Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Change The World Wednesday (#CTWW) - Monarch Butterflies

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:

Junk Mail! The name says it all ... it's junk! Last week we took action to remove it from our lives. That's not an easy task since our names and addresses are regularly sold to marketing firms. I learned a few interesting things last week. First, our "do not mail" requests expire. So, if it's been awhile since you first registered, chances are that your address is no longer on the list. Second, junk mail is associated with an address so if you move, you'll have to re-register. Third, if you pay county taxes, shop online, or in any way make your address public, your information can be sold to marketing firms. The good news is that taking steps to eliminate junk mail does work. I have successfully eliminated catalogs, phone books, and most advertisements. Yay!

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.

From our previous "good news" challenge, Katie shared Converting the Husband to Cloth Diaper, or Not [#CTWW]. While she wasn't able to fully convince her husband to use cloth diapers, her approach did bring about a happy compromise. In my opinion, the true good news was how Katie worked with what she had and made living a bit greener easy for everyone! Nicely done, Katie!

In Change the World Wednesday: Eliminating Junk Mail, Lois talked about her biggest junk mail problem, Red Plum Flyers. What is most interesting is why she isn't able to stop them from being delivered. Check it out ... the reason might surprise you! Later, Lois offered this update: "I had stopped all my junk mail besides the Red Plum Flyers and one we get weekly from a local car dealership. I tried calling the car dealership, they passed the buck telling me they hire a marketing firm to handle those but wouldn't tell me the name of the marketing firm. Finally, hearing my neighbors complain as well I saved the weekly flyers for a month from my mail and my neighbors mail, some with plastic do-dads that contained a battery and lit up to tell you a secret number that gave you a discount. Then took them down to the dealership set them on the secretaries desk and informed her that if she didn't see to removing our addresses from their mailings we were prepared to tell everyone this dealership was not a good place to do business with. None of us have received a piece of mail from them since. :-) " Oh nicely done, Lois!

Wow ... there's just the briefest hint, in Change the World Wednesday – 21st May, of Argentum Vulgaris becoming vegetarian. What could make this devout carnivore even hint at the idea of converting? The dreaded lurgy! Check out his post to learn about that and to find out how he deals with junk mail in Brazil!

Jenna joined us and shared this: "Great post- whatever the reason may be it is so hopeful and refreshing to see individuals and companies getting on board for a more eco-friendly lifestyle! Thanks for sharing!"

Betsy accepted our challenge and said this: "Here are my 4 steps for eliminating junk mail: Easy Eco-tip Tuesday: Unjunk Your Mail Box. Stopping credit card offers/ checks is a great way to protect against identity theft. I have to cancel catalogs every few months and am STILL getting ones from the last tenant (almost 2 yrs. after we moved into our home). It's really a constant battle, but once you do the initial stuff, it's upkeep and not so bad. At least my mailbox is no longer stuffed to the brim everyday with grocery circulars." Betsy even offers a sample letter in the final "episode" of this series. Thanks, Betsy!!

Alicia joined us and shared this: "We have eliminated most of the junk mail but still receive some periodically. We especially get things from small locally owned businesses in the area.We have a large bag that we put paper items in and then when it is full we take it to the recycling center. It takes it a long time to fill up which is a good thing! I have found that looking online at catalogs is not only Eco Friendly but more convenient and easier to read!" Great tips on the catalogs, Alicia ... thanks!

Clare stopped by and shared this: "Delighted to read about your building suppliers being so pro-actively green! Where I live green is hardly ever a consideration. However, there's also not much waste and things get re-used and re-purposed almost without thinking. Luckily for this week's challenge I don't get junk mail - companies don't really advertise much, they rely on word-of-mouth. The little bits I do get (about 1 per month) go in with the paper recycling which I drop off about every 8-10 weeks or so (i.e. we don't have a lot). Phew - a nice easy challenge for me this week - thanks!" Lucky you, Clare ... I'd love to live in a community which doesn't send out advertisements. Word of mouth is so much more reliable!

The folks at Vicality Santa Cruz shared our challenge with their readers and offered a great tip for eliminating junk mail if you live in California. Read Stop the junk mail, bills, catalogs, offers and mailbox clutter for more information and links.

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
@acuriousgal1 @ai_houston @allnaturalkatie
@beatepdx @biggreenpen @bkind3
@bstoneblog @chargeenergy2 @collegegogreen
@compingcrazzy @consillium @counselorholley
@crazykids6 @debsmikdav1 @dehelen
@dehoeksteen @dieselelephants @eatyoga
@eco_novice @ecocountrytable @ecofriendlyfurn
@ecothrifty @environmentguru @erbaviva
@factorydpromos @familybetty @frederickbrooke
@freshcleanersaz @freshgriller @geekgirlusa
@givetreegifts @green_vibes @greenglobaltrvl
@greensoil @groovygreenlivi @guayaba
@herbgir1972 @hismerecry @junestoyer
@justanotherhat @kaitlingarder @kiser_krafts
@krmbalclothing @laalicia @ladyjcmuses
@legsetobicoke @lorcadamon @lovecanal2020
@magnushrm @mamasmoney @marikokoloco
@marjoriemcatee @michaelinla3 @mitlamoda
@momfindsout @pamela_o_plays @pberk
@rainvesselsusa @rantravewrite @rckweddings
@realityarts @resourceeguru @resourcejobs1
@rosevine3 @rulesofgreen @ruralmoms
@sbs_brands @sensuouspromos @sfcouncil
@spafloating @superbsolutions @tammycurry
@theworld4realz @treesgroup @twicecreations
@ultimate_social @vanbordelon @veggiebeet
@violetsbuds @voiceboksmedia @wencdj
@whopaysthepiper @witteeme @women4earth

My Final Thoughts:

I'll conclude this challenge with a quote by William Eardley, IV:

"Ambition is the path to success, persistence is the vehicle you arrive in."

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 busy with this week's CTWW, I want to share a special message, from our very own Mrs. Green, about this year's Zero Waste Week event:

We now return to our regularly scheduled post:

Monarch Butterfly populations are declining because of the use of herbicides.
Monarch Butterfly populations
are in decline because of
the use of herbicides
Often, our first indication that the environment is suffering is in the decline of a species. Each species helps create a healthy environment and the loss of even one may have far-reaching, devastating results.

The Monarch Butterfly population is in serious decline. Why? Because their primary food, Milkweed, is being eliminated through the use of herbicides ... especially on GMO farms.

This is a man-made problem. Herbicides and pesticides can be eliminated. Let's be part of the solution!

Here's your challenge ...

This week, ask the EPA to adopt tough new restrictions on the weed killers that are wiping out monarchs. Please sign this PETITION (appropriate worldwide).

OR ...

If you do not wish to sign a petition, please write a post about the environmental dangers of using herbicides and pesticides. Please include suggestions on how we, as consumers, can avoid them.

OR ...

Consider planting a butterfly garden which includes milkweed and nectar plants. And, of course, avoid the use herbicides and pesticides in your garden.

Are you ready to give the beautiful Monarch a helping hand? I know that you are!

Until next time ...