Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Change The World Wednesday (#CTWW) - Close The Door

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.

Before we get started, I'd like to introduce you to the brand new Reduce Footprints FACEBOOK PAGE. What will you find on that page? To start, I'll be posting daily green tips and opening up discussions on green topics. Stop by and "Like" the page ... and, as always, if you have suggestions about what you'd like to see, just let me know.

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:

Which activity did you choose last week ... drive less, go vegetarian or both? Since I'm vegan, I chose the first option. We work from home and don't have to contend with a daily commute. That, in itself, lowers our mileage. But we do drive to the market, bank, library, etc. To meet this challenge, I thought about ways to make those trips more efficient. Rather than head out whenever we needed something, we planned our outings, grouping errands so that we got the most out of one trip. We also realized that sometimes we use the car as a way to get out of the house ... fun but not fuel efficient. Walking accomplished the goal without using gas. We spent a relaxing, calm week ... an unexpected side benefit to the challenge.

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.

EcoGrrl joined us and says, "I don't have a car (over 5 years car-free now!) and only use carsharing once or twice a month for client visits that aren't accessible by bike/bus :) I've been gluten and dairy free for 3 months now and it's given me such a focus on more whole foods because you have to be more conscious about what you eat. Today I had a sweet potato stir fry for breakfast. a vegan Greek tart for lunch with the most amazing vegan ice cream sandwich (oh heck yeah, coconut bliss!!), and the most incredible salad of "Arugula, quinoa, fennel, sunflower seeds, tomato, with OPH summer strawberry champagne vinegar salad dressing." Oregon Public House is the first nonprofit pub of its kind and the food is even better than the mission!! I'm lucky to be in Portland where people appreciate diverse food, respect dietary preferences, and expect good, organic, locally sourced ingredients :) (I'm not turning into a vegan though - I just consider meat/fish a special occasion "dessert" rather than the "main course")" Brilliant, EcoGrrl ... you are an Eco Rock Star.

The Change The World Paper #ecotalk gave CTWW an entire column which includes your articles. WhooHoo! Thanks to Brenna of Almost All The Truth. Be sure to check out the rest of that paper for interesting articles on GMOs, chemicals in our body, and the cost of organic food.

Elkieb accepted a previous challenge to eliminate paper towels and napkins. In Banish? Impossible? she talks about cloth versus fairly-traded 100% recycled paper and discusses whether or not cloth is the best choice, especially in the way she uses paper. Check it out and leave your opinion.

Beef-free weeks ... quiche with mushrooms, peas and corn ... and wearing underwear on the inside (rather than outside). Oh yeah ... sounds like an Argentum Vulgaris post (with comments) to me. Curious? Read Change the World Wednesday – 5th Jun for details.

Which activity do you think Alicia chose? Read on ... "We are I guess 97% Vegan because we eat no dairy but will have fish a few times during the year. So the meatless challenge is no problem for us. The drive less is a bigger challenge, We live out in the country and other than a small market about 4 miles away the next actual store is 8 miles away. We always try to make our trips into town count by making lists of what we need to get from the different stores in town and then making one trip to get everything on all the lists.I also am able to do my shopping when I am delivering which really helps out a lot. Our business requires us to deliver our products to the retail stores that carry them all over the Nashville area. This means lots of driving but we try to make certain days delivery days which really helps cut back on driving time and fuel cost."

For those of you who read Lois's blog regularly, you know that she is quite "green". She grows food and recycles found objects. She even gave up her refrigerator and found alternate, energy-free ways to store food. But was she able to meet this challenge? Find out in Change the world Wednesday. Need a hint? Since 1986 she's been ... on second thought ... you'll have to read the post.

Welcome to Linne who, via Lois's blog, found our challenge and posted a link on her blog, A Random Harvest. While you're there, be sure to browse around ... I found some wonderful articles!

Ever have one of those days when the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak? CelloMom, a true "greenie", talks about her evil twin and offers us motivation in Green Is Frugal! Reducing Car Use and Meat Consumption. Do you think that being lazy is Eco-friendly? CelloMom addresses that interesting concept in How to Save Water (and Work) When Washing Your Car and a follow-up in Part 2.

Laura weighed in on our water reduction challenge. She shares this: "Speaking of being frugal with water, have you ever heard of hydroponic farming? Might be something to read about. Americans are over zealous about so called "hygiene" and I think it is at least partially due to all of the commercials from the big soap manufacturers. Too much cleaning can actually be harmful as it can strip both your skin and your hair of their natural oils to the point where your body tries to compensate by over producing oils. Constant cleaning with anti bacterial cleaners also can cause illness as those cleaners do not kill the most vicious microbes, leaving them the "run of the house" so they can multiply freely. Believe me I know people who work medical offices who have had this happen to them. The key to health is keeping things in balance."

Lisa wrote a terrific article entitled Driving less – Good for the Environment and Good for the Soul. She offers tips including one about using air conditioning. Check it out!

Our Twitter friends joined the conversation and shared the following:

From @pinkladyapril
- I walk most places & we eat veggie once a week already. I'm going to use veggie recipes rather than buying ready made

From @givetreegifts
- Vegan for a day...piece of cake! Driving less...My errands are planned for the shortest, most efficient route. I walk when possible

From @dusdifissette
- Option #2 for this week's #CTWW Challenge Accepted ;-)

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 @anitaadamsnc @beatepdx
@bestrawesome @biculturalmama @biggreenpen
@bstoneblog @campaignerkaye @carolinaghmore
@cellomomoncars @conservationm @counselorholley
@draconnect @dusdifissette @dw96
@earthyurban @ecoexpert1 @ecokarenlee
@ecopro_co @ecothrifty @familyfocusblog
@frederickbrooke @gigivaneyck @ginavalley
@givetreegifts @groovygreenlivi @healthfulchef
@ithoughtiknewma @jadekerrion @jenberreyp
@jnjgogreen @julialittlebit @laalicia
@lady_bren @ladyjcmuses @lavishandlime
@linap @littlegreenblog @lorcadamon
@lyssaann42 @marjoriemcatee @mary_caitlyn6
@mcmillendc @mom2tle @momgamerwriter
@nolafusion @oneadayart @pinkladyapril
@proamusa @rckweddings @rozdb
@rulesofgreen @skipbang @soulfullab
@sowandso @startanewleaf @stephenataylor2
@thefadderly @theworld4realz @tiffanywashko
@treesgroup @twicecreations @vic_cianci
@vocalmedwoman @wencdj @whopaysthepiper
@whywelovegreen @zenfarmz

My Final Thoughts:

Living green is not a spectator sport ... it requires well-thought out action. It also requires that we sometimes set aside convenience and personal preference for the planet. I'll leave you with this thought: "A goal without a plan is just a wish" ... Antoine de Saint-Exupery.

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:

The other day I opened the freezer and ... WHOOSH ... I was hit with a blast of cold air. It was a physical reminder of how much energy is wasted when we open the door, especially when we stand there surveying the contents or "grazing". Here's your challenge:

This week be very mindful of opening the refrigerator and freezer. Resist browsing the contents and/or "grazing". Close the door rather than hold it open while you pour a glass of juice or quickly use an item to be returned to the shelf. When you must open the doors, minimize the time and shut them as quickly as possible.

Can you accomplish this task? I know that you can!!

Until next time ...


This post has been included in Green Living Thursdays at Dude, Sustainable!