post explores some natural ways to keep our kidneys healthy. Concerned about Kidneys? Natural Ways to Keep Your Kidneys Healthy "

In Change the World Wednesday, My Most Serious Health Issue Lois reveals that she has one kidney which doesn't work. Diet has played an important role in keeping her healthy. But here's the amazing thing ... her doctors knew that a plant-based diet would help but never gave her that information. Their reasons might shock you!

Argentum Vularis admits "The only malady that I can attribute to animal products is gout (high uric acid because the kidneys can’t process it all), in my case not serious, manifesting slightly at times and going again." Was this reason enough for him to turn to a plant-based diet? Find out in Change the World Wednesday – 16th Apr ... and be sure to read through the comments for more great info.

Cody accepted the challenge and offers a lot of information in Change the World Wednesday - Eat Better for Health & Earth. She also talked about something she'll do this week to eliminate meat for a day! Can you guess what it is?

I found a CTWW article in this edition of Shopping Charity. Was it yours? This Edition gives CTWW a nice mention!

Lisa stopped by and shared this, "The picture of the muscular man holding vegetables is great! My husband runs about 6 miles a day and weight trains two days a week and hasn't had any drop off since we have switched to an almost vegetarian diet. (I exercise daily, too, just not as intensely as he does.) It's a shame that athletes believe they can't exist without meat protein."

Our Twitter friend, @VioletsBuds, joined the conversation and shared the following:

- I missed posting for last week's #CTWW air pollution challenge! We do our part here by gardening, having indoor plants and..
- Did you do the #vegan challenge from #CTWW? I had 4 vegan breakfast, 3 lunch, and 2 dinners, not bad!

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:

@a_kiasi @adriennewarren5 @allnaturalkatie
@altfashionweek @barrydarrdixon @bicyclehsv
@bike2power @bkind3 @bstoneblog
@bylittlenea @caitlyndawney @cmg_bedding
@collegegogreen @counselorholley @crazykids6
@debsmikdav1 @dehelen @drifterjournals
@ecoexpert1 @ecothrifty @factorydpromos
@familybetty @freshcleanersaz @ginavalley
@givetreegifts @green_vibes @greenageworld
@groovygreenlivi @guayaba @healthyvoyager
@herbgir1972 @hismerecry @johncbader
@kaitlingarder @kayelleallen @kiser_krafts
@krmbalclothing @laalicia @lady_bren
@ladyjcmuses @leeindustries @leslieveg
@lorcadamon @lu_and_ed @magnushrm
@marikokoloco @marjoriemcatee @mendy7
@michaelinla3 @mimibarbour @mitlamoda
@momfindsout @momgamerwriter @mommiesnetwork
@mzazeela @newworldfilmsco @orendamagazine
@pamela_o_plays @pberk @pedalgadgets
@pinecone_grove @rckweddings @realityarts
@reciperadar @rulesofgreen @sbs_brands
@sensuouspromos @sfcouncil @shannongrissom
@soulfullab @spafloating @superbsolutions
@susanheaney @tammycurry @theurbannatura1
@theworld4realz @trashn2tees @treesgroup
@variationsbaker @violetsbuds @vivegan41
@wencdj @whopaysthepiper @witteeme

My Final Thoughts:

When I was asked to try a vegan diet, my immediate response was "NO". I loved meat! Yes, doctors suggested that eating less of it would benefit my health since my family had a history of high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol ... but I LIKED meat. I even ignored the fact that after eating, my whole body seemed to "flush" ... I turned red and got hot, and joked that my body was working overtime to process the meal. I didn't know how truthful that statement was. After watching a particularly telling program, I decided to try a plant-based diet for a month. I had every intention of going back to my meat-eating ways but decided that, for 30 days, I would embrace a vegan diet ... to give it a serious try. I never went back to eating meat. Sometimes, the true beauty of our challenges is simply trying something new. Do I expect that everyone will turn vegan? Not at all. But hopefully everyone learned that a plant-based meal, now and again, is quite doable ... even enjoyable. Every little effort matters ... for our health and for the planet.

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:

Change the world by protecting honey bees.
Intensive agriculture and the use of pesticides/herbicides
contribute to a loss of habitat and food for bees
We've all heard that Bee populations are declining. Since bees pollinate the majority of our food crops, worldwide, their decline is a cause for great concern. Why are they in trouble? Research points to GMO agriculture and the use of pesticides. It's time to take action! Here's your challenge ...

This week, take action to protect honey bees. Please choose at least one action from the following list:
  • Plant at least one native, flowering plant in your yard. Avoid hybrid plants ... they don't produce enough nectar or pollen and are useless to bees and other pollinators.
  • Plant a vegetable garden.
  • Let pests live (natural pest controllers, like Lady Bugs, need them for food).
  • Keep your lawn and garden pesticide-free.
  • Eliminate chemicals in your home.
  • Provide a year-round, clean source of water for bees (rainwater collection, a small garden water feature, bird bath, etc.).
  • Leave some dead trees or plants in your yard ... bees will nest in them. Or, place a bee house in your garden.
  • Buy organic food.
  • Take up beekeeping.

Let's help these hard workers! Are you with me? I know that you are!

Sneak Peek: We asked how you maintain your health. Tomorrow we'll reveal the answers.

Until then ...