Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Change The World Wednesday (#CTWW)

Welcome to Change The World Wednesday (#CTWW)! 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.

There's a lot of great information in this post and I encourage you to read through it ... however, if you don't have the time right now, you might find the following quick links helpful:

Last week we walked with a purpose ... we put on our shoes and headed outside but, rather than just stroll about, we paid close attention to how we could make that walk work for the environment. I will admit that when I walk I tend to simply enjoy the fresh air and movement without noticing any unpleasantness like litter. This week, however, I looked down, noticing everything along the path. I'm happy to say that I didn't see much. The exercise encouraged me to be more aware of my surroundings. From now on, I'll walk with the earth in mind and try to find ways to help our planet.

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. Here's what they had to say:

For some of us, these challenges are a new idea and we enthusiastically join in. For others, it's so much a part of their life that they don't realize that they are actually meeting and exceeding the activity. In my opinion, that's the case with our friend, Argentum Vulgaris. Last week he began the challenge by saying that he is hampered by a walking stick ... and that seemed to restrict him from tackling this task. But then, in the course of his day, he found something which he diverted from the trash and took home. He walked with a purpose. Find out what he found and read an update to the previous week's challenge in this POST. Nicely done, AV!

Alicia accepted the challenge. She not only walks but she and her husband incorporate "green" into their already Eco-friendly business. Here's what she has to say, "As always such a wonderful challenge. We live out in the country and I love walking. It is so much fun to get exercise by walking outside. Fresh air great scenery and getting into better shape! We are blessed that most of the people that live in our area treat it with respect. You see very little garbage on the sides of the road. On my upcoming walk I am going to carry a bag with me and if I see any paper, cans or bottles I will pick them up. We are invited to do several shows each year and we always incorporate green Eco Friendly tips into each one. We love how excited people are to get stated on using these tips. We get a lot of e-mails telling us how something we suggested that they do really worked for them. We love getting that kind of feedback! Even though it is harder for us to incorporate some of the challenges where you walk to do your shopping because we live so far from town we definitely try to make our trips really count! I think I will check into seeing if one of our local parks could use some help with clean up." You inspire me, Alicia!

Lois isn't seeing much spring weather in her part of the world so getting outside wasn't really an option last week. But, she found another way to make a difference ... and I think it's great. Check it out HERE. Can't wait for updates on this one, Lois!

Mystie joined us. Here's what she shared, "For the first day of Spring I think this is a great challenge!! I love the "while youre walking pick up litter to recycle!" I may have to use this for my Eco-Friendly Fridays! I accept this challenge! :) " Thanks, Mystie!

Helping the environment doesn't necessarily mean just picking up trash ... it also means helping those who make the earth home. Cat put on her walking shoes and did something very special. Can you guess? Find out in this PHOTO. You have a good heart, Cat!

Our Twitter friends joined the conversation ... here's what they had to say:

From @pinkladyapril
- I walk to work every day & try to include trips to the shops & library in those walks. Will think about other walks too

From @commplacegr
- "Pick battles big enough to matter, small enough to win." - Jonathan Kozol

From @givetreegifts
- Dehydration - How to Dry Foods Instead of Canning or Freezing:
- Bernardin Home Canning: Because You Can:
- Home Canning Guide: Learn How to Can Your Own Food:
- Canning Food:
- How to Properly Freeze Foods:
- How to Freeze Homemade Baby Food Puree:

The #CTWW Gang are those folks who share our challenges on twitter using the hashtag #CTWW. If you're a Twitter member, I highly recommend following them ... they have a lot of great things to say. Let's meet them:

Due to technical difficulties, I don't have a CTWW Gang list this week. Hopefully, the issue will be resolved by next week. Thank you to all who have promoted the challenges via Twitter ... I appreciate all that you do to spread the word.

My Final Thoughts:

I'll leave you with this quote ... "I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in." ~John Muir, 1913, in L.M. Wolfe, ed., John Muir, John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir, 1938

Thanks, everyone! If you wrote an article, I have Stumbled, Tweeted, Facebooked and posted it on Google +. You can help spread the "green" word by using the share feature at the bottom of this post.

This Week's Challenge:

A LONG while ago, Argentum Vulgaris sent me an article entitled Do you know the water footprint of your cafe meal? It's an interesting article which talks about the water we use "behind the scenes" ... the water it takes to grow our food, produce our stuff, etc. We've done challenges to reduce our direct water use ... let's dig a bit deeper, shall we? Here you go ...

This week, consider your water footprint, particularly your indirect water use. Begin my using the calculators at the bottom of this PAGE (I found the extended calculator to be the best). If you need to convert measurements of food, here's a TOOL. Once you've calculated your water footprint, take a look at the results and see if there's an area which could be reduced. For example, if your primary water use is associated to cereals/grains, opt for varieties which require less water to produce (barley uses less water than rice). Reduce the amount of sugar you use (it takes 1,500 liters of water to produce 1 kilo of white sugar). Opt for fruits & veggies rather than meat (a kilo of beef requires 15,500 liters of water to create) ... or opt for pork or chicken (4,800 and 3,900 liters respectively). Drink tea instead of coffee, saving 110 liters of water per cup. Drive less (gasoline takes a lot of water). Buy less stuff (everything requires water to produce and transport). While reducing our direct water consumption is absolutely encouraged, this challenge is all about looking at the indirect water we use.

What do you think ... are you up for this one? I know that you are!

Join me in our mantra ...