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Showing posts from November, 2020

The Environmental Impact of Black Friday

  What is The Environmental Impact of Black Friday? Thanksgiving is arguably the most famous American holiday. Americans have a large feast with their families and stuff themselves with turkey and other delicacies. This post is not about Thanksgiving - though we plan on posting about it in the future - it's about the holiday the next day: Black Friday. Americans have celebrated Black Friday for decades now, and the tradition has spread across the globe.  What is Black Friday? Black Friday is about consumerism. Stores lower their prices which is followed by mobs of shoppers wanting to buy as much as they can. The holiday is infamous for fights emerging over discounted products. Black Friday represents consumerism in the western world; today, Americans buy more material goods than ever before even though they are proven not to make Americans happier. Corporations have created new holidays to increase consumer spending as well. These include Prime Day and Cyber Monday. Many people mak

Has Our Changing Climate Crossed the Line?

Response: The Problem with Consumerism from Our Changing Climate  Our Changing Climate is an EarthPlex-recommended source to learn about climate change. The channel has a variety of videos relating to the earth and pollution. I tend to agree with what the videos' narrator says, but when I watched the Our Changing Climate video called The Problem with Consumerism , I felt rather surprised. The video began by saying that South Korea invested billions of dollars into clean energy and creating green jobs in 2009, a time when the economy was slumping. The plan worked in the sense that the economy recovered, but emissions continued to rise despite South Korea's efforts. The narrator explained that this is because of consumerism. People in developed nations buy more stuff than ever which causes emissions to skyrocket. Holidays like Black Friday didn't used to exist, but now consumerism is a staple of western culture. Cutting down emissions will be incredibly challenging with the

Plastic Straws - The Basics

Plastic Straws - The Basics  Plastic straws are everywhere. If you order a drink at a restaurant, you are guaranteed to get one. They make it easier to drink beverages, and using them is better than drinking right from a glass. Yet, these straws have been banned in many cities across the world. Why? Do governments dislike convenience? No. It's a bit more complicated. According to National Geographic , the drinking straw was first patented  in 1888  by Marvin Stone. It was made out of paper, and it wasn't until the 1960s when plastic straws were mass-produced. Since then, plastic straws have exploded in popularity. NatGeo estimates that 500 million of them are used daily (keep in mind that these are pre-Covid numbers). Even though everyone loves convenience (just take a look at the bottled water industry) , it can come at a cost, and in the case of drinking straws, it definitely does. If 500 million straws are used daily, 182,500,000,000 straws are used each year. Each human who

Thoughts on the McDonald's McPlant Burger

  Thoughts on the McDonald's McPlant Burger  It's no secret that fast food companies have a history of pollution, and although they're still not particularly eco-friendly, they have put in more effort. Burger King announced that they will feed some cows a diet that will cause them to emit less methane , and many fast-food chains have some sort of plant-based meat alternative. McDonald's is late to this trend, but they announced that they will offer vegan burgers at more locations beginning 20. The "McPlant" is McDonald's vegan burger alternative, and it's a big deal. McDonald's is the largest and most influential fast-food chain. That means that plant-based burgers will likely become more popular at burger joints; McDonald's wasn't a leader in this trend by any measure. They've been hesitant to include plant-based burgers on their menu for years, and they still haven't fully embraced it. The McPlant was unveiled alongside a McDonald

An Interview With Cooper Powers, a High School Student Leading the Way Toward a Cleaner Earth

An Interview With Cooper Powers, a High School Student Leading the Way Toward a Cleaner Earth   Many teens are passionate about an issue, and they feel the need to do whatever they can to make positive changes. I had the opportunity to interview an accomplished senior in high school named Cooper Powers. Cooper is involved in environmental efforts at a local and international level. I asked them about their work, accomplishments, and more: What led you to found Youth Alliance for the Planet? Can you explain what it is? Although our bio says, “Youth Alliance for the Planet is a youth-led international organization that raises awareness about environmental issues and fights to solve them,” at this point, I’d like to think of us as an environmental news source. I am already very involved in my own local community, but I hoped that by founding Youth Alliance for the Planet, I could make a greater change in the environmental movement both across the US and abroad. Can you explain what the Gr

A Message to President-Elect, Joe Biden

Dear President-Elect Joe Biden, Congratulations on winning this unusual election. 2020 has been a crazy year, and there is more chaos to come. When you get inaugurated, we ask that you keep your promises and fight for the change we so desperately need. With the effects of climate change becoming more and more apparent, America must lead the world by passing a bold plan. EarthPlex approves your climate change plan, and it was a big factor that led to us endorsing you . As we know, there wasn't a "blue wave" and the Senate will maintain its Republican majority. Even though that isn't ideal for passing climate legislation, you can work across the aisle and explain (or have professional scientists and economists explain) the dangers that species, our planet, and the economy will face without adequate plans. We are sure that you can work with Senate Republicans and prove that America is a nation with open-minded individuals. The political divide has reached a dangerous poi

This is How You Can Make the World Better at Home

This is How You Can Reduce Waste at Home   By Helen O'Keeffe Zero waste homes is an environmental drive developed by French lady Bea Johnson whereby she strives to cut her household waste to that of a glass jar annually. While it might sound extreme, Ms. Johnson believes that this is inherently possible with some education and knowledge on how to change our behaviors in our home. Being environmentally aware and conscious is a hot topic in today's world and so it's something that many people are very interested in. Ms. Johnson, who now resides in the USA with her family, has travelled the world speaking on the topic, she has published blogs and books about it and continues to receive a captive audience. While achieving zero waste might seem difficult for the average household, the premise that we can all "do better" in terms of our waste output probably does have weight and even small changes can make a difference when we strive for them collectively. The infograph

EarthPlex Endorses Joe Biden for President | 2020

 EarthPlex Endorses Joe Biden for President Election day is tomorrow, and even though there are four serious candidates, this is a two-person race between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden. I'm not a psychic, but I can predict that this will be a close race, so if you happen to be an undecided voter who is reading up on which candidate you should vote for, we'll make that decision a little easier for you. EarthPlex has endorsed Joe Biden before, but we don't have a post dedicated to our endorsement, though you can read our environmental analyses of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris . EarthPlex is a climate platform, so we analyze candidates strictly based on their environmental plans and records. Donald Trump has served for almost an entire term now, and climate change has worsened by a terrifying amount . Unfortunately, Donald Trump won't accept the science. He blamed a lack of forest management for the California wildfires even though, according to