Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Change The World Wednesday (#CTWW) - Reuse

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:

Growing food for Change The World Wednesday!
The start of our garden
How did you do with last week's challenge to grow some food?

We have always grown food, usually in containers on our patio. Some years, we've simply grown a few herbs for cooking. Other years, we've had a variety of veggies & fruits including tomatoes, peppers and figs.

This year we have a huge space in which to grow food. The image to the right shows our tomatoes. We've since added hot peppers, eggplants, soybeans, potatoes, zucchini, green beans and cantaloupe. In another area, we've planted filbert trees and blackberry bushes.

I can't wait to see how our new garden space develops. And, of course, harvesting our treasures will be very exciting!

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.

Katie stopped by and shared this comment about our Monarch Butterfly challenge: " I have been buying flowering plants, as I love flowers, in all different sizes to attracts bees and butterflies of all sizes. Just today, my husband snapped a photo of a hummingbird at the lamb's ear plant. I will look for milkweed to plant in the front since it is specifically for the monarchs." Later in the week, she wrote Garden: Lots of Rain, Lots of Growth [#CTWW]. In that article she includes photos of her garden and an interesting tip about Black Walnut trees. Thanks, Katie!

This edition of Change The World Paper #ecotalk includes a nice CTWW mention and articles which were tweeted by the CTWW Gang. Thanks, Brenna!

Lillian accepted our challenge and shared this: "We planted food (tomato, squash, pepper, basil, etc.) and some fruit trees this week. We are really excited. Thank you for the links to milkweed seed. I have been looking for it and haven't found any. We want to plant some too." Hope you have a great harvest, Lillian! By the way ... were you able to get some milkweed seeds?

Lady JC joined us. Here's what she had to say: "I'm always thrilled when a CTWW is already part of my weekly plan. :) Yesterday I planted some Bok Choy in a container and in the last couple of days I also put in tomato plants and a couple of green peppers. Next step is to some heat friendly leafy greens. I'm excited to see what everyone else is growing. Happy planting!" Mmm ... Bok Choy ... hope you'll share photos of them, JC!

Alicia stopped in and said this: "Oh how I love this challenge! The weather has been warm then cold then wet and cold again It looks like the warmer weather is here for a while now so we were able to plant part of our garden this past week. Squash, peppers, tomatoes and lots of herbs have been planted with more on the way this week. We so love planting time because you know it won't be to long until it will be picking time!! Planting your own food not only allows you to know how it's been raised but is such a great way to save money and be able to enjoy ripe delicious fruits and veggies!" I've seen photos of your herbs, Alicia, and all I can say is ... I want to graze in your garden! :-)

Have you ever grown asparagus? That's just one of the many foods in Teri's garden. Take a look at How Does Your (Herb) Garden Grow? ... even with having to replant because of an unexpected freeze, her garden is looking good! Thanks, Teri!

Argentum Vulgaris wrote Change the World Wednesday – 4th Jun where he gives us an update on junk mail, milkweed, and shares photos of his healthy fruits and veggies. As I remember, AV, you mentioned, awhile back, that you couldn't get parsley in your local markets. So happy to see that you are growing your own!

EcoGrrl joined us and shared this: "A couple of our 18 tomato plants grown from seed did not fare well in the wildly changing weather here in Oregon, so we bought a few replacement heirlooms at the nursery. We're already harvesting greens and peas, and the first crop of potatoes should be ready in a couple weeks, but as the peas finish up we have nitrogen-rich soil, perfect for the next planting of 30 pepper plants - it's going to be pepper-o-rama for us this year!!" By the way, please join me in offering EcoGrrl a huge CONGRATULATIONS on her recent wedding. We wish you and your husband all the best, EcoGrrl! And for those of you who are curious about how a true "greenie" makes her wedding meaningful and earth-friendly, hop over to her site and browse the Green Wedding Chronicles series (includes some fabulous wedding photos).

Lisa accepted the challenge and wrote Harvesting and planting more. What I found particularly exciting is that most of what she harvested this week was from perennials, planted in previous years, or from volunteer plants. And she's harvesting a lot! It's so exciting and I'll be thinking more about perennial food plants for next year. Check out her post to find out what's been on her table this week. Thanks, Lisa!

Our Twitter friends joined the conversation and shared the following:

From @acuriousgal1
- Planted a zucchini plant, love to eat raw with dip. Also planted Cilantro, perfect in all my fave dishes. Anyone else?

From @Terraccordpdx
- Happy to see this symbol of #organic integrity in my neighborhood nursery. #pdx

From @GiveTreeGifts
- The wood on our compost bins has deteriorated so I'm currently working on new compost bins. Great & inexpensive way to amend soil #CTWW
- How Is Growing a Veggie Garden Eco-Friendly? #CTWW
- Top Ten Tips for Eco-Friendly Gardening #HGTV via @ShareThis #CTWW
- Vegetable Gardening 101 #CTWW
- How To Plant A Vegetable Garden In Your Front Lawn #CTWW
- Planting an Eco-Friendly Garden | Vegetarian Times #CTWW
- Eco-Friendly Cardboard Weed Barrier for Your Garden #CTWW
- Veg Week 2014: How to Start Growing Vegetables the Eco-friendly Way | The Tofu Diaries #CTWW
- How to Garden With Vinegar: 11 Steps (with Pictures) - #CTWW
- Organic Garden Pest Control #CTWW

From @JNaquins
- Planted carrots and a variety of lettuce over the winter. Love eating the carrots with ranch dressing and salad

From @S_Possibilities
- Plant some food! #CTWW I've been harvesting lettuce, asparagus, kale, chives & strawberries. Planted squash and beans today. How about you?

From @FreshGriller
- It's #CTWW! Start growing your own food for fresher items at a lower cost.

I'd like to share a special tweet from @KrmbalClothing ... it's a great idea and I hope you'll sign the petition: "Sign & help conservation efforts along our highways for wildlife & especially pollinators #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:

@12tmimi @a_kiasi @acuriousgal1
@allnaturalkatie @almosttruth @andreaptak
@anne_brennan @aqua8co @becks543
@bigbadflower @bstoneblog @cannyhighlander
@compingcrazzy @cookingnook @counselorholley
@crazykids6 @deancmoore @dehelen
@dmilly1234 @dshojinakamoto @ecocountrytable
@ecoexpert1 @ecofriendlyfurn @ecothrifty
@erbaviva @estefaniacrespo @factorydpromos
@floralplantgrow @foodretro @freshgriller
@gensgarden @ginavalley @gioassassin
@givetreegifts @grailville @green_vibes
@greenqueenofmod @greensoil @groovygreenlivi
@hashtracking @healthyvoyager @herbgir1972
@hismerecry @hobbyberries @imgreenareyou
@isf_fl @jadekerrion @janmoran
@jnaquins @justanotherhat @kayelleallen
@kiser_krafts @krmbalclothing @laalicia
@ladyjcmuses @legsetobicoke @leslieveg
@linxcoach @lovecanal2020 @marbaird
@marikokoloco @marjoriemcatee @momgamerwriter
@nonhomogenized @officialcwerner @paige989
@pamela_o_plays @pberk @petsadoption738
@rckweddings @realityarts @revolutionyfarm
@roundtreeland @rulesofgreen @s_possibilities
@sensuouspromos @sfcouncil @shannongrissom
@socialavenues @soniatbrock @spafloating
@star_shine22 @superbsolutions @tammycurry
@terraccordpdx @theworld4realz @thispeg
@treesgroup @vegtoday @violetsbuds
@wencdj @whopaysthepiper @wikihow

My Final Thoughts:

At a grocery store, recently, we noticed a man picking fruit from beautiful trees placed within the parking lot. He called them "Serviceberries" and said that they produce delicious fruit. I did a little research and found that this native plant produces beautiful white flowers in the spring, followed by edible berries (similar to blueberries) in late May, and then, for its final "hoorah", the foliage turns a brilliant red in the autumn. What more could we want from a tree? It made me wonder, not for the first time, why we (society) choose ornamental plants and trees over varieties which provide food. Aside from the obvious nutritional benefits of growing food, there's also a benefit to the earth. Did you know that many varieties of food-bearing plants & trees actually add nutrients to the soil? It's a brilliant system. And for those who think that fruit and vegetable plants aren't pretty enough for the yard, consider these:

Fruits & vegetables add interest and color to any yard.
Fruits & vegetables add interest and color to any yard.
Fruits & vegetables add interest and color to any yard.
Passion Fruit

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 Wednesday (#CTWW) - Reuse
Scraps of material can be reused
to make a beautiful quilt
Have you ever gone to toss out an item (or recycle it) and thought, "there must be something I can do with this"?

Reusing items has the potential of diverting a lot of stuff from landfills. So, let's get creative this week.

Here's your challenge ...

This week, before placing items in either the recycle or trash bin, see if you can find new uses for them. For example, an empty ketchup bottle could be used to dispense pancake batter onto the griddle. An old cooking pot or tea kettle could become your newest planter. Got some empty medicine bottles? Fill them with coins and keep in your car for toll booths or times when you need a few pennies. The idea, this week, is to find a use for things which might otherwise be thrown away.

Are you ready to let your creative genius shine? I know that you are!

Until next time ...