Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Change The World Wednesday (#CTWW) - Need versus Want

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:

Well ... it's been awhile! Thank you all for your patience. I made an unexpected trip to the Pacific NW to help my mother who was diagnosed with heart failure. Thankfully, she's receiving a pacemaker today which should restore her to good health.

Our last formal challenge involved ChloroFluoroCarbons (CFCs). Even though their use is down considerably, there are still some products "out there" which contain these harmful chemicals. So, we searched storage sheds and closets for old aerosol cans, fire extinguishers, and air conditioning units. We also talked to our doctors about inhalers which may still contain CFCs. The next challenge was your choice. Some of you continued with the ChloroFluoroCarbons task and others came up with interesting challenges for readers.

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) wrote Change the World Wednesday – 17th Sep where he talks about how Brazil is fighting against CFCs. As he points out, buying an energy-efficient refrigerator is only part of the solution. The other part involves recycling. For his first "freelance" challenge, Argentum decided to "Make it a daily ritual to take time out, get off my chuff and get outside". Brilliant! You can read about that HERE. In Change the World Wednesday – 1st Oct AV talks about living green, his parents, and why he doesn't feel that society is making progress. It's a poignant post, not to be missed!

Andrea sent me these wonderful comments: "Great challenge this week! Now I need to search all my cupboards for cans—believe it or not, there were some in the house when we moved in 22 years ago! I also had not thought about foam delivery systems used for personal hygiene products. My daughter uses foam gel for shaving her legs. I need to go check those labels! Thanks for giving me the scoop on this. We do have to be diligent, since our government won't. I have a small free-standing AC unit in my 10 x 10' office to use on the hottest days of the day—otherwise I and my computers would fry. It's also nice because it has a fresh air fan function that allows me to leave a fan on in the house when I'm gone without having a window open—good for the dog. The unit is only a few years old, but now I will be sure to get it checked out before unplugging it for the fall. I learn so much from you—thanks!" She also wrote Spring Cleaning — The Natural Way which contains some excellent tips and ideas!

Laurel wrote a wonderful posted entitled 100 Things You Can Do To Help the Earth: The Reduce/Reuse/Recycle 10. She offers some creative tips for employing the 3Rs, including recycling food. Be sure to read to the bottom of the post for a pretty staggering statistic on how much food developed nations toss out. Can you guess the figure?

Our friends at Vicality Santa Cruz continue to participate in CTWW and share challenges with their readers. In Remember the Ozone freak-out? they share information about CFCs and include a truly "good news" quote from Nigel Paul of the Washington Post. The following week they challenged their readers to Check off your Daily Dose of Green list. That post suggested daily tasks such as "be nice". Last week they asked that everyone Ride a bike to get around.

Here's a quiz for you: What eats bird seed, is NOT a bird or a squirrel, is about the size of an average house cat, and is the topic of Lois' CTWW post? You know you want the answer ... which you'll find in Change the World Wednesday, and a Surprise Guest. You'll also find some interesting information about avoiding CFCs like how to refinish furniture without using solvents that contain harmful chemicals.

Eliminating CFCs is a good thing. That said, we must still be diligent to ensure that replacements don't cause larger problems. CelloMom reminds us of that in this comment: "A word of warning: while the current generation of refrigerants (e.g. in air conditioners) are safe for the ozone layer, they turn out to be ferocious greenhouse gases, sometimes more than a thousand times more potent than CO2. There are moves to phase these out. So if you are in the market for an air conditioner, check that the refrigerant used is safe both for the ozone layer and for the climate."

Alica joined the challenge and said, "We thankfully really don't use anything in aerosol cans, and we are diligent to have the air conditioning checked in our vehicles on a regular basis. Great info on this subject! Thanks"

Thanks to Andie, Aimee, and Randy (all Pacific NW residents) for the kind invitations to meet. Hopefully, on a future trip, I'll get a chance to see you, live and in person!

Our Twitter friends joined the conversation and shared the following:

From @GiveTreeGifts:
- The Difference Between Non-GMO and Organic

From @LaurelHounslow:
- @LilSubHomestead: The Pantry Magician > Thanks Karen. A great #CTWW post! Save food, don't waste

From @MassGov:
- This month, encourage loved ones to prepare for emergencies. Learn more at:

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:

@89linz @allcollegeplan @andreaptak
@annfinster @apoenagi @artbysandra
@aussiemoose @backyardforest @beatepdx
@biggreenpen @bike2power @blockmomnc
@blukatdesign @cannyhighlander @cellomomoncars
@cjrthemamiblog @cochranesustain @collegegogreen
@corneliagracchi @cptww @djdashzimbabwe
@eco_novice @ecoexpert1 @factorydpromos
@familyfocusblog @fleurdeb @foggybottomgal
@forloveofadog @freshcleanersaz @georgehenry47
@ginavalley @givetreegifts @greenqueenofmod
@groovygreenlivi @herbgir1972 @iamthelab
@kaitlingarder @kayelleallen @kriswetherbee
@krmbalclothing @laalicia @ladyjcmuses
@laurelhounslow @lbpaints @leslieveg
@litartmagazine @mamasmoney @marbaird
@marjoriemcatee @mimibarbour @momgamerwriter
@momsmadhousex6 @mzazeela @nikidanforth
@organicweave @p2pnyc @pedalgadgets
@rainbojangles @rckweddings @realityarts
@respiro @romerojewelers @ruralmoms
@sdcdm320 @sfcouncil @spafloating
@suppressthis @terenceflyntz @theworld4realz
@treesgroup @turningclockbac @ultimate_social
@urban_mining @wencdj @whatsnxt4mylife
@whywelovegreen @wikanikowings @yatrblog

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) - Need versus Want
Knowing the difference between "need" and "want"
will help us avoid unnecessary spending
The concept is simple: buy less and fewer natural resources will be required to create stuff. While the concept is simple, the reality is complicated. We don't always know the difference between what we need and what we want. And, of course, advertisers spend a lot of time and money to blur that line.

A need is something you have to have to survive ... something you can't do without. Examples are food, water, and shelter.

A want is something you would like to have but it is not absolutely necessary for survival. Examples are music, books, cosmetics, etc.

Here's where things get interesting: some "want" items can almost be considered a "need" because they support the items we need for survival. Examples might be computers which could allow us to work and make money for food, or clothing which can protect us from the elements. These are things which, by themselves, aren't necessary for survival but, for any number of reasons (lifestyle, location, etc.), are very important because they make the necessary things possible.

Here's your challenge ...

This week, before spending any money, consider whether a purchase is a "need", a very important "want" which supports a need, or simply a "want" (you might want to start a list). Consider each item carefully based on it's contribution to your survival. Next, take a look at the want list and avoid spending money on those items. The idea with this challenge is to evaluate our spending habits (raising our awareness on wants versus needs) and reduce spending on unnecessary stuff.

Are you ready to evaluate your spending habits? I know that you are!

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Change The World Wednesday on Reduce Footprints

Until next time ...