Tag Archives: Earth

These Facts Will Make You Turn Green

Earth Day is this month, and that means we have 30 out of 356 days to thank our lovely planet for life, and only 1 single day that we actually think about it (#EarthDay). And then it is on to forgetting once again.So, may I present to you, facts about our not-so-green-living-lives that will make you turn sickly green.

[Also, make sure to check out the last fact for some INSANE information…mind-blowingly unfortunate.]

  1. Each of us creates 4.7lbs of trash A DAY.
    We are rubbish.
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  2. 54% of our trash ends up in landfills.
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  3. 75% of our waste products are recyclable but we only recycle 30% of it.blog7
  4. If we composted the 21.5 million tons of food waste, then it would be equivalent to taking 2 million cars off the road.
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  5. We throw away 28 million bottles and jar every year.
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  6. We’re doing better on recycling paper! Recycling has increased over 90% since 1990.
    High-fiving a million angels right now.
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  7. In 2011, less than 10% of businesses recycled…. great.
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  8.  The Great Pacific Garbage Patch – how disgusting are we?
  • Located 1,000 miles west of San Fransisco in the Pacific Ocean….literally a garbage dump in the ocean
  • 3 MILLION TONS of garbage
  • TWICE the size of Texas
  • Clockwise trade wins along Pacific Rim pushes garbage from ships, beaches, etc. to this central area
  • It’s 80% plastic

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You’re welcome. I hope you remember at least one of these facts. If not, well you stink. But that’s for another day! Happy #EarthMonth everyone!

 

xOx

 

 

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We Have No Plan(et) B

Did you know that we only have one planet? I KNOW. Crazy, right? Who would have thought, given how much we’re currently tearing this bad boy up.

There are many non-believers out there (non-believers and non-Beliebers) that say climate change is a hoax. Although I believe this to be cray, I can see where people are coming from. AND with that, I hope to clear up some disbelief. Shall we begin?

 

1. People say we have had climate cycles in the past so this is just normal

Well, although we have had climate cycles in the past, we are WAY above the carbon levels of any of those other times. Compared to the last three glacial cycles, our current carbon dioxide levels are astronomical. That’s comparing it to four-hundred thousands years back. And let’s be honest, who is actually prepared for an Ice Age? Here we are getting ourselves psyched up for a zombie apocalypse when we should be stocking up on winter clothes! Carbon traps heat, which leads to all whole slew of problems. Thus, we can think of carbon emissions as the first domino of an earth-shaped domino pattern.

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2. Everyone have their life-preservers handy?

Sea levels are rising. Now, I live in Florida, and we are not allowed to say the CC words (*whispering* “climate chan…” I didn’t finish my sentence Gov. Scott!) However, we are the one state already being impacted by the rising tide. Sea water expands as it warms and there are a ton of icebergs melting, which adds a smidgen of water to the equation. Houses and businesses on the coast are in danger of flooding, both from rain storms and as a slow-process. Trump Towers are conveniently on coasts throughout the U.S. so thank goodness those will be the first to go! But more seriously, animal ecosystems and habitats can be lost, too, leading to more endangered species, like the Hawksbill Turtle or Leatherback Turtle.

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3. Iceberg ahead! (Too soon, Leo?)

Icebergs are melting. It’s getting serious up in here. Antarctica has lost 134 billion metric tons of ice PER YEAR since 2002. What is the billion metric equivalent to, you ask? A gagillion ice cubes. And what happens to these ice bergs? They melt and contribute to rising sea levels, which contribute to loss of habitat and homes. So it is kind of a big deal. At the rate our ice is melting from our toxic emissions, the Arctic will be ICE FREE by the mid-century. Do you know how hot this planet will be by then?

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4. I’m getting acid reflux….from the ocean

Our oceans are becoming more and more acidic with the amount of carbon dioxide we emit. Water traps those gases (1/3 of the carbon in the air actually gets absorbed by the oceans), and then we swim in that water. And here you were just afraid someone urinated in the water near you, but you didn’t think about the acid floating around you. Because of the acid, coral reefs are being bleached, which leads to the habitat loss of many fish and other sea amenities (you know you said this over and over like Nemo).

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5. It’s getting hot in here, so take off all your clothes. Oh Lord, no, please stop!

Our planet is warming up to be nice and toasty. But that is not a good thing. I know, it is freezing in northern states still, so there cannot possibly be climate change! Um that is not exactly how it works. If that was the case, Floridians and Arizonians would have been calling climate change thousands of year ago. 2015 was the warmest year on record.

What does a hot planet mean exactly? Well for some areas it means more evaporation and precipitation (rain, people) because the atmosphere layer protecting us is getting thinner and thinner. Other places, meanwhile, will be so hot that crops and basically all plants will combust. It can mean more severe weather storms, or intense heat can lead to serious health concerns.

 

 

6. It ain’t eezy being wheezy

Health concerns are definitely high on the worry chart when it comes to climate change. All this carbon dioxide and other such chemicals has contributed to skyrocketed number of cases of asthma. Asthma is a long-term disease; it is no little cold then goes away. Trust me, I have it. Other health concerns from climate change: cancer (esp. skin cancers), water-borne diseases, natural disaster related deaths, mental health diseases, and more.

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And these are just 6 of a multitude of effects climate change will have on our lives. If you want to learn what the other consequences are then venture to click the last link I provided below. It’s pretty scary stuff. But, I hope I have helped to convince a few of you out there that climate change is actually a thing.

xOx

Click these links for more info:

Asthma and Climate Change

Climate Change Facts from NASA

Images as Proof of Climate Change

If you want to be scared by the effects of climate change

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How to Save the Planet: Post Grad Style

UPDATED: April 2016

Climate change has been in the news a lot lately and will continue to be as long as we keep doing nothing.

I wrote a prior blog post about the statistics and facts surrounding climate change, in September 2015. However, I thought a good follow-up would be to write about what we can do to help save our home (aka: the planet).

It seems like all of the major changes involve major cash: hybrid cars, “green” houses, solar- and wind-powered electricity, etc. But, we are all just post-grads with little money, no scratch that, no money, and we feel like we cannot actually do anything worthwhile.

HAVE NO FEAR! There are a few things we can do to clean up our environment.

1.  Fashionable shopping

Re-usable grocery bags are fantastic ways to shop. Those trusty bags are either free on campus or $1 at the store. So stock up on a few and keep the bags in your car or trunk that way you are always ready to stop by for groceries. Plus, the bags are way cuter than those ugly brown plastic bags. Once you get home with your groceries, just put the re-usable bag by your car keys to remember to put the bags back in your car. Easy as pie. Speaking of pie, get to the store with your fancy bag and grab yourself some pie! blog11

2. Lumos Nox

Turn out them lights, y’all! Once you leave a room for more than 10 minutes, slap that switch on the wall and lights out! If you are coming back in the room within the next few minutes, it is actually better to keep the lights on because it takes more power to turn the lights on and off in a short period of time.

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3. Mooooo

Eat less meat. Beef requires a TON of water to produce. Plus, your diet would agree with this decision; beef is not healthy for your heart at all. Anywho, back to the environment: cows’ gas seriously damages our ozone. Bet you didn’t know that one. Anddddd you are welcome for ruining that beef taco you were about to eat. #sorryChipotle

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4. A single water bottle

Splurging on that cute re-usable water bottle at Target is actually a good thing. YES, I just said splurging at Target is okay! Almost 90% of plastic water bottles are not recycled. That is like you remembering to recycle 1 out of every 10 bottles you use, which is not a good statistic. And pure laziness. Using a re-usable water bottle can also help you remember to drink more water throughout the day, which is a great health tip. Protecting Earth and your body. Woo.

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5. Cruise controllin’

It is actually better to put your car in cruise control when you are going long distances, and it can save gas mileage. So not only are you saving the planet, but you are also saving money! It is a win-win.

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6. Technologically savvy

I do not need to go in much detail on this one; online reading, online banking, only communication, online shopping; working online. All of this saves paper (and therefore trees) and can save the air pollution because you drive less. Plus it can totally help you be lazy after work or on the weekends. Stay home every night? Not lazy, just environmentally conscious!

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7. Active wear, active where

Take the stairs. Start out taking the stairs every few times (at work or at your apartment complex or wherever) and then slowly begin to take the stairs every time! Plus stairs can help you build up those leg muscles you have been wanting. Calves for days.

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8. Shop in your pajamas

Shopping online saves gas, electricity, paper waste, and time. So basically, why NOT shop online? Now, don’t go on a shopping rampage and blame me. I’m just saying if you are going to shop, then maybe just surf the web instead of surfing the roads. Also, you’ll eat pavement if you literally surf the road, so maybe avoid that. AAAA

9. Bathroom Etiquette

This is not how to properly relieve your body of excess…stuff. Instead, this is how you should use hand dryers instead of paper towels. If a restroom gives you the option, you should go with the hand dryer. Plus, how fun is it to watch your skin warp on your hand? It is a really loud experience where you think a tornado has formed in your ears but think of all the cute polar bears you will save.

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10.  Receipt?

NO THANKS. This one is easy because first of all, who actually wants those little pieces of paper? Ladies, how many do you have at the bottom of you purse right now? Don’t lie, you have a million. I do, too. The next time the cashier asks if you want a receipt, say no (thank you). Save the paper. And if you do get a receipt despite every attempt to avoid it, take it home and recycle. AA

 

These are just some ideas for you poor folks out there like me. Adulting is hard enough but then feeling guilty for slowly killing the planet is even worse. I tried to find the easiest and cheapest ways for you to do your part. And it is a great reminder for me, too. So thank you.

 

Want more ideas after you’ve conquered these bad boys? Check out this website http://www.50waystohelp.com/

 

xOx

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9 Instagrams You NEED to Follow

While perusing my Instagram feed on my photography account (zachrielle_photo), I have come across some really extraordinary work. Some photographers out there are REAL GEMS.

Other photos I scroll through are okay (if even that, sometimes), but they get hundreds or thousands of likes. I refuse to click that little heart button out of pure stubbornness. At the same time as seeing these photos, I see some real gorgeous work that has less hearts clicked. It boggles my mind how this happens. Are the “okay-photo” accounts paying for their likers? I call those cheaters.

Therefore, I’ve decided to showcase some of the accounts that I believe should have more love. Go love them.

(These aren’t in any specific order)

Ready to be amazed?….

  1. Fieldgurl

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I mean is this from Jurassic Park? Or maybe it’s a scene from an urban-Hogwarts train ride? It can’t be real, right? IT IS.

2. PeaceInArtPhoto

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I feel so at peace when I look at this. Can’t you just feel that mist flowing over you? I CAN.

3. SethVDL

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This is fake. JUST KIDDING! I can’t look away from this one. It’s perfection.

4. ekl222

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This reminds me of some sweet romantic story. The purple hue makes me feel thankful for some reason.

5. bakersamantha

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Artsy? Check. Colorful? Check. Geometric? Check. Urban? Double check.

6. ancient_sky

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So I first saw this and thought, “Not real” but is in fact VERY REAL! It’s actually a national monument, fancy, huh?

7. gsolvang

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Yes I know. Speechless over this beaut. Those colors are on point. Everything about is on point, actually.

8. jrice.photography

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First, how does one even think of such a great position for a photo?! But she nailed it. And the lighting, magnificent.

9. alpine_amy

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Definitely thought this was from a post card until you notice her entire Instagram feed has photo like these. YAS.

So you’re welcome for making you wanderlust. And you are all very welcome for showing you how to make your Instagram feed much more beautiful and colorful.

xOx

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Travel, it says a lot about you

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I recently was beyond lucky enough to travel to the Grand Canyon. I cannot explain the feeling of standing on those billions of years old rocks. (Yes, I said billions.)

But what I learned from this trip out to Arizona is that there is so much out there for us to discover. We are all so wrapped up in our personal worlds that we don’t give a second thought to what else may be out there for us. We become so tied down to where we live for school or live for a job that we don’t realize there are more option than one.

We think we know beauty based on where we grew up. Tennessee’s mountains are so different from Colorado mountains. The North Carolina beaches are radically opposite of Florida’s Gulf Coast beaches which are different from California’s sandy seaside landscapes. If you think you’re “tired” of nature, you are just bored with what is around you. Get out and explore.

We learn so much about the planet when we travel, but also we learn a lot about ourselves. If you take a moment to sit silently, soaking in the sounds, smells, and sights, you will find yourself in an earthly heaven.

I have some stubborn friends who say where they live is the only scenery they need; they don’t care about visiting the West coast, East coast, the North or the South. I’m sad for them. Their closed-mindedness is unfortunate. I’m sad they cannot appreciate a beauty that isn’t theirs. It also says a lot about their character: they are unable to see the other side of things. If people don’t feel it’s necessary to travel, learn other cultures or ways of life, to see things not familiar to them, then these are people are afraid of change, who are unable to accept something different.

I’m just glad I’m not like that. Nor is my family. Thankfully I have been raised to appreciate all things natural, all things beautiful, all things different.

Thanks Mom and Dad.

@zachrielle_photo on Instagram

xOx

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