If You Don't Own A Reusable Water Bottle, What Are You Doing?

If You Don't Own A Reusable Water Bottle, What Are You Doing?

Oh yeah, that's right, you're killing our planet.
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I am lost without my reusable water bottle. Drinking from the 32oz blue Camelbak that I tote around in my backpack is an integral part of my day; I can feel when it's not in my backpack, I can sense when I left it in a classroom, and I'll never leave for the gym without it.

So you'll understand me when I say I cannot comprehend that not everyone has adopted their own reusable water bottle. It's convenient, cost-efficient, and environmentally friendly. What's stopping you? Your love of plastic? Or more specifically, your love of killing our planet?

When I see people purchasing plastic water bottles, it legitimately makes me cringe. First of all, we're fortunate enough to live in a country where we have an incredible amount of access to clean drinking water. Yet the U.S. consumes approximately 30 billion water bottles each year. And only 27% of that plastic is being recycled. If we have the privilege of accessing clean tap water, why throw absurd amounts of money into a business that is killing our planet?

(Side note: Flint, Michigan still doesn't have this privilege. It's been over 1,300 days. Don't forget about them just because they aren't on the front page of the newspaper every day.)

Not only does bottled water cost 300 to 2,000 times more than tap water, but producing bottled water requires up to 2,000 times the energy cost of producing tap water. Think about all the times that you've gone to sporting events or concerts where they charge you upwards of $5 for a water bottle, and then think about how many people actually pay that.

Do you love the oceans and their inhabitants? Awesome, me too! Did you know that according to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation , it is estimated that there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish by 2050? Every square mile of the ocean has over 46,000 pieces of plastic in it.

Here's another thing to think about: this is no one's fault but our own. We did this to ourselves. If you're as disgusted by these statistics as you should be, start doing something to fix it.

The point is, plastic water bottle usage is getting completely out of hand. Grab a $12 reusable water bottle from Walmart and call it a day. Mother Earth will thank you.

Cover Image Credit: Alan Levine on Flickr

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So What is Feminism?

It's Time to do Our Homework!
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In light of the Women's March on January 20th 2018, I find it pertinent that we just recap what feminism is.

Some of you might be groaning already:

"ugh why do we even need feminism? it’s like the 20th century women have rights already?"

"yea... some women just need to be better than men ....and that’s just not gonna happen"

(***eye roll with an extra healthy dose of sarcasm sprinkled on top***)

So what EXACTLY is Feminism?

Feminism is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as:

"The advocacy of women's rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes."

and defined by Miriam Webster Dictionary as:

-"The theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes"

- "Organized activity on behalf of women's rights and interests"

"Woah woah woah! hold up... what’s all this "equality" mumbo jumbo?"

I am SO glad you asked!

Lets break this down: Feminism is actually a sociological term to describe the efforts to have equal rights, representation, wages, healthcare and education for ALL people.

“Once more for the people in the back!”

ALL PEOPLE.

So, if you believe that everyone, no matter their socio-economic background, ethnicity, religion, education but most importantly: their gender, should have access to basic human things such as

  • Access to healthcare
  • Access to equal education opportunities
  • Access to fair and equal wages
  • Access to housing
  • Access to healthy nutrition

Then congratulations, you’re a Feminist.

Now this doesn't mean that you need to break out your body paint and most glittery bra and join a social movement (but props to you if thats your thing!)

All it really means is that you care about other people sharing this space, this country and this world with you.

...and hey, maybe they deserve the opportunity to work just as hard as you do to earn the things that you have.

Recap: Feminism= rights for ALL PEOPLE.

Cover Image Credit: Samuel Corum, Anadolu Agency/ Getty Images

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Mass Shootings And Masculinity Go Hand In Hand

What we're not talking about.
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Nineteen mass shootings. Nineteen mass shootings have happened since January 2018 and we’re only in the middle of February. This past shooting at Parkland high school really hit me hard. As I saw the victims of the shooting they reminded me of the kids that I went to high school with. One of the victims was apart of her high school’s color guard and I thought about how much I loved guard when I was in high school. I connected with her.

I saw the videos posted on Snapchat of what the students actually experienced and shed tears with my hand covering my mouth from shock. I saw how insanely graphic the scene was and how being there physically can traumatize one for the rest of their life. No one should have to go through this.

The debates on tv include those of gun control and mental health. On social media, different countries are being thrown around as examples for both stricter gun control, and the allowance for more guns. I also see how the shooter was seen as “mentally ill”, and the stigmatization of those who have mental health issues are dangerous is furthered. The one issue that no one is talking about that plays a huge role in these mass shootings in masculinity.

A large majority of these shooters are white men. While these shootings are also a racial issue I’m going to focus on the gender issue. From a young age, men are exposed to what society deems as masculine. Media hypermasculinized everything to the point where it’s ridiculous. Don’t believe me? Look up Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and see how ridiculously buff they are. They’re cartoon turtles, yet the societal standard of masculinity applies to them.

Even when it comes to toys the commercials for nerf and water guns show only males. Showing that guns are masculine. Young boys are raised to engage in masculine activities or they’re isolated socially and emotionally. Even when young men are engaging in “masculine” activities they still may not be good enough. Getting angry, being the bad boy, having a temper are seen as “cool” traits that males desire to have in order to give themselves an edge.

Now most young boys go through this, and masculinity is not the main factor in mass shootings but it is still a factor. It is a factor that we need to consider because eliminating any factor that helps to produce a mass shooter can help save lives.

Cover Image Credit: Brooke Cagle

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