Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Change The World Wednesday (#CTWW) - No Smoking

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:

In April we celebrated the 2015 Year of the Soil by finding ways to protect this precious resource. We finished up the month with a challenge about green fertilizers, crops which are grown and then either mowed or turned under to nourish the soil. I visited our County Extension's website to find out which crops are suggested for my area and type of soil. Legumes, grains, and even radishes work well. Cover crops can go in right after harvesting vegetables, basically replacing spent plants with seeds. So, I'll be trying that out 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.

Before we get started with your comments and posts, I'd like to share a request from Charlotte, a regular participant of CTWW. She's getting ready to have her first child and is asking for our help. Please read I Call for Assistance ... let's give her a helping hand!

I now return you to the Honor Society:

Marla joined us and left this comment: "I don't have an empty plot to try the green fertilizer but I always eat organic and/or local produce because its good for the planet and for our health. I want the very best for my family and for the earth."

Change The World Wednesday got a nice mention in this edition of the Hottest Writers on the Web. WhooHoo!

Amanda left this comment via Google+, "I just got out in the garden today, forgot how great it can feel!"

Alicia joined us and said this: "Alan's great grandfather, grandfather and father have all done this. So this is something we learned to do years ago. It really does make such a difference in the soil. We are also looking into wood chip gardening . It looks amazing and makes your soil so nutrient dense.
Also check out Back To Eden it is so informative. Love buying local organic food, it's the best way to go!!"

cstocks stopped by and shared this: "Here in the desert, the non-garden spaces are going into hibernation and the veggie garden is all planted out. I"m going to have to actually (ack!) buy some vegetables this week--making a big pot of chili (the recipe I use is vegetarian) to put up for summer (so we can rely on some hearty meals without heating up the kitchen). Celery, carrots, onions and corn are all heavy soil feeders, none of which I've had any luck with in my yard, yet, so I'll be buying organic."

Last week Charlie asked for some advice. In response to our answers, she said, "Thank you so much!".

Morag shared some wonderful information with us: "I like to plant Phacelia as a green manure on bare ground that I won't be planting up for veggies for a while. It's a nitrogen fixer and grows on most soil types. The bees love the light blue flowers too. Thinking of fertilisers now is a great time (northern hemisphere) to start nettle and comfrey liquid feed "teas" for your plants. Comfrey for flowers/fruits and nettles for leafy greens (comfrey has more potassium, nettles more nitrogen). Two buckets (one for each) packed with the leaves of the plant then add water let it stand for a week or so then dilute as necessary (do a web search for exact quantities and times) then water or spray onto plants. Keep an eye on those buckets though both mixtures tend to smell a lot once they get going. Natural fertilisers are a great way to help you go organic with your growing food quests"

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 @adam_gainer @almosttruth
@aussiemoose @beatepdx @beckbromfl
@bestrawesome @bluebadgerltd @brokeblokeblogs
@bromleyfl @cainandbeer @chrysalisdesign
@collegegogreen @debsmikdav1 @dehelen
@dominiquegoh @ecofairiesclean @eshuth455
@familyfocusblog @freshcleanersaz @ginavalley
@givelocal15 @grandmasdiaries @greenageworld
@greengympenge @gronavra @groovygreenlivi
@healthyvoyager @herbgir1972 @innercitygarden
@justanotherhat @kaitlingarder @kayelleallen
@krmbalclothing @laalicia @lady_bren
@ladyjcmuses @langleyfilmbox @letgogracefully
@lkaybayareagirl @london_020 @lsjromance
@marjoriemcatee @martha_bourke @mdgblogger
@mimibarbour @momfindsout @momsmadhousex6
@msmoreau_guid @mzazeela @nolafusion
@rainyofthedark @rckweddings @realityarts
@ronchatterjee7 @rose_rambles @rosehipsmedlars
@rulesofgreen @shopwhatpops @shopwhatpops1
@spafloating @spookymrsgreen @sustyq
@taralain @thefreckledrose @theresekraemer
@theworld4realz @ticlme @tiffanywashko
@timhemlin @treesgroup @turningclockbac
@wary12 @wellminded @wimpyvegetarian

My Final Thoughts:

Soil is basic to food production. It is a finely-balanced ecosystem which, when protected, can help feed the world. Unfortunately, many of today's gardening practices destroy soil structure and the micro-organisms that call it home. The good news is that it is within our power to protect this precious resource. It is within our power and it is our responsibility. Let's step up and accept the challenge!

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:

May's theme is: Clean Air

Change The World Wednesday (#CTWW) - No Smoking
Cigarette smoke is one of the main
causes of indoor air pollution
This month we'll be investigating ways to improve air quality, both indoors and out.

Here's a disturbing fact: The EPA estimates that secondhand smoke causes approximately 3,000 lung cancer deaths and 37,000 heart disease deaths in nonsmokers each year.* Read that again ... they are talking about risk to NONsmokers.

Secondhand smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals-- 200 are poisons and at least 69 cause cancer and other diseases.*

Let's tackle this pollutant!

Here's your challenge ...

This week, Stop Smoking! You'll improve your health, the health of those around you, and air quality! If you can't end this addiction, please reduce the amount you smoke and smoke outside, away from others.

OR ...

If you don't smoke ... congratulations! Your challenge, this week, is to evaluate your home for other indoor air pollutants and make plans to eliminate them. For example, do you have carpets or plastic shower curtains? Both contribute to poor air quality. Do you have your clothing dry cleaned? That's also a big polluter. Consider your heating (oil and kerosene heaters compromise your air). What kinds of cleaning solutions are in your home? Do you use plug-in air fresheners which spray harmful chemicals into the room? Once you've identified the problem areas, find safe, Eco-friendly alternatives.

Are you ready to breathe easy this week? I know that you are!

Until next time ...


*Information gathered from the Clean Air Council.