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How Pollution Affects Marine Life

How Pollution Affects Marine Life By Samantha Medina, Grade 9 This submission is part of an environmental PSA project created by students at Ocean View High School.  Visit our  Submit a Post   page to feature your work on EarthPlex!
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Ending Plastic Waste - PSA

  Ending Plastic Waste By Esmeralda Brito, Grade 9 This submission is part of an environmental PSA project created by students at Ocean View High School.  Visit our  Submit a Post   page to feature your work on EarthPlex!

Meatless Mondays PSA

  Meatless Mondays PSA By Ezekiel Saldana, Grade 9 This submission is part of an environmental PSA project created by students at Ocean View High School.  Visit our  Submit a Post   page to feature your work on EarthPlex!

Are School Uniforms the Answer to Gen Z’s Overconsumption Problem?

Are School Uniforms the Answer to Gen Z’s Overconsumption Problem? By Charlotte Roberts, age 16 Across millions of TikTok videos marked with the hashtag #haul, the scene remains consistent: a Gen Z influencer unboxing dozens of items worth of clothing, usually at an attractive price to the consumer but a detrimental one to the environment. Viewers can usually count on seeing these outfits appear once in an Instagram story or TikTok clip and then deemed “out of style” and discarded to make closet room for the next shipment. The cycle repeats itself, and with each new trend comes more waste and environmental harm.  While the desire to keep up with the latest trends is not unique to Gen Z, social media, such as TikTok, with 60% of its one billion users being Gen Z, has made it easier than ever for young adults, including high schoolers, to see what their peers and popular influencers are categorizing as trendy must-haves. With over 45 billion views across the TikTok hashtags #haul, #cloth

Why Global Warming Will Never Demolish

 Why Global Warming Will Never Demolish By Seungjun Jung, age 19 Record-breaking temperatures flash across screens while sea levels creep up shores and catastrophic natural disasters sweep across continents, all of which seem to exacerbate each year. Global warming has time and time been condemned as the killer of Mother Earth, the news of which has only recently jolted the international community out of its oblivion, intentional or otherwise. According to the UN Secretary-General António Guterres, to achieve net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050,  the world will “need commitments that will deliver a reduction of emissions by 45% by 2030…” While a commendable emulation, the potentiality of this ambition remains dubious in mere eight short years. The money, time, and manpower necessary for the development of renewable energy infrastructures are staggering, and while this may seem like a feasible goal for rich developed countries, it might as well be a crushing sentence for poo

Telosa - The City that will Save the Planet?

  In 2021, billionaire Marc Lore announced plans to construct a city called Telosa that would have the capacity to house millions of residents. Lore assembled a diverse team of economists, visionaries, and innovators to make this city unique; if his plans work, Telosa will lead the world in sustainability. What is Telosa? Telosa is a city currently in the planning process, with the goal of "creat[ing] a new city in America that sets a global standard for urban living, expands human potential, and becomes a blueprint for future generations." The city will be built in Arizona, Nevada, or Utah and will cover 150,000 acres of land. Telosa's many sustainable qualities include an advanced water recycling system that could mitigate the effects of draughts caused by climate change and even provide water for neighboring towns, a robust renewable energy system with the goal of producing more energy than the city uses, and a tremendous amount of green space with greenery incorporat

A Teen's Guide to Understanding Climate Change

  By Ayrek-Robison-Hanchett, 15 Global warming Ever since the Industrial Revolution, the world has been getting worse. For example, the greenhouse effect is causing the ice caps to melt which is causing the oceans to rise! Little things like driving your car to work can make a big difference because if we just act like it doesn't exist, then sooner or later, we won't have an earth to call home. Problems with the water, but why? The use of CO2 (carbon dioxide) has made the greenhouse effect worse, and with the heat in the air, the temperatures start to rise, meaning that the ice caps are slowly melting; for instance, NASA has found that the oceans are slowly rising 8 inches every ten years and are only getting worse.  Cities close to the sea like New York City, New York, and Jacksonville, Florida are in the most danger! What's with all the storms? With the earth warming, there has been an increase in evaporation. Because of this, the perfect conditions for hurricanes have

How Conservation Work Changed My Life

  How Conservation Work Changed My Life By Autumn Litten, Age 17 As soon as I moved within five feet of my dad, he let out a noise somewhere between a yelp and a gasp and told me that I smelled like a stray dog and was in desperate need of a shower. “45 minutes MINIMUM,” he ordered. I simply smiled a knowing smile and obliged. Being under warm running water had never felt so close to paradise before in my entire 16 years of existence - but that night it was a sweet, sweet, hour of pure bliss.  Now, this wasn’t the greeting I had exactly expected from my dad after not seeing him for 5 weeks, but it was a reasonable one as he was right - I had showered for a total of 10 minutes, broken up between 3 separate occasions, during those 35 days.  Once in the shower, the water that ran down my body and to the shower’s drain was brown. Dark brown. I was washing off just over a month’s worth of sweat, dirt, and who knows what else. The time leading up until this moment had been the hardest five w

All About Hybrid Vehicles

All About Hybrid Vehicles Hyundong Cho, age 13 Hybrid cars are becoming more common in the 21st century. It is no surprise that the technology for building hybrid cars has gotten more accurate and intense. Hybrid car owners may know that their car is earth-friendly but may not know how the car operates. This article is more than enough to get people’s brains caught up on hybrid cars. Ferdinand Porsche is the first person (company) to create a hybrid vehicle. The first hybrid car, Lohner-Porsche Mixte, contains a common four-cylinder engine with two motors to make it a hybrid car (Porsche Cars North America), (Figure 1). Air pollution was becoming a problem for humanity, so many countries took action. Thereby, the car companies focused on electric/hybrid cars.  Figure 1: The first hybrid car, Lohner-Porsche Mixte. Photo from Motorbiscuit. The most popular first mass-produced EV/hybrid was the Toyota Prius and the Rav-4 EV. Even though the Toyota Prius was mass-produced, it was only in J

#TeamSeas - Everything you Need to Know

  #TeamSeas - Everything you Need to Know In 2019, YouTuber MrBeast (Jimmy Donaldson) teamed up with Mark Rober and the YouTube community to plant 20 million trees . The project was a success, and more trees are being planted to this day. Two years later - on October 29, 2021 - Rober and Donaldson announced a new project: #TeamSeas. The goal of #TeamSeas is to remove 30 million pounds of trash from the Earth's oceans. They claim that every dollar donated equates to one pound of trash removed from the ocean. Is it Enough? About 16 billion pounds of plastic enter the ocean every year. Estimates put the total amount of plastics in the ocean at 300 billion pounds. If #TeamSeas achieves its goal of removing 30 million pounds of plastic from the ocean, that would be 1/10,000 of the total, or 0.0001%.  Information about the amount of plastic in the Ocean is from the Ocean Conservancy . These numbers sound discouraging, but 30 million pounds is a good start, and it will spur investment in

The Future of EarthPlex

 The Future of EarthPlex Last year, we switched from creating three posts every week down to two . This was meant to improve the quality of posts. Now, that will be taken a step farther. Recently, we started posting less frequently; not even every week. We will continue this trend, so when we do post, the topics will be more interesting. If you would like to see more frequent posts, you can write your own by visiting our "Submit a Post" page! Encourage your friends to submit posts as well!  If you have any ideas that would help us to improve, comment it below or contact us ! Thanks for reading!

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

  The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative By Anna Goldstone, 17 What is it? The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative is a market-based program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. RGGI is an agreement between states in order to reduce 30% of carbon emissions, from 2020 through 2030. This program is implemented in the following states: NY, NJ, ME, MA, CT, NH, DE, MD, RI, VT, and VA. Pennsylvania is in the process of trying to get the initiative across the state, and Gov. Tom Wolf is using his executive powers to implement RGGI by the start of 2022. In January 2021, Wolf signed an executive order setting climate goals to reduce carbon emissions by 26% by 2025, 80% by 2050. The initiative’s goals are planned to be achieved by capping the amount of CO2 emissions from the states’ electric power plants. Since the regional cap is the most important, individual states are selling or auctioning off their CO2 emissions allowances. The majority of CO2 emissions are auctioned and the money is used to

"How We Fix the Climate" According to World-Famous Authors

"How We Fix the Climate" According to World-Famous Authors John Green and Hank Green are well-known authors, entrepreneurs, and YouTubers. Following a recent climate report from the United Nations , the two brothers made a video about how to fight climate change. I found this video incredibly informative and inspiring, and I believe everyone should watch it. The video lists a few ways to lower your negative impact on the environment, the most important being to inform yourself on policies. Any EarthPlex reader knows that being informed can help people to make more educated and wiser decisions. A few minutes into the video, there's a chart that breaks down what is contributing to greenhouse gas emissions . This alone is enough information to make you more educated about climate change than 99% of the public, but the video contains plenty more information.  For example, the video explores solutions to climate change, such as carbon pricing. These solutions are explained in

Solarpunk: What the World will Look Like if we Beat Climate Change

  Solarpunk: What the World will Look Like if we Beat Climate Change The future. Will it be good or bad? We can never know, as it's impossible to predict. However, we can see several possibilities of our future through art. We're going to explore Solarpunk, an artform that envisions a future where we have defeated climate change and become one with nature. What is Solarpunk? Solar punk is a design style focused on a future with lots of greenery. The image above is a real photograph of Singapore's Gardens by the Bay. This is the greatest example of real-life Solarpunk. Most examples of Solarpunk are only renderings. The Amazon Spheres (pictured above) in Seattle is also an example of Solarpunk in real life. Its interior contains trees to give it a nature-like effect.  Final Thoughts It is cool to imagine a world where we can get rid of our environmental issues, but this requires cooperation. A few green futuristic buildings cannot put an end to the climate crisis, but Solarp

Boxed Water Review

Boxed Water Review Bottled water is convenient. Obviously, plastic bottles are terrible for the environment (not to mention the marked up prices), but people still buy them. Why? Because they're simple and convenient. What if there could be an alternative to bottled water that has a positive environmental impact? That's the idea of Boxed Water. What is Boxed Water Boxed Water is brand that basically sells water bottles, but they come in boxes, sort of like milk cartons. Above is a picture of a 250 mL box, which I tried.  Review Boxed Water simply tasted like water. The box did not affect the water at all. It was just as convenient as any plastic water bottle I've used. Overall, Boxed Water is just water, but in a more environmentally friendly package.  Buy Boxed Water here! For you:  Is Smartwater Smart? No

How We're Solving Climate Change Wrong

How We're Solving Climate Change Wrong Nuseir Yassin is an Israeli-American digital creator. He publishes videos to social media platforms under the name Nas Daily , covering incredible people and important issues. A popular video on his YouTube channel  tells a story of when he went to McDonald's. An employee informed him that they didn't have plastic straws, a sensible move that companies have taken to better their impacts on the environment. However, Nuseir noticed that he was drinking from a plastic cup, and the utensils were plastic. Additionally, McDonald's serves meat, which is terrible for the environment, begging the question, "Why does McDonald's care about straws, but not cups, utensils, or the food they serve. What is selective empathy? This post isn't about McDonald's. It's about selective empathy, something we are all guilty of. Here's an example of selective empathy: people feel sad when a celebrity dies tragically but not when th

Why Ecosia Will Always be Worse Than Google

  Why Ecosia Will Always be Worse Than Google When I search Google for "stayin alive lyrics",  the search results page shows all of the words to the song. When I make the same search on Ecosia  - an environmentally friendly alternative to Google - I see a list of links. When I Googled "How Tall is Lebron James", it told me he's 6'9" before I even clicked enter. Ecosia, again, gave me a list of links. While Google provides in-your-face answers to your questions, Ecosia requires more work to find answers. This post will explore why that is. What is Ecosia Ecosia is a search engine with a social mission. The majority of ad revenue goes toward reforestation efforts, and Ecosia works with organizations to plant trees. The work they have been doing is remarkable, but Ecosia has an issue that won't allow it to become the greatest search engine. Ecosia's problem Ecosia invests more than half of its revenue into planting trees, according to its June 2021

Reminder: Wildfires Damage the Economy

Reminder: Wildfires Damage the Economy Last September, we released a post about wildfires and their effect on the economy. As the 2021 wildfire season heads toward its climax, it's important to restate how wildfires don't just fuel climate change, they result in job loss, and they wreck industries.  Similar post:  Climate Emergency: Wildfires Basically, these wildfires are getting worse because of climate change. California - a state with a lot of wildfires - has a massive tourism industry, but fewer people will want to travel there during wildfire season. That could destroy small businesses that rely on tourism for revenue.  Wildfires pose a major threat to wildlife and humans, so we must do whatever we can to prevent them. (Controlled wildfires - which are natural - could be beneficial in preventing massive wildfires) As I wrote last September, "My heart goes out to the people who have been hurt or threatened by wildfires. You are experiencing the effects of climate chan

How Google is Fighting Climate Change

  The Environmental Impact of Google Alphabet is one of the largest internet companies in the world, so the decisions made by its executives impact every human on this planet. Fortunately, Alphabet has shown great commitment to limiting its ecological footprint.  In case you didn't know, Alphabet is the owner of Google along with some other companies such as Nest and DeepMind. This post will focus on Google's environmental impact. Note: Blogger, a Google-owned service, hosts the EarthPlex website, so this post could contain some biases. Energy investments Google has made large investments to run on clean energy and keep its impact minimal. The company also has bold ambitions that will allow it to run on renewable energy all of the time. Saving trees The internet has replaced paper products such as newspapers and encyclopedias. Paper products equate to cutting down trees. Google Docs means that less paper is needed for writing and Gmail has replaced snail mail. Combined with Go

What are the 3 R's?

  What are the 3 R's? One of the first things children learn about protecting the environment is the three r's: reduce, reuse, and recycle. What are these, and how do they protect the environment? Reduce Reducing is the first step of the 3 r's. To reduce means using fewer material goods. Purchasing less equates to fewer materials extracted from the Earth and lower carbon emissions. To practice reducing, only buy what you need, and be aware of the waste that you create.  Reuse Reusing means keeping items when you finish using them, rather than throwing them away. Reusable items can complete a task over and over again. To practice reusing, bring reusable bags to grocery stores and drink from reusable water bottles . Recycle Recycling is the final step of the 3 r's. If you finish drinking a can of soda, rinse it out and recycle it instead of tossing it in the trash. This is similar to reusing because recycled materials get turned into new products. Keep in mind that recycl

The Seaweed Threatening the Atlantic

The Seaweed Threatening the Atlantic By Juni Kim, age 16 Thousands of beachgoers along the Atlantic Ocean have been watching a sudden influx of seaweed on the shores this summer. The influx of seaweed is killing sea life and threatening shorelines with significant economic and environmental damage. The culprit? A genus of brown algae known as sargassum is primarily responsible for these events, and scientists are baffled at the immense growth of sargassum, warning this may become the “new normal” for the algae. Ecological Significance “Everything in moderation” seems to be the environmental rule the Sargassum is breaking. Within the open ocean, sargassum is used by many species as both a habitat and as protection against larger predators. As the Sargasso Sea Alliance in a 2011 Paper states, "[The sargassum ecosystem] provides essential habitat for nurturing a wide diversity of species, many of which are endangered or threatened.” It’s when that “normal” level of algae expands that

The Environmental Impact of Space Travel

  The Environmental Impact of Space Travel Tomorrow will be a historic day, as a Blue Origin mission will taken off into space. The crew contains Jeff Bezos and his brother, along with the oldest and youngest people to ever visit space. Jeff Bezos has voiced his concerns about climate change, but how does space travel impact the planet? Fuel Rocket fuel is harmful to the environment, and it worsens climate change . Because rocket launches are relatively rare, they aren't a major contributor to global warming, but if they were more prevalent, they could pose a serious threat. Resources The production of space ships requires a lot of materials and resources. Newer rockets are reusable, which is much more efficient, as fewer resources will be wasted.  The Good As time passes, batteries technology will become more efficient, possibly allowing for electric space ships. Also, space travel could allow us to gather resources from asteroids and other celestial bodies which protects Earth. W

I Played the EPA's Recycle City Game

  I Played the EPA's Recycle City Game Recently, I tested out an online game from National Geographic about recycling. I found the game confusing, so I decided to test another game. I found the "Recycle City Challenge" from the EPA and decided to try it out. For you: Review | National Geographic's Recycle Roundup Game Description In the game, the player must "visit" different locations (e.g. house, store, etc.) and answer questions about recycling. For example, when I click on the kitchen in my house, it asks, "Your family’s 30-year old refrigerator broke. What next?" and I must select the correct answer. The game says the final score at the end based on the player's answers.   Gameplay I found the game to be enjoyable and informative. Even though it appeared somewhat dated, I still learned about recycling and respecting the environment. When the game concluded, I could post my score to the ranking of the top scores from the last 3 days.  The m

"It’s up to us to Solve it." NatGeo Discusses Climate Change

  Reacting to NatGeo's Climate Change Explanation National Geographic (NatGeo) contains incredible information about our planet and climate change, and EarthPlex named it one of the best resources to learn about the environment . I found a video on their YouTube channel from 2015 and decided to share my thoughts. The video is titled "Climate Change: It’s Real. It’s Serious. And it’s up to us to Solve it."  The video begins by stating the current and future effects of climate change such as draughts and flooding. Extreme conditions caused by climate change will displace millions of people. Most of the video discusses what humans can do to solve climate change. NatGeo brought up some creative solutions that have already been applied, such as a building with an exterior that can break down air pollutants and tiles that turn people's steps into energy.  The video explains that we can all work together to stop the climate crisis, and humans can use their creativity to chan

An Interview With Newt Powers, a High School Student Leading the Way Toward a Cleaner Earth

An Interview With Newt Powers, a High School Student Leading the Way Toward a Cleaner Earth   This post was originally published in November 2020.  Many teens are passionate about an issue, and they feel the need to do whatever they can to make positive changes. I had the opportunity to interview an accomplished senior in high school named Newt Powers. Newt is involved in environmental efforts at a local and international level. I asked them about their work, accomplishments, and more: What led you to found Youth Alliance for the Planet? Can you explain what it is? Although our bio says, “Youth Alliance for the Planet is a youth-led international organization that raises awareness about environmental issues and fights to solve them,” at this point, I’d like to think of us as an environmental news source. I am already very involved in my own local community, but I hoped that by founding Youth Alliance for the Planet, I could make a greater change in the environmental movement both acros

Exxon Lobbyist Admits to Fighting Against Climate Science

  Exxon Lobbyist Admits to Fighting Against Climate Science Recently, two ExxonMobil lobbyists were duped into revealing unsettling information about the company's tactics to prevent climate change legislation, fight climate science, and make the company seem "green." Greenpeace orchestrated the interviews with these lobbyists. When asked about ExxonMobil's support of a carbon tax, one lobbyist commented that it gives Exxon Mobil a "talking point" to say that they're for a carbon tax. The lobbyist also admitted that a carbon tax will never happen. REVEALED: How Exxon held back climate action for decades, and is still doing it today. We went undercover with Exxon’s lobbyists to expose the truth. Watch and share. — Unearthed (@UE) June 30, 2021 The Exxon lobbyists also described their relationships with political figures in order to prevent climate policies from passing Congress. Watch the interviews to learn more about Exxon

Is the Great Barrier Reef Dying?

Is the Great Barrier Reef Dying? Australia is home to one of Earth's greatest natural beauties: the Great Barrier Reef. The U.N. will likely add this popular tourist destination to the UNESCO List of World Heritage in Danger. Should this happen, and is the Great Barrier Reef dying? What is the Great Barrier Reef? Located near Queensland, Australia, The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef in the world. According to the World Wildlife Fund , "The Great Barrier Reef is home to more than 1,500 species of fish, 411 types of hard coral, one-third of the world's soft corals, 134 species of sharks and rays, six of the world's seven species of threatened marine turtles, and more than 30 species of marine mammals, including the vulnerable dugong." The effort to downgrade its status According to the Associated Press , the U.N. World Heritage Committee reported that the reef is in danger. A vote will take place soon to decide if the Great Barrier Reef should be added

Final EarthPlex Mailing List Reminder

Final EarthPlex Mailing List Reminder This is our third and final announcement regarding upcoming changes to our mailing list. Users who receive emails will no longer be subscribed. Fortunately, there are still ways to stay up to date on the latest EarthPlex posts.  First, you can check our website every Monday and Friday to read our posts. We post on Mondays and Fridays at 11:00 AM ET.  Second, our Instagram page posts everytime we release a new post on our website. Our Instagram followers also have access to the topics of our upcoming posts before we release them.  Finally, all of our new posts can be read on the Google News app. Follow us on Google News to read our posts and learn more about climate change and the environment. Even though our mailing list is going away, there are still plenty of ways to read our posts!

Reacting to Instagram Posts From @yea.pod

Reacting to Instagram Posts From @yea.pod Youth Environmental Action Pod  is a part of the Climate Reality Project with the mission of "Empowering & educating youth to take action against the climate crisis." We offered our thoughts on some of their Instagram posts.  View this post on Instagram A post shared by Youth Evironmental Action Pod (@yea.pod) Environmental justice is extremely important. We have already taken steps to achieve it, and we will continue to do even more to keep our planet and its life healthy. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Youth Evironmental Action Pod (@yea.pod) If you feel passionate about an issue, make a difference , but keep in mind that your mental health is important, and working yourself to death is unhealthy. Do what you can do without getting burnt out. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Youth Evironmental Action Pod (@yea.pod) Covid 19  has impa