Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Change The World Wednesday (#CTWW) - August is Tree Check Month

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 mended ... clothing, furniture, etc. I typically set aside clothing items which need fixing and then do them all at once. This challenge prompted me to get out the needle and thread ... and repair. "Art" got in the act as well ... the soles on his favorite pair of work boots were pulling away from the boot. So, he grabbed some glue and repaired them. Fixing broken items is part of our life. If we've purchased things that we like, then it makes sense to fix them when they need it and continue liking them.

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.

Have you ever had one flip-flop fail? Seems a waste to toss them both. Argentum Vulgaris has a solution and, in Change the World Wednesday – 6th Aug, he explains how one can "extend the life of two pairs of flip flops by almost the life of a single pair". Intriguing, right?

Katie says that prevention is the key to extending the life of clothing. In 5 Ways to Extend Life of Clothing [#CTWW] she offers some great tips and ideas! A previous challenge on batteries came at a perfect time for Katie. She was updating her emergency kit and found some "dead" alkaline batteries. So she got busy and learned what to do with them. Read Proper Alkaline Battery Disposal [#CTWW] for more information.

How many dog toys does your pet go through? Have you ever considered mending them? Andrea has! In Rescuing Dog-Toy Plushies she shares a simple technique to repair torn toys. In Put a Shine on Your Shoes she gives an old pair of shoes a second life. And finally, Andrea recommends this post: Basic Hand Stitches ... it's a useful tutorial for any kind of hand sewing.

Alica regularly mends clothing so she offered us some advice for extending their life: "We do this on a regular basis! One great way to extend the life of your clothing is by hanging them up to dry instead of putting them in the dryer.Spring, Summer and a few weeks in the Fall you can hang your clothes outside and they dry quite quickly. In the Winter months we have a designated area that we hang our shirts, blouses and few other things but have to use the dryer for the others. Also your challenge a while back about not washing your clothes as often is another great way to extend their life. When you have worn something and really haven't gotten it dirty, hang it up and wear it again before washing. Both of these suggestions will also save money and energy! When buying clothes at the mall or at your favorite thrift shop look for all cotton and well made clothing because they will last so much longer than clothes made with cheaper fabrics. Using a homemade laundry detergent made from Borax and washing soda is much more gentle than using a harsh chemical based laundry detergent."

JC accepted the challenge and shares this: "This comes at the perfect time. We just started using our very first energy efficient washer and dryer and even though they can use up a lot of electricity, they can also help us live greener by allowing us to go paperless (tissues, paper towels, etc) and helping us to take better care of our clothes so they last longer. That being said, there's an awful lot of mending to do. We had a rather large amount of clothes because we only really go to the laundromat about once every three weeks. That allowed us to just keep going through them and not fix the things that needed repair. Now I've just gone through everything after I did about 150 pounds of laundry and made three piles: recycling, donation and repair. So to fulfill the challenge I will repair two items from the third pile this week and then we'll have some refurbished clothing to use once again or donate locally or to Question, in terms of renewing, what is the best and eco friendliest way to dye a garment?"

This edition of Help Recycle Today Daily gave CTWW a nice mention. I found other interesting articles in that paper including one about DIY detergent. Check it out!

The Shopping Charity gave CTWW a headline spot. WhooHoo! Be sure to read the important article about bone marrow donation ... it could save a life!

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

-Soap & softener residue can be damaging to clothing as well as your washer & dryer. I use white vinegar instead of commercial softener
-When I buy a new article of clothing, I reinforce buttons & hems immediately. This helps eliminate the loss of buttons or fallen hems
-I find that I can extend the life of my clothes & conserve energy by air drying or line drying.

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 @a_kiasi
@allnaturalkatie @andreaptak @artbysandra
@bargainsfinder @biggreenpen @bstoneblog
@camillescharms @chrisluce87 @collegegogreen
@crazykids6 @daft_crafts @dieselelephants
@ecoexpert1 @foggybottomgal @freshcleanersaz
@givetreegifts @green_vibes @greencwru
@greenqueenofmod @groovygreenlivi @helprecycle_com
@herbgir1972 @javamazon @johnlundin
@kaitlingarder @laalicia @ladyjcmuses
@ladyreaderstuff @lorcadamon @marjoriemcatee
@plasticfreetues @rainyofthedark @rantravewrite
@realityarts @shannongrissom @shoppingcharity
@spafloating @sunnybeads1 @survivalimpact
@terenceflyntz @theearthnetwork @theworld4realz
@treadmyownpath @treesgroup @violetsbuds
@wasteeguru @wastejobs @whopaysthepiper

My Final Thoughts:

Repairing, or mending, makes sense. It prolongs the usefulness of an item, saves us money, and reduces the amount of stuff in our landfills. It also reduces the requirement for newly manufactured products. That, in turn, reduces the need for raw materials. As with many green-living ideas, mending is a small act with far-reaching benefits. Who knew that darning a sock could change the world!

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 - August is Tree Check Month
This beetle has led to the loss
of more than 110,000 trees in the U.S.
Have you heard of the Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB)? It is an invasive bug which destroys trees. Feeding on 13 different genera of hardwood trees, and eventually killing them, the beetle threatens entire forests. According to the USDA, trees in all US states are at risk. Trees in Canada, Trinidad, Austria, France, Germany, Italy, and the UK are also at risk.

Once a tree is infected, it must be destroyed. Early detection is the only way to protect our trees. August has been designated as Tree Check Month.

Here's your challenge ...

This week take 10 minutes to inspect trees on your property, in the area, on a hike, etc. Here's how:
  • Look up. Stand back and look at the top of the tree. Do you see any dead or dying branches?
  • Look it over. Now get in close and focus on the tree trunk and branches. See the beetle? See any dime-sized exit holes or shallow scars in the bark?
  • Look down. Do you see any sawdust-like shavings at the tree’s base or on the branches? That’s a sign the ALB has been busy eating.
  • If you find evidence of the beetle, report it HERE or call your local forestry department.

OR ...

Here are two more activities to help prevent ALB infestation:
  • If you are planning to build a fire (campfire, etc.), use only wood from local sources. Do not carry it with you from other areas (for example, from home to a campsite out of state).
  • If you are landscaping, plant a wide variety of trees.

OR ...

If your area is not threatened by ALB, give your trees a health "check up". Click HERE for a list of things to consider.

Are you ready to protect our trees? I know that you are!

Until next time ...


Image courtesy of