Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Change The World Wednesday (#CTWW) - Tools

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:

I'm enjoying our month of sharing resources. Are you? Last week we shared seeds and/or gardening tips. I don't have any seeds to swap, this year, but I'm hoping to have plenty next year. In the meantime, I've been researching plants which will thrive in my area and learning about the different kinds of seeds available to consumers. In Holistic Living & Growing Vegetables I talk a bit about the difference between hybrid and open-pollinated plants, how some seeds are sprayed with chemicals before they are packaged, and what I'll be choosing for my garden this year.

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 know that Alicia loves her garden. It turns out that she's also a generous gardener. Here are her comments: "I so agree thinning plants is a great way to share. I am always so glad to tell anyone that will listen all of the benefits of having a garden. I love sharing about the ways we have found to cut back and pretty much eliminate harmful pesticides. Also I am always up on hearing about the way other people garden and their success stories."

Did you know that most US cities have seed libraries ... as in, you can check out seeds? That's just one of the interesting facts that I learned in Share seeds and gardening knowledge. Vicality also includes some very useful links like one for the Seed Savers Exchange.

Ann wrote a post about sharing transportation. You can see it HERE. That mode of transportation has far-reaching benefits!

Charlotte stopped in and left this comment: "Thank you for adding me to the #CTWW gang. It is a honor to be a part of it. I will research this weeks challenge which is a really good one. Suits me like a glove :) "

Lois took the challenge to heart and, in Money Steals our Wealth and a Giveaway offers to share seeds with readers. Check out her post to see what she's giving away.

Do your plants walk? They do in Randy's garden! In Our Vegetable Love: Helping Plants Walk Around #ctww he talks about sharing plants, a beautiful ground cover, and why he's not using his lawn mower much. Be sure to click the link to his little free library ... it's awesome!

Would you be interested in getting seeds for free? Morag tells you how in Getting seeds for free. And if you grow plants from seeds and/or cuttings, you'll be interested in GROWING STEADY.

Christine regularly shares with her community. This comment made me wish that I was her neighbor: "I spent part of yesterday morning sharing out Jerusalem artichoke tubers - was given three, ended up with many at the end of the season but we didn't like them so I offered them to others. Last autumn I split up my polyanthus and ended up with far too many so these were given to the local community allotment to sell for funds. I often put in a few extra seeds of things like different beans to share with others. This year I'm going to try letting some of my runner beans dry on the canes so that I can plant them next year."

Maryam decided to continue with a previous challenge. She says, "Well, since I don't have a garden at the moment I didn't take part in this challenge. I still wanted to do something and decided to carry on last week's challenge. So I went through my home library and got rid of the books that were not being lent or read anymore. Thanks ebay and charity shops :-) and thanks Smallfootprints for the motivation :-) " Absolutely my pleasure, Maryam!!

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 @adventuresof8
@aexuobisuzepe @andreaptak @beatepdx
@biggreenpen @bike2power @bluemountainbb
@bstoneblog @collegegogreen @cristinagardens
@cuhzeouhe @debsmikdav1 @dehelen
@didirussell @dominiquegoh @eco_novice
@fivespotgrnlvng @foodretro @freshcleanersaz
@ginavalley @givelocal15 @givetreegifts
@greenageworld @greenqueenofmod @gronavra
@groovygreenlivi @herbgir1972 @hl45bwm
@inmemoryoftrees @iowaretweet @jadekerrion
@jbjourneys @jessupsmajorapp @justanotherhat
@kaitlingarder @kaitylerauthor @kayelleallen
@laalicia @lady_bren @ladyjcmuses
@leighanneramsey @leslieveg @mamasmoney
@marbaird @marjoriemcatee @mdgblogger
@mendy7 @mimibarbour @moha_doha
@momsmadhousex6 @nolafusion @oqodihuhayanuk
@rainyofthedark @rckweddings @realityarts
@rideshare_co @rulesofgreen @sabilhady
@spafloating @stacyjuba @thewoodgraingal
@theworld4realz @treesgroup @wimpyvegetarian

My Final Thoughts:

If you do a search about seed sharing, you're likely to find articles about activists, food legislation, the fight against GMOs, and even laws designed to restrict this traditional activity. It's sad, really, that a practice which promotes plant biodiversity, helps people grow their own food, and encourages bonds between neighbors, should be so controversial. Big business worries that if we save and share our seeds, we won't need them. I believe that the truth is just the opposite. I've seen thriving seed companies offer consumers open-pollinated seeds (the only kind considered viable for seed saving). Not only have they NOT lost business, they've actually increased business because even if we save seeds, we typically want to try out new varieties or, for one reason or another, feel we need to restock our supply. And new gardeners need to start someplace. So let's hold on to our power ... the power to grow our own food in a sustainable fashion. Promote seed saving and sharing for our future.

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) - Sharing Resources - Tools
When I moved into my first home, my Dad gave me a box of tools. He went through all the items that he had accumulated over the years, separated out duplicates, and gave them to me. It was the best gift! Those tools served me well for years.

These days, tools come in a lot of colors and are made from a variety of materials. Unfortunately, they are expensive and use a lot of resources in the manufacturing process. And here's the thing ... for the majority of time, tools simply lay in a box or hang from a peg. That's a lot of money and resources for something which most of us don't use daily.

Here's your challenge ...

This week consider setting up a community tool bank for your neighborhood. Choose a location and ask everyone to make their items available for use. There are great online resources for starting a sharing bank. You can also investigate other sharing methods in your area including local libraries which may loan tools out.

OR ...

Go through all your tools and give away any extras. They'd make a great welcome gift to a new neighbor or they can be donated to a local charity. I'm certain that offering them on Freecycle would bring smiles to a lucky recipient's face.

OR ...

Share information about tools. This can be a review or tutorial about online tools (how to track your home's energy use, a comparison of blog graders, etc.), advice about gardening/yard equipment, or even a discussion on household items (vacuums, food processors, etc.).

This week we're focusing on tools. Are you up for the challenge? I know that you are!

Until next time ...