As we enter day five of the 2012 EcoChallenge, a blogger interviews participants on why they signed up and what they are challenging themselves with. Here are some snapshots of EcoChallenge participants and the reasons they’ve committed to two weeks of action. For the complete blog post, click here.

Why did you decide to sign up for EcoChallenge?

Kelli- I decided to sign up for the EcoChallenge for a couple of reasons. First of all, it sounds like fun. I love finding new ways to be green, and this type of challenge is right up my alley. I have been recycling and upcycling and the like for years now and love encouraging others to do so as well! However, the EcoChallenge is especially important to me because (confession time) for the last several months I have been completely slacking and haven’t been doing any of the aforementioned things. When we moved, we left behind our recycling and composting centers. Despite building new ones being on my to-do list, it simply hasn’t happened yet. So the EcoChallenge is the perfect motivation for me to get my butt back in gear!

Jessica – I signed up for EcoChallenge so that I could have a sort of deadline to help me focus on some goals that had been floating around in my life for a while. I have been wanting to set a realistic number of bags of trash that we should produce and I’ve also been focusing on all the disposable things in my life. I’m trying to cut back on those.

Xza– I work well on deadlines and goals. EcoChallenge filled both of those needs so I wouldn’t procrastinate making my home greener and safer… Like Jessica, I wanted to reduce the amount of garbage we put out each month as well as get rid of disposables (plates, cups, napkins, etc.) and EcoChallenge put my desire in motion.

Geneva– I signed up for the EcoChallenge because all of my friends were doing it, so I figured I should hop on the bandwagon.  😉  But on a more serious note, I signed up because I believe that Ben and I run a very green household (we only put out our garbage once a month but we have two recycle bins) and I was interested to see if we could become even “greener” than we already strive to be.

Risa- I signed up for EcoChallenge for a few different reasons: (a) it is an organization that my best friend works for and he inspires me in so many ways to be more eco friendly, (b) I love the concept that NWEI has come up with this challenge. It is such a great way to get involved and get friends and family involved by actually doing something small that will leave a huge impact. (c) Although I have gotten better at being more green, there are still ways to improve. I want to challenge myself and my family to be more Earth friendly on a daily basis.

What is the way you are challenging yourself for the two-week time period? How do you plan on executing the change?

Kelli- For the two-week time period, I plan on recycling as much as possible to reduce our waste, composting, drying ALL of our clothes on the clothesline (instead of just part of them), work on energy reduction and water conservation. I plan to achieve these goals by building a new recycling center to organize our recyclables, making a new compost bin (and pulling my counter top compost bucket back out), unplugging unused appliances, turning off lights when not being used, taking shorter showers, and so much more. I can’t wait!

Jessica- I plan on producing only one bag of trash in the next two weeks, recycling as much as possible, and going to 100% cloth diapering.

Xza – I would like to limit my amount of trash to 1.5 bags.I know I know, weird number, but that reduces the amount of waste we put out by 50%. We will also be using 100% cloth up until October 13 (we leave for a trip and can’t use CDs during that time) and I will only order coffee or tea if I have my reusable cup with me.

Geneva– As I was browsing through the EcoChallenge topics, I noticed one on sustainability and eating.  We haven’t always been responsible with sourcing our food in ways that are good for the environment, so we are going to increase our purchases of fresh foods and decrease the amount of food packaging we recycle every week.

Risa- I plan on working on my family’s energy usage. This means hand-washing dishes, hanging clothes to dry, and of course making sure my kids remember to shut off the lights. I, too, plan on being more responsible with our food-buying habits. We will be integrating more fresh fruits and veggies into our meals and buying as much food in bulk as possible to reduce the amount packaging.

For the full post, click here. If you haven’t already, you can still register to participate at