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UPDATE 4/2/15: California Gov. Jerry Brown has enacted the first ever statewide water restrictions.

"California only has 1 year of water left" is a statement we all started paying attention to recently.

(The truth is more complicated. But still, it's a crisis.)


Now, before you start building your “safe rooms" and compounds hidden far from civilization, check this out.

This is not a doom-and-gloom post — by the end I'll have laid out a couple of solutions for you. However, we need to put a few cards on the table first. Think of this like ripping off a Band-Aid. It'll hurt at first, but we're going to get through it.

Why should the other 49 states care about California's water? Food.

When you think of California you may think of self-absorbed actors, major tech companies, and lots of beaches. However, you should probably start thinking about your food. The sunny state on the left coast is responsible for more than 400 yummy foods that keep you alive. The state produces half of U.S.-grown fruits, veggies, and nuts. Y'all, think about that for a second ... that's a shit-ton of food. California is an agribusiness state.


Without water, we've got a lot less food.

NASA just released new maps of how the drought is affecting the state, and it's not good. This is just another sign of the earth's changing climate. And the entire world (sans a very small group) agrees that humans are a major factor in climate change.

If you're a meat-eater like me, listen up. When you bite into a delicious burger, it took 1,847 gallons of water to make just one pound of beef. Do you like almonds? Well, it takes about 1.1 gallons of water to grow a single almond. You get it.

Selling food is super duper profitable.

First of all, farmers rock. I love them. When I was a kid, my family grew our own food, and many of our friends were farmers of some sort. I think farmers deserve profit because they are super important. However, we are not talking about the mom-and-pop farmers you might see at a local farmers market. We are talking about companies that own a ton of land and tweak environmental laws for their own benefit. Those companies rule places like California and...

Brazil.

Brazil is heavy on agribusiness just like California. And it produces lots of food, including veggies and beef. The states of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Minas Gerais might run out of water soon. Brazil is home to roughly 12% of the world's fresh water. Because of growing cities, drought, and rising temperatures (people are using more energy, which requires more water), Brazil's water reserves have been decimated. So we can learn a little from them, right?

Agribusiness is wasteful.

Agribusiness, like most everything, requires water. I mentioned that it takes a heaping 1,847 gallons of water to make a pound of beef, but beef is just the tri-tip of the iceberg (see what I did there?). It takes about 395 gallons of water to make one pound of eggs and about 28 gallons of water to create one glass of beer. The list goes on. Plus, 30%-50% of food is wasted in production before it gets to your belly. Ooof. We grow enough food to feed the world, but we feed it to the animals we end up eating.

OK, you know how earlier I mentioned we'd revisit the silver lining to this?

Agribusiness is a "necessary" problem because we've gotta eat. But we are doing it wrong, yo. Right now agribusiness = climate change = super bad droughts = worse climate change = no water = no food.

But good news: The amount of Americans who don't think climate change is caused by humans is decreasing. And there is a way our generation can start the path and march toward building a sustainable solution.

What can be done?

Some of those Americans who don't think climate change is caused by humans are the people we vote for (yikes!), and that's a whole heap of messed up.

But! You have control of this. Seriously. You, me, and everyone else who votes. Elections are super important, and you have more tools at your fingertips to see how your representative is voting. I use Greenhouse. Here's how it works: When I'm reading a story about a politician, I can hover my pointer over their name, and everyone who contributes to that politician pops up. This is what it looks like:



Check out this amazing animation below — it'll show you how Brazil is asking its residents to deal with one of the largest problems we've seen, very similar to ours. Plus, it'll make you feel empowered.

via Chewy

Adorable Dexter and his new chew toy. Thanks Chewy Claus.

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Every holiday season, millions of kids send letters asking for everything from a new bike to a pony. Some even make altruistic requests such as peace on Earth or helping struggling families around the holidays.

But wouldn’t the holiday season be even more magical if our pets had their wishes granted, too? That’s why Chewy Claus is stepping up to spread holiday cheer to America’s pets.

Does your dog dream of a month’s supply of treats or chew toys? Would your cat love a new tree complete with a stylish condo? How about giving your betta fish some fresh decor that’ll really tie its tank together?

Or do your pets need something more than mere creature comforts such as life-saving surgery?

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Photo by Jeremy Wong on Unsplash

Teen raises $186,000 to help Walmart worker retire.

In America, many people have to work well past the age of retirement to make ends meet. While some of these people choose to work past retirement age because it keeps them active, some older people, like Nola Carpenter, 81, work out of necessity.

Carpenter has been working at Walmart for 20 years, way beyond most people's retirement age just so that she can afford to continue to pay her mortgage. When 19-year-old Devan Bonagura saw the woman looking tired in the break room of the store, he posted a video to his TikTok of Carpenter with a text overlay that said, "Life shouldn't b this hard..." complete with a sad face emoji.

In the video, Carpenter is sitting at a small table looking down and appearing to be exhausted. The caption of the video reads ":/ I feel bad." Turns out, a lot of other people did too, and encouraged the teen to start a GoFundMe, which has since completed.

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Philadelphia is taking the city back to the past.

Remember when calling your parents, a tow truck or a friend when you were out and about meant digging in your pocket for a quarter to make a pay phone call? Well, a Philadelphia-based collective, PhilTel, is jumping into the past with a modern twist, by installing free-to-use pay phones throughout the city.

Of course, the pay phones that many of us grew up were removed from public places years ago. There no longer seemed to be a need for them when most people had a phone in their pocket or in their hand. But it's easy to forget that not everyone has or wants that luxury. For some people, staying that connected all the time can be too much and for others, it's simply financially impossible to own a cell phone.

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This article originally appeared on 07.22.21


As if a Canada goose named Arnold isn't endearing enough, his partner who came looking for him when he was injured is warming hearts and having us root for this sweet feathered couple.

Cape Wildlife Center in Barnstable, Massachusetts shared the story on its Facebook page, in what they called "a first" for their animal hospital.


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Think all cats are the same? These pictures prove they each have their own personality

Photographer Nils Jacobi shows how cats aren't nearly as aloof as one might think.

All images used with Nils Jacobi's permission. @furryfritz/Instagram

Catographer purrfectly captures cats' purrsonalities.

People often mistakingly attribute a singular personality to cats—usually the words "aloof" or "snobby" are used to describe them. At best, they might be given the "evil genius" label. But in actuality, no two cats are alike. Each has their own distinct ways of being, whether that’s silly, sophisticated, affectionate, downright diabolical or somewhere in between.

This photographer has the pictures to prove it.

Nils Jacobi, better known online as furryfritz, the catographer, has photographed literally thousands upon thousands of cats—from Maine coons who look like they should be in a perfume ad to tabbies in full-on derp mode.
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