Do you recycle? it's easy to do your part in making the world a better place

Do you recycle? it's easy to do your part in making the world a better place

Recycling is SO important when it comes to saving the environment.

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I'm sure you've seen memes and informational pictures on Instagram and Twitter about the plastic that's building up in our oceans. Maybe you've seen the picture of the seahorse holding a Q-tip or the turtle with the plastic rings from soda bottles around its neck. Whatever you may have seen, it's all a problem.

Whether it be a plastic bag, milk jugs, glass bottles, or plastic straws, all of these will eventually find their way to the ocean or to landfills. When you recycle, these things that could end up in the stomachs of sea creatures are remade into things we can use again. Bags, cups, napkins… these recycled products can be made into TONS of things.

The benefits of recycling are endless. You aren't only keeping products that don't belong in our oceans out of them, but you are also helping to address a global problem, reducing your carbon footprint, saving energy and resources, and saving yourself money. Global warming is becoming an incredibly important issue that not enough people are aware of or focusing on.

Recycling paper will help save trees from being cut down, which will in turn reduce the carbon dioxide levels being released into the air. High levels of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, are what causes global warming. By recycling, you are also reducing your carbon footprint. Your carbon footprint is the amount of carbon compounds that a person releases due to their consumption of fossil fuels.

A large percent of greenhouse gas emissions are a direct result of making and disposing of all of the things we use and then throw away. If everyone recycled, we would drastically reduce our carbon footprint as humans. When you start recycling, you see those memes and other photos and you think to yourself, how could someone not recycle?

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The Trump Presidency Is Over

Say hello to President Mike Pence.

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Remember this date: August 21, 2018.

This was the day that two of President Donald Trump's most-important associates were convicted on eight counts each, and one directly implicated the president himself.

Paul Manafort was Trump's campaign chairman for a few months in 2016, but the charges brought against him don't necessarily implicate Trump. However, they are incredibly important considering was is one of the most influential people in the Trump campaign and picked Mike Pence to be the vice presidential candidate.

Manafort was convicted on five counts of tax fraud, two counts of bank fraud, and one count of failure to file a report of a foreign bank account. And it could have been even worse. The jury was only unanimous on eight counts while 10 counts were declared a mistrial.

Michael Cohen, Trump's personal lawyer, told a judge that Trump explicitly instructed him to break campaign-finance laws by paying two women not to publicly disclose the affairs they had with Trump. Those two women are believed to be Karen McDougal, a Playboy model, and Stormy Daniels, a pornstar. Trump had an affair with both while married to his current wife, Melania.

And then to no surprise, Fox News pundits spun this in the only way they know how. Sara Carter on Hannity said that the FBI and the Department of Justice are colluding as if it's some sort of deep-state conspiracy. Does someone want to tell her that the FBI is literally a part of the DOJ?

The Republican Party has for too long let Trump get away with criminal behavior, and it's long past time to, at the very least, remove Mr. Trump from office.

And then Trump should face the consequences for the crimes he has committed. Yes, Democrats have a role, too. But Republicans have control of both chambers of Congress, so they head every committee. They have the power to subpoena Trump's tax returns, which they have not. They have the power to subpoena key witnesses in their Russia investigations, which they have not.

For the better part of a year I have been asking myself what is the breaking point with Republicans and Trump. It does not seem like there is one, so for the time being we're stuck with a president who paid off two women he had an affair with in an attempt to influence a United States election.

Imagine for a second that any past president had done even a fraction of what Trump has.

Barack Obama got eviscerated for wearing a tan suit. If he had affairs with multiple women, then Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell would be preparing to burn him at the stake. If they won't, then Trump's enthusiastic would be more than happy to do so.

For too long we've been saying that Trump is heading down a road similar to Nixon, but it's evident now that we're way past that point. Donald Trump now has incriminating evidence against him to prove he's a criminal, and Special Counsel Robert Mueller is just getting started.

Will Trump soften the blow and resign in disgrace before impeachment like Nixon did? Knowing his fragile ego, there's honestly no telling what he'll do. But it's high time Trump leaves an office he never should have entered in the first place.

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America Is Not The Land Of The Free, Its Discrimination Goes Unseen

Americans have an inaccurate understanding of how far we are from true equality and thoughts on how we can try to bridge the gap.

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There is a massive misconception that because America represents equality and freedom, true equality and freedom exist for all Americans. We assume that because slavery is outlawed and women have the right to vote that everyone is on an equal playing field and is content with their place in society. However, this could not be further from the truth. Americans of all minority groups continue to be discriminated against in their daily lives and the white power structure is very much intact and stronger than ever before.

The inequalities of today are arguably more dangerous than the overt legal inequalities of the past because today they often go unseen. Privilege is something many communities fail to recognize and the tiny daily differences among groups of people can leave a major impact. For women it's things as small as the way our clothing is sized, taxes on tampons, or the unnoticed comments by men in our lives. For non-whites, it infiltrates how they behave when walking down the street, applying for employment and housing, and how they raise their children. Immigrants to the United States today face a whole host of challenges, most recently having their children taken away from them. The LGBTQ+ community faces endless inappropriate stares, comments, and an inability to access life milestones like marriage and children that should be open to every human being.

The hard part is that fixing this kind of under the table discrimination requires that groups that are deemed superior relinquish their power. Those who live privileged lives struggle to recognize their privilege and definitely don't know how to give it up. Some Americans spend time arguing that inequalities no longer exist, while others work towards solving inequalities in ways that just breed more discrimination. Treating women special to reverse centuries of mistreatment just creates a further imbalance, assimilating those of other ethnic backgrounds into our culture just makes them feel more out of place, and as long as we fail to recognize the LGBTQ+ community as "normal", they will fail to feel accepted or supported.

Americans need to be open to being challenged by those who have lived a different life and know a different side of our country. We need to encourage conversation that educates everyone on minority rights issues and those who have lived a life of privilege need to make it their responsibility to learn just how lucky they are. It will take a very long time to create a country where everyone is truly free and equal, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try our hardest right now.

The biggest problem is that whenever we recognize difference, we will create a hierarchy. The solution to discrimination is to stop creating groups and accept everyone as equal human beings and Americans. We need to rid ourselves of gender expectations, sexuality norms, race, and questioning ethnic backgrounds. We are all so much more alike than we realize and choosing to not see our differences makes us more likely to acknowledge similarities. The truth of it is we all have experienced discrimination in some way or another, and we can use our own small or large experiences to empathize with others, hopefully working towards a country and a world that sees everyone as a key member of society that deserves every opportunity to succeed.

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