First, I must wish you all a Happy Earth Day!
Now, on with the business at hand. The other week, I had my first contest. Today, I'm issuing my first challenge. I was inspired by the Crunchy Chicken blog's very intense challenge, the Extreme Eco Throwdown, for the month of May. She's asking readers to pick something like giving up electricity, giving up driving, or buying nothing that contains plastic for an entire month.
Although I was inspired by the challenge and awed to see how many people are rising to it, I don't see myself actually participating in one of her challenges. I don't know if I'm just not ready to take these extreme steps yet or what, but I think I need smaller, less intense challenges to start out with. And I have a feeling that the majority of the readers of this blog are ready to take another step further into being green, but not the giant leap Crunchy is suggesting.
So, here are my challenges. If you feel convicted, pick one and let me know which one. Instead of taking the challenge for an entire month, we're going to do one week. The first week of May. From May 1-7th.
Take no shopping or retail bags. No paper. No plastic. Carry your own reusable bags, and if you don't have one with you, buy only what you can carry out in your two hands.
Take what is known as Navy showers. Here's how they work. Turn the water on. Get wet head to toe. Turn the shower off. Shampoo and soap up. Turn the shower back on. Rinse off. Turn the shower off. Get out.
Now, you may need an extra "turn the shower back on" if you need to condition your hair. But you get the idea.
Commit to trash free lunches if you eat lunch outside the home daily. What does this mean? It means that when you are done eating your lunch, there should be no trash to throw away. It probably means you will have to pack your lunch daily in reusable containers. No take out containers, ziploc baggies, disposable cups, paper napkins, etc.
Hang dry ALL your laundry for the week. And no, you can't just let it pile up for the week and not do it at all. Well, you could, but it wouldn't count for this challenge.
Read one of the following books: Silent Spring by Rachel Carson; Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver or Affluenza: The All Consuming Epidemic by John De Graaf, David Wann and Thomas H. Naylor. Extra brownie points if you get the book from the library, buy it used, or borrow it from someone.
These are personal challenges. If you can get the others in your household to take the challenge, too, that's great. But if you can't, go it alone.
Personally, I'm going to attempt #1 and #5 (I'll read Affluenza).
I encourage everyone reading to pick one of these challenges. They are very doable. Think about which one you'd like to take and post your choice in the comments section.