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How electric cars can become more accessible for all
Courtesy of General Motors
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Electric vehicles are no longer lofty, futuristic goals—they're here and they're growing in popularity. There are currently more than 650,000 battery-powered and hybrid electric cars on the road in California alone and that number is only expected to grow, both in the state and across the United States as a whole. In fact, according to industry analysts, sales of electric cars and SUVs are expected to hit record levels in 2021.

Shifting to electric vehicles and using more renewable energy sources is believed to be a big step towards creating a more sustainable future for all. Some companies are beginning to pave this path, like General Motors who has committed to30 new electric vehicles by 2025. EVs eliminate tailpipe emissions – thereby improving the air we all breathe. Since air quality issues can disproportionately affect the health of people of color and lower-income neighborhoods, this emissions reduction can have a larger social impact.

Electric cars have historically been known as luxury vehicles and therefore thought to be out of the price range for most people. It's expensive to buy a new car—any new car—and the average sticker price of an electric car is $19,000 higher than an average gasoline-powered vehicle. Even though you can generally recoup this upfront cost over time because EVs can be cheaper to operate with no fueling and lower maintenance costs, some people just can't come up with the money upfront. To help more people afford an EV, GM is working through a joint venture withLG Energy Solutions to reduce battery cell costs to help make EVs more affordable to new buyers.

Many also believe that EVs won't support their lifestyle thinking they need to be charged regularly. However, today's EVs have an industry average range ofabout 250 miles – much more than in the past. For those who can charge their vehicles nightly at home, this range is plenty for everyday driving needs. It can become a bit more challenging for those who drive long distances or don't own a garage.

For those drivers, charging may seem like another barrier to ownership. EV chargers are not always easy to find and are not yet evenly distributed across the United States. For city dwellers, without a garage or charging access at home, that are reliant on public charging stations, this can be challenging. Theresimply aren't enoughpublic charging stations (yet) in cities such as New York.

There's good news though: GM is working with EVgo to triple the size of the country's largest public fast-charging network by adding more than 2,700 new fast-charging stalls in the US by the end of 2025 so that more people can have access to fast charging. (Even better, all of these new chargers will be powered entirely by renewable energy.)

To continue breaking down these barriers, companies like General Motors are taking huge strides to help make EVs more accessible to everyone by investing $27 billion into electric and autonomous vehicles over the next five years. With specific investment in their new Ultium battery technology, which is capable of charging fast, running long, and fitting every type of vehicle, from crossovers and sedans to SUVs and trucks.

The new Ultium batteries are made up of large, pouch-style cells that can be stacked horizontally or vertically, allowing them to optimize energy storage and layout so they can be used in different-sized vehicles. They will also be capable of powering an EV with a GM estimated range of up to 450 miles on a full charge — which is way more than the current industry average of 250 miles—though of course range will vary depending on temperature, terrain, battery age, vehicle model, the load it's carrying, and maintenance.

Once EVs become more available and more practical to own and use, they can become more accessible to everyone, no matter where they live. EVs are one way to make the world a cleaner place and with companies like GM removing barriers to ownership, more of us can make a difference toward zero emissions and help create a better planet for all.

Images provided by Pacifico

Making waves in the best way

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At last, summer is here. And for many people, that means it's time for heading to the beach and maybe even catching some waves. Surfing is a quintessential summertime activity for those who live in coastal communities—it’s not only really fun and challenging, it’s also a great way to celebrate Mother Nature’s beauty. Even after a wipeout, the cool water mixed with warm sunshine offers a certain kind of euphoria. Or, you know, just hanging back on the sand is plenty fun too. Simply being outdoors near the ocean is its own reward.

pacifico quiksilver beach cleanupLet’s protect the places where outdoor adventure happensAll photos provided by Pacifico

However, it's well known that our beautiful beaches are suffering the consequences of overcrowding, pollution and littering. What was once a way of playing in nature is now slowly destroying it. And of course, this affects beachgoers everywhere. The sad truth is—without taking action to preserve all the natural joys the earth provides, we will eventually lose them.

But there is hope. Two popular brands that both have roots in surf culture have teamed up to help make trips to the beach a more sustainable pastime. The best part? You don’t have to know how to hang ten in order to participate.

Pacifico®, a pilsner-style lager originally brought to the U.S. by surfers, and Quiksilver, an iconic apparel company loved by both surfers and beach goers alike, have created a brand-new range of clothing and accessories with sustainability in mind.

Take a look below. These threads are great for all kinds of fun in the sun, without compromising the environment.

pacifico quicksilver beach cleanupsReady to make some waves

The collection launches on July 5 and includes tees and woven shirts, boardshorts, hats, flip-flops and a special beach towel and tote bag. The unique collaboration features the vibrant, colorful designs that are the hallmark of Quiksilver combined with Pacifico elements, created to make a positive impact.

Each item has been thoughtfully curated to minimize an environmental footprint and protect the outdoors. The hats, for example, are made from NetPlus® by Bureo®, a raw material created from South American recycled fishing nets. Additionally, the board shorts are made from recycled plastic bottles, and tees are made with 100% organic cotton. Pretty rad stuff, to put it in surfer lingo.

The prices on these pieces are equally rad, ranging from $28 flip-flops to $60 boardshorts.

In keeping with the sustainable ethos and protecting the places we play, Pacifico and Quiksilver will celebrate the products’ launch by hosting two beach cleanups. The first is on July 5 at Sunset Point in Malibu, California, from 4-5:30pm, and the second is on July 9th at Deerfield Beach in Florida from 8:30 – 10:30am.

pacifico quicksilver clothing lineCleaning up and looking good while doing it

Theses beach cleanups are open to anyone over the age of 21 who’s ready to have some fun while taking care of nature’s playground.

Those who can’t make it to the beach (bummer, dude) don’t have to miss out on all the fun. The new collection will be available on July 5th at www.quiksilver.com/mens-collab-pacifico. And even if you don’t surf, never plan to surf, have no desire to even be near a surfboard, rest assured, the apparel is still cool. Plus sustainable choices are always good fashion.

Our planet provides us with an endless supply of beauty and adventure. But without more mindful actions from humanity, its natural wonders will eventually diminish. Fortunately Pacifico and Quiksilver are making it easier than ever for people to enjoy the great outdoors without jeopardizing it. That’s a wave worth riding.

This article originally appeared on 09.06.17


Being married is like being half of a two-headed monster. It's impossible to avoid regular disagreements when you're bound to another person for the rest of your life. Even the perfect marriage (if there was such a thing) would have its daily frustrations. Funnily enough, most fights aren't caused by big decisions but the simple, day-to-day questions, such as "What do you want for dinner?"; "Are we free Friday night?"; and "What movie do you want to see?"

Here are some hilarious tweets that just about every married couple will understand.

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Image courtesy of Meta’s Community Voices film series

Nenad Bach, founder of Ping Pong Parkinson's.

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Nenad Bach, a Croatian American recording artist, and peace activist has led an impressive life propelled by his inspiring optimism. As a musician, he’s performed alongside Bono and Luciano Pavarotti and took the stage at Woodstock ‘94. He’s recorded with legendary artists such as Garth Hudson and Rick Danko from The Band and The Grateful Dead’s Vince Welnick.

As an activist, he was highlighted by the United Nations for his World Peace in One Hour campaign.

But in 2010 his life came to a temporary halt after being diagnosed with Parkinson's, a nervous system disorder affecting movement. According to the Michael J. Fox Foundation, it’s a progressive disease that slowly worsens over time.

Over a million people in the U.S. and 6 million worldwide are affected by the disease.

After being diagnosed with Parkinson's, Bach was invited by a friend to play ping pong. The next day he couldn’t believe how much better he felt. His cognitive abilities improved, his tremors were less intense, it was easier for him to walk and talk and he felt a greater “desire to live,” he told Upworthy.

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Paul Rudd in 2016.

Passing around your yearbook to have it signed by friends, teachers and classmates is a fun rite of passage for kids in junior high and high school. But, according to KDVR, for Brody Ridder, a bullied sixth grader at The Academy of Charter Schools in Westminster, Colorado, it was just another day of putting up with rejection.

Poor Brody was only able to get four signatures in his yearbook, two from what appeared to be teachers and one from himself that said, “Hope you make some more friends."

Brody’s mom, Cassandra Ridder has been devastated by the bullying her son has faced over the past two years. "There [are] kids that have pushed him and called him names," she told The Washington Post. It has to be terrible to have your child be bullied and there is nothing you can do.

She posted about the incident on Facebook.

“My poor son. Doesn’t seem like it’s getting any better. 2 teachers and a total of 2 students wrote in his yearbook,” she posted on Facebook. “Despite Brody asking all kinds of kids to sign it. So Brody took it upon himself to write to himself. My heart is shattered. Teach your kids kindness.”

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