Save the Ocean and Marine Life!

If you love marine animals, the ocean and the beaches, you should watch Chasing Coral and Plastic Paradise on Netflix 

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Chasing Coral: Humans are single-handedly destroying the place we call home with our dependence on fossil fuels, our greed for red meats (and most food animal meats honestly), our reliance on transportation methods that require gas, and our ability to turn a blind eye because we aren’t THERE watching the coral reefs bleaching and then dying before our eyes, right beneath the water’s surface. We are literally so ignorant to what’s at stake. If you love seafood, you should care about our coral reefs dying. Marine ecosystems are desperately crying out for help because they can’t fix what humans have done in the last century alone. Think about it this way: if our bodies rose 2 degrees C, we’d be running a 102 degree F fever…this is essentially what’s happening to the coral reefs as they’re subject to rising sea level temperatures because our ozone is trapping all the greenhouse gases in our atmosphere that’s released by the fossil fuel industry, large-scale farming and animal production etc. 

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Plastic Paradise: Our society is addicted to convenience and the ability to use something in the moment and then dispose of it once it’s “unusable”. Instead of investing in or carrying a reusable water bottle, we buy plastic water bottles and refreshments that we either litter, throw in the trash, or (hopefully) recycle. Litter and plastic items that get blown into the oceans ends up floating away somewhere–it doesn’t disappear. Marine animals and birds get trapped in them, they may accidentally eat them (anyone see that photo of the whale with a stomach full of plastic? it starved to death because it didn’t have space to eat what it actually needed. see that video where a sea turtle had to get a plastic straw plied out of its nostril? or birds with those soda can plastic rings stuck around their neck?)

I wish we were more aware of what we’re doing to the environment and where we call home.

Get involved or change your habits:
– eat less red meat, or jump on the bandwagon for Meatless Mondays! earthday_badge3
– carpool or take public transportation, or BIKE or WALK if you can!
– buy sustainable, reusable items, and try to avoid buying things in plastic containers
– donate to an organization that focuses on ocean clean-up or advocates for the climate (examples here: http://careclimatechange.org/our-work/advocacy/https://climateprotection.org/be-a-climate-advocate/http://www.who.int/…/health_policy/who_workplan/advocate/en/)
– VOLUNTEER (examples here: https://oceanconservancy.org/…/international-coastal-clean…/http://saveourshores.org/volunteer/https://www.theoceancleanup.com/http://www.cleanoceanaction.org/index.php?id=128iccd_hero_image_beach_cleanup_1440x550

The worst thing you can do is read this, say “oh…this is sad” and not do anything about it. Don’t sit around and wait for someone else to take action. YOU have a duty to yourself, your family, your children, grandchildren, etc. to take care of the planet we live on and make efforts to live a better life and to improve our lifestyles so we make a lesser impact on the earth.

Water-Saving Tips & Tricks

Countries around the world are currently facing water scarcity. Drought is caused by a lack of precipitation for an extended period of time, which can affect agriculture, the economy, and our bodies of water. In the 1930s, the US had experienced the Dust Bowl, a period in which soil from large plots of land would blow away due to wind erosion. Because of a lack of understanding of topsoil and necessary grasses to keep soil in place, farmers had plowed the land that uprooted these grasses and soil and made it easier for strong winds to pick up the soil during a drought, making the land unable to support any agriculture during that period.

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California has been suffering from a drought for the past few years, and as our main source of produce throughout the country, we should be wary of potential ramifications of wasting unnecessary water when we should be focusing on water conservation. Less than 3% of water on the planet is fresh, potable water, while the rest is undrinkable (ocean water or water with too much salinity). If you do not live in a water-scarce city or country, you might want to consider the term Tragedy of the Commons, where we as individuals “act independently according to [our[ own self-interest behave contrary to the common good of all [individuals] by depleting that resource through [our] collective action.”

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Individually, we may not see a huge impact, but by becoming more aware of how we use our water and tweaking our behaviors slightly to use a little less water, we can educate others to alter their behaviors and make it more possible to make a larger impact and help the environment. On average, one household in the US can use up to 400 gallons of water IN A DAY!

Here are some tips for conserving water in your home:

  • turn off the faucet while you brush your teeth
  • turn off the faucet when you soap your dishes before you rinse them
  • take shorter showers by timing yourself
    • if you listen to music while you shower, limit your showers to 1-2 songs (that can range between 3-10 minutes)
  • fix any leaks when you detect them to prevent wasted water
  • if you can, invest in an efficient toilet with two flush settings
  • use a broom to sweep away leaves or dirt outside of your home instead of hosing down the sidewalk and driveway
  • use a sponge and a bucket to wash your car instead of spraying a hose
  • invest in xeriscaping over a green grass lawn; it doesn’t just save water, but it can bring out your creativity!
  • more tips here 🙂
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An example of a backyard with xeriscaping!

What tips and tricks do you have for conserving water within your home?

Supporting Farmers’ Markets

I have to say, living less than 10 minutes from a farmers’ market in Baltimore is pretty great. It was my first time going this past Sunday and I wanted to curb my expectations in case it wasn’t as humongous as I’d imagined it to be, but I was not disappointed!

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These vendors were literally right below the highway!

Nestled right underneath the Jones Fall Expressway, it’s impossible to miss. If you’ve ever visited Smorgasburg in NYC, or a bustling flea market, this is the impression I got from this farmer’s market when my roomie and I arrived. Three words: it. was. PACKED.

We arrived later that morning when there were still a large number of people walking around browsing each stand, and we quickly hurried to buy our produce. I walked away with two tote bags full of fresh, locally grown produce for less than $20!

Going to farmers’ markets is definitely a great way to support local entrepreneurs and farmers. You are not only helping a small business, but you are buying fresh, in-season produce so you know they’ll be tasty to eat as a snack or in your meals, and most of the time these farmers will not use pesticides or other chemicals on their crops. If you want to know more reasons why you should support your farmers’ markets near you, click here 🙂

Check out some meals made with the produce I purchased at the farmer’s market here:

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