Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Change The World Wednesday (#CTWW) - Greening the kitchen

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 banned single-use, disposable items. Was it a tough challenge for you? I like being outdoors ... camping, picnics, and grilling in the backyard. In my pre-green days, I used paper plates and all the usual disposable items. Frankly, it became expensive to continue buying those things, only to toss them into the trash at the end of the day. So, we invested in reusable everything. What I found is that eating off of "real" plates was much more enjoyable. They are sturdy and don't break through or leak, and clean-up isn't really that big of a deal. Reusable items make for a better experience, are cheaper in the long run, and they keep stuff out of landfills.

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.

Here's a disposable item which most won't think about: plastic picnic table cloths. In Change the World Wednesday: Single Use, Lois offers us some very creative alternatives, as well as great ideas for ditching other single-use items (I love the suggestion to ask everyone to bring their own place settings to a get-together).

One post, this week, brought tears to my eyes! Which one? What single use or disposable item could YOU give up? by Mrs. Green. You'll have to read the post to find out exactly what turned on my "water works". Be sure to read the comments for interesting tips from Mrs. Green's readers. And by the way, if you haven't already pledged to reduce waste at this year's Zero Waste Week Event, please click over and do so. The event takes place in your home, wherever in the world you reside. Mrs. Green is hoping for 2,000 participants this year so ... let's help her boost the numbers. If you've already agreed to participate, please share the event with your friends, family, and readers.

Alicia joined us and offered these tips: "This is a good challenge since picnic time for a lot of people usually means using lots of disposable products. We always use cloth napkins or small cotton kitchen towels instead of paper towels. We use glass storage containers to carry food to picnics and we use real plates and utensils. I love planning our meals at the first of each week. It makes a huge difference in food not being wasted. It is also nice this time of year because veggies from the gardens are starting to be harvested so no waste there. Just pick what you want to eat and freeze or can the rest!" By the way, have you seen the photos of Alicia's garden? Wowee! Click over to her blog and check out her bounty!

This edition of Airings on Design gave our challenge on discovering nature a nice mention. Thanks, Peggy! There are many interesting articles in that paper including one on how to turn your home into a retreat.

Mary, from Green Global Travel, joined us. She says, "Good challenge! There's always at least something that is being wasted, especially with it being summer and people having events outside. Tupperware is handy, and instead of paper towels, those reusable ones made of viscose are much better actually. Summertime is indeed a big outdoor entertaining season. If you are throwing a picnic, it would be great to purchase the chalkboard glass mason jars with straws. This way, guests can write their names on them and even take them home as a fun party favor." If you haven't visited Green Global Travel lately, please do ... I found a terrific article about a moose in Sweden.

Uh Oh ... Argentum Vulgaris (AV) says "I do, however, have a confession…" Does that mean he failed on this challenge? Hop over to read Change the World Wednesday – 2nd Jul. While you're there, check out AV's Apothecary page? Tons of wonderful DIY ideas!

Alaiyo, owner of Pescetarian Journal, stopped by and shared this: "I just love your challenges. Let me just say that paper towels are still a challenge, but we will not be using any paper plates or cups (we haven't for a while now)." Thanks, Alaiyo!

Joanna of Every Week is Green is doing well at avoiding disposable picnic items so she took on another waste-related issue: "Thank you for including my comment and recommending my blog! This is a fantastic challenge. I am now managing to avoid many of the disposable items you mention, so this week I'm going to focus on wasting less paper. I'm okay with at home, but at work I find myself using brand new post-it notes when I know I have a lot of scrap paper at home. So I might bring some in with me and use that instead." Yay ... I hope you'll blog about your efforts, Joanna!

Thanks to Lisa for a post entitled The humble handkerchief: Thinking about reusable vs. disposable items. Wow ... that's another "disposable" which I wouldn't have thought about! Thanks, Lisa!

Our Twitter friends joined the conversation and shared the following:

From @HerbGir1972
- Reusable is #OnTrend #JustDoIt Buy Bulk it's cheaper uses less packaging less to #recycle We are not a #Disposable Planet
- Staying Positive about the goal is the largest part of the process #EarthSourceServices #TeamESS #GreenTeam #GreenKids
- We gave up popsicles. Bought a mold & make our own now. #Fruitcicle #Veggiecicle

From @AndreaPtak
- This #4thofJuly choose reusable for your #picnic. Cloth napkins, real dishes, etc. Tips: #reuse #zeroplastic

From @GiveTreeGifts
- How to Eliminate Disposable Products:
- Avoiding Disposable Products –- What Are the Alternatives?
- Don't use disposable plastic items; all are bad for environment
- Disposable coffee cups: what impact do they have?
- Disadvantages of Disposable Dishes
- Why You Should Never Buy Disposable Water Bottles Again
- “Disposable” Coffee Cups? I Think Not!
- Plastic-free Living Guide

From @Bike2Power
- #CTWW Because changing the world should be a daily thing!

From @smanuel1123
- Going to make the switch from body wash to soap to skip the bottle waste.

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:

@89linz @a_kiasi @acuriousgal1
@allnaturalkatie @andreaptak @apoenagi
@bethsegreen @biggreenpen @bike2power
@bizxpanders @chateauclingman @chitownchica
@collegegogreen @compingcrazzy @counselorholley
@crazykids6 @dieselelephants @ecoexpert1
@freshcleanersaz @ginavalley @givetreegifts
@greenglobaltrvl @greenqueenofmod @groovygreenlivi
@herbgir1972 @jlmorrismorris @kaitlingarder
@krmbalclothing @laalicia @ladyjcmuses
@leslieveg @litartmagazine @lovingthebike
@marbaird @momfindsout @momgamerwriter
@myzerowaste @nicmanuel @nikidanforth
@pberk @phebeohyes @polart_designs
@rantravewrite @rckweddings @realityarts
@sfcouncil @shannongrissom @spafloating
@superbsolutions @susanheaney @tammycurry
@teco_batc @terenceflyntz @theworld4realz
@thispeg @violetsbuds @whywelovegreen

My Final Thoughts:

In defense of certain single-use products, such as paper plates, manufacturers will say that they are biodegradable. It's true ... some disposable items will biodegrade. However, the degradation process creates CO2 which contributes to global warming. In the natural world, biodegradation isn't a problem ... organic matter decomposes, creating CO2, which trees and plants absorb. But using disposable products overwhelms the system. Simply put, it adds to climate change, which is already at critical levels. Thinking about convenience items in that light shows that they are a very expensive way to save ourselves a few minutes of washing up time. It hardly seems worth it!

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:

Green your kitchen for Change The World Wednesday
Is your kitchen the most
important room in the house?
Have you ever noticed how everyone seems to gravitate to the kitchen?

It is probably one of the most used areas in our home.

So, let's view our kitchens with new eyes!

Here's your challenge ...

This week, go into your kitchen and look for at least one way to make it greener. You might choose to do something simple like add an aerator to the faucet, convert to cloth towels instead of paper, replace a light bulb with a CFL or LED, or unplug an appliance (especially those with clocks). Maybe you are in the market for new cookware, dishes, etc. and could look for green options. Does your kitchen need paint? Perhaps you grab a brush and use non-VOC colors. You might even be considering a kitchen remodel and could search out the most appropriate Eco-friendly cabinets, counter tops, flooring, etc. The idea, this week, is to look around your kitchen and make a green improvement.

Are you ready to tackle the kitchen? I know that you are!

Until next time ...


This post is shared at Natural Living Monday