Category Archives: Recycle

A Powered-Up Moon and A Tide With A Crown

Did you catch Sundays historic Supermoon?  This phenomena occurs when the moon is closets to the earth, radiates a sight that is true beauty.   Many people around the world enjoyed differing shades of red, while looking at a larger-than-life moon.

While most people were enjoying this event that won’t return till 2034, others were feeling it’s after effects.  The after effects I’m talking about are king tides.

A king tide (perigee tide) is a yearly occurrence when the high tide is at it’s highest point during the months of November-February.  While it is common and only happens 1-2 times a year, there are growing concerns for the overall increasing level of the tides.

  Because the gravitational pull is a lot stronger from the Supermoon this year, the King Tide was especially high.  In areas like Miami Beach, the rising water levels has caused  flooding to road ways and other infrastructure.  Reports of sea levels 2 feet higher than normal have flooded Boston this week.  Coastal flooding has become the new norm, as evidence has shown a rise of 6-8 inches since the 1960’s.

“A year ago, we were having to close the road twice a day because the water was about a foot taller than the ground,” said Coley. “If we have to close this road, that affects our police, our fire, our ambulance service.” — Ray Coley, Miami Beach Infrastructure director

Places close to the coast can’t afford an increase in sea levels.  If nothing is done, coastal areas can be inundated with floodwaters in as little as 15 years.  Geographical changes like this will force radical transformations to entire cities.

The rising sea level issue is undoubtedly a consequence of climate change.  However, this is only one caveat of the slew of issues we face in the battle for our environmental future.  

This U.S just recorded it’s third-warmest October on record and Canada is seeing an unprecedented 30 degrees warmer than normal temperatures.  In central Africa, climate change has made it unsustainable for small-scale farming, causing mass migrations to Europe .  Places like California is seeing its fifth straight year of severe drought, which has put considerable stress on crops and water use. 

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All of these alarming signs point to a warming planet.  That’s why it is so imperative we act now to prevent an impending calamity.  However, with the new president elect Donald Trump, we may be moving in the other direction.  Trump appointed a climate denier to head the Environmental Protection Agency and wants to back out of the Paris Accords; a plan to have 190 countries reduce their emissions of the carbon dioxide pollutants that warm the planet. 

These changes might cause catastrophic set-backs to an already ticking time bomb.  No one knows how much longer we have to take action before things are to late.  While we can lobby to fight against the changes the Trump administrations wants to implement, there are steps we can take ourselves.

With advances to technology, solar, wind, battery, and LED lighting costs have significantly dropped since 2008.  This is a great incentive for businesses to convert to a clean energy source. Things like carpooling, insulating homes, energy reduction, recycling and gardening are adjustments anyone can make to their everyday lives to fight climate change.

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Do your part. Stay educated and informed.  Change habits and educate others to do the same.  Lead by example and maybe the rest of the world will follow suit.

A Look Into The Real Problem With Plastic Waste

The American Journal of Public Health published an article in January 2015  explaining how the bottled water ban at the University of Vermont (UVM) was actually counter-productive in reducing plastic waste.  UVM originally aimed to reduce the amount of plastic bottles that ended up in waste streams by banning plastic water bottles from their campus.
It turns out that not only was this ban ineffective in achieving their goal to reduce plastic waste, but it actually contributed towards the consumption of unhealthy sugary beverages. The article states, “Per capita shipments of bottles, calories, sugars, and added sugars increased significantly when bottled water was removed.  With the removal of bottled water, consumers increased the consumption of less healthy bottled beverages.”
This article shines some light about the real problem at hand, people’s mindsets.  We as a society are very quick to judge and scrutinize a person, place, or, in this case, an industry. We need to help protect our environment from plastic waste, however our efforts should be focused on shifting mindsets and providing education about recycling. We should not focus on ostracizing an industry just because it is an easy scapegoat.
We often forget the importance of water and the essential health benefits it provides us.  It is a great zero calorie beverage that keeps our bodies well hydrated.  Bottled water is necessary in providing a healthy beverage alternative from soft drinks.  Let’s be smart, stay educated, and recycle.