Bars in Italy Are Using Pasta Straws to Get Rid of Plastic Waste

Lately, companies have caused a stir (see what I did there?) by getting rid of plastic straws or only distributing them when customers specifically ask for them.

In Italy, bars and restaurants are now using pasta straws for drinks to cut down on plastic waste. What could be more Italian than drinking out of a pasta straw?!?!

Here in Italy bars are starting to use pasta as straws to reduce plastic use. Our technology amazes the world another time. from europe

The European Union voted to ban single-use plastic items by 2021, and it looks like the Italians are getting a head start.

Interestingly, there’s already a company in the UK called Stroodles that sells pasta straws. Maxim Gelmann, the founder of the company said, “Stroodles is not just a straw company and there is a much bigger picture, as I feel I can leave a long-term impact by creating a ripple effect by triggering many small changes all across the world, especially among people that are less conscious of sustainability and their respective actions and behaviors.”

😎😎😎 Stroodles team at the Improving Air Quality in Mayfair event by @newwestendcompany

Posted by Stroodles- Pasta Straws on Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Gelmann added,

“The approach is to do this in a fun and non-preachy, non-finger-pointing manner. I rather aim for people to engage with a Stroodle and then themselves start asking themselves the right questions, like ‘Why is there a pasta straw in my drink?’ Thus, little realizations like that and them coming to their own conclusions, rather than being sold/preached. [It’s] much more powerful in creating behavioral and mindsets change. And … maybe next time one is offered a plastic bag, they will behave differently.”

I haven’t seen these in the U.S. yet, but maybe they’ll be coming soon?

The next step? Let’s work on getting pasta cups!

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Do You Have Cockroaches in Your House? Keep Them Away Using Peppermint Oil.

This sounds gross, but there are cockroaches all of the place where I live. Huge, nasty bugs that move a million miles an hour and (obviously) have no regard for my personal space. I live in North Carolina, and when I first relocated here, I was shocked at how many there were (people here misleadingly call them “Palmetto bugs”), but now I guess I’ve gotten used to it.

If you’re in the same boat as me (and you probably are if you live in certain parts of the country), here’s a home remedy you should consider to keep those pesky bugs out of your house and out of your life, especially if you prefer to use non-toxic products.

Researchers from Auburn University released a study that shows that a mix of peppermint oil and white vinegar will keep roaches (and spiders) away.

Here’s what you should do: put 10 drops of peppermint oil into a spray bottle along with two parts water and one part white vinegar. Spray the mixture around your cupboards, along your baseboards, under your sink, near door entrances, and anywhere else you think roaches might be lurking. This will not kill the roaches, but it will keep them away from the sprayed areas—and hopefully out of your hair (sometimes literally).

Another tip: you can also use peppermint oil by itself to wipe down countertops.

Give this a shot and see how it works for you—I know I’m going to. If you’re not seeing any improvement, it might be time to call in an exterminator.

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Ireland Plans on Planting 440 Million Trees to Help Fight Climate Change

Climate change is altering the world. Some of these changes we can anticipate, but others we are learning about in real time. And even though everyone who’s examined the evidence knows that climate change is occurring and that it is bad, some nations are sitting idly by and acting like their hands are tied.

Others are fighting for the future.

That is exactly what the country of Ireland is trying to do. Over the next 22 years, Ireland has committed to planting 22 million trees each year, totaling to 440 million trees by the year 2040.

Many believe that “revegetating” the natural environment can help to reduce carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. The tree-planting initiative is part of the Irish government’s overall plan to combat climate change, which involves getting to carbon neutral by 2050.

The plan calls for farmers to plant trees, and they will be incentivized for doing so. It’s a bit tricky: some argue that farmers should not be required to plant trees on their own land because it will take away property from their economic crops and cattle. Others have suggested that farmers let land revegetate on its own, so forests can develop naturally.

While there would be greater species diversity if a forest naturally revegetated, it would also take longer for trees to mature that way.

It’s estimated that there are about 3 trillion trees on Earth and that roughly 15 billion are cut down every year by humans.

The action plan from the Irish government says:

“Taking decisive action to confront climate disruption will be a major challenge to every dimension of our society, but the benefits are huge – warmer homes, cleaner air, a sustainable use of the world’s scarce resources, more connected communities, authentic values, and quality jobs in enterprises which can compete in a decarbonised world. This is everyone’s journey. From Government to businesses, communities to householders, climate action is collective action. The Climate Action Plan sets out the Government agenda; see what you can do to play your part.”

If Ireland can do it, it seems like the United States could manage the same, don’t you think?

The post Ireland Plans on Planting 440 Million Trees to Help Fight Climate Change appeared first on UberFacts.

15 Times People Did Their Part to Help out the Environment

These gestures might be small, but small things add up in the end. And we all need to do our part to help out the environment cause it is not doing great, folks.

Whether it’s recycling, using less water, cutting down on electricity, or any number of things, DO YOUR PART.

These people sure did, and the ideas are wonderful.

Take a look.

1. A great idea.

The Cafe at my closest beach gives free drinks to people who collect a bucket of litter from the beach from mildlyinteresting

2. That is very impressive.

Turns out my pencil is made of recycled newspaper! from mildlyinteresting

3. Good beer, too!

Carlsberg using glue to make six packs instead of plastic. from mildlyinteresting

4. Plant it when you’re done with it.

Got an event bracelet that can be planted from mildlyinteresting

5. Get rid of those pesky cups.

An ice cream cup made of banana leaves from mildlyinteresting

6. Bake some bread!

My grocery store started selling overripe bananas for cheap with a recipe for banana bread on the bag from mildlyinteresting

7. Keep it going.

You can charge this battery with a micro USB from mildlyinteresting

8. Eliminates so many bottles.

Refill Station at Simon Fraser University, Canada. from ZeroWaste

9. Not plastic, but plant starch.

This cup is made from plant starch, not plastic from mildlyinteresting

10. Plant your pencil.

My pencil has seeds on the tip, so when it’s too small to use it you can plant it and a tree will grow out of it from mildlyinteresting

11. Reducing more waste is crucial.

This super market had tiny paper bags instead of plastic containers to reduce waste from mildlyinteresting

12. Much better than discarding it.

Every day after closing, this local bakery leaves out a bag of their unsold pastries that people can take from freely instead of throwing them away and make unnecessary waste from mildlyinteresting

13. These look great!

The bowling alley in my neighbourhood tore up old lanes and used them to renovate the washrooms. from pics

14. Get rid of those butts.

I bought a pack of cigarettes and they came with a postage paid recycling pouch. from mildlyinteresting

15. This is awesome!

I don’t know about you, but I find all of those examples very inspiring.

What are you doing to help out the environment? Share your ideas in the comments!

The post 15 Times People Did Their Part to Help out the Environment appeared first on UberFacts.

Scientists Say That North America Has Lost 3 Billion Birds in the Last 50 Years

We’ve heard all about the plight of the bees that are disappearing at an alarming rate across the world, but the situation with birds doesn’t look too great, either.

A new article in the journal Science estimates that North America has lost a quarter of its bird population – roughly 3 billion birds – in the past 50 years. The researchers looked at populations of 529 different bird species since 1970 to reach their conclusion. They collected data from surveys with the help of volunteer bird spotters and combined that with ten years worth of data on flocks of migrating birds detected by 143 different weather radar installations.

Ken Rosenberg of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology said, “We saw this tremendous net loss across the entire bird community. By our estimates, it’s a 30% loss in the total number of breeding birds. But we also knew that other bird populations were increasing. And what we didn’t know is whether there was a net change.”

The data showed that more than 90% of the losses came from only a dozen bird families, including warblers, blackbirds, finches, and sparrows. Meadowlarks and red-winged blackbirds are two examples of common birds that have seen their numbers decrease.

The news isn’t entirely bad, though; some bird populations have increased, such as raptors (influding bald eagles), and waterfowl. Rosenberg continued, “The numbers of ducks and geese are larger than they’ve ever been, and that’s not an accident. It’s because hunters who primarily want to see healthy waterfowl populations for recreational hunting have raised their voices.”

Mike Parr, another one of the study’s authors, said, “We’re making the wrong moves now to sustain nature for the future, and this is an indication that nature is unraveling and that ecosystems are highly stressed. Our generation is going survive it, and probably the next generation will, but who knows where the tipping point is.”

The researchers say that climate change played only a small role in the overall loss of the birds so far, but it is likely to become more of a threat in the future because of rising seas, draughts and wildfires.

The post Scientists Say That North America Has Lost 3 Billion Birds in the Last 50 Years appeared first on UberFacts.

20 Interesting Signs from the Youth-Led World Climate Strike

Many people around the world admit that human emissions are slowly killing the planet via climate change, but no one seems to do anything. Scared for their futures, young people have been pushing the people in charge to not just agree, but to at least try to save us all from a fiery death.

Enter the recent youth-led global climate strike, a movement that numbered in the millions all over the globe. Participants everywhere hope their protest were heard by the UN during their Climate Summit (Greta Thunberg, a leader of the movement, shared some amazing words that made me tear up a little), and if these 20 signs have anything to say about it, these kids will be impossible to ignore.

20. It doesn’t seem like this should be asking too much.

19. I mean it takes a lot to get us out of the house.

18. Priorities, man.

Image Credit: Twitter

17. She’s walking the walk.

16. Incorporating a bit of our history lessons, there.

Image Credit: Twitter

15. Points for relevance.

Image Credit: Twitter

14. And justice for all.

13. Just a little something to think about.

Image Credit: Twitter

12. It’s so hot out you might not be able to feel this burn for much longer.

Image Credit: Twitter

11. I think this one is my favorite.

Image Credit: Twitter

10. That’s not at all romantic.

Image Credit: Twitter

9. On so many levels.

Image

Image Credit: Twitter

8. Fighting for the unborn on a whole other level.

7. A more perfect mashup has ever been conceived.

Image Credit: Twitter

6. It’s always a good time for a well-crafted pun.

Image Credit: Twitter

5. Who knew Mario Bros. would teach us so much about real life?

4. It’s quite backward.

3. My new favorite meme making an appearance.

2. I could not have bigger heart eyes for this sign.

Image Credit: Twitter

1. You are not alone.

 

It’s time to make a change, y’all. If it doesn’t start from the top, we’ll start it from the bottom. Consider looking into ways you can reduce your carbon footprint.

Are you impressed by the world’s youth campaigning for change? Are you inspired? Let us know how you plan to help in the comments!

The post 20 Interesting Signs from the Youth-Led World Climate Strike appeared first on UberFacts.

Learn How Wild Horses on North Carolina’s Outer Banks Have Survived Hurricanes for over 500 Years

The Outer Banks should be on everyone’s bucket list. The chain of barrier islands just off the coast of North Carolina are beautiful, serene, and somewhat otherworldly – and not just because there are herds of wild horses roaming the beaches.

View this post on Instagram

#nationalilovehorsesday – “The earth would be nothing without the people, but the man would be nothing without the horse.” – I have ridden a horse once in my life. The ride on my great grandma’s farm in Rich Square, NC didn’t last long, as the horse had other plans— and, thankfully, my grandfather snatched me off the horse— just in time. That thought doesn’t scare me. Instead, it actually makes me respect them more. To me, they represent freedom, endurance, a confidence, gracefulness – and mystery. – How these Spanish Mustangs found their way to the Outer Banks more than 500 years ago may never actually be known— but whether they were left behind or shipwrecked here, it’s been their HOME for more than FIVE CENTURIES. It’s illegal to get within 50 feet of them. They are WILD horses. It’s illegal to feed them. An apple could kill one of these horses. And yet, people are touching these horses & taking selfies with them. Not only is it against the law, it’s STUPID. – Recently, a horse had to be put down because of the injuries it received from another horse. If a horse can do that to another horse, imagine what it can do to a human?! – If these horses lose the place they’ve called home, the home they’ve SURVIVED in for more than five centuries because of the vanity, the selfishness of humans in OUR lifetime… Not our grandparents or the grandparents before them. OUR lifetime. What a disservice we’ve not only done to these horses & history, but our children’s children, who will never get to see this. Thank you to organizations like the @corollawildhorsefundinc that exist only to let these horses continue to run free. – #corolla #corollanc #corollahorses #outerbanksnc #outerbankswildhorses #spanishmustangs #horses #horsesofinstagram #letthemrunwild #letthemrunfree #letthemrunwildandfree

A post shared by Angel James (@angelmjames) on

The Colonial Spanish mustangs were left behind by European explorers in the 16th century and have been living alone on the islands for centuries. They’re considered feral, though local environmental groups do care for them in ways that minimally interfere with their lives.

Over time, the horses have learned to weather hurricanes better than most feral animals – and better than many people. Incredibly, they have evolved a system that’s preserved them for hundreds of years, even in the face of the fiercest weather.

The horses sense changes in air pressure ahead of the storm, and, as a pack, march to higher ground. Once there, they crowd together under sturdy oaks, rear ends toward the wind, and brace for the worst.

And, amazingly, it works.

The herd on the Outer Banks (around 100 strong) is managed by the Corolla Wild Horse Fund, and though they take some precautions with the horses ahead of major hurricanes like Dorian – they make sure their troughs contain extra hay and clean water, and that their ID tags are secured – they mostly let the horses be.

They’ve survived all this time, after all, so they’re obviously capable of taking care of themselves.

It seems like some people could take a card from the equine playbook when it comes to preparing for storms.

The post Learn How Wild Horses on North Carolina’s Outer Banks Have Survived Hurricanes for over 500 Years appeared first on UberFacts.

The “Punxsutawney Phil” of Maine Predicts an Early Winter

All hail Passy Pete!

For the last four years, a lobster in Belfast, Maine, has correctly predicted whether summer would continue or winter would arrive early for her yearly visit.

His name is Passy Pete, and he forecasts the future by choosing between two scrolls – one that predicts six more weeks of summer (he’s kind of the anti-Punxsutawney Phil), and one that says winter is coming (soon).

For the first three years, Passy said we had six more weeks of summer to enjoy the warmth (and he was correct!). He also guessed (???) correctly in 2018 that an early winter was on the horizon.

He says the same for 2019, so maybe you can go ahead and swap out your closet.

It falls to Belfast baron Dave Crabiel to read from the scroll chosen by the lobster.

“Friends of Belfast, on this second day of September – Labor Day in the year 2019 – it’s in your best interest to collect your coats, tell your sister to return the ones you lent her, tell Cathy, the harbormaster, to remove the boats, and everyone get ready for winter.”

The crowd groaned at the news.

Crabiel and the other Belfast business owners came up with the idea when they noticed how steeply tourism dropped off after the July 4th holiday.

“While Belfast is a great community year-round, we certainly do see an increase in business in the summer with the tourists. So we thought, what if there was an anti-groundhog, somebody who could predict a longer summer, rather than predicting winter?”

It seems to be working; crowds gather to see the crustacean choose a scroll. As long as he keeps picking right, I imagine his legend will increase and more people will descend on Belfast to watch him do his magic every year.

Crabiel hopes the same.

“All four years up to this point he’s been accurate. So I don’t know – we’ll see. It’s not the result we wanted.”

A longer summer means more travelers, and more business for the town, of course, but what can you do? The lobster has spoken.

If you want to see the ceremony in action, check out this video:

As for Pete, he’s returned to the bay each year no matter which scroll he chooses, so you can’t pick your bone with him.

Take it up with Mother Nature, I guess. Or just get out your coats, gather some firewood, and settle in.

The post The “Punxsutawney Phil” of Maine Predicts an Early Winter appeared first on UberFacts.

This Is Why You Should Put a Quarter on a Cup of Ice Before You Evacuate for a Hurricane

Hurricanes are nothing to mess around with, and it’s vital to be as prepared as possible before an emergency happens. One helpful trick to keep in mind: the “one cup tip.”

The one cup tip tends to go viral on social media every time a major hurricane pops up, since first appearing on Facebook in 2016 around the time of Hurricane Matthew. If you need to evacuate before a storm, this tip helps you figure out whether your food may have gone bad while you were gone.

Just put a cup of water into the freezer, allow it to freeze solid, and then put a quarter on top. Leave it in your freezer.

If you get back and the quarter is still on top of the frozen water, then you know that the water stayed frozen the entire time — which means the electricity stayed on, and the food in the freezer never defrosted, so it should still be safe to eat.

For those of you that are evacuating from the coast, I just heard a great tip. It's called the one cup tip. You put a…

Posted by Sheila Pulanco Russell on Wednesday, October 5, 2016

If, on the other hand, the quarter is now on the bottom of the cup, it’s a sign that the food in the freezer defrosted and then refroze while you were away. That means it’s not safe, and you should throw it away, just to be cautious.

The one cup tip is helpful for any disaster scenario when power outages are a concern — not just hurricanes.

Photo Credit: iStock

Keep in mind that this tip isn’t completely foolproof, however. Frozen water takes quite a long time to melt in the freezer, and ice floats in water. If the power is out for long enough to melt some of the ice but not all of it, the quarter may not change position. When in doubt, throw it out!

The post This Is Why You Should Put a Quarter on a Cup of Ice Before You Evacuate for a Hurricane appeared first on UberFacts.

This Is Why You Should Put a Quarter on a Cup of Ice Before You Evacuate for a Hurricane

Hurricanes are nothing to mess around with, and it’s vital to be as prepared as possible before an emergency happens. One helpful trick to keep in mind: the “one cup tip.”

The one cup tip tends to go viral on social media every time a major hurricane pops up, since first appearing on Facebook in 2016 around the time of Hurricane Matthew. If you need to evacuate before a storm, this tip helps you figure out whether your food may have gone bad while you were gone.

Just put a cup of water into the freezer, allow it to freeze solid, and then put a quarter on top. Leave it in your freezer.

If you get back and the quarter is still on top of the frozen water, then you know that the water stayed frozen the entire time — which means the electricity stayed on, and the food in the freezer never defrosted, so it should still be safe to eat.

For those of you that are evacuating from the coast, I just heard a great tip. It's called the one cup tip. You put a…

Posted by Sheila Pulanco Russell on Wednesday, October 5, 2016

If, on the other hand, the quarter is now on the bottom of the cup, it’s a sign that the food in the freezer defrosted and then refroze while you were away. That means it’s not safe, and you should throw it away, just to be cautious.

The one cup tip is helpful for any disaster scenario when power outages are a concern — not just hurricanes.

Photo Credit: iStock

Keep in mind that this tip isn’t completely foolproof, however. Frozen water takes quite a long time to melt in the freezer, and ice floats in water. If the power is out for long enough to melt some of the ice but not all of it, the quarter may not change position. When in doubt, throw it out!

The post This Is Why You Should Put a Quarter on a Cup of Ice Before You Evacuate for a Hurricane appeared first on UberFacts.