Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Change The World Wednesday (#CTWW) - Good News

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 tackled light pollution. I first became aware of the problem when I joined an astronomy club for a night of star gazing. Because of city lights, which were over 100 miles away, we had a hard time seeing some constellations. While the inability to view the stars was inconvenient, it pointed to a more serious problem: the affects of artificial light on the environment. Light pollution changes the natural rhythms of life ... it confuses animal migration, inhibits certain organism growth, and even disrupts the pollination of night-blooming plants. It's a game changer! For my part, I made sure that any non-essential lights were switched off at night and that my curtains were drawn.

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 lives in an apartment so her hands are tied when it comes to outdoor lighting. She does minimize the use of indoor lights and closes her curtains at night. In Change the World Wednesday, Lights, she also offers a few creative suggestions for homeowners including glow-in-the-dark paint.

One of your posts on our bee challenge was picked up in The Green Daily. Was it yours?

Change the World Wednesday – 7th May, by Argentum Vulgaris (AV), is very interesting. In the first section, AV includes a global photo ... if you had any doubt as to the problem of light pollution, this picture will convince you otherwise. Then, read AV's personal story. Again, the photo included in that section is amazing. AV brings up a good point about knowing our place in the universe and how light pollution prevents that knowledge.

Alicia joined us. Here are her comments: "This is so interesting! I didn't know about this and am glad you have brought it to our attention! We have been talking about getting a motion sensor for our outside lights and getting lower wattage bulbs will be easy to do."

Lydia stopped by. Here's what she has to say: "When we vacationed in Florida one of the rules was lights on the beach side had to be turned off or the drapes drawn during hatching season. Since doing the Carbon Fast this year, I've been really sensitive about all the lights coming from our gadgets. The chargers, the switch lights, the digital clocks. We're making an effort to unplug the non essential things."

Deborah accepted the challenge and shared this: "Thank you so much for raising awareness of the enormous hazards associated with light pollution. It is so alarming to read that 4-5 million birds are killed, each year, when they are attracted to the lights of tall towers in addition to the sea turtles and other species. I live in an apartment so these are the actions that I can control in my home in support of reducing the use of artificial and light pollution:
I will continue to:
-Turn off indoor lighting which isn't necessary.
-Use lights only when necessary.
-Light only what needs to be lit.
*I will survey my complex and look for ways that our property manager to reduce light pollution and share suggestions with him.
-I will inform and encourage others to reduce their usage of artificial light by sharing with friends, fans and followers.
I will encourage family members and friends with houses to:
-Use lights only when necessary.
-Lower the wattage on outdoor lights.
-Light only what needs to be lit.
-Install a motion detector on outdoor security lighting which many of them do already.
-Use reflectors in their driveways.
-Use night sky friendly outdoor lighting fixtures.
-Learn more about light pollution so they can understand the impact and help others to make a difference as well."

Our Twitter friend, @GiveTreeGifts, joined us and shared the following:

- Opt for outdoor lighting that's activated by motion sensor. It will only come on when the natural light is low & it senses movement.
- We have light switches on both ends of the room. When dark, we turn on the light, walk through the room, then turn off when leaving
- If you're not in the room, the lights don't need to be on.
- We're transitioning from CFLs to LED lighting. During the day we use natural light & in the p.m.use localized lighting for projects.

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:

@ai_houston @allnaturalkatie @alwayswellwithn
@anitaadamsnc @bkind3 @cellomomoncars
@cleannergyphoto @compingcrazzy @consillium
@corinnegail1 @counselorholley @debsmikdav1
@ecocountrytable @ecoexpert1 @ecofriendlyfurn
@ecothrifty @erbaviva @factorydpromos
@familybetty @freshcleanersaz @freshgriller
@givetreegifts @green_vibes @greenearthbazar
@herbgir1972 @hismerecry @jaxvegetarian
@junestoyer @kaitlingarder @kiser_krafts
@krmbalclothing @laalicia @legsetobicoke
@lorcadamon @lu_and_ed @magnushrm
@marikokoloco @michaelinla3 @mistiwithani
@pamela_o_plays @pauljimerson @pberk
@pinecone_grove @rckweddings @reslightingmag
@rulesofgreen @sbs_brands @sensuouspromos
@sfcouncil @superbsolutions @twicecreations
@veggalaxy @veggiebeet @violetsbuds
@whopaysthepiper @witteeme @women4earth

My Final Thoughts:

Imagine what would happen if darkness were non-existent. The obvious consequence would be that we'd have trouble sleeping. But did you know that your risk of cancer would increase if we lived in a world of constant light? Scientists have found that cancer cell growth slows in the dark. Some disease-fighting hormones, like melatonin, cannot be produced when we are subjected to light ... even the soft glow from a television shuts down production. Health aside, constant light would be plain annoying. Here's the thing ... if we find light irritating, we can turn it off. But nature cannot! We force light on plants and animals who need the darkness to survive. Let me say that again ... To Survive! Our need to illuminate everything literally kills. Light pollution is one of the easiest problems to remedy ... simply turn them off.

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:

Change The World Wednesday - Environmental Good News
Good News .... Pass It On!
Each week, in preparation for CTWW, I browse current environmental news. This week I found articles which, quite frankly, left me feeling depressed. While I don't want to live with my "head in the sand", I also don't want to feel powerless.

So, I think it's time for another "Good News" challenge, don't you?

Here you go ...

This week share environmental good news. Unlike the challenge we did in November (see it HERE), which asked that we talk about all good news, let's focus on our personal triumphs. For example, if you were able to overcome a green-living obstacle (recycling, composting, etc.), we'd like to share in your good news. Perhaps you are preparing to plant a garden this year or have upgraded appliances to energy-efficient models ... let us celebrate with you. Maybe you've realized successes like turning off the water while brushing your teeth or turning off lights when you leave the room ... we want to be inspired by your achievement. The idea, this week, is to share all the good, green stuff in our lives.

Are ready to share good, positive, green news? I know that you are!

Sneak Peek: Have you ever wondered about the quality of the water coming out of your kitchen faucet? Join us tomorrow for an eye-opening interview.

Until next time...