Every time I whip out my elephant-covered reusable grocery bag at my local Brooklyn Key Food, I always feel a little bougie. I—and I’d say most people of color—tend to view these items as something that, well, the white elite use. So when the topic of plastic bag bans comes up, people of color may exhibit some hesitancy, especially if they also happen to be low-income. Plastic bag bans should always be good news though, right? After all, one million new plastic bags are used a minute around the world. That’s a lot of plastic and a lot of garbage—garbage that ends up in our oceans, our landfills, and, ultimately, our soil and water. California’s ban has been wildly successful so far in reducing plastic bag litter. However, there’s an art to crafting these bans in a way that doesn’t add any unnecessary burdens or costs on those struggling the most financially in a community. This brings me to the plastic bag ban that the Providence … [Read more...] about What Does an Equitable Plastic Bag Ban Look Like?
Ways we can stop water pollution
Early morning. Me wake up. Knock knock knock—the pee in my bladder. 8:15am Alarms don’t work for me. I regularly sleep through them only to finally open my peepers once I have to whiz so badly that I’m about to get a UTI. I stumble to the bathroom and relieve myself and once I’m there, why not wake myself up with a splash of icy water to get the sleepies out of my eyes? And while I’m doing that, why not just wash my entire face? For the past couple months, I’ve been using Cosrx Low PH Good Morning Gel Cleanser, which I like a lot. There’s witch hazel in it so it smells like it’s working and I genuinely think it is because my skin is definitely brighter and clearer since using it. Afterwards, I follow up with Milk Makeup’s Matcha Toner. It’s good for morning because it’s fairly moisturizing, allowing me time to dink around my apartment for a bit before putting on my actual moisturizer/SPF. 11:30am I have successfully … [Read more...] about Madeleine’s 24-Hour Product Diary: BURN IT ALL OFF AND LEAVE ME FRESH AS A BABY
If you want to expand your skincare routine beyond cleansing, moisturizer, and sunscreen, exfoliation is a good next step. Exfoliating serums and scrubs boast that they can fight acne, clear your pores, reduce fine lines, and make your skin vaguely brighter. Some of those promises are true, but they’re not the whole story. So here is your scientific, medically backed look at exfoliation: what it can (and can’t) do for your skin, and which effective, inexpensive products you can try out. What is exfoliation? Let’s start with a brief look at the top layer of your skin, the epidermis. New cells are born at the bottom of the epidermis, and the existing cells are pushed up toward the surface, where they eventually die. Their flattened out corpses stick around as the top layer of the epidermis, called the stratum corneum. Those dead cells aren’t useless, though. They stick around because they’re important, serving as the barrier between you and the environment. … [Read more...] about How and Why to Exfoliate Your Face
NEW ORLEANS—There were more than 20,000 scientists in New Orleans for the American Geophysical Union’s (AGU) annual meeting earlier this week, thousands of whom gave talks. Despite stiff competition, I feel confident saying Alexia Bravo gave one of the best. At 11 years old, she was the youngest person at the annual meeting, but she presented her poster about small-scale renewable energy like a seasoned pro. Then again, that makes sense as this is her second AGU, a conference that brings together Earth scientists from around the world to learn from each other and foster collaborations. If her passion for research and solving the world’s biggest problem is any indication, we should probably just turn over running the planet to the next generation right now. Bravo’s poster this year was a follow up on her work last year, which explored harnessing wave energy. This year, her prototype has expanded to look at wind and solar as well. It’s what a rational … [Read more...] about An Enterprising 11 Year Old Is Building Our Renewable Energy Future
Valentine’s Day is supposed to be about romance, but that’s not really something animals (aside from the human variety) put much emphasis on. No Hallmark card from bull to cow; no box of chocolates to fawn over; no foreplay before turtle sex (which, uh, sounds disturbingly human). And that’s all good and fine. But some animals really, really need to get busy procreating in the existential sense. Humans may have a romantic notion of nature, but in reality we’ve ransacked the planet and are creating what many scientists have deemed the sixth mass extinction. This is jeopardizing the future of thousands of species. Here’s a few that we hope get lucky this Valentine’s Day, if not for their sake, then for the sake of the planet. Romeo, the sole Sehuencas water frog As you may have guessed by his name, Romeo the frog will do anything for love—even let an online dating app help him “find his Juliette.” This year, Global Wildlife … [Read more...] about Here Are Some Animals That Deserve to Bone
WEEKI WACHEE, FL—The crystal-clear waters of central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs carry a certain magic. Some might even call them a fountain of youth. After all, the spring harbors beings that are practically eponymous with immortality: mermaids. Rita King is one of them. At 71 years old, King doesn’t allow her age to stop her from letting down her long black hair and flipping her bejeweled tail as she swims through the 400 foot-deep spring. “Every time I am in that water, I feel that I’m in another world, a different dimension where I’m forever young,” King tells me. She’s one of eight so-called “Legendary Sirens,” women ranging in age from 62 to 78 who perform as mermaids at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park. The park is famous for its mermaid show, which began in 1947. Back then, the mermaids would do ballet underwater to the tune of a song, or perform “Alice in Waterland,” giant Mad Hatter face masks and all. … [Read more...] about The Real-Life Mermaid Fighting to Save Florida’s Disappearing Springs