Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Change The World Wednesday (#CTWW) - Air Pollution

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 took on a huge challenge ... the health of our oceans. The fact is that our oceans are dying, not of natural causes but because we, mankind, abuse them. At this point you may be thinking that you live hundreds of miles from the ocean and, perhaps, have never even visited the coast. So how can your actions be affecting its health? Read on!

Pollution is responsible for depleting oxygen in large areas, resulting in dead zones where nothing can survive. Pollution enters the ocean in many ways: fertilizer run-off from farms (entering streams & rivers, ultimately entering the sea), oil spills from tankers transporting the oil which eventually ends up in your gas tank, and landfill trash (emptied in the oceans when land is no longer available). pH levels are changing because the ocean absorbs most of the carbon dioxide (CO2) in our atmosphere. That, in turn, threatens the life of marine animals. CO2 is generated by the burning of fossil fuels (oil to heat our homes, gas to run our cars, etc.), the manufacturing process (especially of materials like steel), and the breakdown of plastics, solvents, etc. Marine life is further stressed by rising water temperatures which is caused by climate change.

In each situation, it is human action which is causing the problem. So, last week, we committed to taking actions which would reduce our harmful impact on these vital bodies of water.

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 offers several tips in Change the World Wednesday, Protecting the Oceans. There was one which I thought was particularly interesting ... it has to do with leaves, twigs, and other organic matter in waterways.

In Change the World Wednesday – 2nd Apr, Argentum Vulgaris talks about plastic, over fishing, and why there is a lack of news about the conditions we face.

The Shopping Charity gave CTWW a headline spot. This edition mentions some of your articles from a previous challenge and some great content shared by the CTWW Gang members on twitter.

Plastic threatens the ocean in a large way. Cody wrote Change the World Wednesday - Protect our Oceans! and offers some very easy (and fun) ways to eliminate it from our life!

This edition of Sunflowers & Edibles included a bunch of our articles. Was yours one of them?

To help our oceans, Mrs. Green offers us 1 simple way to reduce toxic cleaning products. She says, "Oh, well my ego took a bashing there. I was kinda reading through going 'yeah, yeah' to myself, knowing all these is to know about marine life. But then I stopped and actually researched the effects of conventional cleaning products on the oceans and I took myself on a steep and not-too-pretty learning curve. Thanks for this opportunity SF and as a thank you, I'm sharing my favourite non-toxic, fish friendly, cleaning recipe which will put a smile on your face every time you use it!"

Deborah embraced our challenge and says, "In honor of our Protect the Ocean #CTWW challenge, I have written two posts this week also motivated by the deeply disturbing news about climate change and the resulting rising sea levels across the globe. At this rate, many land masses will be under the ocean in the not so distant future.The earth is warming. The evidence is clear. Climate change is the most catastrophic issue impacting our lives and the future of our planet.Our glaciers are melting. Sea levels are rising. We must dramatically reduce our carbon emissions and our ecological footprints now or the future of the earth is uncertain."Climate Change 2104: Impacts, Adaptation, Vulnerability: Findings from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Control (IPCC) Report" The second post is
"Global Warming, Climate Change and Sea Level Rise: 8 YouTube Videos You Should Watch Now" - Knowledge is power? We must ask ourselves, our families, our neighbors, our business leaders, our elected officials to take responsibility to protect future of our planet? We must ask ourselves and those around us: What are you doing to reduce carbon emissions and your carbon footprint every minute of every day? Reducing our footprint must become a way of life. We don't really have a choice. Our oceans are speaking to us. We need to listen."

Alicia also accepted our challenge and shares this, "Here in Tennessee we have lots of lakes and streams that a lot of wildlife live in and around and I have seen how trash especially plastic can be so detrimental. We also lived in California for a while and saw what trash can do to the ocean. It's terrible! We use reusable bags for our shopping and reusable bottles for our water. We make an awesome all natural organic household cleaner bar which I use all of the time as well as vinegar, soda and lemon juice. We don't eat meat but I usually cook fish one night out of the week because my husband and daughter really like it. It will be no problem to forgo it this week. I am pretty good to plan my trips to make them count since we live so far from town but am going to make a real effort to reduce them even more this week. Even though I know we have so many areas we can improve in but I also feel good about what we have accomplished in the past couple of years.We have pretty much eliminated all toxic chemical cleaning products from our home as well as toxic chemicals from our garden. Being Eco Friendly is always a work in progress here."

Katie stopped in and says, "I missed another week. Nonetheless, we are past vacations and first birthday party, so I will be getting back to my favorite CTWW challenges. This week's challenge is a little bit foreign to me in terms of the ocean pollution problem. I know, in general, what the issue is, but I need to do some more reading on it. Thank you for helping broaden my green horizons!"

How would marking a storm drain help the ocean? Donna tells us in Top 5 Ways You Can Prevent Marine Pollution.

Our Twitter friends joined the conversation and shared the following:

From @green_vibes
- Plastic trash harms our oceans & marine life. Switch to reusable bags & bottles for this weeks #CTWW

From @HerbGir1972
- Dead whale send message...Belly full of #Plastic
#CTWW #SaveTheOceans
- 22 Facts About Plastic Pollution (And 10 Things We Can Do About It)

From @GiveTreeGifts
- Oceanic Society | Exploring and Protecting the Natural World
- WWF Canada - Oceans in crisis
- Saving the Ocean | Watch Online | PBS Video
- Save Our Oceans | CoalitionWILD
- 10 Ways to Help Save the Ocean | One World One Ocean
- 10 Things You Can Do to Save the Oceans
- Why we protect our oceans Marine Conservation Institute
- Living Oceans | Healthy Oceans. Healthy Communities.
- SOS Support Ocean Sanctuaries
- Save Our Seas Foundation
- Ocean Ecosystem, it's what we need to understand and to protect.

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:

@2kidsandacoupon @89linz @a_kiasi
@aussierichluck @authorjayd @barrydarrdixon
@beakunz @beatepdx @beckleecottage
@biggreenpen @book_oftheday @bstoneblog
@chargeenergy2 @ciparobv @clubcontent
@collegegogreen @conservationm @counselorholley
@daft_crafts @dazzanddapp @debsmikdav1
@decor8yourlife2 @dehelen @dominiquegoh
@eco_novice @ecoexpert1 @ecomom_deforbes
@ecothrifty @factorydpromos @fallenfeathers1
@familybetty @freshcleanersaz @gatcreek1
@ginavalley @givetreegifts @green_vibes
@greensoil @groovygreenlivi @guayaba
@healthyvoyager @herbgir1972 @hismerecry
@johncbader @kaitlingarder @kanelstrand
@kayelleallen @kiser_krafts @krmbalclothing
@laalicia @lady_bren @ladyjcmuses
@leadsafeamerica @leslieveg @lptwisterdx
@lu_and_ed @magnushrm @marikokoloco
@marjoriemcatee @michaelinla3 @michellenbcla
@mimibarbour @mizmeliz @momfindsout
@museumoflitter @nancylmeehan @naturejunkiemi
@nerddreamer @pamela_o_plays @paperkarma
@pberk @perithelabel @pinecone_grove
@rachfmphillips @rulesofgreen @sensuouspromos
@shannongrissom @shoppingcharity @smanuel1123
@soulfullab @sowandso @spafloating
@strongloveblog1 @superbsolutions @susanheaney
@theriverwanders @theurbannatura1 @trashn2tees
@treesgroup @turningclockbac @variationsbaker
@violetsbuds @wencdj @whopaysthepiper
@whywelovegreen @wrenmeyers @zenfarmz

My Final Thoughts:

The health of the ocean affects us all, no matter where we live. The ocean regulates our temperatures and moderates carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. It provides food and medicine, and enables global trade. If it dies, every single person in the world will be negatively affected. In fact, losing the ocean may cost us our lives. It is serious! We must take action, now, to save what's left of this vital resource.

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:

Air pollution has become the world's single biggest environmental health risk
In 2012, nearly one in eight
deaths (worldwide) were linked
to Air Pollution
I read a scary article recently. According to the World Health Organization, air pollution has become the world's single largest environmental health risk. It is linked to strokes, heart attacks, lung diseases, and cancer. Here's your challenge ...

This week, for at least one day, leave your car parked. Instead, walk or ride a bike.

OR ...

If you don't drive or can't do without your car, please choose other actions designed to reduce air pollution. Need some ideas? Avoid power tools (such as lawnmowers, weed whackers, leaf blowers, etc.) and use manual tools instead. Stop smoking! Choose water-based products (paints, solvents, etc.) instead of products which contain harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Avoid commercial indoor air fresheners. Drive smart (accelerate slowly, turn off the engine if the car is stopped for more than 30 seconds, combine errands for one trip, etc.). Reduce energy use (much of the world's energy is derived in ways which pollute ... think smoke stacks). Add house plants to your home. Plant a tree. Use natural, safe cleansers. Buy locally produced items (reduces transport pollution).

Are you ready to breathe easier? I know that you are!

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Change The World Wednesday on Reduce Footprints

Sneak Peek: How do you maintain your health? That's the question we'll ask tomorrow!

Until then ...