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Showing posts from August, 2020

TikTok Spreads Environmental Awareness - Here's How

TikTok and the Environment  It seems that everybody between the ages of 13 and 20 has TikTok, the social media app that has transformed American culture. It's owned by the Chinese internet company, ByteDance, and it's synonymous with teens dancing to "TikTok songs" and sabotaging Trump rallies. Let me put it out there: when I said everybody between the ages of 13 and 20 has it, I meant to say that everybody between those ages has it except for me. I don't want to lose my target audience by saying this, but I don't get TikTok. This isn't about my opinions, though, and we'll put all of my negative thoughts aside for my environmental analysis of TikTok. TikTok has gathered teens together, and it has done a really good job. Any post has the opportunity to reach millions of users, and some of the posts are very inspiring. A single post could potentially change lives, and some of them are about climate change . TikTokers have raised climate awareness, which

Is the Internet Environmentally Friendly?

  Is the Internet Environmentally Friendly?  If you haven’t used the Internet, I don’t know how you’re reading this, and if you are from the distant future, does it still exist? The developed world depends on the internet for everything. Think about all the videos, social media, educational tools, and EarthPlex posts that you rely on internet access to view or use.  Is this magical network that we cannot live without good for the environment? It is hard to give a clear answer as to whether or not the internet is environmentally friendly because it has helped combat pollution and fossil fuel emissions in some ways, but has also caused an increase of emitted greenhouse gasses in other ways. The Good Before the internet, people got their information from the encyclopedia (talk about boredom) and read tangible newspapers and magazines. This lifestyle required the consumption of physical items. Paper production requires the destruction of trees and the ecosystems they support. Factories

I Quit Red Meat for a Month

  I Quit Red Meat for a Month  We've discussed in depth about how red meat is bad for the environment. After all of that reading, I decided that I would stop eating red meat at home. I'm a dependent, so I needed the consent of my parents, and they said that they would support me. I began this challenge around the time when I drafted  The Miracle Meat for the Environment , a post about why fish is an ethical alternative to red meat.  July 16 was the day I declared I would quit eating red meat at home, and I didn't eat meat until August 21, when I had a filet mignon at a restaurant for my cousin's birthday. In this post, I will tell you how I felt along the way and my cravings, and what I'm doing now. Health To be honest, I felt perfectly fine. I didn't feel weak. I didn't feel lethargic (not more than usual anyway). And while I didn't weigh myself before and after, I'm sure I continued to grow at the same pace as I was before I quit red meat. Substitu

Beyond Meat's Middle School Course on Sustainability

My Thoughts: Beyond Meat's Middle School Course on Sustainability  EarthPlex has covered Beyond Meat a few times now, and I didn't think there would be anything else to say. If that were the case, though, you wouldn't be reading this, because breaking news has emerged regarding Beyond Meat. With the education company, Everfi, Beyond will launch a sustainable education course for middle schoolers.      Everfi's website  says that the program, titled  Sustainability Foundations: Plants, Animals and Our World will launch in October for the upcoming school year. The course will be offered free of cost (speaking of priceless value for free, you can join our mailing list and get notified whenever we release a post for free), so I may try it out in October because this is a low budget blog.       Can an online course on sustainability really make an impact on the environment as a whole? If you've read EarthPlex's post about why schools should teach climate change , you

The Environmental Message of "How Bad Can I Be" - The Lorax

The Environmental Message of How Bad Can I Be - The Lorax The 2012 rendition of The Lorax was a hit for children worldwide. It's based on the Dr. Seuss book that was written 50 years ago. Even though the crowd that the movie appeals to wasn't around when the book was written, the message couldn't be more relevant, even - and especially - in 2020. The movie's about a dystopia where the trees in Thneedville get cut down. The characters learn the importance of something we take for granted. The movie includes songs, one of which has been stuck in my head. No, it's not Let it Grow (but I plan to write an entire post about it in the near future, so follow our [FREE] mailing list to get notified upon its release); the song is How Bad Can I Be. In the song, the Once-ler (Ed Helms) cuts down trees for profit, and he asks "How bad can this possibly be?" Throughout the song, his corporate desires grow and grow as he persuades himself he's doing nothing wrong.

The Most Sustainable Transportation for Students

  The Most Sustainable Transportation for Students  It's back to school season, and we're kicking off a school year like no other. Many schools, including mine, will begin the year remotely due to the coronavirus pandemic . We explored the environmental impact of working from home in our post about Zoom .  For those of you who have or eventually will return to school, you might be considering how you will get to school. If you can drive, there's a good chance you're considering commuting by car; if you live near your school, walking or biking appear to be the most convenient option. So, how should you get to school?     Don't drive A lot of kids drive or get driven to school, but as we examined in our post about if electric scooters are sustainable , cars are one of the worst methods of transportation for the environment. Each individual vehicle spews out fossil fuels, and they only carry a few people. Public transportation (which we're about to explore) differs

Kamala Harris- An Environmental Analysis

 Kamala Harris- An Environmental Analysis  Note: This post was written prior to the 2020 presidential election and remains unchanged. Joe Biden chose his running mate last Tuesday: Kamala Harris. She proved herself a fierce debater in the Democratic primary debates, but she dropped out in December. The race isn't over for her yet, as she is running with Joe Biden against Donald Trump and Mike Pence. We inspected Kamala Harris's environmental proposals and achievements in her political career.      Disclaimer: EarthPlex will only judge political candidates based on their environmental policies. Even if they have caused harm to the American people or economy, they will still receive our approval if they have strong environmental policies.      As a California senator, Harris voted in favor of protecting the planet on multiple accounts. According to the League of Conservation Voters , Harris always had pro-environment votes, except for two times when she missed the votes. She supp

Silk Oat Yeah Milk Review

Silk Oat Yeah Review  Recently, I tried Silk's Oat Yeah milk. Oat milk is more eco-friendly than cows' milk and more sustainable than even most plant-based milks. I tried Silk's take on it, and it didn't taste as I had expected it to. Let me explain:       Disclaimer: As I mentioned in my reviews of the Beyond and Impossible Burgers, I’m not a food critic, and my culinary knowledge is quite limited. In case you’re new to EarthPlex, we’re a blog and platform for teens that discusses environmental topics. Also, I had the zero sugar kind, which has a green container. Appearance      I don't know why, but I've been starting my reviews with the appearance. That's important with milk because cows' milk has a white hue. The oat milk, in contrast, was off-white. I've been drinking a lot of soy milk recently (get notified when EarthPlex reviews Silk's soy milk with our [FREE] mailing list), and they share similar colors. Consumers shouldn't need t

The Face Mask Pollution Problem

 The Face Mask Pollution Problem  I read an Instagram post from 4ocean‌ earlier today. It detailed the PPE masks that are being found in oceans during the coronavirus pandemic . I highly request reading it and following EarthPlex on Instagram with this link . With millions of tons of plastic finding their way into the ocean every year, face masks disrupting aquatic ecosystems is a fatal problem that is masked (pun intended) by the severity of this pandemic. This problem doesn’t have to be as extreme as it’s been, for there is a simple solution to this catastrophe: reusable masks. I don’t have to go into much detail regarding the advantages of wearing a reusable mask. Consumers can only buy one or two masks that will last as long, or longer, than a box of conventional face masks. A reusable mask requires more resources to manufacture than an individual one-time use mask, but in the long term, they’re a much wiser option. I’ve been using a reusable mask for the majority of the pan

The Environmental Impact of Phineas and Ferb's Creations

‌ The Environmental Impact of Phineas and Ferb's Creations I saw the trailer for Phineas and Ferb: Candace Against the Universe about a week ago, and I'm so excited to watch it. Unfortunately, it's only available on Disney Plus, so I'll either subscribe or use the free trial. The trailer got me thinking about my childhood obsession with Phineas and Ferb. Then I wondered, how do they have the resources to build all of these things?, and do they reuse the materials, or do Dr. Doofenshmirtz's inators cause them to buy new stuff every time Phineas says, "Ferb, I know what we're going to do today!"           I decided to analyze the environmental impacts of what Phineas and Ferb have built during their 104 days of summer vacation. Before I go into the basics of their carbon footprint, there are two things I must get out of the way. First, this is only a TV show, and we will look into what Phineas and Ferb have built; we will not analyze the impact of produ

The Miracle Meat for the Environment

The Miracle Meat for the Environment Over the years, studies have come out about health issues attached to red meat. Some weeks it will cause cancer, and others, it’s not as bad as people had thought. I, personally, would like to limit my intake of food that has the potential to cause severe problems in my future. That’s excluding the fact that beef is killing the planet (this is an environmental blog; we had to mention the planet!) and cows are treated like slaves.  I Googled the primary nutrients in red meat and searched for other foods with the same nutrients. Most of the nutrients can be found in one other meat: fish. Not all people consider fish a meat, but it’s certainly a food that comes from animals, so we choose to call it a type of meat. Fish have a lot of health benefits and contain a plethora of nutrients, such as Omega-3 fatty acids. Studies even suggest that a fish-heavy diet can improve lifespans. So, why is fish the “miracle meat?” Here’s a hint: we’re a climate and e

Why Schools Should Teach Climate Change

 Why Schools Should Teach Climate Change  Climate change has become one of humanity's most important issues. Sea levels are rising and forests are on fire. It seems that most adults haven't done their part to help the planet, so solving climate change will be left to Gen Z. As a Zoomer myself, I worry that my peers and I haven't been taught the skills and information required to fix the messed up world that was given to us. If kids and teens were to learn about environmental issues in-depth, it would have to be at school. That got me wondering: Should schools teach climate change?        Recently, New Jersey became the first state to include climate education in its K-12 curriculum. This could potentially change the United States' response to the climate crisis. This is only a start though, considering New Jersey's population is only 8.9 million of the country's total 328.2 million people, according to the United States Census Bureau . The greatest effect this

A Scavenger Hunt During Quarantine

A Scavenger Hunt During Quarantine August 1 kicked off the 2020 GISH scavenger hunt. Many teams will compete to win it. So, what is GISH? Founded by Misha Collins from Supernatural, GISH is an online scavenger hunt that causes unreasonable pain and suffering . I signed up for it with my family a few weeks ago, and believe me, it seemed like a good idea at the time . Challenges include getting members of Congress to play at a park (Congressional Recess) and creating a bicycle-powered toothbrush.  My team, called MostlyCousins, is competing against hundreds of other teams to claim the title of top GISHers. For bored people of all ages, GISH is a fabulous way to spend quarantine; it’s taken my mind off of my stresses, and now I’m determined to win this hunt! What does GISH have to do with the environment? The challenges in the scavenger hunt “focus on tackling some of the world’s social problems,” they say on their website . Some of the challenges encourage voting, one of the most effecti