5 Ways To Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

To The People Who Think Climate Change Is A Joke, Think Again

"Global warming isn't real because I was cold today! Also great news: World hunger is over because I just ate." -- Stephen Colbert

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There's no subtle way to put this––the planet we're currently inhabiting is dying at an alarming rate; if we don't take some serious action soon, we're all in for a ruder awakening.

Carbon dioxide is a gas in our atmosphere that's one of the key components of the greenhouse effect, a process that warms up the Earth's surface. Typically, carbon dioxide is naturally found in the atmosphere through things like volcanic eruptions, plant respiration, and even the digestion of food from humans. What's unnatural is the increased levels of carbon dioxide contributed by humans through burning fossil fuels, deforestation, and transportation.

Carbon dioxide is measured by ppm (parts per million), and according to the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration, our carbon dioxide levels reached a point of no return, a point that's reached once the ppm has surpassed above 400, was achieved in 2016 when the ppm reached approximately 405 ppm. Since then, we've peaked to approximately 412 ppm, an increase in May of 2018––the highest it's been in 800,000 years.

The increase of carbon dioxide levels made by humans is leading to extreme weather conditions varying in location, an increase of sea levels, and it's affecting our agricultural system. To state that something as critical as our environment changing at a constant rate towards a disruption in living comfortably isn't a concern we need to address at this time is an ignorant comment to make. We need to make a drastic shift and start reducing our carbon footprint. If the planet as a whole contributed by doing these five things, our carbon emission levels would reduce immensely.

1. Eat Less Meat

Being a vegetarian or vegan isn't for everyone, and that's okay. Although, eating more ethically by consuming less meat will help reduce emission by 5 times. Animal agriculture produces high-level greenhouse gas emissions, consumes a ton of water and causes a lot of pollution. You could also support your locally grown products, don't waste food, or grow your own!

2. Change Your Commute 

For every gallon of gas for a car, it emits about 24 pounds of carbon dioxide and other global-warming gases. Opting out to use public transportation saves about 37 million tons of carbon emission every year. Instead, try carpooling with a friend, riding a bicycle, or even switching to a hybrid or electric car.

3. Renewable Resources 

Burning fossil fuels creates atmospheric pollutants like carbon dioxide. Opting to use renewable resources not only contributes to saving you money, but it also helps to conserve oil and fuel since we're estimated to run out by 2053. You could simply change your light bulbs to energy efficient light bulbs, look for the Energy Star label when purchasing items, or installing solar panels.

4. Plant A Garden

Planting a garden is one the easiest ways to reduce your carbon footprint because plants absorb carbon dioxide. Maybe an entire garden isn't your cup a tea, but even planting one is a step in the right direction. Some suggestions are bee-friendly plants, a vegetable garden, or if you live in a city, having a balcony garden can help reduce the urban heat island effect.

5. Always Speak Up

I don't think I can emphasize enough that this is our only planet that's inhabitable. When it comes to individuals who speak out against climate change, making false claims about how climate change isn't real--SPEAK UP! You cannot fight a fact. Let them know the catastrophes that are irreversible and the consequences we'll have to face if something doesn't drastically change in the near future. Let them know there are ways to reverse this horrible path we're on.

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As A Female Christian Millennial, I Fully Support Alabama's Abortion Ban Because I Know God Would, Too

A life always has worth, no matter the circumstances.

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Alabama's state legislature passed a bill on May 14, 2019 that makes it illegal for abortions to be performed past six weeks of pregnancy. Doctors who are caught violating the law could be sentenced up to 99 years in prison. The bill is the strictest anti-abortion bill to date this year as states try to pass laws to challenge to Roe v. Wade in the Supreme Court.

While the law does allow an exception to women whose lives are at risks, it does not allow for abortions in the event of rape or incest. I support Alabama's new law, and I applaud them for their efforts to protect the rights of unborn children.

As a Christian, I believe that life is a precious gift from God and should be treated with care.

The sixth commandment is, "Thou shalt not kill," and Jesus said the second greatest rule was to love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:39-40). I believe this applies to every person born and unborn. But, even from a secular perspective, there are reasons that support an unborn child's right to life. Let's break down two of the most important components of the bill: abortion itself and the case of rape and incest.

A big argument in the debate is whether a baby is alive before it is born or only after it is born.

I believe can be explained and answered with simple medical science. In the medical profession, a person is pronounced dead when there is no more activity in the brain, known as brain-dead.

At that point, they consider there to be no more life in the body.

The opposite of death is life, so if you have electrical signals still coursing through your brain, then you are alive. A fetus begins to have electrical activity in its brain at six weeks. Most women do not find out they are pregnant until around that time, so by the time they decide to have an abortion, the baby, by all medical accounts, is alive.

Another indicator of whether a person is dead or dying is their pulse.

The pulse is how many times a person's heart beats per minute. If a person does not have a pulse, they will more than likely die if their heart cannot be resuscitated because no oxygen is getting to their brain.

Medical personnel does everything they can to start a person's heart back because they know that the heart is key to life.

A baby's heart begins to beat at five weeks old, again before the mother knows she is pregnant and can choose to have an abortion. Since the United States' justice system upholds that killing a person is wrong, then shouldn't killing a baby, who is alive, be wrong too? I think this is plenty of proof that aborting a baby is killing a living person and is therefore wrong.

Rape and incest are two horrible acts that should be punished. It is never the victim's or conceived a child's fault in the situation.

Given the reasons above for why abortion is wrong, I also believe, while both crimes are horrendous, that abortion is still not the answer to this problem. I do understand, however, that women, because of the traumatic experience or other reasons, may not be able to care for the child.

As such, I am an advocate for adoption.

There are many couples out there who cannot have children on their own who would love to adopt. In order, for this to be a viable option, though, Congress needs to make amendments to adoption laws.

Adoption is outrageously expensive, much more costly than an abortion, and is a long and tedious process.

Though the laws are in place so that not just anybody can adopt a child, the government still could stand to relax laws a little. Another option could be to offer aid to those who wish to adopt specifically to cover adoption expenses or to only those who meet certain requirements. If we want to protect unborn children, we must give women and families more viable options.

I know that my views are not popular, but God did not call us to be popular, He called us to be His disciples.

I will not compromise my convictions because I am in the minority. I support the women who have to face this dilemma, and I pray that they and our government officials make the right decisions and aid these women and families in need of help.

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We're All Thinking It, I'm Saying It: Too Many People Are Running For President

I'm all for options, but man, do we really need 24? I mean, I can barely pick a flavor of ice cream at Baskin Robbins let alone a potential President.

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There are, currently, 23 Democrats running for President. On the Republican side, there's, of course, Trump, but only one other candidate, former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld. Democrats have a whole range of people running, from senators to congressmen, a former vice-president, and even a spiritual advisor. We can now say that there are DOZENS of people running for President in 2020.

Joe Biden has been leading the pack for quite some time now. He was even leading polls before he announced his campaign. Although he is the frontrunner, there really is no big favorite to win the nomination. Biden has been hovering around the mid-30s in most polls, with Bernie Sanders coming in second. Other minor candidates in the hunt are Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, and Kamala Harris.

After the surprising defeat of Hillary Clinton in 2016, Democrats have become electrified and have a mission to take back the White House after winning back the House of Representatives in 2018. There are so many people running in 2020, it seems that it will be hard to focus on who is saying what and why someone believes in something, but in the end, there can only be one candidate. This is the most diverse group of candidates ever, several women are running, people of color, the first out gay candidate, and several more.

There could be a problem when it comes to debate time. I mean, the first debate is next month. Having around 20-plus people on stage at the same time, debating each other kinda sounds like a nightmare. How can someone get their point across in the right amount of time when someone else is going to cut them off? Debates are usually around an hour and a half. So, if you divide it up, each candidate would get just under five minutes to speak. That would be in a perfect world of course.

Democrats seriously believe that they can beat Trump in 2020. They say they have learned from the mistakes of 2016, and have the guts and the momentum to storm back into the White House. By July of next year, there will be only one candidate left. Will they be able to reconcile the divide during the primaries? We will see. It will surely be a fun election cycle, so make sure to have your popcorn ready and your ballot at hand to pick your favorite candidate, no matter what party you lean towards.

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