Lifestyle:

These calculators help you estimate how much plastic you’re using every year

It’s getting easier to avoid plastic. Zero-waste grocery stores, from Brooklyn to Hong Kong to Berlin, sell food without plastic packaging. It’s possible to buy plastic-free toothbrushes, cardboard poop scoopers for your dog, and biodegradable vibrators (made from plastic, but plant-based). Still, plastic is ubiquitous, and most of us probably buy at least one item made from the material or packaged in it every day. A handful of calculators are designed to help you estimate how much you’re contributing to the problem. One tool, from a startup called Omni Calculator, asks simple questions about a typical week, tallying up how many plastic bottles or takeaway boxes or…

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  • Fast Company
  • Date:04/22/2019

How do we help people avoid homelessness? This experiment may hold the key

Without a stable place to call home, addressing the problems that homeless people often face such as mental illness or drug addiction becomes incredibly challenging. That’s why a nonprofit in Detroit has created a radical experiment that gives the most disadvantaged populations an opportunity to have their own home. For just $1 per square foot, people who are unhoused, people with disabilities, youth aging out of foster care, veterans, or those formerly incarcerated gain new accessibility to home ownership. The organization behind the experiment is Cass Community Social Services, an independent nonprofit that borrows some elements from the “Housing First”…

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  • YES! Magazine
  • Date:04/19/2019

These off-the-grid “Earthships” are the most eco-friendly rentals on Airbnb

Sustainability is a hip buzzword in travel these days, which means, of course, that the term is overused and nobody knows what it really means anymore. Reusing hotel towels and ditching plastic straws are small steps in the right direction, but there’s strong evidence that travelers are eager to go much, much further. In fact, more than 4.5 million people searched Airbnb for eco-friendly listings and bookings last year alone. Travelers who truly want to “leave no trace” on their next vacation might focus their search on Taos, New Mexico. Rising from the ground in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains,…

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  • Forbes
  • Date:04/19/2019

This Saturday, all of America’s national parks will be free to visit

If you are looking for something to do this Easter weekend, why not visit your nearest national park? As a part of this year’s National Park Week, all sites run by the National Park Service will be free Saturday, April 20. National Park Week is a presidentially-mandated celebration of the nation's public lands that runs every April. This year, it falls between April 20 and 28. And although only the first day of the week is free, that doesn't mean the excitement is over. Each day includes a different theme, honoring everything from wildlife to the physical and mental health benefits…

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  • USA Today
  • Date:04/19/2019

Forget bug spray! Make this natural spray and keep ants out of the kitchen

Whenever you see little critters such as ants crawl into your kitchen, your first instinct is probably to buy a bug spray and douse them with the poisonous solution. Sure, this may be an effective way to rid your home of insects, but it’s terrible for two reasons. First off, bug sprays are made of toxic chemicals that are awful for humans and can affect our cells in unintended ways. Nobody should be exposed to these chemicals in the kitchen, let alone the home. The second reason you should abstain from bug spray is that with insect populations plummeting, we…

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  • Treehugger
  • Date:04/18/2019
OPTIMIST MAGAZINE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

Youth Paving the Way

Changing the world isn’t easy, and it’s much harder when you don’t know where to start. How does one begin a movement? And once it has begun, where should it go? Photo credit: Rena Schild - Shutterstock By Optimist Daily Editorial Team Changing the world isn’t easy, and it’s much harder when you don’t know where to start. How does one begin a movement? And once it has begun, where should it go? Fortunately for us, Jason Del Gandio, an Assistant Professor of Rhetoric and Public Advocacy at Temple University and  Anthony J. Nocella II, the Co-Director of the Save…

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  • Date:04/16/2019

Five stress-reducing tips for the overwhelmed millennial

Millennials are known to be the most stressed generation we’ve ever seen, and the evidence is there to prove it. Research points out that depression is on the rise among younger millennials. Men in this generation are also said to be losing their hair at an earlier age. And the fact that student debt is at an all-time high isn’t helping either. Still, it doesn’t need to be so dark. With a few changes to your mindset, you can shrug off the stress and start feeling better. Elyse Fox, a millennial who has overcome chronic stress, has some tips for…

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  • Health Line
  • Date:04/12/2019

Here’s a simple way to cultivate more curiosity within you

In the 21st century, we need skills to solve complex problems and address challenges that do not have one answer and cannot be distilled into mathematical equations or contained by traditional borders. And with the rise of automation, skills that machines and robots simply can’t do—skills that are “unautomatable”—become all the more important. That’s where curiosity comes in. People who are curious are better able to identify what fascinates them, allowing them to nurture that fascination and create new solutions. Want to become a more curious person? One easy way is to rethink the way you have conversations and focus…

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  • Quartz
  • Date:04/11/2019
OPTIMIST MAGAZINE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

Peace: A New Definition

By Sadie Wilbur The sun warms my skin as I step out of the car and, with a deep breath, the fresh morning air fills my lungs and wakes my senses. It’s the same walk into the Optimist Daily office that I make every morning, but today I stop and notice a white pole standing to the right of the entrance that reads, “May Peace Prevail On Earth.” A small gold plaque below indicates that the pole represents a peace prize from the United Nations Association (UNA) of Santa Barbara and Tri-Counties, the oldest chapter in the nation. As a…

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  • Date:04/10/2019

Los Angeles gangs unite for the biggest peace rally since the 1992 LA riots

It is often in the grimmest of times when tragedy has struck that our shared humanity emerges—that we start to show the real love and support we have for each other that isn’t always plain to see in everyday life. What has been happening in Los Angeles this week is a moving example of this. In the wake of the tragic loss of Ermias “Nipsey Hussle” Asghedom, a well-known rapper and community activist in Los Angeles, rival gangs from Watts, Compton, Inglewood, and Los Angeles met Thursday and Friday afternoon to honor the slain rapper with a call for peace…

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  • The Root
  • Date:04/10/2019

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