We could be saving a lot of money by living a cleaner, greener lifestyle — like in the trillions.
True
Natural Resources Defense Council

Look, I get it: Cleaning up your carbon footprint feels like a lot of work.

What with all the dividing up your plastics and cans and cardboard and glass and dragging that bright green or blue bin out to the curb once a week.

Hell, I'm not even sure what goes where at my co-working space:



Is there a difference between the blue and the green? What about all the biodegradable cups and utensils? Where do I put those when I'm done? I'M SO OVERWHELMED — ooooh, look! Reese's Peanut Butter Pumpkins...

And sure, maybe you'd buy an electric car if there were more options or if they weren't so much more expensive at the lot.

But as cool as your neighbor's solar panels look, you can't imagine that the maintenance and installation costs could really make it worth it. Besides, your standard electric bill is easier, and it's not even that bad anyway. Right?

But what if I told you that clean, green living will actually save you money?

GIF from "The Matrix."

I think it's fair to assume that most people think that greenhouse gases are cheap and easy, so they're willing to go along with the undeniable damage that they do to the planet because, hey, money's tight. I get that.

But guess who benefits from that belief? (Hint: It's the people making money off of it.)

As it turns out, renewable energy is significantly more cost-effective than fossil fuels.

And the price is only going down (which in turn makes the price of fossil fuels rise even more because the market says so — shout-out to all my free-market capitalist homies!)


Clearly Beyoncé was singing about renewal energy and the changing climate, which is decidedly not "chill." GIF via Destiny's Child.

So much so that it has cost us over $300 trillion — and counting! — for not doing the green thing.

A new economic study has valued the cost of our continued environmental destruction at a whopping $326 trillion dollars (over two centuries, but still).

Specifically, the study from the University of Cambridge and the National Snow and Ice Data Center applied theoretical economic models to predict the cost of climate change over the next 185 years on agriculture, air conditioning (to counter the rising global temperatures), human health care and medical coverage for new and evolving diseases, and more.

What's more, their model showed that if we don't find a way to slow the increasing thaw of Arctic permafrost and the resulting carbon emissions, it'll add an additional $43 trillion to that already hefty sum.

It should be noted that these numbers are ignoring the cost of inflation; presumably private colleges will cost $43 trillion per semester in the year 2100, but that's like comparing a nickel today to a nickel in 1830.


GIF from "Eastbound and Down."

"We want to use these models to help us make better decisions — linking scientific and economic models together is a way to help us do that," Chris Hope, one of the authors of the paper, said in a press release. Ya know, better decisions like not destroying the planet while also paying out of pocket to subsidize our own demise.

At the end of the day, the facts are clear: Clean, green living is not a partisan problem. It's actually better for everyone.

"Reducing fossil fuel emissions and stopping climate change is not a stark choice between jobs and the environment," said Kevin Schaefer, another author of the paper. “Rather, we can simultaneously reduce emissions and grow the economy by harnessing the same market forces that created the problem in the first place. [...] This will create an environment where consumers will naturally choose the low-carbon option because it is the best economic choice available."

When you put it that way, it's kind of hard to argue. It is literally a win-win for everyone.


GIF from "Parks and Recreation."

The return on investment for clean energy is worth it — but the benefits are that much better when we all work together.

Time for some real talk: One electric car or residential solar panel is not going to save us from the $326 trillion doom of our fiery future.

But if the world around us keeps going about things as they have been, these small pockets of change will only serve to slightly offset the inevitable — particularly when about 30% of the greenhouse gas emissions on the planet come from factories (including their share of emissions from electricity) — the largest contributor of any sector.

So as long as money talks, let's put our money where our mouths are and invest it in cleaner, greener lifestyles.

Let's pledge our support for a clean energy future — we can start by putting a stop to offshore drilling in the Arctic. By coming together and pledging ourselves toward a better future, we can implement greater and more far-reaching changes than me trying to understand the difference between the green and blue recycling bins.

But I'm still going to do that, of course. Because it still makes a difference.

True

Anne Hebert, a marketing writer living in Austin, TX, jokes that her closest friends think that her hobby is "low-key harassment for social good". She authors a website devoted entirely to People Doing Good Things. She's hosted a yearly canned food drive with up to 150 people stopping by to donate, resulting in hundreds of pounds of donations to take to the food bank for the past decade.

"I try to share info in a positive way that gives people hope and makes them aware of solutions or things they can do to try to make the world a little better," she said.

For now, she's encouraging people through a barrage of persistent, informative, and entertaining emails with one goal in mind: getting people to VOTE. The thing about emailing people and talking about politics, according to Hebert, is to catch their attention—which is how lice got involved.

"When my kids were in elementary school, I was class parent for a year, which meant I had to send the emails to the other parents. As I've learned over the years, a good intro will trick your audience into reading the rest of the email. In fact, another parent told me that my emails always stood out, especially the one that started: 'We need volunteers for the Valentine's Party...oh, and LICE.'"

Hebert isn't working with a specific organization. She is simply trying to motivate others to find ways to plug in to help get out the vote.

Photo by Phillip Goldsberry on Unsplash

Keep Reading Show less
via KrustyKhajiit / YouTube

Thomas F. Wilson played one of the most recognizable villains in film history, Biff Tannen, in the "Back to the Future" series. So, understandably, he gets recognized wherever he goes for the iconic role.

The attention must be nice, but it has to get exhausting answering the same questions day in and day out about the films. So Wilson created a card that he carries with him to hand out to people that answers all the questions he gets asked on a daily basis.

Keep Reading Show less
Courtesy of FIELDTRIP
True

The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected diverse communities due largely in part to social factors such as inadequate access to housing, income, dietary options, education and employment — all of which have been shown to affect people's physical health.

Recognizing that inequity, Harlem-based chef JJ Johnson sought out to help his community maximize its health during the pandemic — one grain at a time.

Johnson manages FIELDTRIP, a health-focused restaurant that strives to bring people together through the celebration of rice, a grain found in cuisines of countless cultures.

"It was very important for me to show the world that places like Harlem want access to more health-conscious foods," Johnson said. "The people who live in Harlem should have the option to eat fresh, locally farmed and delicious food that other communities have access to."

Lack of education and access to those healthy food options is a primary driver of why 31% of adults in Harlem are struggling with obesity — the highest rate of any neighborhood in New York City and 7% higher than the average adult obesity rate across the five boroughs.

Obesity increases risk for heart disease or diabetes, which in turn leaves Harlem's residents — who are 76% Black or LatinX — at heightened risk for complications with COVID-19.

Keep Reading Show less

Sometimes a politician says or does something so brazenly gross that you have to do a double take to make sure it really happened. Take, for instance, this tweet from Lauren Witzke, a GOP candidate for the U.S. Senate from Delaware. Witzke defeated the party's endorsed candidate to win the primary, has been photographed in a QAnon t-shirt, supports the conspiracy theory that 9/11 was a U.S. government inside operation, and has called herself a flat earther.

So that's neat.

Witzke has also proposed a 10-year total halt on immigration to the U.S., which is absurd on its face, but makes sense when you see what she believes about immigrants. In a tweet this week, Witzke wrote, "Most third-world migrants can not assimilate into civil societies. Prove me wrong."

First, let's talk about how "civil societies" and developing nations are not different things, and to imply that they are is racist, xenophobic, and wrong. Not to mention, it has never been a thing to refer people using terms like "third-world." That's a somewhat outdated term for developing nations, and it was never an adjective to describe people from those nations even when it was in use.

Next, let's see how Twitter thwapped Lauren Witzke straight into the 21st century by proving her wrong in the most delicious way. Not only did people share how they or their relatives and friends have successfully "assimilated," but many showed that they went way, way beyond that.

Keep Reading Show less
via WatchMojo / YouTube

There are two conflicting viewpoints when it comes to addressing culture from that past that contains offensive elements that would never be acceptable today.

Some believe that old films, TV shows, music or books with out-of-date, offensive elements should be hidden from public view. While others think they should be used as valuable tools that help us learn from the past.

Keep Reading Show less