Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Change The World Wednesday (#CTWW) - Reusable Batteries

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:

For the past two weeks, we've been eliminating plastic bags from our lives. I found that avoiding them isn't as easy as it sounds. In some stores, items are placed into a plastic bag before one has a chance to tell the cashier "no". The interesting part about that is when the cashier learns that we don't want plastic, items are removed from the bag and then, the bag is tossed into the trash bin. Yep, you heard that right! I've gotten in the habit of telling them, before they even flip the switch on the conveyor belt, that we have our own bags. The trick is to tell them before they touch a single item.

On a side note, "Art" and I have moved out of our apartment and now live on our beautiful, forested property. We are thrilled to be homeowners.

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.

Argentum Vulgaris (AV) wasn't able to ban the bag from his life but he did use the challenge as a means of raising awareness in Brazil. In Change the World Wednesday – 16th Jul he shares his one-man education system. During week #2 of the challenge, AV's cell phone died. Since most everything comes wrapped in plastic (and is made of plastic), he went on a search for a new phone without plastic. How did he do? Find out in Change the World Wednesday – 23rd Jul.

A few challenges back, we greened up our kitchens. My bloggy friend, Robert, wrote a terrific article on this very topic: How To Make Your Kitchen More Eco-Friendly. Check it out!

Alicia joined us and shared this: "We use reusable bags and love them. I have made almost all of the bags we use by recycling tee shirts and other fabrics.We don't buy many products that come in plastic but I have to admit that I am still buying our organic spring mix in plastic containers. I can buy it loose at places like Whole Foods but there is not one really close to us.Our regular grocery stores and places like Sam's Club all carry it in either plastic bags or those thick plastic containers. Since the Farmers Markets are open now I can find it at some of them. We plan on planting a Fall crop of the Spring mix varieties. I think I may look for some smaller produce markets that might sell things like this that are not prepackaged or just wait and only buy it when I am in the area where there is a Whole Foods."

In Change the World Wednesday, Plastic, Lois shares a conversation she recently overheard at the checkout stand. It was interesting ... and sad. She goes on to talk about her plastic-free July and how that's been working out. She's still searching for appropriate freezer containers. A good alternative to plastic turned out to be coated in plastic. Ugh!

Mary stopped by and left this comment: "Crazy stats! This is always a good idea because it's easy to switch to reusable bags. Many stores make them very affordable and sometimes even give you discounts for bringing your bags. They're useful beyond carrying groceries too for many purposes!"

This edition of The #Green Daily included my retweet of one of your tweets. Was it yours?

Vicki accepted our challenge on greening the kitchen. Here are her comments: "... This is a great challenge - I need to remember to put away the laundry on time so I always have dishtowels and washcloths available and dont resort to paper towels!"

Katie's comment shows just how hard it is to avoid plastic when preparing a meal: "I went to the grocery yesterday to buy ingredients for a meal I am making for a family that was in a car accident. Between the salad, the main dish ingredients and the fruit for dessert, I think I ended up with at least 5 plastic containers. Yes, they can all be recycled, but still! That is a lot of waste. I don't even know how you can get things like ricotta cheese not in a plastic container. Maybe I can find a local dairy farm. :) "

Lisa wrote a fabulous post, entitled The Sustainability R’s: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and More. In it, she talks about 6 R's and then goes on to list all the R's she's found on various sites. The result is a much more holistic view of living green. One of the R's directly affects our "ban plastic bag" challenge ... can you guess which one it is?

Our Twitter friends joined the conversation and shared the following:

Please note: I was offline for the majority of the last two weeks so I was only able to gather a few tweets. I apologize if I missed anyone's contribution!

From @GiveTreeGifts
- Ocean Plastic — SEE Turtles
- Pollution from Plastics-Videos on Plastic Pollution
- Plastic Bags Pollution – Effects and Solutions
- Environmental Pollution: The Harmful Effects of Plastic Bags
- 22 Facts About Plastic Pollution (And 10 Things We Can Do About It)
- 10 Reasons Why Single-Use Plastic Bags Blow | Plastic Pollution Coalition
- Plastic Bag Pollution

From @AndreaPtak
- Ban #Plastic Bags from your life, then work to have it made law. #Seattle did! #Reduce

From @GreenQueenofMod
- Ban Plastic Bags New maps reveal extent of ocean #plastic, Florida Keys #turtle cam. @Oceana #environment

From @KrmbalClothing
- If you have any #microbead cleansers you want to get rid of, did you know you can donate them for research? #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:

As I mentioned above, I have been offline, so there won't be a list of gang members this week. We'll be back to normal next week! Thanks for your patience!

My Final Thoughts:

Plastic bags seem innocent enough. They are useful and can be recycled. So what's the problem? Here's the thing, the majority of bags are not recycled. That means that most of them end up in landfills. Plastics do not biodegrade. They photodegrade. That means that they break down into smaller and smaller fragments of plastic. These small bits and pieces soak up toxins. They then contaminate the soil and waterways. Considering their impact on the earth and all life, they are anything but innocent!

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) - Reusable Batteries
According to Earth 911,
3 billion single-use batteries
are sold each year
Did you know that rechargeable batteries can reduce your carbon footprint by up to 1,000 pounds over the life of the batteries?

Here's another fact: most single-use batteries are tossed into the trash bin and end up in a landfill where they leach out toxins.

Here's your challenge ...

If you are not using rechargeable batteries, please make plans to buy them when you next need batteries. As you replace single-use versions, be sure to recycle them rather than toss them into the trash bin.

OR ...

If you have already made the switch to rechargeable batteries, please find one single-use item in your home and replace it with a reusable version.

OR ...

If you've banned single-use items from your life, please share one of your favorite "upgrades" to reusable.

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

Until next time ...