Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Change The World Wednesday (#CTWW) - Meatless for a day

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 started a garden. Even though the calendar indicates that spring is here, many folks are still experiencing winter conditions. So it was a bit early to actually plant something ... but never too early to begin planning. In my area the days are warming up. In the last couple of weeks we've planted fruit trees, asparagus, strawberries, rhubarb, and potatoes. We've also started vegetable seeds in a mini greenhouse. It's an exciting time of year as everything begins to turn green.

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.

Christine makes a good point in this comment: "There is so much good that can be done with growing your own but so many people don't realise just what hard work it can be. You start in autumn by clearing back your vegetable patch and composting anything that isn't diseased as well as collecting leaves for leaf mould. You spend the winter digging over, digging in compost, repairing raised beds, cleaning out the greenhouse, pruning trees and fruit bushes, inspecting tools and cleaning out your shed, planning next year's crops, cleaning out seed trays and tubs. Come spring you plant out your seeds and crops then spend the summer weeding, feeding, watering and preserving what you can't eat instantly. And tending the compost heap. Come autumn you start all over again. Whoever said that gardening was easy or part time? Many people take allotments or start vegetable gardens to be astonished at the work involved. It takes time, effort and is continual learning. But ever so rewarding."

One of my favorite places to go for gardening inspiration is Aimee's (aka EcoGrrl's) blog. She's always got something growing. Curious about what's happening in her garden right now? Check out these POSTS.

Scarlet very kindly included CTWW on her RebelMouse Page. You'll need to scroll down a ways to find the headlines. Be sure to check out all her content ... she includes some great articles on that page.

piterson left a great comment on our Family Cook Day challenge: "Plastic products encompass a variety of additives, some of which (Adipate, Phthalates) can be toxic. They are durable and degrade very slowly; have an impact on climate change. So, raise your voice against plastic."

Morag not only accepted the challenge, she upped the ante: "This is a good time for this quest for us in the northern half of the world - Spring is upon us :) Today I've been planting chillis (in a heated propagator) and preparing the ground for other plants when the soil has warmed up a bit. If you are in the southern hemisphere it's time to think about letting those plants go to seed so that you can collect and save them for next season! Up the anti - what about for those of you that don't want to grow food - what about skipping straight to the harvesting with our foraging quests? Free nutritious food is just there for the taking - now that has to be worth a few moments research to see what edible things grow in the wild near you!"

Every year Alicia grows a garden and usually posts photos of her lovely herbs. And then she shares delicious recipes. Here's what she had to say about this challenge: "Oh we are so ready to be Gardening! I actually bought a pot of Basil the other day just so I could make some tomato Basil relish!. So we will be planting it as soon as the ground dries enough. We already have packets of seeds and are going to the local Herb Society's big herb and vegetable plant sale in a few weeks. They only offer locally grown plants and the farmers will be there to answer any questions on the plants. So excited to get started on our garden."

Marla is still waiting for spring to arrive. Here's what she said: "I am so ready for Spring and getting outside to work the ground, but it's just a little too early in my area of the country yet. I am waiting and hoping I have some daffodils and tulips up for Easter. I love Spring when the world seems to awakening with life. I definitely do agree with you that we can eat healthy on a budget if we just take the time and effort to do it. Gardening is just around the corner but we usually can't plant anything in our area until at April."

Charlotte dropped by and shared this: "Great challenge! Growing your own food is joyful, money-saving and sustainable. So get your hands dirty and have fun." She also wrote Start a Garden which offers readers great tips and ideas for container gardening ... perfect for balconies or small spaces. By the way, Charlotte is starting a great series on her blog called "A to Z". From A to Z she'll be introducing plants. Her focus will be on plants which grow well in Sweden but I'm guessing that many of them will be varieties which we, in the US, are familiar with. She'll not only be talking about planting and care, she'll be offering recipes. So head over and check out her first post and then, be sure to drop by often. Better yet, simply subscribe to her blog so that you don't miss an episode of this fun series.

Andie has been growing food and gardening for a long time so this challenge wasn't tough for her. So, being ever so green, she upped her own ante. Here's what she had to say: "We've been growing a lot of our own food for over 20 years, so this is a no brainer for us. We have a large vegetable garden (and even had some overwintering things like broccoli, onions, leeks, kale and parsley). We also have three apple trees, blueberries, raspberries, grapes and strawberries—all on our in-city lot in Seattle (it is about 8,000 sg ft). So, in thinking about ways I could up my own ante, I've come up with these:
• Look for a way to share my excess produce (my local Buy Nothing Facebook group)—though I do preserve a lot for year-long use (still have pesto in my freezer from last summer).
• Find more ways to preserve the food I grow. A friend will be teaching me the joys of dehydrating this year—KALE chips here we come!
On a final note: Don't forget the flowers—to bring pollinators into your yard. A vegetable garden flourishes when your yard is a complete ecosystem. Check out my website at to find ways to encourage bees and other beneficial beings to call your garden home. There are a number of applicable posts under "The Green Garden" category. Happy planting—and EATING!"

Lois knows, first hand, that getting kids involved in the gardening process has benefits. Here's what she had to say: "Like Alicia, I can't wait to get into the yard and start my garden. The more I learn about even the organic loopholes (such as antibiotics sprayed on fruit trees) I don't want to buy anything from a store. Now that I own my own land I am looking to add perennial plants along with fruit and nut trees that will pay off in years to come. You are so right about children eating what they help to grow. Last year in the apartment a couple of children asked if they could help and their mother was shocked when she saw her son eating peas right out of the garden. My grandchildren have also taken to eating foods they refused before when they grew them. I had enough space in the gardens that I gave them their very own sections and let them grow what they wanted. It was the first time my grandson ever ate salad, and only because he grew it. But they took it further by trying flowers such as dandelion, clover and others. When I moved it was the neighbor's children who asked if they could use my beds. I gave them seeds and showed them how to save the seeds of the foods still ripening in the beds to save money as their family has very little excess."

Clare stopped by. She's an avid gardener and shares some interesting information about one common vegetable. Here's what she had to say: "Great challenge this week! I've been growing my own fruit and veggies for a while now - the fruit is great but I do battle with all the tropical insects for my veggies. I'm still trying though! Thanks to Andrea for reminding us to include flowers too! For me this week my challenge will be to look at other methods of preservation. Due to flooding and subsequent power outages, I lost everything in my freezer, which was pretty heartbreaking when I think about all the work that went into what was stored in there, not to mention the sheer waste. So I need to broaden my outlook. I don't enjoy pickled food but I'm sure there are other ways of storing, dehydrating, bottling etc. On a related note, if you're growing cucumbers, you might want to read "6 Uses for Cucumbers You Haven't Heard Of" on - or, as @SoulfulLab so beautifully tweeted: Cucumbers are the new WD40!"

Shopping Charity gave CTWW a nice mention and, if my memory serves, mentioned some of your articles. Unfortunately, I've been unable to get into their site so, give it a try and see if you can find CTWW. And thanks, Shopping Charity, for always thinking of us!

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 @89linz @arithatcher
@beatepdx @bestrawesome @biggreenpen
@bordognaroberto @brokeblokeblogs @clift_efst
@collegegogreen @conservationm @debsmikdav1
@dehelen @diyfolks @eco_novice
@ecoexpert1 @familyfocusblog @freshcleanersaz
@geisheker @givelocal15 @grandmasdiaries
@greengympenge @greenqueenofmod @greenwithrenvy
@gronavra @groovygreenlivi @herbgir1972
@inmemoryoftrees @kaitlingarder @kayelleallen
@krmbalclothing @laalicia @lady_bren
@ladyjcmuses @leniencymemo @lyndilane
@mamasmoney @marbaird @marjoriemcatee
@martha_bourke @mdgblogger @mianola5
@mimibarbour @moha_doha @momfindsout
@momsmadhousex6 @nolafusion @okidoki_tv
@outdoorfammag @rckweddings @realityarts
@rulesofgreen @ruralmoms @sally06301
@shoppingcharity @shopwhatpops @spafloating
@thefreckledrose @theworld4realz @tiffanywashko
@treesgroup @turningclockbac @wary12
@wimpyvegetarian @worldchangingme

My Final Thoughts:

The news on climate change isn't good. Polar ice caps are rapidly melting and conditions, around the world, are deteriorating. Recently, a report came out that California has only one year of water left. Since California provides most of this country with produce, their lack of water is a huge concern. Now, more than ever before, it's crucial to learn how to provide for ourselves. Food, in the near future, will become either unavailable or very expensive ... or, what we see in our markets won't be natural food but something fabricated in a laboratory. Growing our own produce ensures that we maintain nutrition. It also may end up being the way we survive.

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:

March's theme is: Nutrition

Vegetarian Sushi - Meatless for a Day
Vegetarian Sushi? Yes Please!!
If you do a search for ways to improve nutrition, you'll find recommendations to add more fruits and vegetables to your diet and eat less meat.

Eating more plant-based foods is also great for the environment because it takes fewer natural resources to produce plant foods as compared to animal products.

And if you're thinking that vegetarians eat only raw carrots and celery, think again. There are millions of delicious plant-based recipes to try ... many of which will have carnivores licking their lips and begging for more.

Here's your challenge ...

This week, go vegetarian for a day. That means no meat (beef, chicken, pork, fish, etc.). A vegetarian diet does allow for cheese, milk, and eggs if you wish. If you're feeling ambitious ... try adopting a vegetarian diet for the entire week!

OR ...

Go vegan for a day. That means strictly plant-based dishes ... no meat and no byproducts (milk, cheese, eggs, or honey). If you can do more than one day, please do ... the earth and your health will thank you!

OR ...

Are you a full-time vegan? Then your challenge is to eliminate processed foods from your diet this week. And, if you're feeling extra ambitious, please share a recipe and/or the benefits, to you, of a plant-based diet.

Are you ready to go meatless and healthy this week? I know that you are!

Until next time ...