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U.S. Supreme Court Limits EPA’s Power to Regulate Emissions from Power Plants

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U.S. Supreme Court EPA decision

The U.S. Supreme Court, in a Thursday opinion, limited the Environmental Protection Agency’s(EPA) power to regulate emissions from power plants.

In a 6-3 decision, the Court argued that the provisions of the Clean Air Act, the law in contention, did not explicitly give the EPA broad authority to regulate carbon emissions from power plants.

The EPA still has options to regulate emissions, but, according to the Court, it does not have the power to limit emissions from power plants and force them to move away from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

Writing for the majority, Justice John Roberts said, ‘‘It is not plausible that Congress gave EPA the authority to adopt on its own such a regulatory scheme.” He continues, “A decision of such magnitude and consequence rests with Congress itself, or an agency acting pursuant to a clear delegation from that representative body.”

Justice Neil Gorsuch, on his part, emphasized the move, terming it as necessary for an agency he considers unaccountable to the public.

“While we all agree that administrative agencies have important roles to play in a modern nation, surely none of us wishes to abandon our Republic’s promise that the people and their representatives should have a meaningful say in the laws that govern them,” Gorsuch stated.

Writing for the dissenting team, Justice Elena Kagan expressed her alarm about global warming. She expressed dismay about the Court stripping the EPA of the “power Congress gave it to respond to ‘the most pressing environmental challenge of our time.”

“The Court appoints itself — instead of Congress or the expert agency — the decision-maker on climate policy … I cannot think of many things more frightening.” she wrote.

 

The big deal

climate change vs supreme court

Well, if Congress still has the power to regulate such emissions, what’s the big deal about this decision?

First, Congress is unlikely to act any time soon to regulate emissions from power plants. They can barely agree on a climate and energy bill or negotiate a package on clean energy tax credits.

Second, and more importantly, the EPA rules served as a guard rail for an industry that produces nearly 25% of planet-warming greenhouse gases.

In fact, coal, the dirtiest of the fossil fuels, powers more than 20% of U.S. electricity generation. That figure has been climbing again from 2021 since 2014.

In response to the decision, the White House, in a statement, expressed its dissatisfaction with the ruling:

“This is another devastating decision from the Court that aims to take our country backward…While the Court’s decision risks damaging our ability to keep our air clean and combat climate change, President Biden will not relent in using the authorities under the law to protect public health and tackle the climate change crisis.”

The Biden administration had promised to slash emissions by half by 2030, as more scientists warn of dire consequences if we don’t deal with global warming.

Scientists are shocked that the planet is warming faster than expected, leading to more extreme and deadly weather events, water shortages, food insecurities, droughts, and diseases.

According to the consensus from the scientific community, we must limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius to escape the severe consequences of global warming. And to do that, we must keep most of the planet’s remaining fossil fuels underground.

 

Can of worms

the problem with fossil fuels

According to environmental experts, the Supreme Court decision could set the U.S. back years in the fight against climate change with costly and deadly effects.

It makes it more difficult to cut emissions on the scale required to keep global temperatures in check.

Shifting from fossil fuels to cleaner energy is an effective and low-cost method to reduce greenhouse emissions from fossil power plants.

The decision shackles the authority in regulating the power sector but can still regulate emissions from industrial operations and the transport industry.

However, Thursday’s decision opens the door to more challenges from Republican-led states and fossil fuel companies. They can easily challenge current and future EPA rules governing planet-warming emissions.

As things stand, the EPA must find ways to act in the confines of Thursday’s decision.

The Intersection of Climate Change and the LGBTQ+ Community

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climate change and the LGBTQ+ community

As Pride month comes to an end, we explore how climate change is affecting the LGBTQ+ community and what it’s doing to cope.

While climate change may not seem like an LGBTQ issue at first glance, there is a growing body of evidence that suggests that it does indeed have a significant impact on this community. 

For one thing, LGBTQ people are more likely to live in coastal areas that are at risk of flooding and hurricanes. Queer people are also more likely to suffer from heat-related illnesses due to factors like poverty, homelessness and poor housing. 

Climate change also exacerbates mental health problems like anxiety and depression. For instance, extreme weather events such as hurricanes and tornadoes disrupt the usual support structures that most queer people rely on.

The effects of climate change are felt differently by different members of the queer community. 

For instance, queer people of color are more likely to experience the negative impacts of climate change due to factors like poverty and poor housing. In addition, trans and gender non-conforming people are at higher risk for heat-related illnesses due to hormone therapy and other medical treatments.

As we work to address this global problem, it is important to keep in mind the needs of this vulnerable group.

Article originally published on TheHomoCulture.

Read full article: Climate change and why it’s an LGBTQ+ issue

How to Have an Eco-Friendly Swimming Pool

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Eco-friendly swimming pool

Swimming pools usually have very large energy and water consumption demands.

In the winter, they need to be either heated, or drained and covered, which results in wasted water. In the summer, the filters are more active, and the water needs to be filled more often due to water losses through evaporation.

Considering the significant impact regular pools normally have on the environment, installing an Eco-friendly pool or improving an existing pool with environmentally friendly products is a great place to start.

Fortunately, there are new accessories and installation techniques that are geared towards making a pool less of a liability for Mother Earth.

 

1. Solar Bubble Covers

Eco-Friendly Swimming Pool

A great alternative to lessen the impact in-ground pools have on the environment is through the use of swimming pool covers.

Solar bubble covers are Eco-friendly swimming pool covers, which reduce the evaporation rate by as much as 95%.

Solar covers are an increasingly popular way to heat pools and prolong the swimming season. By harnessing the sun’s energy, they can raise water temperatures by as much as 15 degrees Fahrenheit. 

In addition, solar covers help to reduce evaporation and chemical loss, saving money on heating and chemicals. They also provide a barrier against dirt and debris, keeping the pool clean and ready to use.

While solar covers are not necessary for every pool, they can be a valuable addition for those who want to extend the swim season or save money on heating costs.

 

2. Solar Powered Pump

Another innovative and environmentally-friendly pool accessory is the solar-powered pump, which can filter the pool water with energy from the sun, as the name suggests.

Regular pool pumps can be replaced with a solar pump to effectively erase the electric power bill. These pumps are typically noise free, require no installation and have no carbon footprint, so they are overall winners that in time will pay for themselves.

 

3. Pool LED Lighting

Operating a swimming pool is certainly not cheap, but you can save some money by implementing the well-known LED lighting system.

In a nutshell, LED stands for light emitting diodes and these are some tiny bulbs that deliver quality light using up to five times less energy compared to incandescent bulbs. Pools must be properly illuminated during night time, and LED lighting is very durable (the system can last for decades, if maintained properly), cost-effective and appealing as well.

Moreover, installing solar panels is another wise choice: you can opt for waterproof solar panels that float on the surface of the water, or you can place the panels near the pool to gather solar energy throughout the day. Regardless of your choice, the LED lighting is certainly a wise investment!

 

4. Landscaping

landscaping for environmentally friendly pools

One growing trend is to install natural swimming pools, which are more of a pond-inspired habitat that may blend natural surroundings with water recreation.

These Eco-friendly pools are now gaining popularity in the United States, although they have been popular in Europe for quite some time.

The process begins with digging a hole with sloping sides, as large or as deep as desired. Once the hole is dug, the bottom may be lined with compacted clay or a synthetic liner made of rubber instead of PVC.

Typically, a layer of gravel is placed over the liner before the hole is filled with water. Filtration in natural pools depends heavily on the use of plants.

Landscaping plays a pivotal role for your home, as it puts emphasis on the most important areas and they complement the overall decor of your home. When it comes to the elements around the pool, you basically have two options: you can either opt for glass pool fencing which is very stylish, safe and elegant, or you can go natural and try natural stone, indigenous plants, flowers and such.

The latter option is certainly a great way if you want to add a touch of “Eco-friendliness” to your backyard swimming pool.

 

5. Green Pool Cleaning Systems

Pool cleaning systems do not come cheap either, and that is a known fact.

However, they are a necessary investment as the water must be properly filtered, purified and bacteria-free in order to make it safe for you and your family. Until recently, chemicals and chlorine were the backbone of most pool cleaning systems, but now they are seldom used to clean them – instead, saline pool cleaning system are a very popular choice these days.

Basically, chlorine-free systems rely on the principles of liquid oxidation and copper ionization to clean and disinfect the pools, killing the germs and bacteria that are lurking in the water. Also, these systems prevent the formation of algae as well.

 

6. Solar Heating Systems For Your Pool

Last, but not least, heating the pool water is important even during the hot summer months, but this can be very expensive if you own a large pool.

This is where solar heating systems step in and allow you to heat water quickly, efficient and cost-effectively.

You do not need to use electricity or gas, which are expensive and have an impact on the environment – solar heating systems can be easily installed, they have a lifespan of 10-20 years and they are a great addition to every outdoor or indoor pool.

Moreover, these systems are known for require little to no maintenance in the long haul.


Editor’s Note: This post has been updated for freshness and consistency.

How to Install a Home Charging Station for Electric Cars

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Install a Home Charging Station for Electric Cars

Compared to gas-powered vehicles, electric cars have many benefits, which has contributed to their growing popularity among today’s drivers. They are safe, cost-efficient, and generally better for the environment than gas-powered cars.

With this rise in EVs on the road, there has also been an increase in the installation of home vehicle charging stations. These are an essential piece of equipment for anyone who owns or is looking to own an electric car.

 

Self-Installation vs. Professional Installation: Which Is Better?

Before you choose your home charging station, you’ll want to check if it requires professional installation or if you can do it yourself in a safe manner.

In general, it always recommended to get professional help when dealing with electrical work. In the case of all EV chargers above Level 1, you must contact a licensed electrician to perform the installation.

 

How to Prepare & Install Your Home Charging Station

home charging station

  1. Contact a licensed electrician to perform an assessment of the area where you require your charger. The electrician will check if the current electric system can support the charger, summarize what work needs to be done, and outline an installation plan.
  2. Determine your exact charging location. The best locations will have easy accessibility, good visibility, and be safe for you, the installers, and anyone else who might use or repair the charger.
  3. Install an outdoor standard outlet near where you’ll park if one is not already available. Again, a licensed electrician should handle all electrical installations, including the outdoor outlet.
  4. Select the charging station model that best fits your situation and needs. There are dozens of different kinds of EV charger models. Some of the most popular ones include:
  • Blink
  • SemaConnect/SemaCharge
  • ChargePoint
  • Evgo
  • Electrify America
  • Webasto
  • Greenlots
  • ZEF Energy
  • OP Connect
  • GE WattStation
  • Tesla (which is only for Tesla vehicles)
  • Sun Country Highway
  • Volta
  • Astria

 

How to Choose the Right Model for Your Needs

The number of options when it comes to EV charger models can feel overwhelming. It’s important to consider details like voltage and cost when trying to decide which model is the best for your needs.

A professional electrician can offer advice as well, but it’s helpful to have a list of a few models which would work well for you and fit into your budget.

EV chargers are categorized by three different levels. Levels 1 and 2 are good for residential uses, while Level 3 chargers are generally reserved for commercial or public areas, such as parking lots.

Level 1 chargers typically come with the car, meaning they can be self-installed and plugged into standard 120-volt wall outlets, as long as an outlet is available near the area where you park. These chargers offer 3-5 miles of range per hour of charging, fully charging the car within 15-30 hours.

Level 2 chargers are faster and more convenient, providing a full charge in 8-12 hours at 12-30 miles per hour of charging. They require a 208-volt or 240-volt outlet and should be installed professionally.

Level 3 chargers charge your car within 20-30 minutes, which is why they are perfect for public areas like parking lots.

 

Price

Another important factor to consider when browsing models is the price of each charger. The cost largely depends upon the charger’s level. The charging station itself—not including installation—can cost anywhere between $300 and $1,200 for residential areas.

Level 1 chargers on their own are at the lower end of the spectrum, but their cost is usually included with the cost of the car. On the other hand, Level 2 chargers need to be purchased separately and commonly fall around the $1,200 mark.

For commercial areas which require a Level 3 charging station, the cost is understandably higher, ranging from $12,000 to $35,000.

When you calculate utility upgrades into the price tag, that adds about $150-$350 to the total cost.

Professional installation generally costs $300-$1,500. In addition, there may be unexpected costs, especially if your chosen location is not yet equipped for a charger. These costs can include:

  • Installation of an outdoor outlet
  • Garage modifications
  • Pedestal kit
  • New/upgraded electrical panel
  • Higher monthly electrical bill

Despite these costs, an EV charging station will ultimately save you money since it lasts a long time and eliminates the need to constantly buy gas.

 

Maintenance & Care of Your Home Charging Station

electric car home charging station

Some issues you may face as your charging station experiences natural wear and tear include:

  • Problems with the station’s battery or electrical connection
  • Problems with the charger cord
  • The station failing to charge your vehicle

It’s important to routinely check your charging station to make sure it both looks and works as it should.

While larger repairs will need the assistance of a professional, you can take care of your charger and ensure it lasts longer by regularly wiping it down with a damp cloth and checking for wear and tear.

Some parts, such as the charging cord, can wear down over time, but these parts are usually easily replaceable without needing to get a whole new unit.

 

To Review

There are many different options when it comes to charging stations and which level is best for your situation. Levels 1 and 2 are perfect for residential uses, while Level 3 is saved for commercial projects.

By doing your own research, comparing costs, and discussing with a professional, you can find the best home charging station that fits your needs.

Automation Solutions for Renewable Energy

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Automation Solutions for Renewable Energy

Renewable energy is key to reducing the effects of climate change. Sources such as solar and wind limit our reliance on fossil fuels, which emit greenhouse gases that pollute the air. Technology can help improve these processes. Here are a few automation solutions to get the most out of green power. 

 

1. Using Robots in Manufacturing

robots in manufacturing renewable technologies

Using robots in solar production can save time and increase efficiency. They help companies make smart and instant product decisions for solar power, which minimizes the cost and labor and improves overall workflow. Robots help manufacture silicon modules and solar cells.

Robotics are also valuable for wind turbine manufacturing. Automation streamlines the process of creating blades and towers. A robot can now paint, sand and polish the blades in a short amount of time, allowing for a quick product turnaround and lower operation costs.

Automation creates jobs for tech-savvy people who work on robots. These machines are also more precise, improving the quality of the products.

Robots are helpful in the fabrication of hydroelectric turbines as well. Flexible machines are better to use when there are multiple motion axes because they can provide consistency and reduce the risk of structural issues. 

Nuclear power is also an alternative option to wind and solar due to its efficiency. Robots can help run processes within the power plants. 

 

2. Automating Assembly Lines 

Automation provides efficient and high-performance solutions. Automated assembly lines are perfect for creating solar panels because they create a smarter, more scalable design to reduce costs. Plus, they can handle multiple projects at once for increased productivity. 

These robotic arms can help in the following procedures: 

  • Component feeding
  • Component placement
  • Depaneling and routing
  • Joining and soldering
  • Material handling

 

3. Testing Products 

Testing products is essential to meet government and safety guidelines. It also ensures there are fewer defective products. This saves money and the stress of reordering parts. Plus, it can even prevent project delays.

Some companies use robotics and AI to test renewable energy sources. The computers can also find details that humans may initially miss, ensuring the devices are structurally sound. The systems also help evaluate performance testing. 

Checking the efficiency of renewable products can also improve indoor air quality. The machine validates the device by giving it a numerical value for performance. It then ensures the final components are working as specified.

 

4. Making Handling Materials More Efficient 

Robots can do the simple handling and transport of products, allowing devices to be loaded and unloaded quickly. The machines often use segmented conveyors, transfer conveyors, turn units and lift units. 

An efficient loading system is vital, especially for larger orders. People can also adjust the machines to handle multiple widths. There is less risk of human error with computerized devices holding the products. 

Workers can ensure parts remain intact throughout the entire process. Solar energy is still an emerging field, and these parts are harder to replace. 

 

5. Incorporating Solar Panel Layout Technology

solar panels layout

Solar panels are growing in popularity for homeowners and some commercial properties. They help conserve energy and can reduce monthly bills. In fact, people can save between $10,000 and $30,000 on electricity over their lifetime. 

Some companies are using automation processes to increase solar panel efficiency by determining energy calculations and an automatic roof layout. This data can provide more effective structures based on design principles and obstacles.

It can also increase the optimal mode of operation. Automation speeds up the implementation process and reduces trial-and-error methods. It also saves time on the design side so people can focus more on the installation.

 

6. Working With Programmable Logic Controller (PLC)

PLCs help with process control by reading conditions and manipulating the output. It is a computer that can receive data and send operating instructions so contractors understand how to combine structural parts, such as wind turbine blades.

They can be used in assembly lines or robotic devices. The system improves reliability, makes programming easier and catches diagnosis issues.

Here are a few benefits of using this technology:

  • It is relatively intuitive to program
  • It’s a mature technology with years of testing and analysis
  • It’s affordable
  • It is highly versatile
  • It has fewer components

 

How Automation Can Help Renewable Energy Manufacturing

Renewable energy is essential for the planet’s health. Technology can save time and money, so professionals and homeowners should consider these tools for their next project.

The Top Environmental Issues Facing Young People Today

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youth environmental issues

How do we put this politely: We’re F**K*d … or pretty close.

Young people will probably bear the worst brunt of climate change. That’s on top of all the shenanigans happening right now: Guns and mass shootings, the disappearing rights of girls and women to make decisions over their own bodies, Russia invading Ukraine and the “forever” war, skyrocketing gas prices, inflation, racial injustices, Covid. The list goes on.

But, fine, let’s get to the issues and how we fight back. (Yeah, we won’t win this one on TikTok alone!)

 

Young People vs. Climate Change

Young people (Under 35) make up more than 50% of the world’s population. The youth, between 15 – 25, make up more than 16 percent of the population.

In fact, in some developing countries, young people make up more than 75 percent of the population. Here’s a nice breakdown of what the global population currently looks like.

The Worlds Population by Age Group
Source: visualcapitalist.com

It’s no secret that the youth play a vital role in the fight against climate change. Time and time again, we’ve seen young people come together to demand action on this pressing issue. In fact, some of the most vocal activists today are teenagers and even children.

And it’s easy to see why climate change is such an important issue. After all, we’re the ones who will have to live with the consequences of the older generation’s actions today.

We’re the ones who stand to lose the most if we don’t make changes now. As a result, we must get involved in the fight against climate change. Only by working together can we hope to create a better future for all.

 

Top 5 Youth Environmental Issues

From climate change to plastic pollution, there are many pressing issues we must address. Here are some of the most pressing concerns:

 

Climate Change

climate change and the youth

Climate change is one of the biggest threats facing the world today. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the Earth’s average temperature has increased by about 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit since pre-industrial times.

This may not sound like much, but it has already significantly impacted our planet.

The Arctic is melting, sea levels are rising, and extreme weather events are becoming more common. And this is just the beginning—the IPCC predicts that if we don’t take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the Earth’s average temperature could increase by as much as 8 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100.

This is a huge problem for today’s youth, who will bear the brunt of climate change in the coming years. They will have to contend with more extreme weather, less food and water security, and increased displacement due to sea-level rise and other impacts of climate change.

And even if we do take action to reduce emissions, young people will still face an uphill battle—the damage that has already been done by climate change will take generations to undo.

According to the UN, climate change could force as many as 700 million people into poverty by 2030. And by 2050, it is estimated that there could be 150 million climate refugees.

The youth will also have to deal with the mental health impacts of climate change. A recent study found that nearly half of young people aged 18-24 reported feeling anxious about the state of the environment. With so much at stake, we must act now to address climate change. Otherwise, the youth will pay a heavy price for inaction.

 

Plastic Pollution

Waste plastic is an eyesore. Period. And yet, walk in most cities around the world, and it’s just there, flying with the wind, washed up on beaches, or eerily floating in the ocean.

Did you know there is a garbage patch in the pacific measuring a whopping 1.6 million square kilometers? To put that in perspective, imagine 2 Texas(es) or 3 France(s) full of garbage, and most of it is plastic, just floating around.

Plastic pollution poses a serious threat to young people and the environment. Every year, millions of tons of plastic waste end up in the ocean, harming marine life and polluting the water.

This pollution also affects the food chain, as fish and other animals can ingest tiny pieces of plastic. Studies have shown that exposure to plastic pollution can cause various health problems in humans, including reproductive issues, developmental problems, and cancer.

What’s more, plastic pollution is a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to climate change. The impact of all this pollution is disproportionately felt by young people, who will inherit a damaged environment if no action is taken to reduce plastic pollution.

There are many ways to do this, from reducing our reliance on single-use plastics to increasing recycling and investing in cleaner packaging technologies, etc.

 

Water shortages

california drought

This one will be super painful for a whole lot of young people. Many are already grappling with water shortages. Droughts are slowly becoming a fixture of our existence. You only need to look to the West Coast to see how water shortages are affecting livelihoods and upending lives.

Droughts are becoming more common and intense due to climate change, leading to water shortages that disproportionately affect young people. One issue is that less water is available for drinking, cooking, and hygiene. This can lead to dehydration and even death in extreme cases.

In many parts of the world, women and young girls are responsible for collecting water for their families, which can mean walking long distances and spending hours each day waiting in line. This often means that they miss school or are unable to focus when they are there.

In addition, lack of access to clean water can lead to dehydration and waterborne illnesses, both of which are more prevalent among children.

Water shortages also lead to hunger as crops fail without enough water. This impacts people’s livelihoods and can cause widespread famine.

Additionally, droughts can cause wildfires, e.g., in California, as dry conditions make it easier for fires to start and spread. This puts people’s homes and lives at risk. Finally, droughts can lead to displacement as people are forced to leave their homes in search of water.

The UN estimates that almost two-thirds of the world’s population will be living in water-stressed regions by 2025. This will likely have a devastating impact on young people, who will bear the brunt of the consequences. To address this issue, we must take action to mitigate the effects of climate change and ensure that everyone has access to clean water.

 

Habitat Destruction and Biodiversity Loss

Habitat destruction is one of the greatest threats to the environment and a grave threat to young people. Every year, millions of acres of forest are lost to deforestation, which profoundly impacts the environment.

According to the World Wildlife Fund, an area of forest the size of 30 football fields is lost every minute.

Forests are critical in regulating the climate and providing habitat for animals and plants.

When we destroy them, it can cause flooding, wildfires, and soil erosion. It can also lead to the extinction of plant and animal species. Habitat loss is expected to exacerbate in the coming years due to population growth and the demand for timber and farmland.

This will have a devastating impact on the environment and will put even more pressure on already endangered species. As forests disappear, so does critical habitat for many species of plants and animals.

You may be wondering, why the f would I care about some elephants or hyenas roaming somewhere in the savannahs of beautiful Africa?

There are many reasons why you should care about wild animals.

For one, they play a critical role in ecosystems and help keep them in balance. They are a source of beauty and enjoyment, and their presence can add significantly to the quality of life. Furthermore, wild animals are often seen as symbols of national pride or cultural identity.

But, even barring that. Suppose the roles were reversed. Would you want or enjoy being constantly hunted and gutted (sometimes for sheer pleasure)? Would you like your home burned down or destroyed?

(What gives you way more living rights than them? Technically, we all “found” ourselves here on this beautiful blue planet. You didn’t have a say in it, and neither did they.)

The point is: Animals are living creatures that deserve our compassion and protection.

 

Air pollution

air pollution - youth environmental issues

Air pollution is a global problem that disproportionately affects young people. A WHO report found that 92% of the world’s population lives in places where air quality exceeds safe levels.

This is particularly harmful to young people as they are still developing, and their bodies are more vulnerable to the effects of air pollution. Studies have linked air pollution to various health problems, including respiratory infections, asthma, heart disease, and cancer.

In fact, the WHO estimates that air pollution is responsible for 7 million premature deaths each year. Given the scale of the problem, it’s clear that we need to do more to protect young people from air pollution.

One way to do this is to raise awareness of the issue and encourage young people to take action to reduce emissions.

How can we do this?

  • Reduce fossil fuel use: Burning fossil fuels releases harmful pollutants into the air. Thus, reducing our use can make a big difference. Try walking or biking instead of driving, carpooling whenever possible, and taking public transportation when possible.
  • Conserve energy: Saving energy reduces emissions from power plants. Turn off lights and other appliances when not used, and ensure your crib is well insulated to reduce heating and cooling needs.
  • Recycle and compost: Recycling and composting help reduce the amount of waste ending up in landfills, releasing methane – a potent greenhouse gas – into the atmosphere.

 

Conclusion

These are just some of the top environmental issues facing young people today. We must take action on them before it’s too late.

The 10-Step Guide to Creating a Sustainable Wardrobe

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sustainable wardrobe

Sustainability in fashion is a concept that aims to motivate consumers to be more mindful about the decisions they make. As a reaction to the environmental impact of fast fashion, the slow fashion movement encourages mindful consumerism as a way of reducing toxins and waste and forming a connection with the environment.

As every choice we make matters, creating a sustainable wardrobe is a step that you can take to help reduce the negative impact the fashion industry has on our planet.

Creating a sustainable wardrobe takes time and effort, so make sure that you are prepared and willing to put in the work. Keep reading for 10 easy steps to achieve your goal. 

 

1. Organize Your Closets

sustainable wardrobe

When starting on your journey towards sustainable fashion, decluttering your closets and organizing your wardrobe, as well as your jewelry box is a must.

Clear everything out and start sorting. Carefully analyze each piece in terms of condition, fit, trend and separate them in three different piles: keep, resell, donate. Set aside the last two piles and go over the clothes you want to keep once again.

Check the label for materials and keep the pieces that are made from natural fabrics like linen or organic cotton. After you finished with the clothing, don’t forget to go through the same process with your accessories.

Keep the ones that are made out of quality materials, or that mean a lot to you – like that chic pair of birthstone earrings you gifted yourself on your last birthday, or that gorgeous collection of baroque pearls which you inherited from your grandma.  

 

2. Change Your Shopping Habits 

This is probably the most important step when trying to create a sustainable wardrobe. Changing your perspective from want to need will help you cut down on impulsive shopping and ensure that you only purchase items that you need, not like.

People, in general, tend to think that they shouldn’t be spending a lot of money on a daily item, like jeans for example. Instead, they spend more money on pieces which they rarely wear, like special occasion shoes or clothes. 

Actually, things should be the opposite way around.

Instead of splurging on a dress for a wedding, which you will only wear once, invest in timeless pieces which you can wear every day – like a good quality pair of jeans, comfy shoes or a versatile coat.

Try applying the “30-wear test” before you purchase anything, whether we are talking about clothes or accessories. Ask yourself, will I wear it a minimum of 30 times? 

 

3. Research Before You Buy

Creating a sustainable wardrobe doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time, effort and commitment.

Thankfully, we can turn to social media to help make this process easier. Spend some time researching sustainable fashion brands and connect with them on social platforms. A few you can start with include: KOTN, Patagonia, Eileen Fisher, The Tiny Closet, Pact, ABLE, and many more.

Check their posts, read the information they have on the website and, if you still have doubts, send them a message and ask for clarifications. Try to gather as much information about each brand as possible.

Things like what fabrics they use, where the clothes are made, are they using sustainable packages, are all important points you should tackle when conducting your research. The point of this is to determine which brands are really sustainable, so you know where you can safely purchase your clothes from. 

 

4. Make a List of Your Favorite Sustainable Brands

Creating a sustainable wardrobe may seem daunting if you don’t know where to shop from. Thankfully, sustainable fashion businesses are on the rise, so there are a bunch of options out there to choose from, as you already determined in the previous step.

After you analyze all the information collected through your research, narrow down the list of sustainable brands to a few favorites. Think of which ones fit your style and budget the best and write them down. Always check you list before you purchase any new item to help you stay on track. 

 

5. Go for Organic Fabrics

eco-friendly clothing

Mainstream brands use cheap materials in their clothing, so they end up producing pieces containing high levels of chemicals. Besides the obvious synthetic fabrics like polyester, nylon, acrylic, rayon and lycra, cotton is also problematic.

As long as it is not organic, the cotton that big mainstream brands use in their clothing is sprayed with pesticides. However, there are a few non-toxic fabrics you can search for while shopping: organic cotton, linen, leather, wool, hemp, peace silk.

So, next time you want to purchase any new piece of clothing, make sure you read the label to see what fabrics it is made of. 

 

6. Purchase Timeless Pieces

Creating an ethical wardrobe means simplifying your arsenal of clothes and accessories to a few trusted sustainable pieces. A big part of this process is assessing the wearability of each piece of clothing you buy.

You have to actually wear an item to make it really sustainable. This is why, investing in timeless pieces should be a priority when shopping. Try to stay away from highly fashionable pieces, as they tend to go out of style very quickly.

Basic T-shirts, the mandatory good pair of jeans, classic dresses, or timeless coats can be easily mixed and matched to create a few different looks. Opt for pieces that can easily make the journey from summer to winter.

Before you purchase any new item, think of the ways you can wear it in different seasons. If you can’t transition the item from hot to cold weather, it might not be the right piece for you. 

 

7. Take Care of Your Clothes 

There is no point in investing in good quality items if you don’t take care of them. Your clothes need proper care if you want them to maintain their sustainability. This means checking the tags for care instructions before you start the washing machine.

Some of the pieces you own may only be dry-cleaned – for the future, try not to purchase these types of clothes. If you put them in the washing machine you will end up ruining them. Besides being a waste of money, that piece of clothing is no longer usable, so it will end up in the land field.  

If you can wash your clothes at home, don’t use chemical detergents. Besides polluting the water (which ends up polluting the soil and, ultimately, the food we eat), these detergents are harsh and might ruin delicate clothes.

Try and hang dry your laundry in favor of the machine dryer, to make your clothes last longer.

 

8. Donate and Resell 

Give a second life to your old clothes by reselling or donating what you no longer need. By doing so, you ensure that you properly dispose of your clothes which will help stop them from ending up in landfills.

We bet you have a bunch of valuable pieces – like a chic leather bag, or a one-of-a-kind wedding dress – which you no longer need. Why not make a few extra bucks while making sure your clothes stay “alive” for longer?

For the things that can’t be resold, donating them to people in need is the way to go. There are plenty of charities and organizations that are looking for used clothing, just do your research and pick your favorite one.

For pieces too worn-out to be donated or resold, look for places that recycle clothes and drop them off there. 

 

9. Repair Your Clothes 

Besides donating unwanted clothes and reselling things you don’t use anymore, learning how to repair the clothes you want to keep is an important step in this transition.

Instead of purchasing a new piece every time the zipper from your favorite jacket gets broken, take it to a tailor and have it fixed, or learn how to do it yourself. This will infuse some life into the clothes you already own, and it will help you keep treasured vintage pieces you inherited from your chic grandma. 

 

10. Borrow Expensive Items

creating a sustainable wardrobe

Have you been invited to a wedding, but all your special occasion dresses are either outdated or don’t fit you anymore?

We all know how expensive these types of dresses can be and the thought of buying a new one is daunting. Instead of spending half of your monthly salary on an item you will probably only wear once before it goes out of style, ask your friends if you can borrow one of their dresses. 

More often than not, they will be happy to share their wardrobes with you. Besides being a good way you can help reduce the negative impact fashion has on the environment, borrowing expensive items will save you a lot of money. Talk about a win-win situation. 

5 Fiber-Rich Foods To Eat This Summer

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5 Fiber-RiFiber-rich Foods To Eat This Summer

As the darkened clouds give way to the sunny skies, and the cold breeze gets overpowered by the warmth of the summer sun, almost everything experiences a refreshing turnaround.

The clothes get shorter, the faces get happier, the days get longer, and people’s food choices become a lot cooler.

Your signature steaming latte gets replaced with a watermelon slushie at the café next door. You no longer crave a hot bowl of mixed veggie soup for dinner; you’d rather stick to a chilled Mojito and a light sandwich.

What you must ensure, however, is that your digestive system doesn’t suffer a blow at the cost of your wandering palate during the hot summer months.

Not only do fiber-rich foods keep your gut in good shape by aiding healthy bowel movements, but they also help you lose weight by keeping the hunger pangs at bay for long periods.

Here are five cooling fiber-rich foods you should include in your summer diet:

 

1. Leafy Green Veggies

leafy greens

It wouldn’t be wrong to say that leafy greens are the healthiest veggies of the lot, owing to their high nutritional content. Apart from being rich in dietary fiber and low in calories, leafy greens are also very cooling, thanks to their high water content (80 – 95%).

They are great sources of nutrients like vitamin C, calcium, iron, vitamin K, folic acid, potassium, and magnesium.

They even contain generous doses of antioxidants like lutein, zeaxanthin, beta-cryptoxanthin and beta-carotene. Vitamin C helps in the formation of collagen, the skin’s structural protein responsible for its elasticity and tone. Calcium and vitamin K help improve bone health.

Leafy greens, being rich in magnesium and having a low glycemic index, also help lower the risk of type-2 diabetes. Iron is essential for the formation of hemoglobin and thereby, promoting a healthy flow of blood.

The antioxidants contained in green veggies fight the formation of free radicals, providing protection from cardiovascular diseases, cancer, premature aging, and diabetes. Lutein and zeaxanthin also lower the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.

Some of the best and healthiest leafy greens include: kale, micro-greens, collard greens, spinach, cabbage, beet greens, watercress, romaine lettuce, swish chard, arugula, endive, bok choy, and turnip greens.

Leafy green vegetables are dense in nutrients that boost your immunity and are good for your health.

 

2. Berries

berries

Berries do a brilliant job challenging the popular notion that all delicious foods are unhealthy. Apart from pleasing your palate, these chock full of antioxidants are known to fight against many health hazards like stroke, age-related degenerative diseases, and cancer.

Berries, especially strawberries, are alkaline in nature and as per the Ancient Chinese Medicine, these foods, known as the Yin foods help generate a cooling energy within the body.

They provide a healthy dose of dietary fiber that apart from lowering the risk of constipation and hemorrhoids also reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Use the berries to add flavor to your smoothies, or along with your breakfast cereal.

 

3. Bell Peppers

bell peppers

You’d think that spicy peppers induce a lot of heat in your body, not something you’d want during summers. The reality, however, is that these veggies make you sweat and thereby help cool your body down.

As per the Harvard University Health Services, a cup of bell peppers contains 1.7 grams of dietary fiber that meets approximately 9% of our daily fiber recommendation. They are low in calories and rich in immunity-boosting antioxidants, vitamins A, E, and C. Vitamin A lowers the risk of age-related macular degeneration. Vitamin E, a natural emollient keeps the skin and hair healthy and moisturized.

Capsaicin, a pungent ingredient contained in peppers inhibits the growth of prostate cancer cells, a study by Cancer Research suggests. Enjoy a wholesome chickpea and bell pepper salad to get your daily fiber dose!

 

4. Melons

watermelon

Sitting by the pool, basking in the sun and biting into a slice of freshly cut melon – isn’t it the perfect life? Turns out, these delicious fruits are pretty good for your overall health too! Though melons can’t be called the greatest sources of fiber, they contain reasonable amounts along with many other health-boosting benefits. These include:

  • Boosting your immune system
  • Promoting bone health
  • Supporting a healthy skin

Melons, owing to their high water content help prevent dehydration and keep you refreshed and rejuvenated as the temperatures soar. They contain potassium that lowers blood pressure by reducing the impact of foods high in sodium.

Watermelons are rich in lycopene, a carotenoid pigment that prevents cellular damage and lowers the risk of cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Melons are good sources of vitamins A and C as well.

 

5. Coconut Water

coconut water

 

A healthy and delicious alternative to calorie-packed and sugar-laden colas and processed juices during summer is coconut water. Coconut water contains 2.6 grams of dietary fiber that meets 9% of your daily fiber requirements.

It helps maintain healthy electrolyte balance within the body as it contains essential minerals like potassium and sodium. It thus reduces the symptoms of common health problems experienced during summer months, like dehydration and nausea. Coconut water also contains vitamin C, folate, vitamin B-6, riboflavin, thiamin, and niacin.

Beat the summer heat and embrace healthy living with these fiber rich foods that are sure to tingle your taste buds.


Editor’s Note: This post has been updated for freshness and consistency.

30 Mouth-Watering High Protein Vegan Breakfast Recipes

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Vegan Frittata

If you’re looking for some delicious vegan breakfast recipes, you’ve come to the right place! In this blog post, we will share with you 30 amazing vegan recipes that will start your day off right.

From oatmeal to smoothies to pancakes, we have got you covered!

So get ready to cook up some amazing vegan breakfast recipes that everyone in your family will love.

This list was curated by our friends at Proteinful, an app that helps you choose the best foods with the highest protein density to help achieve your nutrition goals. Download the app for free on the App Store today.

Download on the App Store
 

This list was curated by our friends at Proteinful, an app that helps you choose the best foods with the highest protein density to help achieve your nutrition goals. Download the app for free on the App Store today.

Download on the App Store

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