Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Change The World Wednesday (#CTWW) - Compost

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:

How did you do with last week's challenge to go meatless for a day? I'm vegan so we opted for the third part of the challenge to avoid processed foods. One might think that a vegan diet automatically eliminates processed foods but that's not true. Things like chips, candy, and even cookies are often free of animal by-products. There are also a variety of meat substitutes available. While some of them are quite good, they are processed foods with added sodium and fat. Quite some time ago, we started making a lot of things from "scratch". We make bread, corn tortillas, pickled vegetables, and sauerkraut. Recently we've added flour tortillas to the mix and make all of our own spices mixes, many from herbs and vegetables that we've grown ourselves. I feel good controlling the ingredients in our food.

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.

Charlotte accepted the challenge and wrote I Failed Meatless Monday. After reading her post, I don't agree that she failed. A meatless meal is good at any time and, as we've seen with many green-living concepts, it takes some planning. Charlotte is planning a delicious day of plant-based meals and will be shopping for ingredients, with a list, soon. So I say ... Success! What do you say?

Scarlet gave CTWW a nice mention on her RebelMouse Page.

Alicia joined us and shared this: "Oh I love this challenge! I have done several blog posts on this very subject. I am more Vegan than Vegetarian. I don't eat meat or any eggs or dairy products but still eat fish occasionally. We also use raw honey. My husband still eats meat sometimes but pretty much eats Vegan the rest of the time. It's amazing how much better you feel when you eliminate meat and dairy from your diet plus all the benefits of helping the environment as well!! Most Americans have a diet of mostly acidic foods which is why so many people feel bad and have so many things wrong with them.Meat and dairy are high on the list of acid forming foods. Another good reason not to eat them. Just a side note, I read a while back that it takes 30 glasses of water to neutralize the acid in one can of cola. There are so many wonderful non meat and dairy recipes that taste amazing. It's always fun finding and trying new recipes so just be willing to take this challenge and discover how good meals can be without meat and dairy! I think you will like it well enough to incorporate this way of eating more than once a week."

Deborah accepted the challenge and said this: "I am a full time vegan so I am happy to take a good look at my diet and eliminate any processed foods. The good news is that I have paired my shopping down to fresh organic fruits and vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains, herbal tea, and a few seasonings, condiments, organic vegan supplements. I am happy to say that I don't buy vegan many processed foods and prepared vegan "meats" and treats. From smoothies, juices and salads to soups and vegan entrees, I prefer to prepare and eat real "vegan" food! I have published a lot of vegan recipes and nutritional posts on my blog, Urban Naturale. One of my favorite posts is "Planning Healthy Plant-Based Meals Plus My Favorite Meal: Rice and Beans, Collard Greens, Sweet Potatoes & Sea Vegetables" - I am a Meatless Monday blogger so I also try to publish vegan posts on Meatless Monday, however all of the recipes that I publish on my blog are meatless."

Lois stopped in. Here's what she had to say: "Depending on the day I'm either vegetarian or vegan, lately it's been mostly vegan. I began, I might have told you this before, when I was pregnant with my second son and diagnosed with cancer. I was given the option of aborting him and having surgery and chemo or do nothing and hope for the best. I stumbled on an article about vegan eating curing cancer and figured it wouldn't hurt. I eventually cured my cancer through diet and as a result found I could also cure my kidney issues I was born with. People don't realize that we cannot digest animal products so they are shuttled to the kidneys where to break them down calcium is pulled from our bones leading to kidney stones. Eating animal products is not only hard on the environment but also stresses our bodies."

Welcome to Emily, of myeco20s, who offered this: "It's so much CHEAPER to not eat meat! Especially if you try to eat local meat. I'm not a vegetarian but my boyfriend is, and so we don't eat meat very often, and since I'm picky about the meat I will eat we've saved a ton!" By the way, if you haven't yet visited MyEco20s, please do ... it's a fabulous blog with a ton of great information. A recent post deals with buying from Craigslist and offers some valuable tips.

Aimee joined us and said, "My naturopath has ordered me to go whole foods only, nothing processed, no refined sugar, etc. while my husband and I try to get pregnant - it's amazing how we don't really think about what we consume, even when we think we're pretty awesome at watching what we put into our bodies. I am glad to live in Portland where the vegan/vegetarian options are so plentiful, with my favorite currently being Blossoming Lotus which makes a burger with cashew "brie" that is mouthwateringly awesome ( :) "

Morag accepted the challenge and shared this: "Yes! A meatless quest :) One of the best ways to cut down your ecological footprint (it's one of our highest scoring quests!) especially if you can source things organically and locally. I am vegetarian everyday and doing lots to cut out dairy. Our Meat Less Quests are here: if anyone wants to celebrate with a badge or two. Level 1 is you going meatless, level 2 is if you do it with a friend, level 3 is having a totally meatless dinner with friends (or family)."

Our Twitter friends joined the conversation and shared the following:

From @HerbGir1972
- shhhhhh don't tell the fam, they go at least 2 days meatless and don't even know

From @GronaVra
- Balsamic Eggplant Steaks are the perfect #meatless meal!

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:

@beatepdx @bestrawesome @biggreenpen
@brokeblokeblogs @clift_efst @collegegogreen
@debsmikdav1 @dehelen @diyfolks
@dominiquegoh @ecoexpert1 @familyfocusblog
@freshcleanersaz @ginavalley @givelocal15
@greengympenge @greenqueenofmod @greenwithrenvy
@gronavra @groovygreenlivi @herbgir1972
@kaitlingarder @kayelleallen @krmbalclothing
@laalicia @lady_bren @ladyjcmuses
@leslieveg @lyndilane @mamasmoney
@martha_bourke @mdgblogger @mimibarbour
@momfindsout @momsmadhousex6 @nolafusion
@outdoorfammag @rckweddings @realityarts
@rulesofgreen @ruralmoms @shopwhatpops
@spafloating @sportparadise @thefreckledrose
@theworld4realz @treesgroup @tulloch_tatum
@turningclockbac @wary12 @wellminded
@wimpyvegetarian @worldchangingme

My Final Thoughts:

Reports have shown that eating eight servings of fruits and vegetables, a day, can reduce your risk of heart disease by 22%. Antioxidants inherent in a plant-based diet are critical to neutralizing cancer-causing free radicals and the fiber acts like a scrub brush, cleaning toxins out of the body. High in vitamins and minerals, and low in saturated fats, meatless meals protect us. Even a few plant-based meals a week will add nutrition. With all the wonderful varieties of fruits and veggies available, and the plethora of delicious recipes, it really is a fabulous way to give our health a boost. We chose this challenge as a way to improve nutrition but here's another "plus": producing plant-based foods is much kinder to the earth.

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:

April's theme is: 2015 Year of the Soil

2015 Year of the Soil - Compost
Composting adds nutrients to the soil
"The Soil Science Society of America is coordinating with the Global Soil Partnership and other organizations around the world to celebrate the 2015 International Year of Soils and raise awareness and promote the sustainability of our limited soil resources."

Have you given much thought to soil? It is a vital resource and a key "player" in food production, clean water, nutrient cycling, as well as a range of ecosystem functions.

Unfortunately, due to degradation, poor management, and urbanization, this precious resource is suffering. So it's time to act ... to protect our soil!

Here's your challenge ...

This week begin composting. This can be curb-side composting, if your city provides that service, backyard composting, or even a small container on your kitchen counter. The idea, this week, is to help our soil by turning scraps into nutrient-rich compost. If you don't garden and have no need of compost, consider giving it away to a neighbor, community garden, or offer it on Freecycle.

OR ...

If you are already into composting, review your activities and see if there's some way to amp up the process. Check out this LIST, or THIS ONE, to see if you are missing any opportunities.

Are you ready to turn scraps into soil nutrients? I know that you are!

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Change The World Wednesday on Reduce Footprints

Until next time ...