conservation, wildlife

Alaska and gas puns. Oh yeah, and environmental issues.

The modern human race is a species that is ravenous for natural resources. One that is hotly debated, especially recently, is the oil reserves in Alaska. President Obama has used executive order to protect much of the wilderness in Alaska that was planned for drilling. Big companies, like Shell, are up in arms about this due to the 6 billion dollars that they invested into planning on drilling there. And that, my friends, is called jumping the gun.

However, organizations such as the World Wildlife Fund are watching The United State’s actions on this issue closely. I guess being considered a world leader means our country’s actions lead the way for the rest of the world. No pressure though. It is a fact that oil drilling, and excessive oil consumption is not good for the Earth. There is no reasonable debate against that fact, over-consumption of natural resources is not good for the planet and it is contributing to climate change. Climate change affects every living being on this planet, whether it is a declining polar bear population or an increase in human respiratory issues. The invincibility mindset that humans harbor cause people not to believe that climate change affects their every day lives, but it does.

If you’re anything like me then you’re eco-friendly, fabulous, and broke. So when gas prices went down in December you probably did a happy dance when you realized you could fill up your gas tank for $25 (aka, you had more money to go consignment shopping). When gas prices went down, it was due to a lot of complicated things (find more about that: http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2014/12/economist-explains-4). But the reason that stood out most to me was that The U.S. has a surplus of oil, which caused gas prices to plummet. All the other reasons had to do with investing issues, foreign affairs, blah blah blah; the extent of my investing knowledge is when I get ice cream to invest in my sanity.

Shutting down all of this land for drilling has two major impacts:

1. As the Keystone pipeline continues to run, its reserves are rapidly declining. When it’s productivity gets down to a certain low-point, the pipeline has to be dismantled. This is good news for the environment and the wildlife that inhabits this land.

2. Alaska’s economy heavily relies on the oil drilling industry. It literally fuels (pun absolutely intended) the state’s major functions such as schools, public transportation, public health, and safety. A reporter was even quoted as saying “Obama seems to care more about the caribou than the citizen’s of Alaska”, damn, Obama do you need some ice for that burn? (get it, because it’s Alaska and there’s lots of ice there).

So being eco-friendly, fabulous, and broke what can you do to decrease your gas consumption?

1. Take care of your car! If you have an older car, like me, then you know all of the tender love and care that your vehicle requires out of you. The more you keep your car in good working condition, the more efficient it will be and the less gas it will use.

2. Plan your errands into times you’re already out and about! Stop by the grocery store on your way home from work, plan out where things are and what you need. A little pre-planning will do wonders for your efficiency.

3. Limit your showers to 10 minutes or less. This is one that I personally struggle with, I am guilty of standing in a hot shower for upwards of 20 minutes… But you’ll save a lot of money on your gas bill if you limit your shower time. Plus, then you have longer to pick out an outfit!

We all have to evolve with the ever-changing world, and no one is perfect 100% of the time. If every person could make eco-friendly decisions just 50% of the time then the world could be a much better place for everyone. Do what you can, and you will make a bigger difference then you will ever know. Share what you know!

More information can be found at:

http://www.detroitnews.com/story/opinion/editorials/2015/02/04/edit-approve-drilling-alaska/22814601/

http://www.wsj.com/articles/obamas-trans-alaska-oil-assault-1422319740

http://www.adn.com/article/20150204/keystone-pipeline-mistake-just-tar-sands-oil-it-would-carry

http://www.worldwildlife.org/press-releases/wwf-statement-on-the-keystone-xl-environmental-impact-statement

Photo credit: my honorary little brother, Drew Russell

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