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Showing posts from July, 2021

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