Between the new normal that is working from home and e-learning for students of all ages, having functional electronic devices is extremely important. But that doesn't mean needing to run out and buy the latest and greatest model. In fact, this cycle of constantly upgrading our devices to keep up with the newest technology is an incredibly dangerous habit.
The amount of e-waste we produce each year is growing at an increasing rate, and the improper treatment and disposal of this waste is harmful to both human health and the planet.
So what's the solution? While no one expects you to stop purchasing new phones, laptops, and other devices, what you can do is consider where you're purchasing them from and how often in order to help improve the planet for future generations.
<p>Typically, new device models don't feature that many noticeable advances, meaning waiting in line every September at the Apple store when a new iPhone comes out isn't necessary. A better solution is to instead buy refurbished. </p><p><a href="https://bit.ly/3kAq42B" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Back Market</a>, for example, sells all types of refurbished devices, including smartphones, computers and laptops, tablets, wearables, and more from your favorite brands. Plus, their team of experts check each device's functionality and works to restore it to the best condition possible. You can also rest easy knowing your refurbished device comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee and a one-year warranty. </p><p>Refurbished devices, while not brand new, are certified by an expert and are available at up to 70% lower prices. Not only are refurbished devices better for the environment because less waste is being generated, they're also better for your wallet. </p><p>Back Market also offers amazing deals on the items students need for <a href="https://ad.doubleclick.net/ddm/clk/476024540;282046943;f" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">back to school</a>, plus an <a href="https://ad.doubleclick.net/ddm/clk/476250672;282110393;d" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">extra 5% off</a> the already discounted prices to those enrolled in a college or university, so there's really no excuse not to buy refurbished.</p><p class="shortcode-media shortcode-media-rebelmouse-image"> <img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDM5NDAyNi9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0NjM3ODU0N30.Ie1AR5tXsGsRY8N2wXIzU_byVz4WuxJGZHwOmKO7gR4/img.jpg?width=980" id="329df" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="48aeb587fafc0f3e5237c31d3040e2d6" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image"> <small class="image-media media-photo-credit" placeholder="Add Photo Credit...">Back Market</small></p><p>While we can't reverse the damaging effects e-waste has already had on the environment, making responsible purchasing decisions can help slow down the amount being produced each year and have a lasting impact on the planet.</p><p>According to a <a href="https://collections.unu.edu/eserv/UNU:6341/Global-E-waste_Monitor_2017__electronic_single_pages_.pdf" target="_blank">2017 Report from the U.N</a>, all the countries in the world combined generated a staggering 44.7 million metric tons, or an equivalent of 13.4 pounds per inhabitant, of e-waste in 2016. Most of this waste is going straight into the landfills.<br></p><p>The same report states that only 20 percent was collected and recycled. But even the e-waste that is recycled is often improperly handled, being exported to developing countries where people work to recover valuable materials from the devices and end up exposed to toxic chemicals, according to <a href="https://blogs.ei.columbia.edu/2018/08/27/growing-e-waste-problem/" target="_blank">Columbia University</a>. E-waste toxins are also known to contaminate the air, soil, and groundwater. </p><p>While concern for the environment is high, particularly among younger generations, many people don't know what e-waste is.</p><p class="shortcode-media shortcode-media-rebelmouse-image"> <img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDM5ODA5NS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzNzAyMTA2MH0.XHNEy8r4LoRZXgZFJqycufXZMrFjsQ6ppM6NFrOgUWk/img.jpg?width=980" id="65650" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="4e96c313ecdfa4624be0ac680dac45ad" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image"> <small class="image-media media-photo-credit" placeholder="Add Photo Credit...">Vivianne Lemay</small></p><p>According to a <a href="https://www.decluttr.com/us/store/e-waste" target="_blank">survey</a>, 71% of millennials and Gen Z consider the environment to be a more important concern than the economy, but 60% of them were unfamiliar with e-waste and its impact on the environment.<br></p><p>With the effects of global warming becoming increasingly apparent, taking measures to slow down the production of e-waste is crucial.</p>
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One night in 2018, Sheila and Steve Albers took their two youngest sons out to dinner. Their 17-year-old son, John, was in a crabby mood—not an uncommon occurrence for the teen who struggled with mental health issues—so he stayed home.
A half hour later, Sheila's started getting text messages that John wasn't safe. He had posted messages with suicidal ideations on social media and his friends had called the police to check on him. The Albers immediately raced home.
When they got there, they were met with a surreal scene. Their minivan was in the neighbor's yard across the street. John had been shot in the driver's seat six times by a police officer who had arrived to check on him. The officer had fired two shots as the teen slowly backed the van out of the garage, then 11 more after the van spun around backward. But all the officers told the Albers was that John had "passed" and had been shot. They wouldn't find out until the next day who had shot and killed him.
<p>Despite the entire incident being caught on film, the Overland Park, Kansas police officer who fired the shots, Clayton Jenison, was not found guilty of any wrongdoing. The department said the shooting was justified because the officer felt his life was in danger. He resigned with $70,000 severance pay less than a month after the shooting. Sheila Albers filed a wrongful death lawsuit and the city <a href="https://www.kansascity.com/news/local/crime/article224528845.html" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">paid $2.3 million</a> to settle it last year. </p><p>It was announced Thursday that the FBI has opened its own investigation into the case.</p><p>The Albers shared their story <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuVl9tRqp_4" target="_blank">with Fox 4 News</a> last year—their first time speaking publicly about their son's death—and it's worth a watch to get more of the story: </p><p class="shortcode-media shortcode-media-youtube"> <span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="28e98bd80f1f26b5a6204d9fc5f8f2a2"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/vuVl9tRqp_4?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span> <small class="image-media media-caption" placeholder="Add Photo Caption...">Unanswered questions and unimaginable grief</small> <small class="image-media media-photo-credit" placeholder="Add Photo Credit..."> <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuVl9tRqp_4" target="_blank">www.youtube.com</a> </small> </p><p>There are many striking moments in the video, but perhaps one of the most mind-blowing is when the police chief shares changes made to department policy in the wake of the shooting. "I think the most important addition to our policy is to specify that all reasonable means of defense be exhausted, to include moving out of the path of the vehicle. I think that's probably the biggest takeaway in the new part of our policy."</p><p>Moving out of the way of a moving vehicle is now part of department policy to avoid having to shoot someone that you know is in a mental health crisis? Seriously? Is that not just common sense? </p><p>Bridget Patton, spokeswoman for the<a href="https://www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field-offices/kansascity" target="_blank"> FBI in Kansas City</a>, announced the new investigation in a written statement:<br></p><p>"The Kansas City FBI Field Office, the Civil Rights division, and the US Attorney's office for the District of Kansas have opened a civil rights investigation into the fatal shooting of an Overland Park teen, John Albers. The FBI will collect all available facts and evidence and will ensure that the investigation is conducted in a fair, thorough and impartial manner. As this is an ongoing investigation we are not able to comment further at this time."</p><p>"The FBI investigation highlights the failure of Overland Park and District Attorney Steve Howe to be transparent in their investigations and be accountable to their constituents," Sheila Albers said in a text message <a href="https://www.kansascity.com/news/local/crime/article245988915.html" target="_blank">to the Kansas City Star </a>on Thursday. "We are thankful to the FBI and the US Attorney for the district of Kansas for reopening the case and shed light on what Overland Park and our DA have been able to keep hidden."</p><p>This case is a reminder that the push to end police brutality and reimagine our systems of policing isn't just a message coming from the Black Lives Matter movement. A militarized police force, a system that doesn't know how to respond to mental health calls, and issues with transparency and impunity should concern all Americans. </p>
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Biases, stereotypes, prejudices—these byproducts of the human brain's natural tendency to generalize and categorize have been a root cause of most of humanity's problems for, well, pretty much ever. None of us is immune to those tendencies, and since they can easily slip in unnoticed, we all have to be aware of where, when, and how they impact our own beliefs and actions.
It also helps when someone upends a stereotype by saying or doing something unexpected.
Fair or not, certain parts of the U.S. are associated with certain cultural assumptions, perhaps none more pinholed than the rural south. When we hear Appalachia, a certain stereotype probably pops up in our minds—probably white, probably not well educated, probably racist. Even if there is some basis to a stereotype, we must always remember that human beings can never be painted with such broad strokes.
Enter Tyler Childers, a rising country music star whose old-school country fiddling has endeared him to a broad audience, but his new album may have a different kind of reach. "Long Violent History" was released Friday, along with a video message to his white rural fans explaining the culminating track by the same name. Watch it here:
<p class="shortcode-media shortcode-media-youtube"> <span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="c515fc8d65f0f0bc02718908a9fc8836"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/QQ3_AJ5Ysx0?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span> <small class="image-media media-caption" placeholder="Add Photo Caption...">A message from Tyler.</small> <small class="image-media media-photo-credit" placeholder="Add Photo Credit..."> <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQ3_AJ5Ysx0" target="_blank">www.youtube.com</a> </small> </p><p>Childers shared that he has no intention to be preachy, describing the humbling reality of being six months sober. "But as a person who has been given a platform by providence, luck, support, and working at it, I feel undeserving of the grace this world has given me, and I would find it a waste were I not to try and use it to make some good."<br></p><p>He talked about the moment we're in and what prompted him to write an album of music that captures this moment, calling on people to empathize with other individuals or groups. And he directed his message to a specific audience by placing the movement for Black lives into a context that rural white Americans like himself might more easily relate to.</p><p>"What if we were to constantly open up our daily paper and see a headline like 'East Kentucky Man Shot Seven Times on a Fishing Trip' Read on to find the man was shot while fishing with his son by a game warden, who saw him rummaging through his tackle box for his license and thought he was reaching for a knife. What if we read a story that began, 'North Carolina man rushing home from work to take his elderly mother to the E.R. runs stop sign and was pulled over—beaten by police when they see a gun rack in his truck.'</p><p>Or a headline like 'Ashland Community and Technical College Nursing Student Shot in Her Sleep.' How would we react to that? What form of upheaval would that create? I'd venture to say if we were met with this type of daily attack on our own people, we would take action in a way that hasn't been seen since the Battle of Blair Mountain in West Virginia."</p><p>The Battle of Blair Mountain was the largest armed uprising since the American Civil War, led by union coal miners and supporters in 1921. After years of labor disputes, miners and coal companies clashed violently in a gunfight between thousands of miners, coal company supporters, and law enforcement. After private planes hired by the sheriff dropped two homemade pipe bombs and federal troops were brought in, the miners' siege of Blair Mountain ended. </p><p>So...yeah.</p><p>"And if we wouldn't stand for it," Childers continued, "why would we expect another group of Americans to stand for it? Why would we stand silent while it happened? Or worse, get in the way of it being rectified? I've heard people from my Appalachian region say that we wouldn't act the way we've seen depicted on various media outlets. But I've also seen grown folks beat each other up the day after Thanksgiving for TVs and teddy bears. And these aren't things these communities have lost. These are sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, and cousins, mothers and fathers. Irreplaceable threads within their family fiber torn from their loved ones too soon with no justice, and they are demanding change. Same as I expect we would." </p><p>Here's the video of Childers' title track, "Long Violent History."</p><p class="shortcode-media shortcode-media-youtube"> <span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="2e4a9f14c2cf4884bd366d3c551f9dbc"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/2_I3Rp1CQak?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span> <small class="image-media media-caption" placeholder="Add Photo Caption...">Tyler Childers - Long Violent History (Audio)</small> <small class="image-media media-photo-credit" placeholder="Add Photo Credit..."> <a href="https://youtu.be/2_I3Rp1CQak" target="_blank">youtu.be</a> </small> </p><p>In particular, sit with these verses a minute:</p><p><em>Now, what would you give if you heard my opinion<br>Conjecturin' on matters that I ain't never dreamed<br>In all my born days as a white boy from Hickman<br>Based on the way that the world's been to mе?</em></p><p><em>It's called me belligеrent, it's took me for ignorant<br>But it ain't never once made me scared just to be<br>Could you imagine just constantly worryin'<br>Kickin' and fightin', beggin' to breathe?</em></p><p><br></p>
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How we talk about Black Lives Matter protests across America is often a reflection of how we personally feel about the fight for racial equality itself. We're all biased toward our own preferences and a fractured news media hasn't helped things by skewing facts, emphasizing preferred narratives and neglecting important stories, oftentimes out of fear that they might alienate their increasingly partisan and entrenched audiences.
This has been painfully clear in how we report on and talk about the protests themselves. Are they organized by Antifa and angry mobs of BLM renegades hell bent on the destruction of everything wholesome about America? Or, are they entirely peaceful demonstrations in which only the law enforcement officers are the bad actors? The uncomfortable truth is that both extreme narratives ignore key facts. The overwhelming majority of protests have been peaceful.protests have been peaceful. The facts there are clear. And the police have also provoked acts of aggression against peaceful demonstrators, leading to injuries and unnecessary arrests. Yet, there have been glaring exceptions of vandalism, intimidation and violence in cities like Portland, Seattle, and most recently, Louisville. And while some go so far as to quite literally defend looting, that's a view far outside the mainstream of nearly all Americans across various age, racial and cultural demographics.
But what if we step away from the larger philosophical debate and narrow things down to one very important fact: the vast majority of those stirring division at protests are white.
And if you don't believe me, just listen to Durham, North Carolina's mayor and what he had to say about how white people are "hijacking" Breonna Taylor's legacy and transforming a movement that has suddenly split Americans after having near unanimous support just a few months ago.
<p>"People who inflicting the damage last night are not advancing the calls to justice, in fact what they are doing is co-opting this movement for racial justice for their own purposes," <a href="https://durhamnc.gov/1329/About-the-Mayor" target="_blank">Durham Mayor Steve Schewel</a>, who is white, a Democrat, and who publicly supports the Breonna Taylor protest movement, <a href="https://abc11.com/politics/breonna-taylor-protest-in-durham-hijacked-by-anarchists-mayor-says/6540244/" target="_blank">said at a press conference</a> Wednesday night before a grand jury issued a charge against one of the officers involved in the Taylor shooting. "The folks that were inflicting the damage last night were white. I want to be really clear about this. I believe that is an indication of the fact that this is an attempt to co-opt a racial justice group. This is not something we can accept."</p><p>Schewel's words are important for a few reasons. White people who want to make racist protests all about themselves are the epitome of what non-white people say is the problem: white people enacting a solipsistic worldview even when supposedly fighting for the rights of non-white people. White people, we just can't seem to get over ourselves. </p><p>However, this co-opting of Black voices also extends to the bad actors who oppose equality. Local Black activist Paul Scott <a href="https://abc11.com/politics/breonna-taylor-protest-in-durham-hijacked-by-anarchists-mayor-says/6540244/" target="_blank">pointed out in the same story</a> that much of the violence and vandalism is being perpetrated by white people who are actively against the Black Lives Matter movement.</p><p>"There has been a history in this country of white anarchists manipulating Black suffering," Scott said. "In this country right now, courtesy of the man in the White House, there is a civil war going on between White people and they're using Black people as political pawns."</p><p>There are no quick and easy answers to the larger debates over police reform and racial inequality. But there are a few easy to follow guidelines if you're a white person who wants to fight for justice. Let's stop assuming we have all the answers. And let's stop using these protests as an opportunity to vent our frustrations over President Trump and the coronavirus in violent and anti-social ways. That energy can be directed toward amplifying Black voices, countering racist voices and standing in solidarity with the march toward progress. </p><p>Think about it this way, without the distraction of so-called riots, the media would be under even more pressure to focus on the real issues at hand, <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/09/23/bumble-bee-tuna-protesters/" target="_blank">not whether someone was throwing tuna fish at cops</a>. The last thing Trump, racists and counter-protestors want is an honest debate about what to do about our country's systemic racism. Let's bring the focus back to that so we can all move forward together.</p>
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