I’m having a quickie – The Five-Minute Shower Challenge

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Inspired by challenges put forth by Crunchy Chicken, and in hopes of motivating myself and others to treat our planet better, I’ve decided to do my very own green challenge. Aren’t you excited?! I am. :) I hope that this will be the first of many challenges held here at Crunchy Domestic Goddess.

Now let’s talk water conservation. I saw a button on CafePress a few months ago that said, “If you think we have bad fights over oil, just wait until we start fighting over water!” And that, my friends, freaked my sh*t right out. I thought about my kids and their future and I knew I had to do something, anything right now.

Did you know that the average shower length is 8 minutes*? By reducing that to 5 minutes, you can reduce the amount of water you use by nearly one-third, or roughly 10 gallons per day. And that’s where this challenge comes in. I’m challenging all of my readers to reduce their shower time to 5 minutes. If you already take a 5 minute shower, perhaps you’ll consider cutting back a little bit more? Reducing the length of your shower by just one minute could save you up to 1,825 gallons** of water each year.

I honestly didn’t know how long my showers were lately. Some days I’m lucky to get one at all so it’s pretty darn short and sweet, other days I skip them on purpose (generally when I’m not leaving the house), and still other days (like when I have a migraine and the water beating on my neck feels good) I tend to linger in the shower a little longer than I should. I figured I spend on average about 5 minutes in the shower, but I got myself a handy Shower Coach timer (with a suction cup that sticks to the shower wall) to find out for sure.

My first timed shower, I rushed like a crazy woman to make sure I could do it in under 5 minutes. I got done in about 3 1/2. The next day I took a somewhat more leisurely approach and took the full 5 minutes. You definitely can’t dilly-dally, but 5 minutes is longer than I thought it would be and totally attainable.

So, what do you think? Can you commit to taking 5-minute showers (or shorter) for three months? Leave me a comment below to let me know you are participating in the challenge and I will add your name/link to a list of challenge participants in my sidebar. Feel free to join in the challenge any time over the summer. It’s never too late to sign up to make a difference.

I’m not going to be a total hard ass on this challenge. If you have a rough day and really need a longer shower (I’m talking like 8 minutes, not 15) every now and then to help you relax or whatever, you can still take part in the challenge. You just have to skip your shower the following day to make up for it. ;) I kid, I kid. Seriously though, it’s up to you to police yourself on this challenge. I will have a check in post at the end of the first week of June (on June 8) so everyone can chime in on how they are doing with the challenge, post helpful tips, share stories, ask for advice, etc. Then I will try to have another check in post every two weeks (on Sundays) so we can encourage each other and maybe even inspire more people to sign up. :)

Oh, and if you are looking for some bloggy bling, I’ve got this fun goofy totally suggestive catchy button (above) for you to proudly post on your blog if you feel so inclined. :) It will let others know about the challenge too. The more people join us, the better!

More Tips To Help You Conserve Water

In the shower:

  • Turn off the water while you are lathering up your body, washing your hair or shaving, then turn it back on when you need to rinse.
  • Replace your showerhead with a low-flow showerhead
  • While you are waiting for the water to warm up, catch it in a bucket and use it for watering your plants or garden or for flushing your toilet
  • Shower with a buddy ;)

Elsewhere in the bathroom:

While the challenge is officially only for the summer – June through August – it is my hope that you will keep up with the shorter showers and continue to conserve water year-round.

And now for the GIVEAWAY…

showercoach.jpegI’m giving away FIVE “Shower Coach” 5-minute sand timers, courtesy of USA Landlord. All you have to do to be eligible to win one is leave a comment committing to the challenge and your name will be entered into the drawing. Be sure to include a valid email address so I can contact you if you win.

While you can sign up to take part in the challenge all summer long, the deadline for entering the contest is Saturday, May 31, 2008. The winners selected by Random.org and will be notified via email on Sunday, June 1.

If you don’t win a Shower Coach, you can buy one for less than $3 (plus use the coupon code CDG for 15% off any purchase from USA Landlord through the end of June) or buy a dinging kitchen timer the next time you are at Target, set your watch timer for five minutes, etc. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

The earth, our children and I thank you for participating in the 5-minute shower challenge. :)

* GreenPrint Denver
** Utah.gov

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The Earth-Mother’s Day Giveaway

Earth-Mother’s Day Giveaway

 THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED TO NEW ENTRIES.

In the spirit of celebrating the original mother, our Mother Earth, for Earth Day and all mothers for Mother’s Day, I decided to combine the two occasions into one big celebration with a huge earth-friendly mother-centric giveaway.

Just as the Earth is our Mother and we must take care of her, we must also take care of our mothers – all mothers. Since joining the “mommy club,” I’ve met some amazing mothers (both here on my blog and out in the “real world”); mothers who deserve to be honored for all that they do to take care of their children and their families. Moms so often make sacrifice after sacrifice to insure their family is provided for. And while the rewards of being a mom are priceless, it is sometimes nice for moms to get a little something extra, a little mommy schwag if you will. ;) That is why this giveaway is designed specifically with moms in mind, to give them some practical things, as well as some fun things, but most importantly to honor them with some green cheer.

Donations for this great green giveaway have come from the following awesome stores/blogs:

Mission Playground KIT shirtMission Playground‘s hip and unique designs promote environmental awareness on soft, organic cotton tees. Mission Playground’s approach is “to create awareness through our environmentally conscious and globally mindful designs.” Some of my favorite designs include: Life’s a Garden, Dig it., Nature’s Calling, and Keep In Touch. Mission Playground carries women’s, men’s and children’s sizes, and donated 1% of sales to non-profit environmental organizations through their S.E.E.D. program. MP has donated two women’s organic t-shirts to the giveaway.

Choose happiness t-shirtTees for Change simple designs on organic cotton or bamboo shirts inspire conscious living. The Tees for Change mission is “to inspire you to live life with passion, purpose and positivity. We believe that practicing mindfulness and loving kindness throughout daily life can enhance our whole being.” I personally love “Choose Happiness” and “Live Mindfully,” but Tees for Change has a wide selection of sayings with something that should appeal to everyone. Tees for Change has donated one woman’s organic cotton shirt.

Oceano earringsOceano Sea Glass naturally recycled gems jewelry is hand-crafted from glass that has been rubbed smooth by the ocean. Combing far-flung beaches and discovering the sparkle of “ocean gems,” Christine and her daughter Emily have been inspired by the beauty and significance of sea glass and turned their found treasures into jewelry. Oceano has donated two beautiful one of a kind sets of earrings (one green, one brown) to the giveaway.

BYO BagsSay goodbye to wasteful plastic bags with BYO Bags – reusable produce bags. They are made from nylon mesh, and are reusable, lightweight, breathable, washable and durable. What’s Cooking Weekly – an online menu service offering “healthy and seasonal recipes, grocery lists and tips on making cooking with your kids fun and simple” – has donated two sets of three BYO Bags.

Lily’s Garden Herbals all purpose cleanGreen cleaning has never been easier than with Lily’s Garden Herbals All Purpose Clean. Made from natural substances like vinegar and essential oils, Lily’s Garden Herbals get the job done without the worry over harmful chemicals. LGH has donated 2 – 32 oz. bottles of All Purpose Clean.

Wrap-n-matPlastic sandwich bags can be a thing of the past if you use reusable Wrap-n-Mats. The Wrap-n-Mats double as a sandwich wrapper and a place mat. Nature Moms blog has donated two Wrap-n-Mats.

Tree in a boxCelebrate the Earth by planting a tree with a flowering catalpa Tree in a Box. Planting a tree doesn’t get much easier than this. The Tree in a Box comes with everything you need. La Mama Naturale blog has donated two Trees in a Box.

One lucky person will win:

  • 1 Mission Playground woman’s organic t-shirt
  • 1 pair of Oceano earrings
  • 1 set of three BYO Bags
  • 1 32 oz. bottle of Lily’s Garden Herbals all purpose clean
  • 1 Wrap-n-Mat
  • 1 Tree in a Box

And one even luckier person will win the grand prize which includes:

  • All of the things mentioned above
  • And 1 Tees for Change organic cotton t-shirt.

ENTER TO WIN!
While I wish I could open this up to moms all over the world, I’m sorry, but I have to restrict it to US residents only. To enter the Earth-Mother’s Day Giveaway, you must complete the following three steps.

  1. Leave a comment stating your favorite t-shirt design from Mission Playground or your favorite piece of jewelry from Oceano. Please make sure you include a valid email address so that I can contact you if you are a winner.
  2. Link back to this giveaway on your blog or, if you don’t have a blog, email the link to this giveaway to three friends and cc me on it – amygeekgrl AT gmail DOT com.
  3. Sign Mr. Linky below.

All three steps must be completed in order to have a valid entry. The deadline to enter is 10 a.m. Mountain Time Sunday, May 11. Two winners will be chosen using the Random Number Generator later that day (May 11) and announced on Monday, May 12. Good luck! :)

Here is the code for linking back to my giveaway button. (It wasn’t working properly earlier, but I believe it’s been fixed now. Email me if you still have problems. Thanks.):

Pay It Forward reminder and upcoming giveaway

Just a reminder that my Pay It Forward (PIF) – Reader Appreciation post is still open for comments. Please take a look and if you are a regular commenter, leave me a comment there if you want to be considered for some fun PIF gifts from me. You just need to promise to host a PIF on your own blog. I’m closing it to comments after Friday, April 25, so I can pick some names and get goodies mailed out. Thank you all for being such fabulous readers! :)

Also, I have a big Earth-Mother’s Day giveaway in the works to celebrate both Earth Day and Mother’s Day. You won’t want to miss it. Details will be posted this week. :)

Green Tip(s) of the Week #16 – Gift wrap ideas (and a giveaway)

This week’s green tips come from my good friend Heather at A Mama’s Blog, who just got a bloggy makeover and a new domain and is celebrating with a giveaway (more on that below). Heather’s tips are great suggestions for making gift wrap more usable and less wasteful.

  • Wrap a bottle of wine in a dish towel, tied off with a ribbon at the top. Bonus: the recipient gets a dish towel that can be reused, instead of throwing a mylar bag away.
  • Use a jump rope for the ribbon on an older child’s present. Bonus: they get to use the jump rope.
  • Recycle birthday, Christmas cards, etc. as gift tags. Cut out the part you want to use (make sure there is no writing on the back), and then reuse these the next time you need a gift tag.

what-happens-at-grandmas-copy1.jpg

To celebrate the fact that she moved to her own domain, Heather is giving away one of her best-selling What Happens At Grandma’s, Stays At Grandma’s t-shirt from her store Little Pumpkin Sweet Pea Designs! Stop in for a chance to win and to check out A Mama’s Blog. She discusses everything from attachment parenting to the reality of c-sections, from household projects to life with her two sweet boys. :)

Have any green tips you’ve recently learned? Please email them to me and I may include your tip with a link to your site or blog in a future post. :)