Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Change The World Wednesday (#CTWW) - Open Your Windows

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 was all about deforestation. It was an interesting challenge because it encouraged us to look at the origins of a product. For example, when folks dig into a juicy steak, they probably don't think about the acres of forested land which were cleared to open up grazing fields for cattle. Body care products, containing palm oil, don't come with information about the small farmer who cut down part of the rainforest in order to grow profitable palms. June's bride surely doesn't give a thought to the mining operations that provided her gold wedding band or the number of trees which were destroyed to make way for the mine. Here's the thing ... every product we buy has a beginning and when that beginning involves cutting down forests, we create a huge environmental problem. The solution is to avoid those items which contribute to deforestation. Once again, we see the power of our purchases.

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.

Avoiding Palm Oil seems easy enough ... just read the label, right? But are you aware of all the names it "hides" behind? Check out Protect the world’s tropical forests, a fabulous post by Vicality!

Lois joined us and shared this: "Fantastic challenge this week. I avoid as much of these products as I can. The only paper product left in my house is toilet paper which I buy 100% recycled. I don't buy beef, avoid all products with palm oil and the only soy product I eat is organic edamame."

Alicia accepted the challenge and, as she was in the market for furniture, completed the task beautifully. Here's what she had to say: "We have been looking for a few pieces of furniture for several specific places in our home. After looking at new furniture we discussed it and decided to go the Craig's list way. We got better quality, only had to drive just a few miles to get the pieces and really felt good about purchasing used instead of new. We have to buy paper for the labels on our products but buy recycled. Pretty much only buy beef a few times a year!"

Suzanne stopped by and shared this: "This is a wonderful challenge and I hope more people take part in it. Thank you for providing this information, and challenging all of us to rethink our air quality in our homes and how it got there. I'm going to pin this to my Pinterest board to show more people!"

Cheryl is feeling a little guilty. Why? Read on: "I've been spying a new sofa to replace one that is hand-me-down ugly (in my mind). The new one is at a thrift shop in town, which will get the old one, so that's a win-win for everybody (especially since they can deliver and pick-up all at once and their charity makes money on TWO sofas!) I feel guilty for having some steak for dinner last night. Arizona is beef country and it was two ounces leftover from a dinner last week. And we totally fall down on the aluminum part of this challenge. Diet coke is nearly mandatory in this household--Gil is diabetic, type 1. Every can goes to a recycler (depending on the market, $1 or more a pound--thirty cans worth). Yes, we could buy cola in plastic bottles, but those get recycled into grocery sacks which eventually can only get tossed into landfills while aluminum cans get recycled into same. Great challenge on all levels. Cheryl"

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:

@alisha1234m @aussiemoose @authors_secret
@beatepdx @biggreenpen @blockmomnc
@brokeblokeblogs @bstoneblog @collegegogreen
@croydongardener @dieselelephants @eco_novice
@eshuth455 @freshcleanersaz @ginavalley
@greenageworld @greengympenge @greenqueenofmod
@gronavra @groovygreenlivi @herbgir1972
@innervationfit @justanotherhat @kaitlingarder
@kayelleallen @laalicia @lady_bren
@ladyjcmuses @littlewing_13 @mamasmoney
@marjoriemcatee @mdgblogger @mimibarbour
@moha_doha @momfindsout @msmoreau_guid
@nolafusion @pooja_y_jain @potnall
@rainyofthedark @rckweddings @realityarts
@rochelleforrest @ronchatterjee7 @rose_rambles
@rulesofgreen @snickerdoo2 @spafloating
@sustyq @theworld4realz @tiffanywashko
@timhemlin @treesgroup @turkishtravel
@wary12 @wencdj @wimpyvegetarian

My Final Thoughts:

Deforestation is a complex issue. While it may seem that it's simply about big corporate profit, there is a human side to the story. Whether it's the small farmer who grows profitable crops in order to feed his family or the miner who risks his health to make a living, the fact is that people benefit from deforestation. That human factor adds an emotional aspect to the situation. While we do need to find alternate ways for people to sustain themselves, we can't waiver on protecting the environment. After all, making a living won't mean much if we don't have clean air to breathe.

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:

May's theme is: Clean Air

Change The World Wednesday (#CTWW) - Open Your Windows
Let the fresh air in!

Sometimes, green living is as easy as opening a window!

Here's your challenge ...

This week, open your windows and let fresh air in. Doing this blows out toxins and refreshes your environment.

OR ...

Visit AirNow to find out the quality of air in your community. Then, browse the site and review their tips for reducing pollution. If you live outside the US, check out the international link or search for your country's air quality database.

Are you ready to breathe deep? I know that you are!

Please join me in our mantra ...