Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Change The World Wednesday (#CTWW) - Plastic

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.

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 we left our shoes at the door ... a simple practice but one which reduces toxins in homes. As we wander through the day, we walk across many surfaces which may contain pollutants. Things like pesticides and lead transfer to shoes and then we track them inside. As we move from room to room, they rise up into the air we breathe. Leaving shoes at the door ensures safer homes.

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.

Cat found this challenge easy and says, "In Finland and Sweden it is tradition to always take off shoes when going indoors (perhaps as so much of our months are wet and muddy and snowy so this way it is easier to keep things clean). We have had the first summer days now though and I am going not only shoeless but barefoot :) "

EcoGrrl brought us up-to-date on the last two challenges: "I think something that's important to remember is that fifty years ago, we spent half our income on food, and these days it's less than 15% because we are choosing processed foods and putting other things like cable tv and internet and gasoline above what we put in our bodies...for me I know my expenditure is less because I grow a lot of my own food and buy in bulk so I wouldn't be able to track the costs, but either way it doesn't bother me to spend money on food or health because without either i have nothing... :) ... about this week! for the most part i already do this...mostly because i hate wearing shoes around the house (i adore being barefoot!). last year i bought a woven basket to put by the front door where i keep my flipflop type shoes, the ones you just want to put on to go out to the garage or recycle bin, and it's been a great and easy help to do this! next challenge? insist others do the same :)"

CelloMom completed this task: "We've been shoe-free even before our mudbunnies, I mean our children, where born. It fit right in with our laziness: it's so much easier to keep the house clean if you leave your shoes at the door."

In Change the World Wednesday – 8th May Argentum Vulgaris (AV) goes barefoot and offers another way to eliminate indoor toxins. Want a hint? It decorates a room, benefits psychological and physical health, and can be found throughout the world. Can you guess its name? Visit AV for the answer.

I admire Lisa who set aside her personal preference for the planet. She shares, "Ummm, I don't like my toes. So, I would rather not let my toes go free. I guess they have to see the light of day sometime - so - I'm ready to take my shoes off at the door!" From last week's activity, she wrote Poverty in the US – A Follow Fundraiser ... check it out!

Lois gives us an update on several challenges in a post entitled Change the world Wednesday, update time. Does she wear shoes indoors? Which grain will she eliminate to reduce her water footprint? What happened when she posted a "call to action" on her community bulletin board? And finally, what does a mosquito have to do with green living? Bet that peaks your interest, right?

Sometimes, for health reasons, people must wear shoes. Charlie offers a solution and another reason to accept this challenge: "This is something that we have always done and it's easy too. I have back and feet issues so I keep a pair of shoes never to be worn outside in my entry way to change into while the others prefer to go without. It's so important and so easy! Need another reason why? My husband had a friend that worked in lawn care. Each day he came home and left his clothes and shoes in the laundry room to be washed. After years of his wife doing his laundry she got cancer and was told she got it from the chemcals on his clothing. Sure, he removed his shoes, even removed his clothes but never did anyone think about the laundry." Speaking of toxins, Charlie wrote about a campaign asking Glade to disclose the actual components included in the ingredient labelled "Fragrance", an unregulated word which can mean just about anything. Find out more and how you can help HERE.

Alicia shared this: "I did a post on this very topic this past year. As I was doing my research I was amazed to find out that we bring so many pollutants into to our homes on the bottoms of our shoes! Such an easy but very important challenge." Would love to read that post, Alicia, if it's still available.

Clare accepted the challenge and shares, "I was brought up with shoes in the house, but since moving to this little tropical island I've changed (it's the norm here). I'm the first to admit though that it's much easier to do in a hot climate when you only wear flip-flops or sandals! The challenge got me thinking about how to "convert" your family (if necessary) and also visitors - you want to keep your friends after all! So here's my post: No Shoes in the House. (P.S. Great relief - this is a much easier challenge for me this week! Update on last week's $1.50 challenge: I went into a shop which sells frozen food - they had frozen lasagne for example (convenience food) and I looked at the price and was horrified at how low it was - imported and transported all the way from France and cheaper then proper fresh food here. There's something radically wrong with that! I'm sure you all knew that, but I've never looked before!"

In Sustainable Education Initiative Tammy Curry includes CTWW. She also includes an interesting article on whales and the peril they are facing due to the U.S. Navy's plans for testing and training exercises with sonar and explosives. Head over and take a look!

Petunia GreenBeans mentions CTWW in Tweets for Good. Other headlines include You're an Urban Planner Too: Design a More Walkable City with this Tool, Make Sure You're Using Safe Lip Gloss, Shaving Cream, and Other Personal Care Products and Peru bans GMOs: Will America take the hint and follow suit before it's too late?.

Mrs. Green says, "I love this challenge - short, sweet but oh so important! I've shared some recipes for homemade carpet cleaning products for those who want to freshen up without the chemicals :) ". You can find that information by reading Take off your shoes!

Lady JC accepted the challenge. She says, " Ahh yes... the shoeless entry. We've been practicing that for about 8 years now. It makes a huge difference in terms of keeping the house clean, and living in a big city is even more of an incentive to do it. After my last move I even took things up a notch and found a trunk to put all the shoes in the entryway, so it keeps things neat and our footwear lives in the hall now so it never comes in. We just use our house shoes or flip-flops indoors and those never go outside. It works quite well. My next step is to have some simple slilppers for guests. I think that will be a nice touch. Most people are pretty used to it in the city now and they actually ask if they should take their shoes off when they arrive. :) "

Our Twitter friends joined the conversation and shared the following:

From @pinkladyapril
- I've taken off my shoes as soon as I get in for as long as I can remember. DD is so used to it she does it everywhere

From @givetreegifts
- Leave Your Shoes at the Door for Cleaner Home Leave dirt, bacteria & toxic residue via @the_daily_green
- This week's challenge is easy peasy for us. We always leave our shoes in the porch. We even clean the dog's feet before she comes in

From @coeconutlipbalm
- #CTWW (Change the world Wednesday) We're trying to change the world by donating to multiple green charities!

From @bylittlenea
- That's how we roll in Sweden :)
- No shoes indoors in our homes here in Sweden. Might have something to do with the swedish weather ;)

From @laalicia
- Earth Day Event Fun in Fort Worth

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:

@a_kiasi @beatepdx @beckymcneer
@bylittlenea @changes4charlie @cluelessbutdumb
@coeconutlipbalm @counselorholley @crazykids6
@dominiquegoh @dusdifissette @earthyurban
@ecoexpert1 @events4bloggers @familyfocusblog
@flexnib @frederickbrooke @gatherwell
@ginavalley @givetreegifts @greenchildmag
@groovygreenlivi @intricateknot1 @ithoughtiknewma
@jadekerrion @jnjgogreen @laalicia
@ladyjcmuses @lavishandlime @lifelovemusic1
@littlegreenblog @lorcadamon @lyssaann42
@margaretteramse @marjoriemcatee @markcoruk
@mcmillendc @mom2tle @momgamerwriter
@motherhoodlooms @pinkladyapril @plus2point4
@rckweddings @rulesofgreen @ruralmoms
@skipbang @squishablebaby @startanewleaf
@theworld4realz @thisisourearth @timsimms
@treesgroup @tristinandtyler @turningclockbac
@twicecreations @wencdj @whopaysthepiper
@whywelovegreen @zenfarmz

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:

Let's jump right back into a tough one! Here you go ...

Level 1 (The Green Grasshopper) - Eliminate plastic bags. Refuse them at the store and opt for reusable bags instead.

OR ...
Level 2 (The Green Warrior) - Refuse plastic bags at the market, find alternates for lining trash bins and refuse any food packaged in plastic.

OR ...
Level 3 (The Green Ninja, Amazing Eco-Superstar and Environmental Hero) - Refuse to bring ANY plastic into your home ... no bags, no packaging, no plastic personal care items, no plastic furnishings, tools, etc. The exception will be items purchased for health (e.g. medicines).

“For all things difficult to acquire, the intelligent man works with perseverance.” ... Lao Tzu, taoist philosopher

May perseverance be with you!

Until next time ...