You Can Help Save Our Planet

“The global environment crisis is, as we say in Tennessee, real as rain,” former Vice President Al Gore said during a recent speech. Although many people agree that action needs to be taken to reduce global warming, they wonder: Can one person really make a difference?

The answer is: Yes! There are many simple things you can do to help the environment in a big way.

We all know about recycling and that it is extremely important. I cannot stress this enough because in United States, 2.5 million plastic water bottles are thrown away every hour. So the next time you reach for a plastic water bottle, think about that fact and choose a refillable glass bottle instead. The glass bottle will reduce the amount of petroleum needed to make plastic bottles, reduce the carbon dioxide emissions created during the manufacturing process, and eliminate the air pollution created while cleaning up the discarded bottles.

Using recycled paper every day also helps our environment. If you use one box of 100% post consumer recycled paper, you reduce carbon emissions by 5 pounds. And don’t forget that paper recycling also applies to other products such as facial tissues, toilet paper, and paper towels.

Using recycled paper also saves a lot of trees, which add a lot of beauty to our environment. Perhaps even more important, trees give off oxygen and purify the air we breathe by absorbing harmful chemicals and carbon dioxide. An average-sized tree produces enough oxygen in one year to keep a family of four breathing for one year, and an acre of trees removes up to 2.6 tons of carbon dioxide each year. So why not plant a tree in your yard or suggest that your school have a tree-planting day? According to the Environmental Protection Agency, planting trees is a must if we want to save the planet. Trees also provide food and shelter for forest animals. Even after they die, trees help our planet: They are biodegradable, recyclable, and renewable.

When we think about helping our planet, we also need to think about the food we eat. Did you know that most fruit and vegetables in our supermarkets were picked 4 to 7 days before they reached the store, and that they traveled by plane or truck an average of 1,500 miles? If you buy locally-grown food, you reduce the air pollution and carbon emissions produced during the food’s transportation. Buying from local farmers also helps make it profitable for them to farm. In this way, we can help preserve areas of land used for planting, and reduce the amount of land sold to developers who often cut down trees to build houses and roads. Buying local food is also better for our health. Once picked, food begins to lose its nutritional value, and the further it travels, the greater the nutritional loss. So stay healthy and help our environment by eating local food.

Another way you can help our planet is to take shorter showers every day. The average shower uses 2.5 gallons of water per minute. If you reduced your shower time by 4 minutes each day, you would save 3,650 gallons of water per year. Environmentalists have serious concerns about present and future water shortages on our planet. So why not shorten your shower by 4 minutes a day and use that 28 minutes a week to do something that’s more fun than taking a shower? Maybe you could talk to a friend or get going with your day faster.

It’s up to each of us to do what we can to save our planet, and as you can see, simple actions can have significant results. “Global warming, along with the cutting and burning of forests and other critical habitats, is causing the loss of living species at a level comparable to the extinction event that wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. That event was believed to have been caused by a giant asteroid. This time it is not an asteroid colliding with the Earth and wreaking havoc: it is us.” (Former Vice President Al Gore) Yes, it is us, and it’s up to each of us to make changes. Let’s get started!

The Dark Truth Behind the Child’s Face

face-72194_640On January 24th 2014, I was surfing Google News to find some juicy news about the world. Suddenly, the mouse on my screen lingered to a link saying, “ 7 week- old girl dies from child abuse, dad charged.” I was speechless yet filled with a dangerous feeling of curiosity. I was asking this same question to myself while I was reading about this horrible tragedy: “Who would do such a thing?” As I skimmed through this article, one thing was certain. Child abuse is growing.

Recently, Quentin Evans was charged with killing his baby daughter by the means of child abuse. According to officials, the baby suffered a broken collarbone and multiple bruises. According to them, this is a clear sign of child abuse and they are still looking for more clues. You know, this article left me with a feeling of anger yet sadness. I share my condolences to the loved ones of that little girl. However, these cases are happening more and more often, which show that we are not making any progress in stopping these events. This just angers me.

Child abuse is horrific because it involves hurting a child either physically or mentally. I believe that if anyone suspects any form of child abuse, then they should report it to officials because it is better to be safe than sorry. Although we may think of abuse to only be visible, there are actually many other forms involved with it as well. According to victimsofcrime.org, 62% of abused children are neglected, 14% are physically abuse, 7% are sexually abused, 6% are emotionally abused and 8% of people suffer from other types of abuse.

I know what you all are thinking. I think everyone who reads those statistics must cringe at them. You all must think that, “ This is so horrible, but what can I do about it?” Well, there are many things you can. If you notice symptoms such as unexplainable injuries or even extreme emotions and mood swings, then you should bring up this sort of information to police officials because these could be some signs of domestic violence.

People, I really do not even know how child abuse started but it is cruel and torturous to children. We cannot let child abuse spread even more in our world. Children should not be hurt in anyway that affects them. Child abuse can change a child’s future and it could even lead to other problems. People of the world, if you suspect something about child abuse, take a stance. We cannot let children be hurt by their environment. Children should live a happy life not a painful one.

Around the World from A to Z: India

Located in the south of Asia, India is a beautiful country, rich in historical and cultural value. The second most populated country in the world, it also has many famous sites, such as the Taj Mahal, the Ganges River, and the Konark Sun Temple.

India’s capital is the city of New Delhi. The official language of the country is Hindi, and the population is 1,241,491,960 people. It is the seventh largest country by land mass. India is the largest democracy in the world. There are hundreds of languages in the country; 844 dialects are spoken in India alone. India is also very peaceful; in over 100,000 years of India’s history, they have never invaded country at all.

India ranks second worldwide in farm output and agriculture. The GDP is 1.53 trillion dollars per year. According to Goldman Sachs, India’s GDP per capita will quadruple from 2007 to 2020! India also grows more than 12 million tons of mangoes a year, which is equivalent to about the weight of 80,000 blue whales. Another interesting fact: India has 568 million more voters than the US and a better turnout rate too!

One of the many famous attractions in India is the Taj Mahal, one of the seven wonders of the world. It took 20000 workers and took 22 years to build. The Taj Mahal is a tomb for Mumtaz Mahal, wife of Shah Jahan, who was once an emperor of India. Mumtaz died during childbirth, and Shah Jahan built the tomb for her. He wanted to build an identical tomb for himself from black marble instead of white, right across the river, but he died before its completion. Many types of precious stones were used in the creation of the Taj Mahal. It attracts 2 to 4 million visitors annually.

Photo credit: foxypar4

Another main attraction in India is the Ganges River.  The river is 2525 km long and it originates in a glacier in Himalayas. It is said that the water in the Ganges is holy and people who bathe in it are considered purified, although the water is filthy because lots of sewage and waste travel down the river. Many holy sites line the Ganges River, including the Varanasi and the Haridwar.

The Sun Temple at Konark is one of the Seven Wonders of India.  It was built in the 13th century in Odisha, near the water’s edge.  According to legend, Samba was afflicted by leprosy, brought about by his father’s curse on him. After 12 years of penance, he was cured by Surya, the Sun God, in whose honour he built the magnificent Konark Sun Temple. The temple takes the form of the chariot of Surya, the Sun God.

All in all, India is one of the most adventurous places to go if you are ever looking to go on a life-changing vacation.  With its thousands of years of history, it has accumulated a vast collection of cultural richness that is delightful to behold. The Taj Mahal, Ganges River, and Sun Temple are just three of the many, many wonders of India’s culture that will never cease to amaze the world with its uniqueness.

Next in series: Around the World from A to Z: Jamaica by emmakitkat

Around the World from A to Z: Honduras

Lying surrounded by Nicaragua, Guatemala, and El Salvador in Central America, Honduras is a beautiful, culturally rich country, especially well known for it’s huge coral reef, the third largest in the world.

Honduras is located in Central America. The capital city is Tegucigalpa, and the population it 7,754,687 people. The country is northwest of South America. There are many ethnic groups in the country, such as mestizos, Lenca, Tolupán, Chorti, Garifuna, Tawahka, and Miskito. There are also ten languages ​​in Honduras: Spanish, English, Ch’orti’, Garifuna, Lenca, Miskito, Pech, Sumo Tawahka, Tol, and Honduras sign language, which counts as an official language of its own. Ninety percent of people in Honduras are Roman Catholic. Three percent are Protestant, and the remaining seven percent consists of the rest of the religious minorities in the country.

Photo Credit: USFWS Pacific

Honduras’s national flower is the orchid, a beautiful species that has “beauty, vigor, and distinction”, according to the decree that dictated it. The national animal of Honduras is the white-tailed deer, which was appointed as an effort to stop excessive depredation. The unit of currency in Honduras is the lempira. A lempira is equivalent to five cents in American money. The main exports are coffee, fruit, and nuts.

The flag of Honduras has a lot of symbolical value for the country, as does the coat of arms. The flag has three stripes, blue, white, and blue, from top to bottom. In the center of the flag are five blue stars. The stars represent the first members of the Federal Republic of Central America. Blue symbolizes the sea, the sky, truth, justice, and loyalty. White means peace.

The coat of arms of Honduras has an eye, a cornucopia, and trees and cliffs.

The triangle means equality and freedom. Trees and cliffs represent the natural beauty of the country.

The coral reefs in particular make the natural beauty of Honduras stand out. The reefs in Honduras are actually part of a larger chain, the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, that stretches along the coasts of four Central American countries. This spectacular reef is home to more than 65 types of coral, 350 types of mollusks, and several hundred different species of tropical fish. Many of these species are endangered, so multiple protections have been placed on the reef. The coral is also home to one of the world’s largest populations of manatees, another endangered species.

The coral is only one of the many attractions in Honduras. With it’s rich culture and astonishing natural beauty, Honduras is a great place to visit, and one that is certain to offer an experience that will never be forgotten.

Next in series: Around the World from A to Z: India by urvi011235

Disney World

Disney world is a fun place for children and adults of any age to spend time with friends and family. For the past four years, my best friend and I have gone down to Orlando and spent a week at Disney World. It is so much fun and everyone has a great time. Our favorite rides are the more intense rides, such as Rockin Roller Coaster, Hollywood Tower of Terror and Splash Mountain.

By:  mrkathika

By: mrkathika

Rockin Roller coaster is an extremely fast pace roller coaster filled with lots of different unexpected twist, turns, and loops. When my friend and I first got in line we were so excited to get on the ride. Then we waited an hour and got really bored. Finally, when we got inside where we could see the seats take off really fast, we really didn’t want to go on anymore. We started to shake a little. The roller coaster goes from 0 mph to about 60 mph in a few seconds. It just jolts off. We still got on, buckled up despite our fear and had fun. Rockin Rollercoaster is in my top 5 favorite roller coasters.

By:  SolGrundy

By: SolGrundy

Hollywood Tower of Terror is exciting and terrifying at the same time. You walk into the Hotel, but it was closed due to an elevator mishap. You end up sitting in an elevator, buckled up only by a small seat belt. Then the elevator rides and brings to the top floor of the “hotel”. The elevator drops from multiple stories up and then it goes back up and drops a few more times. This ride is scary, but I love it. During one of the drops, the doors of the elevator opens and you see the whole park. It’s so pretty, unless your eyes are closed because you were so scared. People scream and yell at the top of their lungs. You lift off your seat and fall back down when you go down. That is probably the best part of the ride.

 

By: randychiu

By: randychiu

Splash Mountain is a type ride where if you like heights, sudden drops, and water, you will love this ride. You are placed in a log car and are pulled up to the top of the 6 story mountain. While you go up there is a song playing and it gets stuck in your head the rest of the day. The log car is dropped from the  top to the bottom while in water. You always get wet on the way down. The pictures at the end of the rides are priceless because everyones face is very funny. The first time I went on the ride I was so scared and would not let go of the handle bars. Now it’s fun and I throw my hands in the air every time.

Top 5 children’s stories that should be read to every young boy

One of my favorite memories from childhood is bedtime stories with my dad. When I was young there was a great big piece of paper on my wall next to my bed with various drawings upon it. The piece of paper was a map of a world my dad and I created together. Each drawing was a different location in our world such as the kingdom, the forest, radio land, Loch’s tree house, the village (with the bakery and other various shops), and many other locations. My dad is an artist in his spare time (as well as an author) so this was a fun project for him. But the hard part hadn’t come yet. Every night I would choose a location on the map and a type of transportation (a hot air balloon or a wagon). My dad would come up with miraculous stories about me and my stuffed animal (who came to life during the stories) and the amazing adventures we went on. My dad soon ran out of ideas after more than 2 years of every night story telling, and he finally started to read me novels for children. Here is a list of my top five favorite books my father read to me or I read as a child.

5. Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl

I don’t remember this book too well, but it is a classic story about talking animals, which I enjoyed thoroughly.

4. The BFG by Roald Dahl

 I originally heard this story from my third grade teacher, but I reread it again that same year and heard it again last summer when my father read it to my brother.

3. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

This is a classic that has been adapted as a film twice, yet the book is still better than both films.

 2. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone By Joanne Kathleen (J.K.) Rowling

The first volume of one of the world’s most famous series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is a children’s classic from the last century.

1.  Danny, Champion of the World by Roald Dahl

Danny, Champion of the World is my favorite book from childhood. Every young boy should hear this story from his father.

Around the World from A to Z: Finland

With flat or gently rolling plains and hills, a cold, almost subarctic climate, and a population of merely 5 million people, Finland is an interesting country, known for several attractions like the underground church  and historical ports, as well as … Continue reading

Around the World from A to Z: Austria

Lying landlocked near the center of Europe, surrounded by the countries of Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Slovenia, Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic, is the country Austria. It is famous for it’s breathtaking scenery and many renowned cultural sites, along with … Continue reading