Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Change The World Wednesday (#CTWW) - Mend

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 a common single-use item: batteries. By replacing them with rechargeable versions, we can reduce our carbon footprint significantly. Most of the batteries that I use are for things like remote controls, wireless mice, and cameras. Rechargeables work well for those devices. I always have a few, on hand, so that when one loses it's charge, I can easily pop in a new one. The charger that I have lets me know when the batteries are fully charged, so I don't waste electricity guessing. When one reaches the end of it's life, I can take it to a local hardware store for recycling.

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.

Deborah accepted our plastic bag challenge. She shared this: "I am inspired by this challenge because despite the fact that I carry a shopping tote with me, my husband still brings plastic bags home and uses them mostly to line garbage cans and to carry out recyclable waste. I usually say no to plastic bags when I shop. I recently went to a show featuring beautiful fair trade bags woven from plastic bags by a women's co-op in Africa. What an amazing reuse of plastic bags! I will report back on my progress against plastic this week."

Eco Crap celebrated a milestone ... its 3rd anniversary. Congrats to Argentum Vulgaris (AV) for three years of interesting, entertaining, and informative posts! In Change the World Wednesday – 30th Jul, AV talks about his battery needs and his experience with battery chargers. Does he use rechargeables? You'll have to read the post to find out!

Lois joined us. She shared this: "First, congratulations on your new home in the forest. I am so happy for you. Batteries, I dislike them because they are so hard to recycle. I had found Ikea just over 100 miles away recycled them, then when I had collected all my friend's and relative's batteries and taken them to Ikea the next time I was in the area I learned they no longer accepted them. Batteries tend to be a bigger problem, at least for me, when there are children's toys involved. Since I struggle to find recycling centers I refuse to purchase toys that use them. My home, with the exception of my phone and computer which is another type of battery, is battery free. The one item I wanted to have in my home was a flashlight, I found one that cranks to charge which solved my dilemma of batteries, some will even charge your cell phones. I believe even rechargeable batteries have questionable components so the first step is to reduce the number of items that need them. In my experience children are happier with toys they can manipulate and are battery free anyway." Thanks, Lois!

Joanna stopped by and said: "I always recycle single-use batteries but have never made the switch to rechargeable. In thinking about this, I've noticed that most of the items I use are actually rechargeable anyway (phone, camera, electric toothbrush, epilator etc.) but I am going to pay more attention to items I use every day and see if I can catch myself if I use single-use batteries."

The Shopping Charity included CTWW. Zero Waste Week also got a nice mention! I also found an interesting article entitled "Why longer school days can be more fun for students".

Green Girl Success stopped by and shared this: "I agree with Lois, that it is best to reduce first. We have very minimal uses for batteries in our home and four pack of rechargeable batteries is all we need. We watch minimal TV, but I like to watch DVDs from the library. It is frustrating that I can't use my DVD player without a remote. Otherwise, we might be able to get rid of batteries all together!"

Alica joined us and shared this: "I hope that your move went well and I know you all are thrilled to be living on your land! We use very few batteries. The batteries I use most are for my camera and I have a rechargeable battery pack plus a back up one. This has made me aware that we need to get rechargeable batteries for the remotes and the few other things we use that require batteries. I am sure that there are a lot of others like me who hadn't thought much on this subject! Thanks." Thanks, Alicia ... our move went very well!

Clare came by and said, "Like everyone else I try to Reduce everything and especially single-use items such as batteries. I used to use battery-powered lights during power cuts but now use solar lights - they were expensive to buy so I just bought one occasionally and gradually built up enough. Flashlights come in shake-able versions so no batteries needed there (cool) - but if you do use a battery-powered torch, did you know that actually, rechargeable batteries are NOT the best choice? See and find out which items are perfect for rechargeables and which (sadly) need disposables - then you can try to Reduce those items in your home and work. Thanks for another great challenge Small, I've been scouring my home looking for battery culprits, luckily there are very few - manual razors, toothbrushes etc - but difficult to Reduce my 2 remote controls, hmmm.... working on those."

Our Twitter friends joined the conversation and shared the following:

From @CaliCarting
- It's crucial that everyone disposes of their batteries and e-waste properly! We don't want them in landfills.
- Residents should bring batteries to their designated county Special Waste Collections where e-waste #recycling is available.

From @GiveTreeGifts
- Rechargeable Batteries and Chargers
- Are Rechargeable Batteries Better?
- We use rechargeable batteries for anything that takes batteries. We buy them on sale so that we have enough to rotate them as needed.

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:

@0824line @89linz @_d0es
@a_kiasi @allnaturalkatie @aqua0961
@bananagrabber3 @bella623 @biggreenpen
@climately @climately_news @climatelycheryl
@crazykids6 @debsmikdav1 @givetreegifts
@greenomic @groovygreenlivi @herbgir1972
@homesustainable @ishida3s @jadekerrion
@kayelleallen @laalicia @ladyjcmuses
@lgwhiteauthor @marbaird @marjoriemcatee
@nao0319708 @pa2mahi1sa4ta3h @rt8810
@segg9184 @shannongrissom @shoppingcharity
@solarkoala16 @solarkoalatweet @spafloating
@spookymrsgreen @takumi130629 @tammycurry
@wencdj @zincuronos

My Final Thoughts:

Switching to rechargeable batteries is an easy way to reduce our carbon footprint. Some people will argue that while rechargeable batteries perform well and help the environment, alkalines are more budget friendly. That's probably true ... initially. Consider this: rechargeable batteries can last up to 300 charges and each charge lasts between 1000 to 2700 mAh (Milliamp Hours). Alkaline batteries last between 1700 to 3000 mAh. Let's do the math: let's say that a rechargeable battery only lasts for 150 charges and each charge lasts for 1000 mAh. That's a total of 150,000 mAh for a low-end battery. A high-end alkaline battery will only last 3,000 mAh. One, low-end rechargeable battery equals about 50 high-end alkaline batteries. So rechargeable batteries, even adding in the price of the charger, are cost effective. More importantly, since very few single-use versions are recycled, they end up in landfills and contaminate the ground. Reusing a battery means less of them are tossed out.

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:

Mend clothing for Change The World Wednesday
A patch could extend the
life of worn jeans
Have you been following Mrs. Green's Zero Waste Week posts on Facebook? She's been sharing a ton of tips and ideas on ways to reduce waste in our lives. Participants are also weighing in with their ideas.

Mrs. Green recently posted about mending clothing. What a great topic for CTWW!

Here's your challenge ...

This week take a look at your clothing and fix anything which needs repair. This might include darning a sock, sewing up a rip, or replacing a lost button. Perhaps a shoe's sole needs to be glued or a shoe lace needs to be replaced. The idea, this week, is to repair an item of clothing to extend its life.

OR ...

If this is something which you regularly do, please offer tips and ideas for extending the life of clothing. This can include mending, laundering, or even buying for longevity.

Are you ready to accept this challenge? I know that you are!

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Change The World Wednesday on Reduce Footprints

Until next time ...