Amazon Rain forest

Josefin, Sweden

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The Amazon Rainforest is located in 9 different countries, but the majority of the land is located in Brazil, around 60%. The rest of the rainforest area you can find in Peru, Colombia, Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Guyana and French Guiana. The Amazon rainforest,the largest rainforest in the world, is home to a large part of the world’s animals. This gigantic rainforest stretches over 2.3 million square miles so it’s really huge.

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In the Amazon jungle, there is also a big Amazon river which is over 4,000 miles in length and the second longest river in the world after the Nile, which is located in Africa. Most of the water in the Amazon River actually comes from the melting glaciers from the mountains of Peru.

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The Amazon Rainforest has a big impact on us humans beings because it produces 20% of the world’s oxygen, and without oxygen we cannot breathe, including the animals also. But humans are quickly  destroying this beautiful and important rainforest that we have. There are many reasons why people cut down the forest, people who take part in cattle ranching, farming and road construction, all contribute to the destruction of the rainforest. It’s a very big issue and if we keep doing things like this, we will have serious problems and we cannot live without the forest.

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In the last 40 years, 20% of the Amazon Rainforest has been harvested and in 100 years, more than half of the Amazon jungle will disappear. Every single minute, the rainforest reduces by an area of 9 soccer fields this must of course be stopped because there are many animals, plants and flowers in the rainforest to be preserved.

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If you compare it with Sweden’s forest, we cut down a lot of trees, but often we plant them back again to preserve the forest so it can live on and not diminish. But I think that they should do it to the rainforest as well. If they cut down trees, they should plant a new tree immediately so we retain this important and beautiful rainforest. But the people who cut the rainforest down, see opportunities  in the place that becomes over when they cut down trees because the rainforest provides cheap work and provides a good  plantations.

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I hope people that live in the rainforests or that work there should think bigger and think about the future because the rainforest is so important for us humans and of course for the animals which are living there. It’s their home and the people are just coming in there and destroys their home. I think It’s so bad and terrible that humans can do that, and I really hope that it will be an and of all that thing people do to our beautiful rainforest. It makes me scared and angry that people destroy so much of the rainforest every day.

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People should be more careful about our rainforest and think about the next generation so we can live on. If not the rainforest lives we can not live either.

 

Zero Waste Lifestyle – Why and how to reduce your waste

By Luara Garcia

Understand the importance of reducing waste

First thing: waste doesn’t start in your trash can. It starts before arriving at your home: at the markets, stores, shops, wherever you are shopping.

We are using too much stuff and to have all of these things we are using many resources and quickly running out of them. In the past five decades, more than 1/3 of the planet’s resource base has been consumed. 80% of the world’s original forests are gone.

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The United States takes up 5% of the world’s population, and uses 30% of the world’s resources and also produces 30% of the world’s waste. If everybody consumed at the U.S. rates, we would need 3 to 5 planets.

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In the production process, industries mix toxic chemicals to make our products, and also create a lot of pollution. When we discard our trash, it is dumped in a landfill, which is a big hole in the ground, and most of the time, it is burned and then dumped in a landfill.

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When toxics chemicals (contained in the trash products) are burned, they turn into new toxics, like dioxin, the most toxic man-made substance known to science. Both of the discard processes pollute the air, land, water and change the climate.
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A funny thing to think about is that about 1% of total materials we buy are still in use 6 months after the date of sale. That means that 99% of the stuff we buy is trashed within 6 months.

Each person in the United States produces 41/2 pounds of garbage a day.

These are just some of the reasons why we should stop producing so much waste.

 

Zero waste life style

Zero waste means not producing any trash, not sending anything to landfills, not throwing anything in a trash can.

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This girl in the picture is Lauren Singer. She lives a Zero Waste life in New York. That jar in her hand is all the trash she produced in 3 years.

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She decided to start living like this when she was an Environmental Studies major in college, where she saw this girl taking all her food in a lot of plastic bags and trashing it every day, which made Lauren feel frustrated. Then one day when she got home, she opened her refrigerator and looked at all that plastic. She felt like she was that girl and so decided to cut out plastic from her life.

This was the beginning. Today she composts and recycles; she produces her own tooth paste and other products. She goes into organic markets and places where you can use your own jars and bags to “package” things.

 

Kamikatsu, Japan, is a Zero Waste town. Is it possible?

Well, they are nearly.

Kamikatsu has no garbage trucks, so residents need to compost their kitchen scraps at home. They also have to wash and sort the rest of their trash into 34 different categories, and bring it to the recycling center themselves where workers make sure that the waste goes into the correct bins.

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The town has a store where people can leave their old clothing and stuff and exchange them for others that other people have left.

They also have a factory where women make products from discarded products, like teddy bears from old kimonos, or new kimonos from old flags.

With a population just over 1,700, Kamikatsu recycles about 80 percent of its trash and only 20 percent goes to landfills.

The residents of this city take recycling very seriously. They started in 2003 and actually hope to become the nation’s first zero-waste community by 2020.

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Tips to start reducing your waste

(These tips are not to become a zero waste lifestyle person; they are little things you can do that will make a big difference, but it is not that hard to change your lifestyle. There will be some links at the end of the article where you can find out more about how to become a zero waste lifestyle person)

 

  • Have your own reusable water bottle; bring it with you everywhere so your not going to need to buy one which you are going to trash after the water is gone.
  • Have your own reusable bag for shopping; use it in the markets, stores, so you’re not going to need a plastic or paper one.
  • Only buy things you really need, try to use them until they can’t do their job any longer.23
  • Choose to buy things with less packaging.
  • Recycle.18
  • Reutilize as much as you can.19
  • Prefer to buy organic products when you can; they don’t harm the environment to be produced and you have less to be discarded.
  • Remember: you awlays can do something more.22

 

To know more about Lauren Singer and her lifestyle, here are some links that you might like:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYDQcBQUDpw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pF72px2R3Hg

http://www.trashisfortossers.com/p/about.html

To know more about Kamikatisu and its plans:

http://www.odditycentral.com/news/kamikatsu-japans-aspiring-zero-waste-town.html

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eym10GGidQU#action=share

http://www.techinsider.io/kamikatsu-japan-is-a-zero-waste-town-2016-1

To know more about the world’s situation and production process (all 21 minutes worth it):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9GorqroigqM

Four Seasons of Finland

By Julia Konttila, Finland

One of my favorite things about living in Finland is the fact that we have four totally different seasons. All year –around-summer sounds amazing but I couldn’t live my whole life without snow, fall colors or rain and actually, living moths in coldness makes summer feel ten times better. When summer finally comes you feel like you have deserved it.

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Here in California, I have learned to appreciate the Finnish summer even more, the stunning views, midnight sun and clean nature. In the north the  sun doesn’t set below the horizon in over 70 days. I can’t imagine anything better than long summer nights with friends and family. Winter, on the other hand, is a very cold and dark season in Finland. In the same way as in the summer, the sun doesn’t set for a very long time. Now the sun doesn’t rise above the horizon in the north, and in the south the days are quite short. Luckily we have something to replace the sun, the northern lights.  A white natural landscape with a dark sky full of northern lights is truly a breathtaking view.

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You can see clearly when a season turns to another. When summer is over, the leaves start changing colors and it begins to get windy. People start to spend more time inside, having cozy nights burning candles and drinking tea or hot chocolate. Before you even notice, it is December and the weather gets a lot colder. Everyone is wishing for a white Christmas. When the snow finally comes, the whole country wakes up again. Everyone wants to enjoy the first snow, kids are playing outside, families are making snowmen  together and a lot of people are ice skating or skiing. After a long and cold winter, it is time for nature to wake up again. The snow starts to melt and nature turns green. Flowers blossom, rivers start to flow and everyone is ready for the summer.