Sustainability

Curation Post #5

Welcome to week 5 of Sustainability! There were some great articles this week, so let’s get into it!

“Aluminum bottles are not ‘The Greenest Bottle,'” Tree Hugger.

Most people think a switch from plastic products to aluminum is the best choice. However, aluminum is not the “more sustainable” option. Aluminum is still a single-use environment damaging containers. Refillable glass bottles are the greenest container you can get, while only half of the aluminum packaging is recycled. When aluminum interest increases, so do the production, which has a vast environmental footprint. There is also mining and smelting involved, which smelting releases CO2 as a byproduct; this makes virgin aluminum a critical issue. The only way we can combat this is by being smarter consumers. Recycling aluminum, and urging companies to stop making new and reusing the old.

“Climate Change Will Cost Us Even More Than We Think,” The New York Times.

The amount of Carbon Dioxide that is in the atmosphere is the highest it has been at in three million years; when it was this bad three million years ago, the heat raised 5 degrees Fahrenheit and the oceans were 32 feet higher than sea level. This is just one of the many startling facts that were presented in this reading. This article is mainly about how economists are underestimating the effects of climate change, which in turn affects people’s concern and belief in the issue at all.

This article discusses three main points laid out, giving supporting evidence that climate change is genuine and that changes need to be made. Personally, the third point was the scariest to me. It talks about climate change’s cascading effects. For example, if the ice caps or glaciers melt, it will raise sea levels or/and cause storms. This can lead to contaminated water supplies, destroy coastal cities, force people to relocate, and create conflict. There are facts to support climate change, and we need to start making changes not just for now but for the future. Or there won’t be a future.

“How to Save Coffee from Climate Change,” Scientific American.

Calling all coffee lovers, you know who you are. I am raising both hands because without coffee; I could not write this curation post every week. Sustainability and climate change are such an exciting topic of discussion right now in society. However, due to mother nature’s declining health, there needs to be a food revolution.

I learned this in my Plants and People course at the University of Wisconsin- Stout that pests are adapting to pesticides, and that means stronger pesticides are needed. Do you know what this means? No? Let me explain. When we get pests that are adaptive to the spray, it is altered again (think stronger chemicals). When this happens, not only does it affect the habitat around it, but this is the food we are supposed to consume. The runoff of this spray goes into our water systems. This article discusses the way to keep coffee growing, and its solution is crop diversity. As outbreaks of coffee leaf rust afflict farms in South and Central America, and other issues like bugs. Overall, scientists are working on looking at options that are sustainable but are also stronger or different.

“Chuck Schumer: A Bold Plan for Clean Cars,” The New York Times.

To save our earth, scientists said we need to have a net-zero carbon dioxide emission by 2050. However, as of right now, we are far from this targeted goal. Chuck Schumer is a senator from New York and the Democratic leader in the Senate. He proposes a dramatic plan that will help America get back to the top of global economic leadership, give jobs, and, most importantly, protect the planet. I think his plan is genius, and I think that the next step for the world is electric cars. I’m shocked that we haven’t seen more electric cars hit the market.

Schumer has a three-step plan to implement electric cars into our society drastically. He wants to make sure they are available for everyone, no matter what the persons’ financial situation or location. Schumer estimates about $454 billion over the next 10 years to implement his plan. He hopes the importance of saving the earth will be enough to eliminate the political gridlock that persists in our country. The environment shouldn’t be a left or right decision; we all inhabit it; it is all of our responsibility to take care of it.

“Turn Plastic Waste into Spooky Halloween Decorations,” Tree Hugger.

As Halloween is sneaking upon us, so is decorating for this spooky holiday. Instead of scanning the isles of Target or Walmart, take a look in your recycling bin for your decorations! All the plastic spiders and Styrofoam tombstones are just going to pollute our environment, and by buying this product, you are unconsciously supporting the plastic and fossil fuel industry. Your dollar matters! Put on your creative hat and start thinking up ideas! The options are endless, and you are reusing already used items! Bottle caps are among the top five deadliest to marine life, but when painted, make scary little spiders.

That is all I have for this week!

G.

Hey! My name is Grace and I am just a college student, trying to figure out life one blog post at a time :)

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