Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Change The World Wednesday (#CTWW) - Textiles

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 continued our "Sharing Resources" theme and focused on tools. I live in a great neighborhood! My neighbors are willing to share whatever they have. Still, this challenge was hard for me because I was raised under the "Neither a borrower nor a lender be" concept which suggests that one could, potentially, lose a friend if something borrowed wasn't returned in time or in perfect shape. In thinking about it, I realized that a tool bank is the perfect answer to that dilemma. Since no one would actually own the tools, there's really no borrowing or lending.

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.

I really liked Vicality's post this week. Not only did they suggest that people share tools, they took it a step further and asked people to share their services. Check out What’s in your toolbox? What can you share? for their creative ideas.

Alicia and her husband not only shared tools, but freed up valuable space in their garage. She says this: "Our son and daughter-in-law bought their first home 2 years ago. Alan decided to go through our tools in the garage and give them a lot of things they didn't have. It was a real blessing to them but it was also a blessing to us. We found like you said that some of these tools weren't being used. It freed up quite a bit of room in the garage and helped them fill theirs up with tools they could use. I think your idea of starting a Tool Bank is an awesome idea!"
By the way, Alicia has started a new blog which is associated with their site, Eco Natural Soap. I've been browsing the new blog and it's filled with wonderful information. So hop over and check it out. It's called Eco Natural Blog.

Christine dropped by and shared this: "The problem with sharing tools is that the user doesn't always respect the borrowed item as the owner would wish. The organiser at the local community allotment sometimes puts her head in her hands when she inspects her tool shed and sees what her users have done with things. You need to be able to trust the people you share with and this doesn't always work. I'm afraid that I have bought good gardening tools and expect to wear them out rather than share them. If they last me out they will go on freecycle or to people who are just starting out."

Lois accepted the challenge. Here are her comments: "So many people attach financial meaning to their tools and don't like sharing them. I grew up in a neighborhood that shared what they had and continue to share my tools. My sons, now adults, have their own tools but they didn't bother to purchase any tools they knew I owned because they could easily borrow mine and by buying tools I didn't have it increased the variety of tools I had access to."

Charlotte is away but says: "Hi Small Footprints, I will be away next week but have scheduled a post about this weeks challenge, Tools. I don´t know if it will work and I have had problems with losing tags while scheduling tweets. But I hope it won´t be any problems... It will be published on Tuesday 24th. I am disconnected and off all week. But I get in touch as soon as I am back ready for a new challenge :) " I tried to find the post, Charlotte, but didn't have any luck. When you return, please send me the link and we'll include it in the next challenge. Have a great vacation!!

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 @beatepdx @biggreenpen
@bluemountainbb @collegegogreen @debsmikdav1
@dehelen @freshcleanersaz @givelocal15
@givetreegifts @greenageworld @greenqueenofmod
@gronavra @groovygreenlivi @herbgir1972
@iowaretweet @justanotherhat @kaitlingarder
@laalicia @ladyjcmuses @lbpaints
@mdgblogger @mendy7 @momsmadhousex6
@rainyofthedark @rckweddings @rulesofgreen
@spafloating @treesgroup @victordelgado40
@wencdj @wimpyvegetarian @wizardofwords

My Final Thoughts:

This challenge showed me that the way we've been raised or have "always done it" doesn't always coincide with what's best for the planet. To live green we must re-evaluate everything and make choices based on the environment. It's hard to break habits or re-learn a particular practice ... but the earth depends on our ability to do so!

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:

February's theme is: Sharing Resources

Change The World Wednesday (#CTWW) - Textiles
Approximately 13.1 million tons of
textiles are discarded each year
in North America
Did you know that only about 15 percent of discarded textiles are reclaimed for recycling each year? That means that the rest goes to a landfill. In fact, over 126 million cubic yards of landfill space is taken up by textiles.

Here's another interesting fact ... your tax dollars contribute to waste disposal. Yep, if you pay taxes, you are paying to get rid of usable stuff ... even if you, yourself, recycle and reuse textiles.

Want more? Polymers (a form of plastic), which are used by most clothing manufacturers, have shown up in our oceans. They are contributing to the pollution of our food chain.

Anything in a landfill is a concern. Textiles are a particular problem because of the dyes and chemicals which they contain.

Here's your challenge ...

This week, share clothing, footwear, curtains, carpets, bedspreads, etc. Do this via donating to a second hand store, hosting a clothing swap, gifting items to friends and family, shopping at a thrift store, etc. If you have items such as torn towels or stained carpets to dispose of, consider giving them to your local animal shelter. The idea is to keep textiles out of landfills and share this usable resource. One note ... if you donate textiles to second hand/thrift stores, or even to charities, find out what they do with items that aren't used. Choose organizations which recycle them into furniture padding, insulation, wiping rags, recycled fabrics and more.

OR ...

Do you sew, knit, or crochet? How about sharing your talent this week. Please share a tutorial on how to mend clothing. Or, perhaps, teach someone how to repair a torn couch or chair. Here's another idea ... offer to mend clothing for a friend or neighbor or alter items to extend their usable life (e.g., resize clothing for a child, add trim to a top to revive it, turn old drapes into a fun tent for kids, etc.).

OR ...

Examine all the textiles in your home. Take note of the materials and research if any chemicals were used in their manufacture. Investigate options for earth-friendly materials and share that information with others. And while you're at it, find out where the materials came from. For example, some textiles are earth-friendly but are sourced from other parts of the world making them, perhaps, not so earth friendly.

Are you up for sharing this week? I know that you are!

Until next time ...