Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Change The World Wednesday (#CTWW) - Photos

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:

Were you able to give up paper towels/napkins last week? I haven't used them for years. Instead, I pick up pretty cloth napkins at second hand stores and use old shirts and towels as cleaning rags (items which are no longer fit for their original purpose). I will admit that, in the beginning, there was a certain "ick" factor using cloth to clean up particularly nasty messes (if you have pets, you'll know what I mean). With paper, I could simply wipe up and toss. With cloth, I need to rinse out the mess. But, I got over the squeamishness and now have no problem with the process. I feel good about banning paper towels from our life ... we save money and we protect the environment. Win-Win!

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.

Leah joined us this week ... Hi, Leah! In No Paper Towels she shares how she used to use cloth but slipped off the bandwagon ... however; her reasons are valid and understandable. The amazing thing is, even with her valid reasons, she is taking up the torch, once again, and using cloth. Now that, in itself, would be a great effort ... but Leah is upping the ante and has decided to bake her own bread, make her own ketchup, peanut butter, and vegan cheeses. Why? Because that will cut down on plastic packaging. And she's saying "NO" to printed receipts. Way to go, Leah! You inspire me!!

Lois gave up paper towels a long time ago. In Change the World Wednesday, I’ve Got This, she talks about how she transitioned to cloth and offers some great tips for eliminating other paper use in the home.

Argentum Vulgaris bought two rolls of paper towels, two years ago. He's just started to use the second roll. Can you guess what he uses them for? Find out in Change the World Wednesday – 19th Mar. Want a hint? This popular meal is judged by how messy it is ... the more messy, the better! Figured it out yet?

Clare joined us and shared this: "I've got a full-of-tips article on paper towels which also includes a free Cheat Sheet ( I don't use paper towels, saying "no" to printed receipts seems to cause chaos where I live, and I haven't bought wrapping paper in years as I re-use what I receive. So, I'll work on reducing toilet paper (again) - there's always room for improvement. And a couple of times a year I eat pork spare ribs in a restaurant. They're messy so I use a few paper napkins, I'll ask for a bowl of lemon water instead. Thanks for making sure we improve each week!"

Deborah accepted the challenge and said, "Happy Wednesday! I am so excited to participate in this week's Change The World Wednesday (#CTWW) - Paper Towels Challenge. I have reduced my use of paper significantly by paying bills online, getting online subscriptions, sending email instead of paper mail, etc. Reducing paper towel usage is the I will be addressing this week.We save old t-shirts and cotton clothing to use as cleaning rags. I will share my thoughts, experiences and suitable alternatives to paper towels soon." True to her word, Deborah came back with an update. Here it is: "Regarding the paper towel challenge': i usually use paper towels in the kitchen for wiping up messes and sometimes as a large napkin when eating. I stopped using paper towels in the kitchen and used dish towels and dishcloths to clean up the kitchen. I used cloth napkins while dining and enjoyed that experience immensely. Cloth napkins are durable as well as elegant. I am hooked on them. I tore up some old, tattered undershirts to use as cleaning rags for cleaning spots around the house. Crumpled newspaper was used to clean my glass tables and mirrors. All in all. I did not miss paper towels at all! I plan to continue to replace paper towels with greener alternatives." Fabulous, Deborah!!

The Gardening Daily gave CTWW a nice mention. That paper also includes a ton of great articles on gardening.

Our Twitter friends joined the conversation and shared the following:

From @EcoMom_DeForbes
- Eco Home Challenge: The coffee table we use was rescued from the trash and refinished 15 yrs ago.

From @pberk
- Micro-steps turn into miles!

From @ProAmUSA
- It's Change the World Wednesday. Here are some things we can all do to help our one & only planet Earth

From @smanuel1123
- don't use papertowels I will further reduce diaper wipes...Wish me luck.. Some messes are yuckier than others!

From @TheRiverWanders
- I keep one roll of paper towels for hairball season (4 cats here) :)

From @lschreurs
- YES! I hate when I see people buying a 24 pack of paper towels. just use a reusable cloth and wash it. Such a waste

From @GiveTreeGifts
- An Easy Way To Go Green - Reduce Paper Towel Consumption
- Good for the budget and environment!
- Throwing In The {Paper} Towels! Jillee
- Stop Using Paper Towels | 1000 Thrifty Things
- Kick your paper towel habit!
- A crafty way to replace paper towels... Rolled Kitchen Towels-Tutorial
- We use cloth napkins and cloth towels in our house. Rags made from old tshirts are used for really messy cleanups. #Thrifty

From @EcoExpert1
- Wonderful short #video on using paper towels in restrooms #TED #waste #green #environment #CTWW

From @OfficialCWerner
- My #ctww

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 @allnaturalkatie @amcconsolidated
@aussierichluck @barrydarrdixon @beakunz
@beatepdx @biculturalmama @biggreenpen
@bike2power @bstoneblog @carinaatan
@cellomomoncars @chargeenergy2 @clothaddicts
@collegegogreen @conservationm @counselorholley
@crazykids6 @debsmikdav1 @decor8yourlife2
@dehelen @dieselelephants @drifterjournals
@eco_novice @ecoexpert1 @ecomom_deforbes
@ecothrifty @ecwrites @familybetty
@freshcleanersaz @ginavalley @givetreegifts
@goodblogposts6 @graceonline @green_vibes
@greeningforward @groovygreenlivi @guayaba
@hardknoxfirst @healthfulmama @herbgir1972
@jnjgogreen @judithglynn @kitlane
@krmbalclothing @laalicia @ladyladuke
@lorcadamon @loridennisinc @lschreurs
@mamapoolecooks @marikokoloco @marjoriemcatee
@mimibarbour @mindfulmomma @momfindsout
@momgamerwriter @museumoflitter @newtonjose
@officialcwerner @ourfavadventure @pamela_o_plays
@pberk @perithelabel @pinkladyapril
@proamusa @rachfmphillips @rckweddings
@realityarts @robpolka @rulesofgreen
@ruralmoms @sayhaytomeg @sensuouspromos
@smanuel1123 @soulfullab @spafloating
@susanheaney @theriverwanders @theworld4realz
@treesgroup @turningclockbac @violetsbuds
@wencdj @wheeliesmom @yfnjman
@yourorganiclife @zenfarmz

My Final Thoughts:

The word "disposable" means "designed to be disposed of after use". Think about that ... an item is created, purposely, to become trash. The intention isn't to reuse it or provide a long product life cycle, but rather to use it (typically once) and then add it to the garbage stream. In my opinion, the concept is disrespectful. Not only is it wasteful, it disregards the value of natural resources and jeopardizes the health of planet and, ultimately, our lives. A simple paper towel may not seem that important. But add it to all the other disposables in our world and we have a huge problem. Once again, a small action has a large 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:

Before we get started, I have exciting news to share. I was invited to write an article for That post has been published! WhooHoo! If you have a few minutes, please hop over and read Reducing Energy Use - The Rest of the Story.

Earth Hour on Reduce Footprints
Earth Hour
March 29, 2014
8:30 pm (local time)
This year, Earth Hour falls on Saturday, March 29th. It is designed to raise the world's awareness and renew our commitment to our planet.

In previous years, we have participated by turning off our lights for the designated hour. Let's raise awareness again ... with a CTWW twist! Here's your challenge ...

This week, in honor of Earth Hour and to raise awareness, please take photos of what you, personally, are trying to protect. Perhaps it's a beautiful spot in nature that you particularly love. Maybe you are protecting the clean water which comes out of your faucet. It could be a photo of a river, a favorite tree, an animal, or the sky. The idea is to share, visually, your reasons for living green. You can post the photo on your blog or, if you wish, send them to me (HERE) and I'll include them in next week's post (put "CTWW" in the subject line so that I'll be sure to see the email).

OR ...

If you'd rather not do the photos, please observe Earth Hour by turning off your lights for one hour beginning at 8:30 pm (your local time) on Saturday, March 29, 2014.

Grab your camera and let's go! Are you with me? I know that you are!

Sneak Peek: Spring might officially be here but someone forgot to tell Winter. Monday's post will warm you up!

Until then ...