Wednesday, April 10, 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 asked the question, How many CDs/DVDs do you have? These seemingly harmless discs create a lot of waste. Billions are manufactured each year. They aren't easily recycled which means that most of them end up in a landfill. We stopped buying entertainment on discs a long time ago ... instead, there are rentals available (either online or in-store) and the public library offers an ever-growing collection, free of charge. For those times when it would be nice to own, there are plenty of digital options available. That takes care of the future but what about all the items sitting on our shelves ... taking up space ... collecting dust ... and, rarely being used? Those items are being sorted out. Most will be given away via Freecycle or donated to a local charity.

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:

Alicia accepted the challenge. She shares this, "This challenge comes at a good time because we have just started to check into Netflix. Most new movies that come out we don't really care for so something like Netflix is good because we can choose from a lot of older movies also. I went through our CDs and DVDs recently and donated the ones we hadn't listened to or watched in a while. I have to admit I didn't realize they weren't typically recycled. That really gives me the incentive not to buy many of them. We have gotten where we download most music so that helps out. Thanks this challenge has been an eye opener!"

Argentum Vulgaris gave us an update on reducing his water footprint. If you've been following him for any length of time, his decision will come as a surprise ... he's making a serious change which should have a huge impact. AV also talks about the number of CDs/DVDs in his home. Read about both HERE.

Lisa wrote a great article entitled Ways To Reduce Your Water Footprint. It introduces a useful iphone app and offers some tips on how to improve our numbers.

Lois joined us. Here are her thoughts, "I went through all my DVDs before I moved into my small apartment and recently spent an evening going through all my CDs to find what I no longer cared to listen to. I have both now stored in one CD box from Ikea but really need to go through my DVDs again as I haven't watched many in the past two years. I've passed on the ones others wanted and have a small amount, less than 10, that I will use for crafting with the little ones and to hang from our apple trees to deter deer from devouring them. Thanks for another kick in the pants to get on to that task yet again."

CelloMom says, "Haven't bought any CDs for a decade, but earlier this year bought one used through Amazon's marketplace service (I also sell books through that). Yo-yo Ma's 1990s recording of Bach Cello Suites. (Of course)."

La Alicia responded to CelloMom: "CelloMom -- I have that CD from years ago and still LOVE it. Over the years, I have become more and more thoughtful and considerate about what I consume and get rid of. I can always improve but I think awareness is totally the first step. Love to swap and loan with friends too." By the way, check out all the Earth Day tips on La Alicia's blog ... great stuff!

EcoGrrl makes a very good point in this comment: "I moved all 300 of mine to my iPod about 5 years ago and sold 95% of them (saved my utter favorites in case of emergency iPod/iTunes failure, haha). Also moved my files saved on CD-rom over to Google Docs (my MacBook Air doesn't have a CD drive) and recycled the old jewel cases with my other hard plastics over at Far West Fibers here in Portland - they do take all those #7's and a whole lot more :) Note - it's important to remember that going digital doesn't mean you've eliminated your environmental impact - you're just transferring it to a different form - smaller yes, but still destructive. Internet use and storage takes up SO much - data centers are springing up all over my state of Oregon, on the eastern (dry) side of the state, where they are using up all the precious water to keep them cooled so that people can store their stuff online. There is definitely a negative to all of our internet use, so we need to think of the "invisible" storage of our digital files as well."

Tiffany C. shares this, "WOAH! This is a super hard challenge for me. My family and I are super duper movie lovers. We have a lot of DVDs. Music CDs, not so much. I am completely digital on that front. So for DVDs, I've always thought that I would find a creative way to use the DVDs once they became obsolete. This is a great challenge and I am glad you let me know that #7 plastic is not recycled - didn't know that. Now it's even more imperative for me to find creative ways to reuse the dvds. In the future. Artwork perhaps..."

In a sweet post about feeding birds and saving landfills, Ann shares our banner.

For those who wish to challenge themselves further, visit Charlie ... she has a whole page of activities with something for even the most seasoned "greenies" among us.

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

From @givetreegifts
- I've just discovered even more reasons to incorporate lentils in our diet more often!
- Another great reason for us to use more lentils is that the prairies where we reside grow the most lentils so we're buying local
- Who says lentils aren't versatile and tasty?! Check out this Recipe Index |
- Browned Butter Kale and Lentils with Quinoa |
- Free Access: Lentil Recipe Revelations eBook |

From @dusdifissette
- Yes to 3Rs #StreamNetflix No mail delivery #Donating movies to Library #gigsticks not burning disc upload via #iCloud

From @startanewleaf
- as always, really amazed by your challenges! I have so many DVDs and CDs can't wait to find ways to #reuse them!

From @rulesofgreen
- haven't bought CD's in long time, use mostly #spotify, probably should get rid of them but the @PutumayoMusic
CDs I want to keep...
- ...partly because they have beautiful covers

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:

@89linz @almosttruth @amotherlife
@anitaadamsnc @aspenclean @beatepdx
@beckymcneer @biggreenpen @bstoneblog
@catherineolivia @chewyleecious @clubcontent
@conservationm @crazy4grnlivn @crazykids6
@delaneyclare @dusdifissette @earthyurban
@ecoexpert1 @eddiegear @frederickbrooke
@gigivaneyck @ginavalley @givetreegifts
@gogreenbeans @greeneral @groovygreenlivi
@intricateknot1 @irishcarter1 @ithoughtiknewma
@jaemacjustsayin @jamiastar @jchapstk
@jnjgogreen @jodyzimmerman @laalicia
@lady_bren @ladyjcmuses @lavishandlime
@leighanneramsey @littlegreenblog @lorcadamon
@marjoriemcatee @mcmillendc @mom2tle
@mombloggerplr @momgamerwriter @ntiveheart
@oneadayart @pinkladyapril @rulesofgreen
@squishablebaby @startanewleaf @theworld4realz
@treesgroup @tristinandtyler @tsue1136
@turningclockbac @twicecreations @wencdj
@whopaysthepiper @whywelovegreen @zenfarmz

My Final Thoughts:

This challenge reminds me, once again, that living green is about every aspect of our lives. Even the small things have an impact. CDs and DVDs seem harmless until we look deeper. It's then that we see how a whole industry has been created to accommodate them ... jewel cases, racks and carrying cases ... things which require natural resources to fabricate. In the end, all that stuff finds it's way to a landfill. Suddenly those innocuous discs seem different ... they begin to look like a wound on the earth.

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:

So ... what shall we do next? I know ... how about some spring cleaning? Here's your challenge:

This week, test out Eco-friendly cleansers. You can buy "green" versions or better yet ... make your own. Use Vinegar, Hydrogen Peroxide or search the Internet for other natural, homemade options. If you're currently using something which contains toxins (typically identified by the long list of ingredients on the label and warnings about skin irritation, breathing problems, etc.), consider switching to a safer version.

OR ...

If you've already made the switch to safe cleansers, please share your tips, suggestions and recipes.

UP THE ANTE: Dusdi Fissette (aka @dusdifissette on Twitter) says that she's already using Eco-friendly products from her cupboard to clean so she's upping the ante and asking us to use steam for cleaning. Who's up for her challenge?

Ready to start cleaning? I know that you are!

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copying the code & pasting it into your site!

As always ...