Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Change The World Wednesday (#CTWW) - Widening The Circle

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 we disconnected from the Internet. It was an interesting challenge. I spent 24 hours doing other things and enjoyed the time. I also realized just how much I depend on my computer and being online. While going paperless benefits the planet, being connected comes with it's own environmental cost ... a cost which rises daily as more households log in. For my part, I'll disconnect more often.

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.

Mystie not only participated this week, she challenged her readers to join the fun. In Eco-Friendly Friday 5/24 she talks about how she'll spend her time away from the Internet. I think her "down time" sounds great ... what do you think?

Before Lois knew what CTWW held in store for her, she accomplished the activity. Find out how she spent her time in this POST.

Alicia joined us. She says, " This one will be harder for us since we have a website business and have to be on the computer everyday.My husband uses his laptop in the shop and I use the computer at home.What I can do is start turning my computer off several hours earlier than I normally do. Wow this challenge sure lets you realize how much we depend on the internet!!"

EcoGrrl shares this: "I'll have to bow out of this week's challenge as I work for myself as a recruiter in the software startup field and blog every day, so eliminating internet use would not be realistic. The fun of being self employed is how your work/life distinctions blend into each other :). One rule I am trying to get better at sticking to is logging off 1 hour before bedtime which has been said to help aid in more restful sleep. That being said I'm doing this comment at midnight after a long workday, so it's a work in progress :)"

Ann had the opportunity to disconnect for three weeks. Wow! Here are her interesting comments: "This is not a real situation, I was totally without the internet for 3 weeks, but I was on holiday with family, so it doesn't really count. On the first week, I was craving for the computer. on the 2nd and 3rd, I didn't feel deprived." Ann posted our banner in ABC letter S: sportsman, Snakes and snake catcher which includes some incredible pictures of a snake.

Any guesses on how Argentum Vulgaris did this week? Here's a hint ... he says "This one is terrible." Read Change the World Wednesday – 22nd May where he talks about politicians, coffee, a new coffee table, Eco-friendly light bulbs and ... oh yeah ... this week's challenge.

Charlie accepted and shares this: " Sounds like some of us, including my bunch, will have troubles with this one. We work or take online classes from home BUT we will still accept the challenge because it will give us an incentive to shut down a LOT sooner than we normally would. That's one of the problems of working from home. It's always there. Because my husband has to be on call 24/7 he definitely has to be connected to his hand-held but he can at least shut down computer. If I had it my way I'd much rather take on the warrior challenge but I think this family would then need to go on vacation. HONEY!!! ;)"

Clare shared this: "Well, most of my businesses are online, so I can't disconnect. However, this challenge has made me more conscious of my usage. I'm fairly good about only checking my mail occasionally (instead of continuously) (because it's a time-waster), and now I'm even more aware. Social media stuff is once per day max and it's nearly all business. I do do quite a bit of research on various topics, about 20% personal, and I'd be lost without Google - well, less informed anyway! My blogs are hosted on the cloud, as is my email, but all my other storage is local. I'm probably not as "connected" as many others, but I can definitely improve -as with everything!"

CelloMom made a valiant effort but, in her final analysis, says: "Epic fail. I live on the internet a lot. My recipes. My doctors' phone numbers. Planning a holiday. Skyping with my brother. And so on. Not to mention the blog. We usually have an internet-free day on Sundays, and so far have done well with that. But this Sunday of all Sundays, I was on a bit for a trivial thing, and noticed that one of my posts had been picked up by a facebook page - and that was the end of that, I got sucked in. Fail for the week. Plan to do better next Sunday: we do enjoy the internet-free house."

From last week's challenge on Plastic, we have these comments:

From Lady JC: "Thank you both so much for the tips! I will definitely try these out, especially bringing my own container to shop in bulk. CelloMom, hopefully there will be more markets like yours in my area soon. As of now my store offers grains, cereals, flours, produce and nuts in bulk. I'd like to see even more items so I'll make the suggestion. :) "

From Clare: "Warrior is difficult! Grasshopper easy. Although I don't buy convenience food, there's plenty of fresh food that comes in plastic. We don't have the bulk options that many of you in the US and Europe have. But, I've been enjoying this challenge, it's made me even more conscious than normal of my plastic use. I've written several articles in the past on plastic:
Why fossil fuel demand won't end
Tips on reducing plastic use on a day-to-day basis, as well as an interesting point about British supermarkets
and read about Death by Plastic
Oh, and as a PS if you're considering swapping from plastic bags to paper bags, consider this:
And if you need a break from the worry of plastic, watch this fun short video
OK, I'm finished now! Thanks for another great challenge - this one will be ongoing! "

Our Twitter friends joined the conversation and shared the following:

From @givetreegifts
- For computer use, I guess I'm a level 2 (advanced Greenie) but not level 3 because I have an online business so I can't disconnect
- My computer & monitor are only on when in use. I turn off my monitor & use sleep mode regularly.
- Believe it or not, I have also done a cyber-free vacation. I believe it was 5 days without computer use.

From @anitaadamsnc
- It's a good challenge & one anyone can do :)...more to be said...

From @sewbeastly
- TY! I'm taking the Level 1 challenge,@smallftprints. Also, check out my #DIY over here tshirts into rug:

From @lavishandlime
- #WastelessWednesay tip: Reuse 2L plastic pop bottles to make these handy ribbon dispensersรข?¦

From @gwened02
- you may not see this if you are offline. I'm on hols this week I think it's the perfect time for my phone to be just a phone!
- small disclaimer: need to check emails once a day for business! X

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:

@89linz @a_kiasi @allnaturalkatie
@anitaadamsnc @anktangle @beatepdx
@bestrawesome @biggreenpen @bstoneblog
@changes4charlie @clean_bytes @clubcontent
@counselorholley @dusdifissette @earthyurban
@eco_novice @ecoexpert1 @ecopro_co
@events4bloggers @frederickbrooke @ginavalley
@givetreegifts @greeneral @groovygreenlivi
@gwened02 @imagebrite @ithoughtiknewma
@jadekerrion @jaemacjustsayin @julialittlebit
@laalicia @ladyjcmuses @lavishandlime
@lorcadamon @marjoriemcatee @mcmillendc
@momgamerwriter @mommacuisine @nolafusion
@oneadayart @pleatedpiper @rckweddings
@realityarts @rulesofgreen @sewbeastly
@soulfullab @spilldmilkshake @squishablebaby
@startanewleaf @tammycurry @thefadderly
@theworld4realz @tiffanywashko @timsimms
@treesgroup @turningclockbac @twicecreations
@whopaysthepiper @whywelovegreen @zenfarmz

My Final Thoughts:

Everything has an environmental cost. While we try to choose the least harmful path, we must always remember that even the best choice can be improved upon. If we each make that commitment and effort, the earth will smile.

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:

How about widening the CTWW reach this week? Here you go ...

This week challenge others to reduce water. You might write a post, asking your readers to take shorter showers or to wash full loads of laundry. Perhaps you ask your Facebook or Twitter followers to let their lawns go dry for a week. This will be your challenge ... you may make it as broad or specific as you wish and on any platform that suits you. The goal is to expand our circle and get more people reducing water use.

OR ...

If you'd rather not challenge others, then please find additional ways to conserve water in your household.

What do you think? Are you up for this one?

Our banner has been updated! If you have it on your blog, please update the code with the following. If you don't have it on your blog and want an easy way to keep up with our challenges, just copy the code and paste it into your site.

Change The World Wednesday on Reduce Footprints

As always ...