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7 Ways Latinos Go Above And Beyond To Be Eco-Friendly

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A group of Latinos came together in Washington, D.C., recently for GreenLatinos, an event dedicated spreading awareness on environmental practices and causes. Many attendees talked about passing legislation to save the planet, and they agreed that Latinos are already eco-friendly af.

Here are some of the ways GreenLatino attendees claim Latinos go above and beyond in saving the planet.

1. There’s nothing like reusing your old clothes as cleaning rags.

CREDIT: mitú

“My mom used to have all of our t-shirts in a pile and she would sit there on Sundays and cut them up into little rags,” Greisa Martinez Rosas, the advocacy director of United We Dream says. “It wasn’t a green thing. It was more of a money thing.”

2. We will always reuse that butter container as Tupperware.

CREDIT: mitú

“At least in my house, they always told me to turn off the lights because it’s cheaper, so they’re low-key trying to save money,” Laura Di Lorenzo, mitú video producer and emcee at the GreenLatinos event. “They don’t even know they’re being green. They’re just being cheap. That’s something my parents did. They reuse ziplock bags and Tupperware. We recycle clothes. If I have a big cousin, I’ll inherent their clothes. Not that I want to, I’m just kind of forced into it.”

3. Your old clothes probably became a very uncomfortable pillow.

CREDIT: Calvin Klein / Giphy

“They usually turn out to be really hard and uncomfortable, but it’s a great way to recycle old shirts,” Rep. Jimmy Gomez of California’s 34th district says.

4. Some times you need to skip the towel after the shower.

CREDIT: That 70s Show / FOX

One Congressperson, who shall remain anonymous, admits that sometimes after a shower they skip the towel and dry off naturally. Not a bad idea if you want to conserve power and water.

5. We are experts in how long you can wear clothes before having to wash it.

CREDIT: Twin Peaks On Showtime / GIPHY

“I wait longer before I wash my clothes,” Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragán of California’s 44th district says. “I use it more before I have to go put it in the laundry and use detergent and more water. I don’t sweat very much so it’s probably easier to do that.”

6. We carpool like no other because there are a lot of us.

CREDIT: The Late Late Show with James Corden / CBS

“I have arranged for rides with friends that are heading into downtown,” Rep. Ruben Gallego of Arizona’s 7th district says. “Even though they couldn’t drop me off exactly at my spot, I would walk the last 5 blocks to get to my spot which is crazy in Phoenix to do that.”

7. We get every last bit of toothpaste out of the tube.

CREDIT: mitú

“We recycle some times out of need. We reuse the same bags. We use the same containers,” Henry Sanchez, chair of the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda and Executive Director of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA), says.”We try to be very careful about using things like toothpaste to the fullest. It’s something that comes in our nature.”

To learn more about GreenLatinos, check out their website here.


READ: Our Parents Were Recycling Before It Even Existed

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Environmentalists Are Outraged At The US’s Latest Plans To Use The Galapagos Island As An Airstrip

Things That Matter

Environmentalists Are Outraged At The US’s Latest Plans To Use The Galapagos Island As An Airstrip

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Ecuador is receiving heavy criticism for giving the U.S. military permission to use a Galapagos island as an airfield. The proposed plan by Ecuador to allow the U.S. to use an airstrip on the Galapagos island of San Cristobal has drawn anger from local politicians and activists that say more harm than good will be done. The historic islands in Ecuador are one of the most biodiverse regions on the globe and are home to a number of species found nowhere else on the planet.

Ecuador and the U.S. plan on using the island as a way to stop drug trafficking flights.

Credit: guillaumelong/Twitter

Under the deal with Ecuador, the Pentagon will use the tiny airport on the San Cristobal island to “fight drug trafficking”, defense minister Oswaldo Jarrin told Latin American TV network Telesur.

Jarrín announced Ecuador President Lenín Moreno’s administration’s decision to expand an existing airfield on the San Cristobal Island for U.S. spy planes targeting drug traffickers on June 12. The aircrafts that would be used include a Boeing 777 and a Lockheed P-3 Orion.

According to the Los Angeles Times, multiple Latin American nations like Colombia, Peru, and Panama don’t allow the basing of U.S. anti-drug overflights controlled by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Ecuador’s constitution, which was adopted in 2008, prohibits the installation of foreign military bases in the country.

Former Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa tweeted “Galápagos is NOT an ‘aircraft carrier’ for gringo use. It is an Ecuadorian province, world heritage site, homeland.”

Following mass criticism, Jarrin said that the Galapagos Islands would not become home to a U.S. military base or any kind of permanent post. “A base means permanence, there will be no permanence,” Jarrín said.

He added that flight crews would stay a week at most on the island and activities would be monitored by Ecuadorian authorities. The Pentagon would also have to pay for any needed “readjustments” to the airfield, which some fear could lead to environmental harm.

Critics of the proposed plan say the move could threaten the fragile environment of the island.

The Galapagos Islands are one of the world’s most famous areas known for its unique array of wildlife and natural plants. Famed for its rich biodiversity, which inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, it was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1978.

Many fear that construction or possible use of the island for military purposes will harm wildlife and other organisms there. The increasing number of tourists have already caused some concerns. The number of tourists visiting the islands rose from 161,000 in 2007 to over 225,000 in 2016, the International Galapagos Tour Operators Association said.

At this time, it’s unclear if Ecuador will proceed with its plans with the U.S. as many have criticized the proposed plans. The Pentagon has yet to comment or confirm any such agreement with Ecuador.

READ: New Research Shows Most Undocumented Immigrants Aren’t Coming From Mexico But Instead Central America

Pollution Is So Bad In Mexico City The Government Issued Emergency Orders

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Pollution Is So Bad In Mexico City The Government Issued Emergency Orders

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Mexico City has long suffered from severe air pollution, but the bad air quality has been at a whole other level since forest fires erupted over this past weekend.

Massive wildfires in southern Mexico have sent smoke streaming over Mexico City, turning the sunsets blood red and sending pollution levels skyrocketing. The city’s environmental commission has warned residents to stay indoors, and pollution levels could spike further in the coming days. The U.S. National Weather Service has already detected smoke aloft in the U.S.

The air is so bad the city is urging all residents to stay indoors.

Credit: @ajplus / Twitter

The government declared an environmental alert, ordering vehicles off the road and postponing the semi-finals of the first-division football league as a blanket of smog enveloped the sprawling capital.

It low key looks like a scene from a post-apocalyptic movie.

Credit: @urbanthoughts11 / Twitter

One Twitter user captured this perfectly, comparing Mexico City today with a scene from Blade Runner 2049. #OnPoint

It might make for some cool photos but the smoke could lead to serious health issues.

Credit: @DuncanTucker / Twitter

Particulate matter measuring 2.5 micrometers or less, known as PM2.5, reached 158 micrograms per cubic meter of air at one measuring station on Tuesday morning, more than six times the World Health Organization daily mean recommended limit.

PM2.5 particles are thought to be particularly damaging because they are so small, they can penetrate the deepest parts of our lungs.

Others are trying to have a sense of humor about it.

But with such unhealthy levels of particulates, this is no laughing matter. The government is taking the necessary steps to limit the harm caused to citizens dealing with the pollution.

In fact, the pollution is so bad, the government has decided to close public schools.

Credit: @nncattan / Twitter

Many long term residents are pretty sure this is the first time the city has ever closed schools because of air pollution. That’s saying something in a city that has long suffered from severe air pollution.

They’ve issued less than clear warnings about breathing in the noxious air.

Credit: @miblogestublog / Twitter

Translation: Breathing has negative effects on your health. But like I’m pretty sure we all still have to breathe…right?

Or maybe not?

Credit: @miblogestublog / Twitter

Nope…I’m pretty sure that’s not an option.

Concerned people were quick to point out the possible connections to climate change.

The blazes come after an explosive spring. An AP report said 100,000 acres burned through March alone. And so far in 2019, Mexico City has experienced 73 days with temperatures higher than average.

Many Mexicans are frustrated at the nation’s slow approach to combating the industries and practices that fuel climate change.

Credit: @t0skaaa_ / Twitter

The city sits in a valley more than 2,200 meters above sea level. It’s surrounded by a ring of mountains that often trap smog over the capital, preventing it from dissipating.

Add to that major polluting industry and the more than five million cars on the city’s streets, an active towering volcano, and you have a recipe for bad air quality.

READ: Mexico City Is One Of The Must-See Cities In The World And Here’s Why

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