Believe It Or Not, But YOU Can Help Change The Tide On Plastic

Believe It Or Not, But YOU Can Help Change The Tide On Plastic

With our use of plastic bags, cutlery, bottles, and straws, there will be such an increase in pollution that by 2050, there will be more plastic than fish.

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Have you ever heard the phrase "only YOU can prevent forest fires" growing up? Behind this phrase lies the idea that nearly 9 out of 10 fires are human-caused, very preventable, and with just a little bit of care, things can change. Although humans as a whole have done much to change, there are still some pressing issues worse than fires that humans as a whole aren't doing enough to prevent: plastic pollution.

While there are plenty of factors that go into climate control, pollution, plastic pollution, and resource waste, we haven't done enough to help prevent the Earth from dying. Plastic pollution is just one of the things that deeply hurts the Earth and various animals, like sea turtles, but it's also one of the aspects that the every-day person has a choice in.

8 metric tons of plastic winds up in our oceans every year. With our use of plastic bags, cutlery, bottles, and straws, there will be such an increase in pollution that by 2050, there will be more plastic than fish. Yet if we reduce the use of these objects in every-day life, we could limit the damage done by plastic pollution as well as help eliminate harm and death to our ocean life. Plastic kills aquatic life such as sea turtles, dolphins, all kinds of fish, seals, whales, and seagulls, as they mix up plastic for food and leads to an often slow death.

To help plastic solution and save thousands of ocean life, try out these simple things.

1. Use reusable bags 

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To help decrease plastic bag usage, try using reusable bags instead. They don't cost too much, there's a bunch of different sizes, they fit a lot of your grocery needs, and you can use them over and over again.

2. Carry a reusable water bottle

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Chances are that most people have a water bottle with them, whether it's at the gym, work, school, or you're just thirsty. If you use a bunch of bottles, try a reusable one instead.

3. Bring your own cup

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BYOC! When you're at your favorite coffee place, bring your mug instead of taking the brand plastic. Most places allow your own cups, take advantage of it.

4. Skip the disposable straws and cutlery

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Ordered a soda at your favorite restaurant? Skip the straw. Drink straight from the cup instead no matter where you go, and try not to use fork knives unless you really need to. This is one thing that everyone can definitely do. And if you still need a straw, try alternatives like reusable or paper ones.

5. Skip the plastic produce bags

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Although we almost all use this at the grocery store, there are some alternatives. Try out some reusable mesh produce bags for all your fruits and veggies instead.

6. Pick what you can eat, slow down, and dine in

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When you're out, order something you know you can finish and will have time to finish. This way you can avoid taking a take-out plastic container and bag home with you where it'll end up in your garbage.

7. Pack your meals in usable containers

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Whether it's today's dinner or tomorrow's lunch, store it in usable containers rather than a ziplock bag. Plus, it'll be a bit easier to stack them all in your fridge.

8. Store left overs in glass jaws

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Glass jars are a great alternative to any plastic container. Again, super reusable for a decent amount of time, easy to store, and slightly even aesthetic if that's what you're looking for.

Make 2019 the year to change plastic pollution.

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20 Of The Coolest Animal Species In The World

Animals that almost seem imaginary.
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The world is full of amazing animals. So amazing, that narrowing them down to 20 felt nearly impossible. To determine who made the cut for this list, I used very important factors such as, cuteness and how much some of them looked like Pokémon . I know, very official. So here are some of the coolest animals in the world.

1. Pink Fairy Armadillo

The pink fairy armadillo is the smallest and cutest species of armadillo. It is on the list of threatened species and is found in the sandy plains, dunes, and grasslands of Argentina. The pink fairy armadillo is a nocturnal creature that survives mostly on insects and plants.


2. Okapi

The okapi is an animal native to the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa. Although the stripes make many people believe okapi are related to zebra, they are actually closer to giraffe. Okapi are solitary creatures and come together to breed. They are herbivores, mostly eating leaves, grass, and other plants.


3. Glaucus Atlanticus or "the Blue Dragon"

These little dragon-like creatures are often only about a few inches long and can be found in the Indian Pacific Oceans. The blue dragon floats upside down in order to blend the blue side of them with the water, and the silver side with the surface of the ocean. This tiny dragon feeds on creatures like the man o' war and can even deliver a sting similar to it.


4. The Maned Wolf

The maned wolf is often found in the grasslands of south, central-west, and southeastern parts of Brazil. It is neither related to wolves nor foxes despite its appearance and name, but is actually closer to dogs. The maned wolf hunts alone and primarily eats both meat and plants (about 50% of its diet).


5. Fossa

The fossa is a carnivorous animal located in Madagascar. Despite having many traits similar to cats, it is more closely related to the Mongoose. The fossa is only found in forest habitats and can hunt in either daytime or night. Over 50 percent of its diet happens to be lemurs.


6. Japanese Spider Crab

As the name suggestions, the Japanese spider crab inhabits the waters surrounding Japan. In many parts of Japan, this crab can be considered a delicacy but can be considerably difficult to catch. The Japanese spider crab can grow to 12 feet long from claw to claw. There is only one sea creature-- amongst similar species (aka crustaceans)-- that beats the weight of a Japanese spider crab: the American Lobster.


7. Pacu Fish

Look closely at the teeth, do they look familiar? This fish is found in the waters of South America. This fish, while related to the piranha, can actually grow much larger. They can also be found in rivers like the Amazon and is an aid to the fishing industry. Unlike the piranha, pacu mostly only eat seeds and nuts, though can still create nasty injuries to other animals if need be.


8. Slow Loris

The slow loris is a nocturnal creature found in Southeast Asia. While very adorable, the loris's teeth are actually quite venomous. The toxin on their teeth can also be applied to fur through grooming to protect its babies from predators. Often times these creatures forage and spend time alone, although can on occasion be seen with other slow lorises. Apart from their toxic teeth, the slow lorises have another defense mechanism, in which they move nearly completely silently in order to prevent discovery.


9. Angora Rabbit

These cute, fluffy rabbits are among the hairiest breeds of rabbit of both wild and domestic types. These rabbits originated in Turkey although managed to spread throughout Europe and was even brought to the United States in the 20th century. These rabbits are often bred for their soft wool which can be made into clothing, and often get rid of their own coats every 3-4 months.


10. Axolotl

The axolotl or "Mexican salamander" (who looks like a Pokémon , if you ask me) is often spotted in lakes in various places around Mexico. These little salamanders are amphibious although often spend their adult lives strictly in the water. However, the population of these cute creatures is dwindling due to non-native predators and the continued urbanization of Mexico. The axolotl eats small worms, insects, and fish in order to survive.


11. Liger

The liger, however made up it sounds, is a real (and cute) animal created by a lion and a tiger mating. Ligers only seem to exist in captivity or zoos because the lion and tiger don't share the same habitat in the wild. Unfortunately, these animals don't live very long or are sterile despite being bigger than both the lion and the tiger. While these animals are cool and unique, they are not strictly natural or sustainable.


12. Bearded Vulture

I don't know about you all, but this vulture reminds me of a phoenix which was initially why I looked into the creature. These vultures inhabit a range of places from southern Europe to the Indian subcontinent, to Tibet. This vulture, like other vultures, typically eats dead animals, although it has been documented that the bearded vulture will attack live prey more often than other vultures.


13. Goblin Shark


This unusual shark is also known as a "living fossil" because they are the last representative of sharks that lived about 125 million years ago. It is a deep sea shark that can grow between 10-13 feet if not longer. The goblin shark has been caught accidentally in every major ocean. The goblin shark is not a fast swimmer and relies on ambushing its prey.


14. Red Panda

This cute, small panda lives in the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China. The red panda is rather small, only about the same size as most domestic cats. Its eating habits range from bamboo, to eggs, to insects, and several other small mammals. The red panda is primarily sedentary during the day and at night or in the morning does whatever hunting it needs to do.


15. Blobfish

This blobfish is, in a way, so ugly that it is cute (although reminds me of a certain Pokémon ) This fish lives in the deep waters of Australia, Tasmania, and New Zealand. The blobfish has a density only sightly above that of water. The fish primarily hunts by just floating along and letting creatures wander into its mouth, rather than expending any energy.


16. Leaf Deer

The leaf deer is usually found in dense forests in the northwest region of Putao. The adult leaf deer only stands at about 20 inches high and the males and females are nearly identical except for an inch long horn on the males. It is called a leaf deer because hunters could wrap the deer in a single large leaf.


17. Tiger

While tigers are a more common animal than many others on this list, it is still one of the coolest animals in the world. Tigers are the largest of all cats and once ranged from Russia, to Turkey, to parts of Asia — almost all over the world. These animals are fierce, powerful creatures, although they are on the endangered species list.


18. Narwhals

Narwhals are a species of whale that live in the waters around Greenland, Canada, and Russia. The narwhal's diet changes depending on the time of year: in the spring the narwhal will eat cod, while in the winter the narwhal will eat flatfish. Narwhals can live up to 50 years and most frequently die of suffocation from being trapped under the ice.


19. Cheetah

Cheetahs, while more commonly heard of then some of the other animals on this list, are still incredibly cool. They often inhabit many parts of Africa and Iran. These amazing cats can reach up to 60 miles per hour in three seconds and use their tails to make quick and sudden turns. These amazing cats also have semi-retractable claws which helps with speed. The cheetah, however, doesn't have much besides speed to defend itself.


And finally....


20. Superb Bird of Paradise

This GIF demonstrates the mating dance used by male superb birds of paradise. Typically females reject about 20 mates before selecting one they want to mate with. They are often found in New Guinea although it is unsure just how many of these birds there are. As far as scientists know, the population has remained stable.

Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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Why The Recent Rain In San Diego Means Environmental Downturns For The Region

An estimated 6 to 7 gallons per day is flowing into the Tijuana River and the rain is bringing it all the way to our San Diego beaches

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This past week, San Diego has seen a bit of a threat to its year-round summer. The storm that came this last week poured over 2 inches of rain down across the region, a rare occurrence compared to recent years. The precipitation does bring great benefits for the area, such as fertile farmland and cleaner air quality. But due to pollution from Tijuana and run-off contaminants, it's recommended that you wait 72 hours after a storm before swimming or surfing in the ocean.

When rain falls in Tijuana, runoff tainted with sewage, animal waste, toxins, and bacteria enter the Tijuana River, which ultimately drains into the ocean of the OB area. In September the San Diego Water Board sued the U.S. section of the International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC), claiming it is violating the Clean Water Act by not monitoring or stopping untreated waste flowing to the ocean. The IBWC owns these pumps and opponents believe that they have a responsibility to fix these easily-overwhelmed pumps.

"The Mexican section of the IBWC told the U.S. section Tuesday that a massive amount of sewage - an estimated 6 to 7 million gallons per day - is flowing into the Tijuana River Valley and into the Pacific Ocean as a result of the break, the U.S. section said," remarks NBC 7 San Diego.

The lawsuit takes most of its girth in preventative care to make sure this does not become a continuous issue, rather than cleaning up the storm's current mess. It calls for the installation of sewage capturing infrastructure near the border that would help to contain these contaminations. In the big picture, we must realize that taking care of our environment should be our number one priority. Without clean water, surplus food, and a set of natural resources, we cannot debate religion, politics, or anything else that seems to run the political sphere.

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