The Alternatives for Plastic Rings

 

One video that has become a viral sensation on social media is the “Edible Six Pack Rings” by a beer company called Saltwater Brewery.   Saltwater Brewery has invented an alternative for six pack rings that is environmentally friendly for the creatures of the sea. The plastic rings hurt an estimated one million sea birds, and 100,000 marine animals around the world. With this new product, the if the creatures come in contact with the edible rings they can eat it and not have to suffer from the side effects. If the sizxpack ring is not eaten it can dissolve in the ocean. The material is made of barley and wheat that is left over from the brewing process. The material is also biodegradable.  I think that edible six pack ring will have an amazing impact for the environment and the sea animals.

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The Green River

The most commonly known holiday in March is St. Patrick’s Day, cities across the United States celebrate this holiday by having notorious landmarks turn green. For the city of Chicago, the city celebrates by dyeing the River green. Now, the substance that is used to dye the River is not considered harmful/illegal, however in the past, it was extremely harmful to the River. The first time the River was dyed was 1962 and originally contaminated the water with fluorescein dye.

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The purpose for this chemical was to be used to track sewage leaks. To turn the whole river green, in 1962, they used 100 pounds of fluorescein dye. After discovering the side effects of the chemical the EPA outlawed the use of it. To continue dyeing the river legally, the Chicago River was dyed green using 40 pounds of vegetable dye. The only information on who knows the entire recipe for the vegetable oil is the Chicago Plumbers Unions. It is surprising to see how such a celebrated event in the city can most likely have negative impacts on the river. I will guess that in the future we will look back at this and be amazed that the government allowed the River to be dyed an unnatural color for one parade. Although the River may be very entertaining, I believe  that the dyeing of a river  has no benefit for the water and the natural life that is in it.

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http://www.opsweb.org/?page=FA

http://sustainability.uchicago.edu/resources/news/ask_ignacio_green_chicago_river/

Organic Production

While I was in the dairy aisle of the grocery store yesterday, I was astonished to see the little amount of products that were certified USDA organic, non-GMO or pastured raised. Today, more people are understanding the difference between sustainability and mass production. It is very difficult for a company to be organic because of the cost, and it would be cheaper to mass produce and not care for the animals.  I went to the  popular organic yogurt company Stonyfield’s website and found an interesting amount of information given about their products. The one of the few USDA organic, non-GMO and pastured raised products. The company focuses on produces yogurt at high demand while staying true to what they intended to do when the company started. The company focuses on how they care for the environment by having a smaller carbon footprint compared to their competition. By practicing organic farming, Stonyfield has estimated they “keep more than 185, 000 pounds of toxic persistent pesticides from the air water and land.” The company has a very impressive reputation for producing food but being aware of the global impacts. For more information on the products go to the Stonyfield website,  http://www.stonyfield.com/ . My family buys Stonyfield products and it is reassuring to know where the products come from and how the company is aware of the environmental impact.

http://www.stonyfield.com/

UNICEF Tap Project

This year, the UNICEF organization has challenged smart-phone users to not use their phone for five minutes. For every five minutes someone goes without using their phone UNICEF will fund a day of drinking water to a child in need. UNICEF started this two years ago and asked for ten minutes without phones and they would give to the child.

During the time I am writing this, I went to UNICEFTapProject.org and put away my phone and focused on this work. It seems ridiculous that it is that simple to help a child in need. So far, it has been ten minutes and have helped a child in need for two days.

This fundraiser is only in the month of March so challenge yourself to help more than 100 countries in the world. I know, when I do my homework or if I am going to sleep I will go to this website and help the children. One little thing such as not constantly being on your phone can help. I have spent 40 minutes without being on my phone and I know now that I have contributed to giving tap water to someone in need.  If you want to donate more, only $15 gives child year supply of drinking water. It is crazy to think of what we spend for $15 in comparison to a supply of water for a year.

Please go to UNICEFTapProject.org on your smart-phone! It takes three simple taps and then time off your phone and you have helped a child in need!tapproject.jpg.650x0_q70_crop-smart

 

Sources:

http://www.treehugger.com/gadgets/can-you-go-5-minutes-without-touching-your-phone-help-fund-clean-water.html

UNICEFTapProject.org

Watch Out For Sharks!

This past year, the number of shark attacks worldwide had increase by 26  more attacks compared to the year before. With a total of 98 incidents, it is pretty safe to say that we need to be more aware while swimming in the ocean!  The cause of the higher number of shark attacks is from the increase in global temperature known as El Niño.  According to Climate.gov, El Niño is the warming of the ocean surface that creates and above-average surface temperature. Sharks prefer warmer temperatures to live in, with El Niño, the sharks are able to be in more places. Now, sharks can travel more North in the Northern Hemisphere and more South in the Southern Hemisphere. Another reason for these attacks is the increase in human population. Sharks and humans are more likely to interact. In the United States, Florida recorded 30 attacks in 2015, Florida is also the US’s  third most populous state. As frightening as it is to hear that there is a higher chance of being attacked and killed by a shark, last year more people got killed by spider, dogs and lightning!

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http://www.cnn.com/2016/02/09/world/shark-attacks/

https://www.climate.gov/enso

Subaru for Sustainability

One of the leading car company of America  has been leading other manufacturing companies to reconsider where they put their waste. Subaru has created the first automotive assembly to be designated as zero landfill. In 2004 a Subaru factory in Indiana made history by being the first  factory to not put waste in a landfill in the US. It is surprising to hear a company that does not produce all hybrids or electric cars become a leader in sustainability. Subaru limits the amount of waste they produce by having bar codes for all of it’s materials, items such as packaging are being sent back to where the parts are being made to be reused. According to an online source, treehugger.com, Subaru is actually benefiting from the change, “Subaru estimates that it costs $7.5 million each year to manage and about $11.5 million financial benefits.”  I think it is a great that a car company is taking accountability for the amount potential waste it is producing. Now, other companies need to consider the decision to go green. If it’s better for the Earth and for the company, I believe the future does not include wasting as much from factories.

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Corn is Everywhere!

Recently in class we had discovered the value of corn. The product is in majority of the meals and snacks we consume everyday. I was shocked once I discovered how much we rely on the simple product. The interesting class discussion started with estimating which everyday products had corn in it’s ingredients. Out of about twenty products you could find in the grocery store only two did not have corn as an ingredient. It’s amazing that there is enough corn to for products such as soda, protein bars and  salad dressing. The variety of products that contain corn is overwhelming.