5 Simple Ways To Save The World

5 Simple Ways To Save The World

5 easy ways to lessen your load on Mother Earth.

The most important goal of this century, no matter the country and regardless of culture; saving the world from its imminent doom. Without debate, there is nothing more relevant in the year 2016 than personal and communal dedication to raising awareness and involvement in Environmental Sustainability and Conservation. As we continue to harm our only planet with carbon emission, deforestation, and water waste, we push ourselves further and further away from a healthy future. For students here at the University of WI-Milwaukee, we are surrounded by great opportunities to fully immerse yourself in saving Planet Earth and limiting the amount of harm you cause. From small changes in habit to monumental impacts on our environment, it’s never too late to get involved whether you are a green-freak or just learning how to get a start. To help you out, here are a few simple habits anyone can get into to cut back and conserve. (And ultimately save the world!)

1. Get a Reusable Water Bottle!

If you are like me, you always like to have water with you to bring where ever you go. This is a great habit to be in; however, the convenience of plastic water bottles is truthfully terrible for our planet. Try finding a canteen or bottle that you can customize with stickers to cut back on the plastic, and still have water when you need it.

2. Recycle!

Though it seems simple enough, it's sadly not a habit all people have adopted. But it’s just so easy, and impact is incredible. If you do find yourself using plastic, like for a water bottle for example, do the Earth a favor and toss it in the correct bin. The materials can be reused and will not end up in the ground or ocean. Very important.

3. Walk, Bike, Bus!

It all comes back to convenience, doesn't it? Just because you have a car, doesn't mean you no longer have legs. Everything on the East Side is walking distance, and if not, bublr distance! Just google "uwm bublr bikes" to get your free pass! Bublr stationed have popped up all over Milwaukee! In addition, try an always use the bus system when you can, like community car pooling. (Also included in UWM tuition).

4. Shop local!

Buying local products is an often overlooked step in helping to save the world. But think about this; if you drink beer from California, it took more gas to get here than a brew from right here in Milwaukee. In this way, you reduce the emissions you not only use, but "consume" too! This goes for groceries like meat and produce and clothing as well. Farmers markets and Goodwill are great places to start keeping it local.

5. Volunteer!

Reaching out into your own community is perhaps the best and most direct way to truly making an impact. Organizations like Groundwork Milwaukee and Growing Power are always open to volunteer work, and Conservation Club here at UWM is full of opportunities to help out. Projects like gardens, clean ups, and pulls of invasive species are all options when thinking about playing your part in saving the world.

Cover Image Credit: Heavy

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'After Every Shooting' Are Words That Are Normal To The American Vocabulary In 2018

How un-American it is to turn our backs on our fellow countrymen

I struggle to understand why my headline is one I have to enter for my article this week. “After every shooting” should not be something that is normal to utter, but for the average American, it is.

It is February of 2018, and we have already had over 20 mass shootings this year. In a decade, I wonder if I will look back and be pleased that we have made progress to right this wrong in our society. But I fear with my entire heart that in a decade or so, I’ll simply look at the son or daughter I hope to have with fear as they start their lives. Will they be the next victim?

From where I sit I have to remind myself that I could be the next victim -- or my little brother, my sister, my cousin, my parents, my boyfriend, or my best friend. We could all be the next victim. And yet here we sit, a few days after a mass tragedy, and all I can hear are the careless mutters.

“It isn’t all about guns, I think we need to think about mental health.”

“Gun control is important but that wasn’t the entire problem.”

“It didn’t work in other countries, we can’t take away everyone’s guns.”

And then our careless president seems to lack any sense of logic as he tweets about how this shooting was something we could have prevented.

I watched a video of one of the victims. She roared into the microphone at a press conference. She saw her life flash before her eyes. We need to all get into a place where we can simply begin to fathom what she and her peers feel like. We need to be red with anger because this isn’t about light conversation and sobering curiosity at what to do, this is about gun control.

If you’re going to open your mind and stick with me, I would appreciate it immensely.

Why is this about gun control? Because with every single mass shooting, we go through this. The gun lobby and the right-wing representatives and senators will not so much as budge at the loss of children’s lives because of this centuries-old right to protect ourselves. But every time this happens, we go back into the same cycle.

No, gun control won’t work. We can’t fix this that way. That isn’t what we’ll do. We'll ponder, sit, talk about it briefly, and then get back to other work. And then we have a shooting.

This time it must be different. It must be a different fight. Because here is what politicians need to understand -- if you are elected, by the people and for the people, you will step, you will run across the aisle to compromise when lives are lost.

Otherwise, you are not doing your job. You are not fulfilling the duty you swore an oath to fulfill. If you, as a leader, as a politician, or even as an ordinary person, uncomfortable by the conversations that come about after every damn mass shooting, cannot for a second give gun control a chance and see what say, more background checks, fewer rights, changes to open-carry laws, would entail and how that would impact your life, you are the problem.

The people that fight so aggressively against gun control are hell-bent on keeping their guns to defend themselves and want to be these strong-willed, larger than life, gun owners who have immense pride in their firearm. Great, power to them.

But if you can’t for a second consider the pride you could find in compromise, the pride that comes from knowing when you might need to learn or rethink, or the pride that comes from truly being the bigger person and giving someone else’s idea a chance, then you aren’t a cool, strong, patriotic gun owner after all.

The most patriotic is the person who is willing to step up and think, understand, and fight for the lives of kids. Kids that are America’s future.

I’m simply sick and tired of people defending inanimate objects over the shattered pieces of families that are to be memorialized and buried in the coming days or that will live with grief forever.

I’m sick and tired of the media and politicians contemplating what we should do and how to fix things.

I’m sick and tired of waiting for politicians to give gun control a chance because of its proven benefits. If kids aren’t your priority or one of them, resign before you get voted out.

I think I speak for everyone when I say I am sick and tired of excuses.

And finally, I’m just sick at the idea that families are in the trenches of grief, sorrow, and utter brokenness as I type this. I can’t imagine the pain. And I can’t imagine how we aren’t doing anything to solve this.

We are witnessing how broken the political and social foundation of America is right now. Turn on the news, look around you. The founding fathers and the heroes, the change-makers who fought and died for our great country would be ashamed to say the very least that we have done nothing.

How unamerican it is to turn our backs on our fellow countrymen -- the kids who died in Florida last week. How truly unamerican.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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We Need Gun Control And We Need It Now

How many more innocent people need to die before we decide enough is enough?

Tragedy struck once again this Valentine’s Day. This time it took place in Parkland, Florida, which was ironically named Florida’s safest city in 2017.

People woke up and went to work or school like every other routine day. Little did we know that 17 students and staff would walk through the doors of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that day and never come back out.

Nikolas Cruz, a 19-year-old terrorist, reportedly pulled out a semiautomatic AR-15 rifle and opened fire in the hallways and classrooms of the school.

Notice how I called him a terrorist because… well... that’s exactly what he is. A terrorist. None of this “orphaned 19-year-old with a troubled past” bullshit.

If he had any other skin tone people wouldn’t even think twice about calling him anything else.

According to Florida statute, terrorism is defined as “a violent act or an act dangerous to human life which is a violation of the criminal laws of this state or the United States... and is intended to intimidate, injure, or coerce a civilian population”. So there you have it, no more excuses.

Since this shooting occurred, three out of the 10 deadliest mass shootings in modern US history have taken place within the last five months.

According to data from the Gun Violence Archive, on average there have been five school shootings each month. FIVE SCHOOL SHOOTINGS EACH MONTH.

Since the Sandy Hook shooting took place in 2012, there have been at least 239 school shootings across the nation where 438 people were shot and 138 were killed. Yet our government officials can’t seem to accept the obvious problem at hand: guns.

Our own president couldn’t even admit that guns are a problem. Instead, he decided to focus on the fact that the shooter had mental health issues that weren’t reported to the authorities.

While poor mental health is also an important issue that needs attention, we can't use it to hide from the obvious.

Also, if I remember correctly, Mr. Trump, didn’t you just sign a bill in February 2017 making it easier for mentally ill people to buy a gun?

How many more innocent people need to die before we decide enough is enough? Literally, nothing is being done by Congress to put a stop to this gun violence and it is utterly absurd.

After Sandy Hook, President Obama tried to reinforce bans on assault weapons that were in place between 1994 and 2004, but Congress wouldn’t pass it again since the Columbine shooting in 1999 still managed to occur with the ban in place.

So you know, even though the number of mass shootings was reduced tremendously during the ban, one still happened so it’s only smart throw the whole ban away and have absolutely nothing in place to help!

Since the ban on assault weapons expired, the following 10 deadliest mass shootings in modern US history have occurred:

April 16, 2007 - Blacksburg, VA - Seung-Hui Cho opens fire on the Virginia Tech campus killing 32 people

April 3, 2009 - Binghamton, NY - Jiverly Wong opens fire on an immigrant community center killing 13 people and injuring 4

November 5, 2009 - Fort Hood, TX - Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan opens fire on an American military base killing 13 people and injuring 32

July 20, 2012 - Aurora, CO - James E. Holmes opens fire in a movie theater killing 24 people

December 14, 2012 - Newtown, CT - Adam Lanza opens fire in Sandy Hook Elementary School killing 20 children and 6 adults

September 16, 2013 - Washington D.C. - Aaron Alexis opens fire in the Washington Navy Yard killing 12 people

December 2, 2015 - San Bernardino, CA - Syed Rizwan Farook and Tasheen Malik open fire at Inland Regional Center killing 14 people

June 12, 2016 - Orlando, FL - Omar Saddiqui Mateen opens fire inside of Pulse nightclub killing 49 people and injuring more than 50

October 1, 2017 - Las Vegas, NV - Stephen Paddock opens fire at a crowd of 22,000 concertgoers killing 58 people and injuring nearly 500

November 5, 2017 - Sutherland Springs, TX - Devin Patrick Kelley opens fire on a small church killing 25 people and an unborn child and injuring 20

If you can look at this list and for some reason still think we don’t need stricter gun laws then you, my friend… you are part of the problem.

No offense (full offense actually), but children’s rights to feel safe and not have to worry about being murdered at school are more important than your right to own whatever type of gun you want.

The same goes for people attending a concert or church. These are all places that are meant to be a safe zone. Unless you’re serving in the military to protect our country, there is quite literally no reason at all why you need to own an assault weapon. It’s as simple as that.

When it comes to events like these, thoughts and prayers are always good but we can’t just pray and debate with our friends on social media and then forget about it later when nothing is done.

We need to stop falling into the same cycle over and over again.

We need change.

We need gun control.

We need it now.

Cover Image Credit: Twitter

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