Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Change The World Wednesday (#CTWW) - Just do it!

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:

Before we get started, I'd like to share something special with you. I was recently invited to contribute to a terrific site, eCycle Best. The article that I wrote is entitled How Eco-Friendly Are Your Gadgets?. If you have a minute, swing by and check it out!

How did you do with our last challenge? We asked that, in an effort to reduce food waste, everyone pay attention to proper portion sizes and cook accordingly. This is something which I do on a regular basis because, quite frankly, I find it easy to cook too much. We enjoy leftovers to a degree but I will admit to a certain boredom if I have to eat the same foods too often. While I'm not fond of measuring, it does remind me what a portion looks like and seems far easier than trying to recreate leftover food into interesting meals.

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.

Lois wastes very little food and what she can't eat gets tossed into the compost. Still, she's uncomfortable with any food not eaten. In Change the World Wednesday, Oh Boy she shares a few of her strategies for portion control. One of her methods involves growing her own salad.

Marc Zazeela joined us and shares this, "We must always remember that no gesture is too small. If everyone cut their portion sizes by 1%, they would not notice. The worldwide difference would be immense!"

Argentum Vulgaris has a pretty good idea about serving sizes. Living alone, however, does pose a unique problem. Find out about it in Change the World Wednesday – 5th Feb.

Tessa is switching to a vegan diet. In the process, she found that trying different dishes was creating waste because she and her family didn't always love the new recipes. She devised a great way to solve the problem. Read about it in Vegan Challenge Update 1.

This edition of The @raintees Roundup includes my retweet of one of your articles. Was it yours?

Alicia wrote Are You Wasting Food? and shares her strategies for eliminating food waste. One of her tips involves organizing the refrigerator.

Mary joined us and says, "I love this site. You are always giving great tips and advice on things each individual can do to help the cause. I also love the products you write about. Thanks for sharing." By the way (and this is a little off topic), Mary's site, Green Global Travel, is fabulous ... you'll find all kinds of helpful information and the photos will make you yearn to visit every corner of our beautiful earth. Stop over and say hi!

Katie is a mom who tries her best never to waste food and feels guilty when it does happen. In Reduce Food Waste With Portion Control [#CTWW] she takes on the challenge employing two great strategies. One of them includes a tip about the size of lunch containers.

Our Twitter friends joined the conversation and shared the following:

From @pinkladyapril
- this is something I do way too much! Always over- estimate & serve too much. Will try to freeze portions in future. #CTWW

From @GiveTreeGifts
- 8 Tips for Controlling Portion Sizes #CTWW

From @HerbGir1972
- MT #CTWW 8 easy tips to avoid wasting #food #betterbuying #foodwaste #portioncontrol via @greenlivingblog

From @VioletsBuds
- This week's #CTWW challenge really hits home! I've been trying to work on portion control for awhile
- the one good thing is if we do over-cook we use 99% of the leftovers. I'm working on portion control on my plate too #ctww

From @FairyTaleKnits
- I usually cook extra but we eat the leftovers later that week for lunch or dinner or I freeze them.

From @rulesofgreen
- We plan our weekly grocery shopping to save food

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:

Due to technical difficulties (I think I deleted something), I don't have the list of Gang members for you today. I apologize! Hopefully the "glitch" (my brain) will be fixed by next week and we'll be back in business. I do appreciate the Gang's support on Twitter.

My Final Thoughts:

The other day, I saw a pickup truck carrying a full load of donuts. Yep, donuts! I'm guessing that they were no longer appropriate for sale and were headed for a farm to be given to animals. As I watched the truck drive off, I thought about food waste and its far-reaching implications. We go to the market and purchase food. To accommodate our needs, markets keep their shelves stocked. In fact, they keep them over-stocked to ensure that we can get whatever we want, at any time. Since all food items have a shelf life, a great deal of it is pulled when the expiration date is reached. It seems that markets consider it preferable to waste food rather than risk customers not getting what they want. We contribute to this process through our purchases ... the more we want, the more they keep on hand. So, if we ignore portion sizes and cook too much, we not only waste at home but encourage waste in food markets as well. We can begin to turn that around by paying attention to serving sizes and cooking accordingly. It's a small act with a huge impact.

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:

Some green living activities seem like an uphill climb!
Sometimes it's an uphill climb

Some green-living practices seem more difficult than others.

Is there one which you've wanted to take on, or even felt guilty about not doing, but haven't been able to accomplish?

Here's your challenge ...

This week, consider that one, green-living practice which you haven't quite gotten to and ... just do it! Take that first step, and give it a try!

OR ...

If you've accomplished it all, please tell us about your most difficult, green task and how you overcame the obstacles.

Ready to take action? I know that you are!

Sneak Peek (updated): Join us tomorrow for a special Valentine's Day post. On Friday we'll ask the question, What's the first thing you consider when making a purchase?

Until then ...