Littering Kills

*Pssst* If You Litter, You Are The Actual Worst

This is something that should go unsaid.

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If you find it perfectly comfortable to purposely throw trash on the ground and walk away with no fucks given, you are a psychopath.

Maybe not full-on Norman Bates psychopath, but you definitely suck. Why hurt the earth, the one place humanity can live on, like that? Do you hate life and all it has to offer? Are you trying to be the reason for a cute, innocent animal to have a six-pack wrapper around its neck? Personally, I am not an extremely aggressive person, but if someone deliberately throws their trash on the ground, I'm going to go John Cena on their ass (I'm talking to all the Spring-Breakers out there that annually trash our beautiful beaches). I am also not an extremely green person, (and if you are, that is amazing and humanity and future generations thank you) but I do try my best to do the little, decent things to keep my footprint as little as possible.

So, please, do the decent thing and throw away your MF coke cans, gum wrappers or whatever your choice of trash is. The Earth will thank you for it. And if for some reason you still feel compelled to trash our beautiful home, here's a list of annoying people that will forever be a million times better than you:

1. People who tailgate you in the slow lane even though they could easily get around you

Just let me drive like a grandmother in peace, damn.

2. People who clap at the end of movies

3. People who try to trump your stories with their own stories

4. Lil Tay

5. People who don't cover their mouth when they sneeze or cough

6. People who spoil movies or shows for you

7. People who drive slow in the fast lane

8. People who pride themselves on being "deep"

Okay, we get it, you're in-touch with your feelings, welcome to the club

9. People who only talk about their study abroad trip

10. Interrupters

11. People who claim they "found" that song

Just because someone hears a song first, doesn't mean they have the right to annoyingly remind everyone every time the song plays.

12. People who don't know how to walk in crowds

13. People who push through crowds at a concert so they can be in the front

14. People who exhale loudly after every sip of a drink

15. Loud eaters

Cover Image Credit:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtGsdiYdObQ

Popular Right Now

Are Plastic Straws Really Killing Sea Turtles?

It's no secret that plastic isn't great for the environment, but how sensationalized is this topic actually becoming?

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When I first saw a video of a sea turtle getting a plastic drinking straw removed from its nostril, I was obviously upset like any other viewer would be. I care a lot about the environment and about animal life and it was upsetting to see that a product of human consumption and ignorant waste was destroying precious parts of our world. I wholeheartedly jumped on the bandwagon of "plastic straws kill sea turtles!!!" but only knew about the issue from this video and what I heard from people or saw on social media. The whole topic of plastic waste into the ocean remained in the back of my mind until the recent pledge of Starbucks to stop using plastic straws in stores by 2020 reminded me of the issue.

As the topic of plastics and their pollution of the environment (largely the oceans) has become so recently powerful I decided to do some research of my own. If I was going to tell people to stop using plastic straws because they were killing sea turtles, I wanted to be sure that I wasn't just repeating everything I heard from social media.

Turns out, plastic straws are hurting sea turtles and other marine life, but a lot of what I thought about plastic waste was exaggerated (at least from what I had heard from others). Sea birds are the most impacted creature by plastic straws, not sea turtles. About 1 million or more seabirds die every year from ingesting plastic straws and choking on them. In research from recent scientific studies, 80-90% of seabirds have some kind of plastic inside of their stomachs. Also, the ecological footprint that plastic straws alone leave on the planet is actually pretty small compared to food waste or fossil fuels.

However, all the buzz about sea turtles may come from the fact that globally 86% of sea turtle species are known to be affected by plastic debris. Overwhelming amounts of plastic garbage in the ocean have caused a steady decline of the leatherback sea turtle over the past several years, so much that they have been placed on the endangered species list. Plastics can hinder eating and consumption, breathing abilities, and even reproductive capabilities of all kinds of sea turtles.

So while plastic straws may not be killing sea turtles in hordes, they are killing sea birds, and plastic overall have caused huge and deadly effects to many sealife species. We have known that plastic is bad for the environment and the oceans for quite a while, given the fact that the Great Garbage Patch was discovered almost 20 years ago, so it's more than time to start caring about the problem. If we can eliminate single-use plastic straws that aren't biodegradable, we can stop using other single-use plastics and make a better effort to reduce our harmful impacts on the oceans. Individually, we can move towards small changes, which can move our society to a more sustainable and healthy place. If you are more interested in this topic, I would suggest reading about how you can make a change or looking at this article and checking out this scientific journal.

Cover Image Credit:


Vinicius Amano

@viniciusamano

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A Walk Through Nature

A calm mind creates more conscious and clear thoughts, always find your peace; wherever it may be.

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The past few weeks have been an exploration of extreme limits that I can make my body go through. Being anxious about school and feeling like my work couldn't be good enough, I really began to rip apart my self-esteem and motivation to continue creating artwork or even writing for that matter.

When I'm in a funk, it's hard to get out of my head and wrap it around the concept of doing regular daily tasks. I forget about responsibilities and I forget about self-care — homework becomes more important and sleep becomes my daydreams. I have become aware of the undeniable peace showers can bring you after long days. I appreciate the moments where I can sit down and take a breath. Learning a lot about mental illness from different classes I have taken, things I experience or watch others go through helps me understand that it is real, it's not unusual, and it needs our attention. I believe that in order for mental illness to be taken seriously, we first have to address it in all seriousness with a positive mindset and a love of love. As we are becoming more aware of ourselves every day, our mindset changes and I find that thinking so much can be very draining and time-consuming — a balance becomes necessary.

One of the most important things I try to focus on is the thoughts and words that I formulate. Putting thoughts on paper, expressing them in doodles or even listening to music, it helps me see and feel what I am thinking.

With this crazy Illinois weather, I have (along with the rest of Illinois, I assume) felt deprived of sunlight and fresh air. The cloudy days and stacks of projects gathering on my to-do list were becoming overwhelming and quite frankly depressing. These worries and responsibilities were consuming my thoughts and keeping me from getting a restful night's sleep. When I wake up in the morning I feel sick and this prevents me from feeling good the rest of the day. It's hard to shake a state of mind, especially when you have nowhere for your thoughts to go.

These first few nice days were my opportunity to go outside and really gather my thoughts. When I am outside, I feel like the world is so open and opportunity is so available. I become more open-minded and I physically am able to breathe better.

This past weekend I went to Starved Rock with people I am close to and I felt incredible. I felt better than I had for the past few months and that to me was a sign of strength. Bringing my camera with me, of course, I felt inclined to capture how beautiful spring was starting to feel.

Alana Charboneau

Sometimes it is easier said than done to prove to yourself you are strong enough to overcome whatever you are going through. Other times you just have to submit yourself to getting help, because it doesn't make you weak; it makes you stronger.

When I am taking photos, I am able to express myself more through the nature I encounter or the way I view the world. Every detail matters and that is what I tend to focus on when photographing.

Alana Charboneau

I hope Columbia sees this and is inspired, or uses my photograph!

Alana Charboneau

I loved the fresh smell and soft feeling of green moss in-between my fingers.

Alana Charboneau

Ticks — ew. BUT they are essential (like all things nature) to the ecosystem.

Alana Charboneau

I hope you find what brings you harmony and peace in yourself. Never stop searching for who you are meant to be and always put yourself first, give yourself everything you need to be happy; before worrying about what others need.

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