Wednesday, April 24, 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's challenge asked us to banish paper towels. Was it easy for you? We gave them up some time ago. Old T-shirts and towels have been turned into cleaning rags and the thrift store is my resource for cloth napkins. In my opinion, the key to success is to have plenty on hand and to place them in convenient locations. They save money and significantly reduce waste. What could be better!

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:

How did Argentum Vulgaris' hamburger turn him into a fiend? And what does a BBQ have to do with cloth napkins? You'll find the answers to those questions in "Change the World Wednesday – 17th".

Remember our challenge to use non-toxic cleansers? Well, Charlie got busy and wrote a whole series ... "Non-Toxic Cleaning". She includes posts on cleaning windows, fibers and woods, pets, the kitchen, bathroom, etc. In one article she offers important information on the chemicals found in typical commercial cleansers ... it's a "must read"!

Did you read the "Shopping Charity" this week? I found some terrific articles including a couple written by CTWW participants. Was yours one of them?

In "Time to go Paper Towel-less" Lisa took a closer look at paper towels and came up with some rather shocking statistics. Do you know what percentage of trash in landfills is paper? She also shares her strategy for switching over to cloth.

Lois came up with a brilliant idea for finding cloth rags. Want a hint? What does a thrift store do with clothing that is too soiled to sell? Curious? Read "Change The World Wednesday, paper products". And I have to say, Lois, that you have some very pretty napkins for your table!

Alicia had no problem with this challenge. She says, " We haven't used paper towels for quite a while. We use kitchen size terry cloth towels. We bought them in bulk several years ago and they are still holding up well.We have used cotton napkins for about 10 years now. To be honest we haven't really missed using paper towels or paper napkins. The cloth napkins and terry towels do a much better job and you can continue to use them year after year!!" By the way, Alicia recently posted a recipe for "Brussels Sprouts". If you just thought "yuck", you're going to want to check it out ... she's discovered a way to make everyone love them!

Amanda is making a difference. In her words, "Trying to make more of an impact every day. We recently changed from buying bottled water to a water filter, and it not only saved money, but all the plastic that they generated decreased." Nice! Amanda is an artist and has been participating in the "A-Z Challenge 2013" by posting an original piece every day. Her work is stunning. Hop over and check it out!

Clare's comment has me curious and I can't wait to read her post. She shares, "This challenge turned out to be great fun! I hardly ever use paper towels, so I thought "no problem" but your challenge gave me a renewed impetus to re-try to re-train my husband. (He's normally pretty green but not in this aspect). I was also interested to research what paper towels are used for, around the world. I'm writing a blog post, but it'll only be published by tomorrow (Wednesday) your time, sorry, I'll paste the URL once it's up. BTW, I love the new layout of your site - much easier to find everything! Thanks for another great challenge!" Re-train your husband, huh? This ought to be good!

Our Twitter friend, @sunflowerhippo, shared this: "I never use those products. Destroys eco-systems, fells trees & most are koch brothers companies. 3 strikes against them"

@rulesofgreen, via Twitter, shared this "This Earth Day, Use a People Towel Instead of a Paper Towel"

And finally, check out this video by The Green Sisterhood ... recognize any faces?

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 @a_kiasi @allnaturalkatie
@anitaadamsnc @anktangle @beatepdx
@beckymcneer @biggreenpen @bstoneblog
@bylittlenea @cleansediva @columbusjunk
@conservationm @counselorholley @crazedkitchen
@crazy4grnlivn @crazykids6 @dusdifissette
@ecoexpert1 @eddiegear @ginavalley
@givetreegifts @groovygreenlivi @intricateknot1
@irishcarter1 @ithoughtiknewma @jadekerrion
@laalicia @ladyjcmuses @lavishandlime
@littlegreenblog @lorcadamon @lyssaann42
@marjoriemcatee @mcmillendc @momgamerwriter
@nolafusion @ntiveheart @oneadayart
@plus2point4 @rckweddings @realityarts
@rulesofgreen @ruralmoms @shoppingcharity
@squishablebaby @theworld4realz @tidbitsfromamom
@treehugga @treesgroup @tristinandtyler
@twicecreations @zenfarmz

My Final Thoughts:

Trees breathe in carbon dioxide and exhale oxygen. Younger trees need a lot of Co2 to grow. When a tree is cut, all of the absorbed carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere contributing to global warming. While paper manufacturers claim that they are sustainable, growing forests specifically for their products, they aren't sharing the whole story. Every time a tree is cut, our environment is hurt. We can help by reducing the demand for paper products ... buying less ... using less. It's a small action with a huge impact.

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:

Let's continue the paper theme, shall we? Here you go ...

This week, use less toilet paper. Rather than just pull it off the roll, count out no more than 6 sheets per use. If you accepted this challenge the last time we ran it, and did well, see how low you can go.

OR ...

If you are already a toilet paper conservationist or have switched to cloth (oh yeah, some use cloth toilet paper), please share other ways that we can conserve paper.

Are you up for this one? I know that you are!

Join me in our mantra ...