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Environment

I’d like more than 30 years

My anxiety is really high.

Seems everywhere I look, there’s another article saying we are killing the Earth. That Canada’s permafrost is thawing 70 years earlier than predicted, that recycling our plastic is actually causing a bigger problem than it should be, and that we only have 30 more years until the Earth becomes uninhabitable.

I read these things, and I think, why aren’t more people concerned. Why are people still grabbing plastic bags at the grocery store? Why haven’t all coffee shops started offering biodegradable cups? Why are we still using plastic wrap when we have beeswax wraps? Why haven’t we switched back to glass bottles instead of plastic?!?!

The answer: people don’t think they make an impact.

And that thought seriously makes me sick to my stomach. Because one small change by even a handful of people makes a HUGE change. Say you go to the grocery store once a week for a year, and you get on average 4 plastic bags per trip. That’s 208 bags in a year. If you brought your own reusable canvas tote, you’d save 208 plastic bags by yourself, from landing in landfills. Now say 9 other households you know do the same, that’s 2,080 plastic bags REMOVED from the landfill. That’s 2,080 plastic bags that won’t blow into the ocean or land up on the side of the highway because you chose NOT to take them at the grocery store.

But they still have the bags at the store, you say. So it doesn’t matter, you say.

And here, I remind you that the grocery store orders more plastic bags when they run out. And if they aren’t running out of bags, they won’t order more. And if they don’t order more, the company making the bags won’t create more. Which means, we won’t add more single use plastic into our waste stream.

And yes, I understand that sometimes we forget our bags at home. But we can still ask for paper bags, ask the bagger to NOT put that single banana in its own bag, to not have a bag for larger items. Every single bag you don’t take can help us make a tiny change.

So let’s try this week to do something small. One small change.

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Environment, Health, Technology

Put Down Your Phone And Save Lives

UNICEF

 

Just give me a minute… gotta step up on my soapbox here…. Okay, all set.

Now, anyone who knows me, knows I’m a little bit addicted to my cell phone. Okay, okay, a lot bit. From the moment I wake up to the moment I go to bed, it’s well within reach. Like many reading this, I, too, use it as a watch, a grocery list, updated Gameboy, email checking device, and yes, sometimes as a phone. As I write this, it’s sitting next to me and I’ve already checked it, sadly, twice.

The problem is that I’m so attached to it, that there’s never really any moments anymore to just step back and say, “Let’s take some ME time.” And that is clearly needed.

So when I heard about the UNICEF Tap Challenge, I not only was selfishly happy that I could use this to get away from my phone, but was also ecstatic that I could do some good while putting down my phone.

The UNICEF Tap Challenge, is this: put down your phone and they’ll help people around the world get clean drinking water. In Africa alone, people spend 40 billion hours walking just to collect clean drinking water. Around the world, 1,400 children die from diseases due to unsafe water or not having sanitary facilities.

All you have to do is this: Open up UNICEFTAPPROJECT.ORG on your smartphone, then put down your phone, don’t touch it. (Also, you might want to plug it in, because this drains your battery.) For every 10 minutes that you don’t touch your phone, UNICEF partners will donate a day of water to a child in need.

Companies like Giorgio Armani Fragrances have banned together, donating and sponsoring people who are putting down their phones.

So instead of uploading another selfie of you and your cat, why not help others (and yourself) by putting down your phone. Visit their site for more information (http://tap.unicefusa.org/), but I’m challenging you all to test it out and see how long you can go. Post in the comments how long you’ve gone and let’s save some kids!