Earth Day Resolutions

You’ve heard of New Year’s’ resolutions, but this Earth Day I decided to make resolutions too!

Earth Day is all about bringing awareness of the damage we are doing to our beautiful planet. Climate change is becoming an ever-bigger issue: pollution is building up, the water crisis is becoming worse, species are dying out, and more.

I wanted to set a few goals for myself mid-year to help me become more connected to the earth, improve my health, and treat the planet the way it deserves.

Spend more time in the great outdoors

I love hiking, but too often I find myself being lazy and too unmotivated to go outside. I make excuses like “it’s too hot” or “I have no one to go with” and all of that adds up to… not much. I want to start exploring some of the nearby trails and checking off a few on my bucket list like Donut Falls and Timpanogos Cave, and maybe even be brave enough to face Angel’s Landing.

Cut down on my trash

Let’s face it: disposable dishes are convenient. Most mornings as I leave the cafeteria I pick up a coffee to go (so I don’t sleep through my classes). This adds up to a lot of waste. I’m going to start bringing my own to-go mug. I also want to try and cut down in other ways, like reducing the number of packaged goods (like mini chip bags) I eat.

Drive less, bus more

Having a car is great, but Salt Lake also has a public transport system. The system itself could use some improvement, but carpooling and mass transit is way better for the environment than driving everywhere.

Cut down on sugars

I have a massive sweet tooth, and as a result I end up stress-eating massive amounts of candy, sugary drinks, and the like. Not only is this bad for my health, it also impacts the environment in a negative way. Many sweeteners used in the US are made out of corn, an industry which has a huge negative impact on water use, pollution, animal abuse, human sickness, and more. (If you’re interested in finding out the details, I recommend The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan.)

Keep learning about the earth, climate change, and human impact

For the past year, I’ve gone on a journey learning more about climate change. I’ve taken several classes, like Global Environmental Science and Civic Engagement And Social Change, that have taught me about the desperate situation we are facing. I’ve made some steps to decrease my footprint, like becoming vegetarian, and I want to keep learning about how I can become better for my planet.

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A Few Tips for Finals Stress Relief

Finals week is nearly upon us: that dreaded time of endless studying and nervous breakdowns, all-nighters and more espresso shots than is healthy. This will be my sixth time going through this ordeal—provided, of course, that I survive.

I wanted to share some of my tips for stress relief so that, hopefully, more of us will make it out alive.

Take Breaks

If you’ve been working for hours on end, go outside and take a fifteen minute walk. Nonstop studying is almost less productive because of the brain fatigue that you experience. Even a fifteen minute walk can help you wake up and be able to focus more on what you’re doing, in addition to letting you relax for just a little while.

Classical Music

Classical music is proven to help your brain. Another bonus? It’s remarkably soothing. My favorite song lately has been Debussy’s Clair de Lune.

Drink Tea

Coffee is very caffeinated and too much can leave you feeling shaky and anxious. Tea is a lower-caffeine option that will keep you awake without those jitters. Additionally certain teas can be very good for calming anxiety, such as chamomile.

The Pomodoro Technique

This technique is used to break down heavy work periods into smaller intervals. You study really hard for 25 minutes and then take a short 5 minute break. Repeat this four times and then take a longer break before returning to your studies. This helps prevent brain fatigue and actually increases productivity so you get more done than you would if you just powered through it all in one sitting.

Get Outside

If you can, take your studying out into Mother Nature. Fresh air can seriously help with depression or other negative feelings, and the warm sun has very relaxing effects.

Pressure Points

Pressure points are areas on your body which can help relieve unpleasant feelings. They can be used to ease headaches, nausea, and other bodily ailments. And yes, of course, stress. My favorite one for stress relief is the area right between your thumb and your pointer finger.

The most important thing to remember that it’s not the end of the world. If you mess up on a test life will go on. Try your best, and that’s all that matters.

What’s the Deal With That Pepsi Ad? 

At this point you’ve probably caught wind of the storm brewing for Pepsi. They released a commercial a few days ago (which has since been cancelled) featuring Kendall Jenner joining a protest and breaking the tension between the protesters and the police by handing one of the officers a pepsi. There have been boycotts, a huge social media outcry, and general outrage against the company.

A lot of people are struggling to understand the uproar over the commercial, so I thought I’d help.

First, Kendall Jenner is probably one of the people least affected by the administration. She has white privilege, she is part of the 1%, and she’s a huge celebrity. Trump’s reign is not affecting her negatively, and the protests are doing nothing to affect her specifically in a positive way. She has nothing to lose, and publicity to gain.

Second, this commercial attempts to commodify the movement. The protests happening right now rose out of a real (and terrifying) threat to our nation and its people. Attempting to commodify this movement, and the threat that brought it around, does nothing to forward the attempts of the protesters. Pepsi is taking advantage of the current political climate to drum up sales for itself.

Third, Kendall’s presence as a white woman leading the march is problematic. It overshadows the minorities featured in the ad by casting the white woman in the role of the leader. So many movements are being overtaken by white folks when we are not the ones being primarily affected by the current problems in our nation. You may have heard of the “white savior complex,” where white people feel as if they need to go in and save the underprivileged minorities. This commercial embodies that concept.

Fourth, if making peace with the police was that easy someone would have done it long ago. In reality, the police are militarizing against the movement. They have sprayed people with water hoses in freezing temperatures, shot rubber bullets, thrown concussion grenades, and more. If anyone from the movement was to attempt a stunt like this, they would not be greeted with cheers and celebration. It would do nothing to ease the tension. If anything, it might make things worse.

Pepsi’s screw-up comes down to an overwhelming ignorance about the current political situation, the people fighting against it, and the underlying structures in our society that push down minorities. I, personally, am furious that such a commercial was not only thought up, but somehow was approved by any number of people at Pepsi. I hope that the company has learned its lesson in producing this kind of insensitive content and, if we’re lucky, I hope they’ve learned something about the movement too.

Product Review: Wet n Wild Color Icon Glitter Singles

One of my favorite pastimes is browsing the makeup aisle at any given grocery store. On one such outing, I stumbled across Wet n Wild Color Icon Glitter Singles. Their vibrant color caught my eye and at only 99 cents each I figured I may as well try them out. I bought two colors, Bleached (a holographic white) and Binge (a grape-soda purple).

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When I went to apply it, I quickly discovered that there was only a thin layer of glitter on top of a vaseline-like cream base. The glitter was hard to apply, choosing to stick more to my finger than to my eyelid. It stayed put for only about ten minutes before it started to crease.

I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this product, but it was only 99 cents so I really didn’t expect much from it. In a pinch it will do the job, and as long as you don’t apply it to an area that would likely crease then it wasn’t too bad.

Nine Things Men Do That Women Think Are TOTAL TURN-OFFS!

Trying to dictate our wardrobes
I’ll wear what I want.

Telling us how to do our hair
Don’t like it if I dye my hair crazy colors? Don’t like it if I cut it short? I’ll do both just to spite you, thank you very much.

Commenting on how much or how little makeup we should wear
For every remark that I wear too much makeup, I will put on 10% more.

Telling us how to speak, what to say, and what not to say
I’ll swear if I want to. I’ll make penis jokes. And I will be outspoken about things that I’m passionate about.

Complain about what we do with our body hair
I can go weeks or months between shaving my legs but if you tell me I have to or that my unshaven calves are gross, the time between hair removal is going to increase exponentially.

Dictate what kind of jobs we’re allowed to have
I’ll be a housewife if I please, and I’ll have a career of my own if I want to.

Telling us that we’re too emotional
Is it really a crime to cry at the end of Moulin Rouge?

Define us as ‘sluts’ or ‘prudes’
Our sexual activity (or lack thereof) is none of your concern.

Belittling our hobbies as too ‘girly’ or acting shocked if we have hobbies that aren’t ‘girly’ enough
Makeup is my hobby. So is dismantling the patriarchy. What of it?

The hard fact is that women do not give a shit what you find unattractive. If your pastime is writing articles on the internet to critique the way women dress and act, you need to seriously reevaluate your lifestyle.