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

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.

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Natural Resources Defense Council

I'm staring at my screen watching the President of the United States speak before a stadium full of people in North Carolina. He launches into a lie-laced attack on Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, and the crowd boos. Soon they start chanting, "Send her back! Send her back! Send her back!"

The President does nothing. Says nothing. He just stands there and waits for the crowd to finish their outburst.

WATCH: Trump rally crowd chants 'send her back' after he criticizes Rep. Ilhan Omar www.youtube.com

My mind flashes to another President of the United States speaking to a stadium full of people in North Carolina in 2016. A heckler in the crowd—an old man in uniform holding up a TRUMP sign—starts shouting, disrupting the speech. The crowd boos. Soon they start chanting, "Hillary! Hillary! Hillary!"

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via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

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Policing women's bodies — and by consequence their clothes — is nothing new to women across the globe. But this mother's "legging problem" is particularly ridiculous.

What someone wears, regardless of gender, is a personal choice. Sadly, many folks like Maryann White, mother of four sons, think women's attire — particularly women's leggings are a threat to men.

While sitting in mass at the University of Notre Dame, White was aghast by the spandex attire the young women in front of her were sporting.

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Men are sharing examples of how they step up and step in when they see problematic behaviors in their peers, and people are here for it.

Twitter user "feminist next door" posed an inquiry to her followers, asking "good guys" to share times they saw misogyny or predatory behavior and did something about it. "What did you say," she asked. "What are your suggestions for the other other men in this situation?" She added a perfectly fitting hashtag: #NotCoolMan.

Not only did the good guys show up for the thread, but their stories show how men can interrupt situations when they see women being mistreated and help put a stop to it.

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