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The Benefits of Owning an Electric Car

By: Guest Contributor, Hailey Robinson

With so many options for cars in the market, you might not understand the differences between hybrid and electric. However, electric cars a great option since they reduce your carbon footprint substantially.

No Pollution

Since electric cars don’t have an internal combustion engine, they don’t produce the same pollution that gas-powered vehicles do. The electricity used to charge the car does use fossil fuels, which produces some pollution. But according to a study performed by the Electric Vehicle Association of Canada, the carbon emission amount of an electric car is approximately half of a traditional car. If you live in an area with clean options, such as nuclear power or hydropower, that number can drop even lower.

Cost Savings

If your electric car runs solely on battery power, the cost to drive is approximately 75 percent less than a gas-powered vehicle. In comparison, it costs an average of $11.5 cents per mile for gasoline, at a fixed price of $3.50 per gallon. So if you drive 12,000 miles per year, you’ll spend $1400 on fuel that year. Battery-powered vehicles also don’t have transmissions, so you can save on repairs. And they also don’t require oil changes, fuel filters, or emissions testing. If your car is a hybrid, running partly on gas, there are still many ways to effectively drive to help save on gas costs.

Safety Features

Many electric vehicles contain much simpler systems, such as drive train and brake systems, so they require less maintenance. They don’t have as many parts that can malfunction, which increases the safety ratings and makes them more reliable. As experts continue to study and improve electric vehicle technology, they predict that these cars will become safer and more reliable over the next few years as well. They are also improving the battery life and function in the vehicles.

Tax Credits

In some states, the IRS currently offers a tax credit when you purchase an electric vehicle that can help offset the cost by a few thousand dollars. You can check with your accountant or the IRS website to learn more about what form to use, how to file, and whether this benefit is available where you live.

Environmental Impact

Most people choose an electric car because they understand how much it can reduce environmental damage. In the United States, more than half of the greenhouse gas produced comes from transportation, and more than half of that is from personal vehicles. According to another study, a gasoline vehicle would have to get 73 miles per gallon to compete with an electric vehicle. If your community has options for renewable energy sources, you can further lower your impact on the environment. If that isn’t available in your area, consider working with local authorities to request that option.

Quiet Engine

Since these vehicles don’t have combustion engines, they run with much less sound. This further helps the factory workers who help build your vehicle, since it reduces the need for medical care from hearing loss and other injuries.

Charge While You Sleep

If you work at night, you can simply plug in your car when you come home for the evening and allow it to charge while you sleep. Since many people across the nation will also be asleep during this time, it reduces the possibility for reaching charge capacity and you can head to work in the morning with a full charge on the battery. If you’re traveling over several days, many stores and gas stations across the country offer recharge stations.

As you consider the benefits of switching to an electric car, you can feel confident that you will have a reliable and safe car in which you can commute, drive family around, or take road trips with friends to see the sights of our beautiful country.

Electric car image via Shutterstock.

Hailey Robinson is a recent graduate with a degree in Journalism. Now that she isn’t face first in books she is trying to travel as much as she can. She writes in her free time between fixing up her new house and teaching people how to live a longer, healthier life.

by Editor

An End to Toilet Paper?

The convenience of toilet paper is a comfort many Americans can’t picture themselves living without.  America is the world largest market for toilet paper.  Americans per capita use 23.6 rolls per year, totaling about 7 billion rolls a year for the country. Unfortunately, using toilet paper is not the most sustainable practice.

The production of toilet paper results in the harvesting of millions of trees. An average eucalyptus tree makes 1,000 rolls of paper, which means that millions of trees must be harvested in order to satisfy the United States addiction to toilet paper alone.  Depending on the type of toilet paper effects what type of wood byproducts are used to make the toilet paper.  Toilet papers advertised as “quilted” and “fluffy” are made from old growth and virgin wood fibers.

The non sustained destruction of forests is not the only environmental problem with toilet paper. Dioxins are a byproduct of bleaching toilet paper.  Though direct usage of toilet paper with dioxins may not cause any health issues, when the toilet paper is flushed down the toilet into the sewage system the dioxins can find their way into the environment.

So as your reading this article you must be wondering what the alternative is to using toilet paper.  Below I have listed some of the more sustainable alternatives that you should at least consider before you buy your next roll.

Re Useable Wipes

You may have heard about reusable toilet paper on TLC’s show on the cheapest people. But using reusable wipes isn’t only cheaper than using toilet paper it is also more sustainable.  Instead of having a roll of toilet paper by the toilet, people who use reusable toilet paper keep a stack of homemade cloth wipes which can be made from cut up old sheets or t-shirts. After using the wipe, the wipe can be placed in a closed container lined with a laundry bag which can be washed in a washing machine once or twice a week.

Though reusable wipes need to be washed, which requires the use of energy and water, the creation of toilet paper in the mill also requires water and electricity, while also releasing chemicals to the environment. Using wipes made from cloth can be softer then the softest toilet paper.

It may feel like a large commitment switching from toilet paper to reusable wipes but many people are extremely happy about the environmental impact they make by switching.

Bidets

One of the reasons Americans use so much more toilet paper then our European counterparts is because in many parts of Europe bidets are extremely common.  A traditional bidet is separate from the toilet and is like a wash basin that shoots water for cleaning, but modern “attached bidets “can be connected to the toilet without having to install a separate bidet. Modern bidets also contain other features that make users less likely to use toilet paper, some of them blow air to help the user dry off while others are electricity.

Toilet Paper Made from Recycled Paper

If the option of using re useable wipes or getting a bidet seems too weird for you, at least try and  toilet paper made from recycled paper. According to the EPA  if everyone in the United States exchanged only one roll of regular toilet paper for a roll made from recycled paper it would save 470,000 trees. Imagine how many trees could be save.

 

Toilet Paper Roll via Shutterstock

by Maddie Perlman-Gabel

Why Apples Are The Best Valentine Gifts

By Guest Contributor: Kimberly Grimms

Photo via Pinterest

You’ve probably heard it a lot before but I’ll say it anyway, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”. Cliché as it sounds, there is much truthfulness to this statement as this adage might be the best way to describe why apples are the best fruit. Now, that might inspire you to grow your own apple trees or simply take a walk down the nearest farmer’s market. But whatever your choice, it is sure to be a win-win situation. One thing to remember though: this oval- shaped, juicy and crunchy fruit is not as simple as it seems, it’s packed with a number of benefits and is masking beautiful complexities that make it the ideal Valentine gift.

 

Don’t Underestimate the Power of Red

As popularized by the Disney classic, Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs, shiny red apples symbolizes wicked and manipulative. Translating that in modern world is not as negative as you’d think. Today, a bunch of luscious red apples represent energy, passion and action; basically, terms associated with Valentine’s Day. It triggers the emotions and motivates us to do something. Red also exudes warmth and positivity, and is often used to denote love, that is why it’s the perfect color for the season of hearts.

 

Give More Love from a Healthier Heart

Out of a number of foods measured for their antioxidant, and out of a number of varieties of apple trees for sale, only 2 types went through: Red Delicious (12th) and Granny Smith (13th). Antioxidants or disease-fighting compounds present in these apples are believed to help prevent and repair oxidation damage that occurs during normal cell activity. Apples are also full of a soluble fiber known as pectin- 1 medium sized apple has about 4 grams. High intake of this fermentable and viscous fiber slows down the build-up of cholesterol in your arteries and is the key to blunting blood sugar swings.

 

Together with taking care of our heart, apples also:

  • Avoid Alzheimer’s
  • Provides protection against parkinsonism
  • Reduce risk of diabetes and all sorts of cancer
  • Prevent gallstones
  • Fight diarrhea and constipation
  • Neutralize irritable bowel syndrome
  • Control weight
  • Detoxify liver
  • Prevent cataracts
  • Boost the immune system

 

Get Sweeter and Brighter Smiles

Apart from numerous health benefits, apples have dental benefits as well. Their astringent quality makes them the food suitable for cleansing and brightening teeth. Although, its acidic nature alone is not enough to make your teeth white, it requires the help of the fiber-rich flesh of the apple. Munching and snacking on these crunchy delights also stave off hunger. It also helps scrub away stubborn coffee stains but that doesn’t mean you can leave out brushing your teeth.

 

Hug Mother Nature As Well

The moment you choose to gift a tree for Valentine’s Day could be one of the many chances you can give back to the environment. Planting a tree would make a big difference to our fast-paced and industrial world; we’ll have fresher air to breathe reducing the risk of inhaling polluted air. When it’s raining, trees absorbs the water which in turn, eliminates floods.

 

Giving a basket of scrumptious apples or choosing to gift a tree— It might not appeal to you as the most romantic thing to do during the Valentine season but it’s one of the best ways to let your loved ones know you truly care for them. It only happens once a year so let’s make St. Valentine proud; plans a romantic dinner, open a bottle of red and pack a bunch of apples or gift an apple tree. Not only do we watch over others’ health, we also change the environment— 1 apple tree at a time.

 

Kimberly Grimms is a futurist who spends most of her time monitoring social behavior in search for new consumer trends.

by Editor

Think Green While Drinking Red

With Valentine’s Day around the corner many people spend lots of time (and money) putting together a romantic evening. From choosing the perfect flowers and chocolates, to the perfect restaurant, there are a lot of “important” commercially fueled financial decisions to be made in the next week.

Many couples find sharing a bottle of wine a romantic, Valentines worthy, activity. Unfortunately, a conventionally produced bottle of wine can contain up to 250 types of chemicals. That’s not so romantic. Luckily there are a range of wine products that involve eco-friendly processes. Below I have compiled a list of eco-friendly wine classifications and their definitions; this will hopefully help you pick an appropriate wine. Enjoy!

Organic

Organic wines are made from 95% organic ingredients and processes, the remaining 5% of ingredients can’t be found organically. Organic wines come from vineyards that avoid the use of synthetic pesticides, synthetic herbicides, and synthetic fungicides. There are no sulfites* added to organic wine and bottles of organic wine have a USDA Seal on the label. Organic wines from the United States are regulated by the USDA National Organic Program. Definitions of organic may vary by country.

100% Organic

100% organic wines contain 100% organically produced ingredients. Like with Organic wine, 100% organic wine contains no added sulfites, and bottles contain a USDA Seal on the label.

Made With Organic Grapes

Wines labeled “Made with Organic Grapes” contain at least 70% organic ingredients. Some sulfites are added during the process of wine making, but the grapes are grown without the use of pesticides or chemicals.

Made With Sustainably Grown Grapes

“Made with Sustainably Grown Grapes” means that the grapes were grown in a vineyard that uses sustainable practices.

 Biodynamic

Biodynamic wine is 100% organic. On top of being 100% organic, biodynamic wineries use practices that are attune to nature, like basing decisions off of natural  signals or making their own compost.

Vegan Wines

Some wineries use animal bi-products like gelatin, egg whites, and milk, in their wine filtration process. Vegan wines do not use animal bi-products.

*Sulfites, or sulfur dioxide,are an antimicrobial that naturally occurs in grape skins. Sulfites have been used in wine making for centuries. Sulfites are not necessary toxic but 0.4% of the population is highly allergic to them and many people suffer from sulfite sensitivity. Wines with greater than 10 ppm of sulfites must be labeled.

wine and winery via shutterstock

 

by Maddie Perlman-Gabel

Puppy Love

 

One of my new cousins!

This past month I was lucky enough to welcome 2 new members to my extended family. Norwood, a mutt, and Arwen, a Labrador/Sheppard mix. As a person with a history of volunteering at animal shelters, I was extremely pleased to find that my extended family had used shelters and sites like Petfinder to find my new cousins, instead of going to a pet shop or a breeder.

America Loves It’s Pets.

Pet ownership in the United States is increasing. According to the Humane Society of the United States, in the 1970’s 67 million homes owned a pet. As of 2012, 164 million homes (62%) now own at least one pet.

According to the American Pet Products Association, Americans today own 83.3 million dogs and 95.6 million cats. That’s a lot of animals. For more pet ownership statistics click here.

The Problem With Puppy Mills

Adopting from a shelter is a great option for anyone interested in getting a pet and is definitely a better option than buying a pet in a pet shop. Many dogs bought in pet shops come from ‘puppy mills’, which ASPCA defines as “large-scale commercial dog breeding operations, where profit is given priority over the well-being of the dogs”. Puppy mills are inhumane. Dogs kept there are in too small cages with limited food and water. Puppies are taken from their mothers before they are ready so that their mothers can be bred again. It is estimated that there are 10,000 puppy mills in the United States, producing 2.15 million puppies a year. Buying puppies from pet stores supports this cruel system.

Many breeders also breed their dogs in puppy mills. In order to avoid adopting a puppy from a puppy mill, check out these questions to ask a breeder.

The Pros (and Cons) of Shelters

Shelters are a great option for anyone interesting in adopting a new feline or canine family member.  Every year 6 to 8 million animals enter shelters. Unfortunately, 2.7 million shelter animals have to be euthanized because there is not enough space.

Just because an animal is in a shelter doesn’t mean it did anything wrong. Many animals are forced to live in a shelter because their owner had to move into a new home that doesn’t allow pets, allergic reactions to the animal, or an owner can’t afford the time or money to take care of them anymore. Because of this, many animals you find in a shelter are already house or obedience trained and would make great pets.

At a shelter, you can find animals in a range of breeds and ages. In fact, 25% of dogs in shelters are pure breeds. If you are interested in a particular breed, you can ask your local shelters to ‘keep an eye out’ or find a breed rescue group.

The Importance of Spaying and Neutering Your Pet

It is important to spay and neuter pets in order to prevent overpopulation (In a previous article I wrote about the damage to bird populations done by stray cats).  The good news is most shelters neuter/spay their pets prior to adoption so that new owners don’t have to worry about accidental litters/new shelter residents.

My Last Bark

Choosing to get a pet is an important decision.  A pet requires time, resources, and love. It is not fair to you or the animal to adopt without thinking long term.

On another note, dogs make excellent companions. I have never seen a greater joy then a person talking about their pet and look forward to meeting my new cousins.

by Maddie Perlman-Gabel

Marveling at Nature (Thats Right, We Made a Comic Book Pun!)

In the opening scene of last week’s “Simpson” episode, ‘Married to The Blob’,Bart’s favorite comic book hero, Radioactive Man, battles The Fossil Fuel Four.  The Fossil Fuel Four, Old King Coal, Petroleus Rex, French Femme Fatale Charcoal Briquette, and The Fracker are attempting to destroy the Nuclear Power Plant. Radioactive Man tries to stop them by telling them that Nuclear Energy is the cleanest form of energy but the The Fracker retorts by saying that studies show that fracking is the best option for America if it wants to have energy independence. To this Radioactive responds by calling the Fracker out by saying those studies were industry funded, and by calling for help from sidekicks Citizen Solar and Wind Lab. Unfortunately Citizen Solar and Wind Lab are unable to help because it is too cloudy and “people don’t like the noise”, and Radioactive Man is killed.

Though this scene is a farce it got me thinking about the relationship between comic superheroes and environmental issues. Whether it is the source of their origins, or their type of superpower, many superheroes have links to the environment.

Super Powers That Replicate Nature

Many superheroes have superpowers that derive from nature. In the X-Men, Storm has the ability to control weather, while Ice Man has the ability to turn water into ice. These powers indicate respect for nature while at the same time express humans’ ultimate fascination in controlling the world around them.

The villain Poison Ivy uses nature-based powers another way. She uses her plant-like abilities to protect nature, even if it harms humans.

Super Powers Replicating That of an Animal

There is something fascinating about animals and their natural super human abilities. That is why there are so many super heroes who’s abilities, whether acquired or man made, are modeled after animals. Super Hero’s like Batman, Catwoman, and Wolverine are modeled/model themselves after animals while others like The Beast did not choose to emulate animals

I find animal derived super powers the most interesting. If I could be a super hero modeled after any creature I would choose the cockroach. With speed, the ability to fly short distances, and heavy armor that cam still fit in small spaces I would be impossible to defeat.

Other super heroes have powers that are less species specific. The super hero named The Animal Man can morph into any species of animal, whether alive of extinct, while AquaMan has the ability to speak  to sea creatures.

Origins That Reflect Fears of Science and Technology

Superheroes like the Hulk, Spider-man, The Fantastic 4, and the Toxic Avenger gained their super powers accidentally. This type of origin reflects the readers/society’s technological fears at the time of the superhero’s conception. Many of the comics were conceptualized in the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s  which is why radioactivity is a particularly common cause of powers. Spiderman is a particularly quintessential example of this concept, not only does his radioactive spider bite implicate the fear of radiation but it also implicates a fear of genetic engineering.

Two Words: Captain Planet (And the Planeteers)

When I was a child I was a big fan of watching Captain Planet protect earth from pollution and environmental destruction. With help from the Planteers, 5 Teens from different parts of the world with powers, Captain Planet showed young viewers of the different hardships facing the earth. I remember finding the show educational and entertaining and can still practically sing the theme song by heart.

Since the show started in the 1990’s the show has expanded into “The Captain Planet Foundation” which funds young environmental stewards create their own “Captain Planet” worthy projects.

If Superheros’ reflect American values, comic super heroes emphasize that nature and the environment are an integral part of our lives and without them we are powerless.

super child with earth via shutterstock

super child unleashed via shutterstock

 

by Maddie Perlman-Gabel

“Naturally Melt Ice Away”

This past weekend the Northeast was hit by a snowstorm, making travel and transportation near impossible. Though the roads and sidewalks have since been cleared (mostly) travel is still dicey because of the risk of falling and sliding on ice. Luckily citizens and municipalities have a “natural” tool to protect us from accidents. But is road salt healthy for the environment?

Granulated sodium chloride was first used in New Hampshire as an experimental deicing agent in 1938. By World War II salt use had spread to highways nationwide. Now, 22 million tons of salt are used for de-icing a year and road salt equals 65% of salt sales in the country.

Many people assume that because road salt is natural (it is the same salt as you find on your dining room table) that it is healthy for the environment, but the addition of any outside substance to the environment can be unhealthy.

Pets and wildlife can get sick from accidentally ingesting high quantities of salt. Salt attracts deer to roadways, increasing the risk of accidents. Salt can also irritate animals paws, making them prone to infection.

Another issue caused by the mass use of salt is the gradually increasing salt concentrations in our waterways and groundwater. The EPA suggests that 20 mg/l is a safe level for sodium in drinking water but salt in water runoff puts these levels at risk. Higher concentrations of salt are more likely to occur in shallow wells in proximity to highly salted roads or storage facilities.

Chloride ions can dehydrate plants, kill small wildlife, and reduce water circulation in lakes, reducing aeration. The substance potassium acetate can melt ice without introducing chloride into the environment but unfortunately it is much more expensive than salt.

For now the best way to address the salt problem is to improve the effectiveness of road salting programs. Road design that reduces runoff is helpful.  Other strategies to keep the salt from finding its way into the environment include spraying wet salt, which keeps the salt from slipping off the road, and pre spraying before a storm.

Municipalities (and individuals) also need to be conscious of how much salt they use. This will not only save money but it will also reduce the salt that’s introduced into nature. The use of GPS, thermal mapping, and sensitized salt distribution can help municipalities accurately spread salt.

Salt may be natural (sodium is the 6th most common element), but we need to be more conscious of how we use it because even natural substances can shift the environment and get us (and animals) sick.

Salt piles via Shutterstock

by Maddie Perlman-Gabel

Using Shrooms to Solve the Packaging Problem

The holidays have just ended and I’m sure most people can confess to shipping a package padded with Styrofoam. This Styrofoam is destined for the landfill, where it will stay for eternity, because Styrofoam doesn’t decompose. There’s got to be a better way to safely ship valuables without using a product that is so wasteful.

In fact, there is.

The company Ecovative has developed a sustainable Styrofoam alternative (short for ecology and innovative), which they’ve named aptly named “Mushroom Materials”. As the name suggests, “Mushroom Materials” is made from agricultural waste bound together by fungus’s mycelium, which is the vegetative growth stage in fungus. Instead of being thrown in the trash,  used “Mushroom Materials” can be thrown to decompose in the garden.

Though they do not make packing peanuts, they do come in a variety of shapes and can be customizable for businesses. Ecovative is hoping to expand the uses of this innovative product, and are working on a range of other experimental projects besides packaging. Some of these projects include insulation materials, a house (see below video) and surfboards. According to their website “Mushroom Materials” are cost competitive with plastic foams when bought in volume.

Ecovative has received grants from the National Sciences Foundation, the EPA, and the USDA to name a few.  Hopefully Ecovative will continue to receive funding to experiment with the power of mushrooms.

Mushrooms via Shutterstock

by Maddie Perlman-Gabel

Fast and Frugal Tips for Greener Living This Winter

By: Emily Harper, Guest Contributor

Compared to winter, it is easier to live green during any other time of the year. With all the extra need for heat, winter becomes a period when more energy is required by each household. Heaters alone require tremendous amount of energy. To add to this are the festive lights that adorn houses just in time for Christmas. And since it’s the season for holidays, a surplus in food consumption can also be observed during wintry weather. It may seem hard to live green during winter, but it is not impossible. The ways by which you can continue living green during winter may surprise you since they are mostly simple steps that aim to prevent waste of important energy before they even happen.

✓ INSULATE THE HOUSE

Heat is vital during winter. And though there is a need to conserve energy that produces heat at home, it doesn’t mean that you should just endure the cold, cold winter. There are ways to achieve costless heat or the heat that can be generated through optimizing the heat sources of your home.

Insulate, caulk and basically seal any crevice, nook, gap, crack or shaft that may allow cold to enter your home. For a warmer home, you need not to produce too much heat. The first step you can take is to keep the cold outside and to keep the heat inside the home. Insulate entrances to your home to ensure that heat does not escape and the cold does not get in. The same purpose is behind the need to seal leaks and to put door snakes on doors. The best part is the heat maintained through this simple step does not require excess energy. It’s basically free heat.

✓ CUT NOT THE USE BUT THE EXCESS

Maximize the use of other appliances at home that do not necessarily contribute to heating the house. Dryers and washing machines, for example, take up a huge deal of energy, so wash and dry the most number of clothes in one load. Televisions and computers that are left plugged continually taking electricity despite being unused, so unplug them when they are not used. Switch light bulbs to ones that consume less energy, CFL or Led bulbs are better compared to incandescent. You need all the energy you can conserve to power heat-producing appliances at home, such as your heater. To conserve, you should then limit the consumption done by other appliances. Compensate for the excess you might incur for heating.

✓ CLEAN WHAT NEEDS TO BE CLEAN

Make sure that your heat-producing appliances are efficient and working properly. Energy is wasted when some of it is used to overcome faulty parts or unclean filters. Cleaning the filters in your furnace or heater for example, saves a lot of energy since the heater works much more efficiently when its filters are clean. Generally, the need to conserve energy can be attained through maximizing those appliances that produce heat. This is to ensure that heat is produced at the cost of the least amount of energy possible. You can also try using the furnace for real. The idea of it never gets old.

✓ KEEP YOUR HOME GREEN

If keeping a green yard is no longer possible, keep your home green, literally. Indoor plants may help lighten up the home and make it cozier. Since the presence of greeneries is limited in the outdoors during winter, you can make up for it inside your home. You can try container gardening and plant trees that are suitable for cold weather. Plants are extremely beneficial; they are essentially a costless source of unlimited clean energy. With just that, it’s easy to see their necessity inside the home.

✓ RECYCLE AND PLAN WELL

Since the holidays are approaching, you can conserve not only energy, but also other resources. Holidays are festive and common practices during this time are compounded with excess use of plastic bags and gift wrappers and a glorious feast of sumptuous food. For plastic bags and gift wraps, recycling is necessary. Use recyclable cloth bags or baskets when shopping instead of plastic ones. When shopping, make sure that all the items you need are written on a list. This is to prevent instances where you may forget something and thereby need to go back to stores. Limit your trips to the store to limit the amount of energy used in transportation.

To live green during winter, inexpensive energy solutions are important. The governing principle is that since more energy is consumed in producing heat, other energy-consuming activities or appliances should be limited. Though the outside is white and cold, keep your house green and warm this winter with this fast and frugal checklist.

Image credit: Bill Barber via Flickr.

About the Author: Emily Harper is a green advocate, one of the many brave people aiming to color the world back in green.

by Editor

17
Dec/13
1

The Benefits of Smog

Last week China made headlines when the country’s Media tried to put a positive spin on China’s smog problem (For those of you of haven’t read the story you can catch up at  Time or Reuters). It is only human nature to try and put a positive spin on an unnatural phenomenon that can put lives and the environmental at risk, remember all people trying to put a positive spin on global warming?

Personally, I was surprised that the Chinese State Media only included 5 reasons (See the First 5 Listed Below), so I decided to brainstorm some additional benefits to China’s Smog Problem.

Enjoy!

1. It unifies the Chinese people.

2. It makes China more equal.

3. It raises citizen awareness of the cost of China’s economic development.

4. It makes people funnier.

5. It makes people more knowledgeable (of things like meteorology and the English word haze).

6. Smog provides an excuse for wearing fluorescent clothing.

7. Improves imagination by turning China into a fantasy smog land.

8. Introduces China to a new range of tastes and smells.

9. Smog provides added shelter for animals of prey (and predators).

10. Smog improves the beauty of sunrises and sunsets.

Pollution Sunset via Shutterstock

 

 

by Maddie Perlman-Gabel

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