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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This Is How Your Same-Sex Marriage Affects Me As A Catholic Woman

I hear you over there, Bible Bob.

It won't.

Wait, what?

SEE ALSO: To My Closeted Self, I Have Something To Tell You

I promise you did read that right. Not what you were expecting me to say, right? Who another person decides to marry will never in any way affect my own marriage whatsoever. (Unless they try to marry the person that I want to, then we might have a few problems.)

As a kid, I was raised, baptized, and confirmed into an old school Irish Catholic church in the middle of a small, midwestern town. Not exactly a place that most people would consider to be very liberal or open minded. Despite this I was taught to love and accept others as a child, to not cast judgment because the only person fit to judge was God. I learned this from my Grandpa, a man whose love of others was only rivaled by his love of sweets and spoiling his grandkids.

While I learned this at an early age, not everyone else in my hometown — or even within my own church — seemed to get the memo. When same-sex marriage was finally legalized country-wide, I cried tears of joy for some of my closest friends who happen to be members of the LGBTQ community. I was happy while others I knew were disgusted and even enraged.

"That's not what it says in the bible! Marriage is between a man and a woman!"

"God made Adam and Eve for a reason! Man shall not lie with another man as he would a woman!"

"Homosexuality is a sin! It's bad enough that they're all going to hell, now we're letting them marry?"

Alright, Bible Bob, we get it, you don't agree with same-sex relationships. Honestly, that's not the issue. One of our civil liberties as United States citizens is the freedom of religion. If you believe your religion doesn't support homosexuality that's OK. What isn't OK is thinking that your religious beliefs should dictate others lives. What isn't OK is using your religion or your beliefs to take away rights from those who chose to live their life differently than you.

Some members of my church are still convinced that their marriage now means less because people are free to marry whoever they want to. Honestly, I wish I was kidding. Tell me again, Brenda how exactly do Steve and Jason's marriage affect yours and Tom's?

It doesn't. Really, it doesn't affect you at all. Unless Tom suddenly starts having an affair with Steve their marriage has zero effect on you. You never know Brenda, you and Jason might become best friends by the end of the divorce. (And in that case, Brenda and Tom both need to go to church considering the bible also teaches against adultery and divorce.)

I'll say it one more time for the people in the back; same-sex marriage does not affect you even if you or your religion does not support it. If you don't agree with same sex marriage then do not marry someone of the same sex. Really, it's a simple concept.

It amazes me that I still actually have to discuss this with some people in 2017. And it amazes me that people use God as a reason to hinder the lives of others. As a proud young Catholic woman, I wholeheartedly support the LGBTQ community with my entire being. My God taught me to not hold hate so close to my heart. He told me not to judge and to accept others with open arms. My God taught me to love and I hope yours teaches you the same.

Disclaimer - This article in no way is meant to be an insult to the bible or religion or the LGBTQ community.

Cover Image Credit: Sushiesque / Flickr

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Arizona Teachers Are Officially Walking Out, And Us Students Are Right Behind You.

Teachers aren't alone in this demand for action, and we are ready to support them by all means necessary.

A little while ago, my teachers started wearing Red on Wednesday’s. Little did I know, that was the beginning of making history.

For the last few weeks, I’ve had the privilege of standing by my teacher’s sides every Wednesday morning to demand change. But now, it’s even more real.

When I first got word of a potential walkout, I honestly didn’t think much of it. I don’t think any student did. We all thought that a walk in would make a change happen.

On Wednesday, April 18th, an overwhelming 78% of Arizona Teachers voted yes to walking out of school until demands were met.

And now, on Thursday, April 26th, it begins.

School was canceled. No one knows what will happen. No one knows when everything will go back to normal.

But as a student, I couldn’t be more honored to be taught by so many miraculous people who are making history.

I’ve seen and heard countless reactions to the walkout from different students. Some are worried about Graduation, some are worried about AP Testing, and some really just don’t want to stay longer than the original calendar entails.

But, it’s just one year.

I don’t care if I have to stay an extra day, week, or however long is required. I don’t care if I graduate on Friday instead of Thursday. I don’t care if I don’t receive my actual diploma at my Graduation Ceremony until the missed days are made up.

It’s worth it. Little bumps in the road are nothing compared to the reward this walkout demands.

If nothing changes for teachers and schools in Arizona, then who are we to say that there will even be teachers to come in the long run?

When I was first exploring degree options, one of my first interests was Elementary Education. But that interest was short lived because I knew that the pay I would receive just wouldn’t be enough. Students like me have seen our teachers struggle for so many years, so do you really think anyone who even decides to major in Education will plan to stay in Arizona with the pay teachers receive now? No.

Not only are the teachers in Arizona walking out for themselves, but they’re walking out for the new teachers to follow who deserve better.

Us students are proud, our parents are proud, our friends and co workers are proud. Teachers are not alone. They have a strong force standing right behind them. And we will continue to stand behind them for however long it takes for things to finally change.

Cover Image Credit: Associated Press / YouTube

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