How the Holiday Season Hurts the Environment

How the Holiday Season Hurts the Environment

A not so wonderful time of the year for our planet.
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Oh, the holiday season is here! It's that time of the year again when students are finishing their exams, airports are overcrowding than ever, and people are carrying shopping bags of every color and size. It's that time of year when colorful lights and wreaths in every window shop greet you on your walk down the street. Everything seems so lively and joyful that you can't help but spread along the holiday cheer. But is it really a cheerful thought to realize that those colorful lights and fake trees are actually harming the environment? While the holidays may bring happiness to many people, they hurt the planet in more ways than we can imagine. Here are some classic things that are essential to the holidays but extremely harmful to our environment:

1. Christmas Lights

During the holidays, many people put up lights to decorate their houses, Christmas trees, and businesses. However, doing so may not be the most environmentally-friendly choice. These lights can disrupt both human and wildlife sleep cycles due to the sudden overuse of light during the holidays. The use of Christmas lights also contributes to light pollution which, according to Globe At Light, can have long-term consequences. If decorating your windows with colorful lights is a holiday must, the best alternative to the classic Christmas lights are LED lights.

2. Holiday Cards

While sending cards to loved ones during the holidays isn't as common as they used to be, they still impact the environment in a negative way. There is an increased demand for holiday cards and gift wrap paper during this time of the year. As a result, many trees are cut down just so we could have a card with Santa Claus printed on it. By choosing to give a heartwarming holiday message to your friend online, or even better, in person, instead of through a paper card, you can help keep trees alive.

3. Christmas Trees

Since we are on the topic of trees, specifically Christmas trees are one of the most synonymous items associated with the holidays and also one of the most detrimental to the environment. While there is still much debate about whether buying a real Christmas tree helps the environment, there is undeniable evidence that fake Christmas trees are bad for our planet. In an independent study in 2009 by Ellipsos, a sustainable development consulting firm, it was discovered that fake Christmas trees contain PVC, a toxic carcinogen that is difficult to dispose of. So if you are thinking about getting a Christmas tree, instead of getting a fake one, opt for a more environmentally-friendly option.

As you go shopping during the holidays, keep in mind that some extra effort in picking your Christmas decorations can greatly impact the environment for better. By being more environmentally conscious of our decisions, we can show love not only to our close ones but to our planet as well!

Cover Image Credit: Jeenah Moon

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11 Feminist Halloween Costumes You Don't Need Cleavage To Feel Sexy In

If you’re looking for the most scandalous outfits to wear this Halloween, this may not be it.
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If you're a socially conscious f eminist, you'll know sexy shouldn't be defined by anything other than what you make of it.

However, when most people type in "sexy Halloween costumes" into their search engine, they might be looking for tight bodysuits or something that shows a little more cleavage. Don’t get me wrong, I'm not knocking out bunny ears or mesh tights. However, it might be time to stretch what that definition means.

I've gathered a few costume ideas that are sure to make a statement this Halloween while representing some of the most iconic women of our time. So, here are the ten best Halloween costumes for forward-thinking women like us!

1. Rosie the Riveter

Who better to show that we are equal and can do a “man’s job” just as good (or better) than Rosie the Riveter? This outfit is bold and inexpensive. You may even have this in your closet!

2. Marilyn Monroe

"I am very definitely a woman and I enjoy it.”

More proof that you can be beautiful in pants or a dress. Embrace the beauty within.

3. Taylor Swift

“I don’t really think about things as guys versus girls. I never have. I was raised by parents who brought me up to think if you work as hard as guys, you can go far in life,” Taylor Swift said in an interview with The Daily Beast.

Enough said.

4. Hillary Clinton

President or not I’m still with her. Just like feminists and activists before her, she has paved the way for modern women to stand up for themselves and have a voice.

5. Susan B. Anthony

Susan B. Anthony proved any woman could turn her dreams into a reality. She helped remove limitations and showed women to be fearless. Fast forward 97 years and women can achieve even more than. Yes, we still have more to accomplish, but we’re definitely nearing the horizon!

6. Amelia Earhart

Not only was she an American aviator, she was also the first woman to ever fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. Talk about goals. This Halloween, you can defy gender norms just like Amelia did.

7. Frida Kahlo

Surrealist painter Frida Kahlo explored the depths of her identity, culture, gender, class, love, and loss. Through her persona and her artwork, she defied feminine beauty and gender stereotypes in a time where women had few rights and were viewed as submissive. Who ever said you had to get your brows waxed anyway?

8. Birth Control

Hands off my birth control!

This might be sound a little kooky, but isn't that what Halloween is all about? This year, make it a point to express how you feel through your costume. Women need to stick together! So, let's dress up as birth control to remind the GOP we will not accept another restriction.

9. Wonder Woman

Adding Wonder Woman to our list was a no-brainer. She’s a crowd favorite, especially the way Gal Gadot represented her in the new movie.

Overall, Wonder Woman is a symbolic character that reminds us anyone can be a hero. The days when only little boys looked up to their favorite superhero are long gone. Now, kids and adults of any gender have a badass female superhero to fawn over.

10. Madonna

More than 30 years ago Madonna broke the barriers of what men wanted women to be. In a time where women were expected to follow certain rules, her attitude and bravery overcame those norms. Shoutout to "Hocus Pocus" for the inspo.

11. Rey from "Star Wars"

In "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," Han Solo's new protégé Rey is loaded with martial skills anyone would admire. Daisy Ridley plays the franchise's first female protagonist with a strong feminist persona. Rey refuses to be defined as "just a woman" and is definitely no damsel in distress. Instead, she is a fighter, survivor, and all around badass.

This Halloween, don't just be brave. Be Rey.

Cover Image Credit: Beyoncé's Facebook Profile

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It Might Be October, But I’m Already Counting Down The Days Until Christmas For These 9 Reasons

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

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Fall is such a great time of year typically. But when the weather cannot make up its mind and hayrides and pumpkin patches close due to rain it is hard to enjoy this time of year. Meanwhile, the Christmas season has so many wonderful things to offer and I am already counting down the days. Here is why the Christmas season is so much better than fall.

1. Peppermint hot chocolate is way better then pumpkin spiced latte.  

Maybe its due to the fact that I am not the biggest fan of college but its really hard to enjoy a hot drink in the fall when somedays mid-October it is still reaching a high of 80 in PA.

2. Two words - Black Friday. 

Everyone knows that Black Friday is the official/unofficial start to the Christmas season. Whether you have a Black Friday shopping tradition like me or you're just excited to be allowed to listen to Christmas music and not be judged it is definitely the day all the fun starts.

3. Consistent weather. 

Although ideal fall weather is perfect, it is typically never ideal. Once you get into December, just about every day is a similar temperature. Even though it may be cold, at least you can wear a sweatshirt in the morning and not die from overheating midafternoon.

4. Present shopping. 

While some people see this as an annoying task, I love to shop for friends and family at Christmas time! It may be a little stressful at first trying to figure out what to get for everyone but once you do it is so fun picking out the perfect gift that you know they'll love. It is a great time to show your loved ones how much you care about them and pay attention to the little things.

5. Crafting! 

I don't know about you but I love crafting and DIY projects. Christmas is the absolute best time to do all of this because who doesn't love a handmade gift. It is even a great time to make cute signs or decorations for all around your house.

6. Christmas light are way better than Jack-O-Lanterns.

Driving around at night is so beautiful at Christmas time. Seeing almost every house decked out in lights is so magical compared to a few scattered Jack-O-Lanterns on front porches that you can barely see from the street.

7. You are out of school. 

After finals are over, most schools let out mid-December so you have so much more time to enjoy the festive season without being overly stressed.

8. The movies and songs are way better. 

Christmas movies and music is some of the best. Most mainstream artists have their own Christmas albums and almost every major TV network is consistently playing Christmas movies. Even though Freeform did 31 days of Halloween I haven't cared to watch one of the movies although when its 25 days of Christmas I check the schedule almost every day so I don't miss my favorite films.

9. The meaning of Christmas. 

Whether you are religious or not, Christmas has such a deeper meaning than all of the presents. If you are celebrating Jesus's Birthday or just all the love surrounding your family, Christmas is always a holiday filled with so much love and happiness and you can't beat that.

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