Coronavirus Spreads around World

Texas Governor Issues Stricter Lockdown Policies In Response To COVID-19

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to threaten the health and safety of our world, more and more necessary restrictive measures are being enforced by federal/local governments worldwide to protect its citizens. Here in the United States, a national state of emergency has been declared and all non-essential businesses have closed, along with most colleges and universities. Travel bans are beginning to appear more and more, especially in densely populated metropolitan areas such as New York City, which has the most number of cases in the US overall. 

Speaking of travel bans, however, the entire state of Texas is now expanding their quarantine requirements for out-of-state travelers. There’s been a call for more restrictions being placed on any individual who has traveled by plane within the past two months/near future. Even domestic flights within the US pose a major risk, so on Sunday (3/29), Texas Governor Greg Abbott targeted some of the states most populated spots and made it a requirement that any individual who traveled by air to/from California, Washington State, New York, and several other territories in the US, must self-quarantine for two weeks once they arrive back in Texas. 

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Texas Governor Greg Abbott 

This measure had already been put into place earlier in the month, however, it only covered travelers from three states, so he wanted to expand upon it to really be safe; the order now includes Louisiana, Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit and Miami, all based on case data. 

Abbott is also directing state troopers to monitor bordering areas of these places, and to enforce the quarantine order for motorists driving into Texas as well from states such as Louisiana. When an individual is coming from one of these restricted states and into Texas, they should expect to be pulled over and questioned on where they plan to self-quarantine for 14 days. Unannounced visits without enough verification/compliance with these measures could result in a fine of up to $1,000 and six months in jail. While that may sound like a harsh punishment for simply driving into Texas, remember, these are peoples lives on the line. 

The Department of State Health Services in Texas has reported that they’ve endured 34 deaths from over 2,500 cases of covid-19. Governor Abbott claimed to be following the lead of Rhode Island, who’s government also enforced a specific travel ban on residents coming from New York when this pandemic first began; Rhode Island now expanded that policy to all 50 states. 

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Other states that have followed suit include Florida, which has gone after restricting travelers from New York and Louisiana, setting up checkpoints at certain borders to enforce these policies. There’s still a call to completely quarantine New York City as a whole to really prevent the amount of people who are moving around/to and from the five boroughs. President Trump, however, has not made any serious measures so far regarding travel restrictions within the US, leaving it to the states. 

“On the recommendation of the White House CoronaVirus Task Force, and upon consultation with the Governor’s of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, I have asked the @CDCgov to issue a strong Travel Advisory, to be administered by the Governors, in consultation with the ….Federal Government. A quarantine will not be necessary. Full details will be released by CDC tonight. Thank you!” Trump tweeted.

For now, make sure you’re staying updated on your specific states measures/restrictions within the coming weeks. As we’ve seen, this virus has become a day-to-day battle, in the sense that every day we’re making new developments at combating the spread and reducing the amount of access to the public it has. So keep washing your hands, staying home as much as possible, and remaining socially distant from as many people as you can.

Woman with Hand Sanitizer

Gin And Vodka Distilleries Are Now Making Hand Sanitizer To Cope With Coronavirus Pandemic

New York City is in the middle of some major lock-down protocols that are greatly affecting many local businesses as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Restaurant and bar owners are especially struggling to figure out how to keep their businesses afloat during a time where going to their establishments is banned. While this is causing a lot of distress among business owners, many are getting creative when it comes to making money and supporting themselves. 

Thanks to some help from NYC’s relief efforts, some distillery companies that are based in Brooklyn are attempting to keep their facilities open by making artisanal hand sanitizer to deliver to their customers when they place any liquor/beer orders. 

“I never thought in my life that I’d be in the hand sanitizer business,” Greenhook Ginsmiths founder, Stephen DeAngelo, said in a recent interview.

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Liquor stores are able to stay open as an “essential business” under new restrictive policies being enforced here in New York as long as their physical place of business remains closed. Instead, customers can call in or go online to place their alcohol orders and, depending on the specific business, patrons will either be able to get their orders delivered right to them, or will have to go pick it up outside. 

Brooklyn Gin distilleries, Greenhook Gin and St. Agrestis are just two examples of alcohol distributors that are now getting creative with their quarantine delivery packages. Both companies are giving their customers a small bottle of home-made hand sanitizer free with every order. The specific offer is being given to those living in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, at least for these two specific distilleries. 

As of this week (March 24th) New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that NYC alone has almost 15,000 cases of the novel coronavirus, making quarantining and social distancing the number one priority in terms of preventing that number from increasing. In order to further help prevent the spread of this virus, the Alcohol, Tobacco, Trade and Tax Bureau’s have all issued an advisory that alloys distilleries all across the United States to legally make and distribute hand sanitizer. 

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Part of that advisory also states that all the hand sanitizer that these distilleries give to their customers must be tax-free, but they can still charge for it if they want. Greenhook Gin immediately switched their production initiatives with the passing of this advisory, and is using their resources to give away their artisanal hand sanitizer to local hospitals in the city, which are all currently running extremely low on pandemic related supplies. 

“I don’t think the future is too bright for gin right now. This helps to keep my staff busy at this time, and we’re doing a lot of good for the hospitals as well,” DeAngelo said. 

These homemade hand sanitizers are made by using a combination of distillate, which is an ingredient that also is typically used in the production of gin due to its alcohol content, and gel. Customers have described the sanitizers as having a juniper scent, which again is a main ingredient in gin. 

Originally, the idea of alcohol companies making hand sanitizer came from a viral report that stated that Tito’s Vodka could be used as a disinfectant since it contains 40% alcohol; even though most hand sanitizers are at the very least 60%. The World Health Organization has since debunked this report, but has encouraged consumers to support local businesses who are actually making legally usable sanitizing products during this time of global panic.

Disinfecting Wipes

Don’t Flush Your Disinfectant Wipes After You’re Done Using Them

As we know, the best way to prevent the spreading of the COVID-19 virus is through regular hand washing and constant disinfecting. Disinfecting wipes are the easiest way to ensure that your surfaces are clean and virus-free. While these wipes are important and necessary especially in times of a pandemic, it’s also just as important that we’re still thinking about the environment and proper disposal systems for these cleaning products. 

Many individuals think that because something like a Clorox wipe resembles toilet paper, it can simply be flushed down the toilet, however, this couldn’t be more untrue. Flushing disinfectant wipes can cause major blockages and damage to your local sewer system, which in the long run is definitely not a good thing, instead, experts recommend just throwing them in the garbage.

“Flushing wipes, paper towels and similar products down toilets will clog sewers and cause backups and overflows at wastewater treatment facilities, creating an additional public health risk in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic,” California’s Water Resources Control Board said in a news release.

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California uses a centralized sewage collection system that relies on water flow and gravity to move waste to where it belongs. While toilet paper is designed to dissolve in those pipelines, things like wipes and paper towels don’t have the same ability. California has already reported issues with blockages in their system. 

Due to an increase in panic buying, toilet paper has become one of the hardest products to buy. Some people are turning to flushable wipes in times of shortages, however, experts claim that even products that claim to be “flushable” really aren’t. According to the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, all wipes labelled “septic safe” of any sort can still cause major damage to sewer systems.

Wipes are made of synthetic materials, and when these materials combine with other personal hygiene products and disinfectant chemicals that are then poured down the drain, they can break down into large pieces that can block pipes and damage systems in general.  

“When a product is labeled ‘flushable’ it generally means that it will clear your toilet bowl. It does not mean it will definitely clear your pipes or break down in the sewer system or at a wastewater treatment plant,” according to the New York City Department of Environmental Protection.

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It’s for these reasons that when it comes time to stock up on necessities like toilet paper, we’re remembering to be considerate to all of those in our community and not selfishly hoarding massive amounts of one certain supply for the sake of feeling better about the entire pandemic. 

On the other end, The Association of the Non-woven Fabrics Industry, which is a global trade association that works with a bunch of manufacturers including those for flushable wipes, released a guideline for “flushables” back in 2018 that claims if certain wipes pass the test, they’re good to flush. 

The wipes must break into small pieces quickly, not be buoyant, and only contain ingredients that will degrade in natural settings, according to the criteria. However, the average individual at home isn’t going to go out of their way to make sure that their disinfectant wipes meet these requirements, so to be safe, throw away any disinfectant wipes and keep maintaining proper hygiene.  

When it comes down to it, if the wipes in your home claim to be flushable, it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world to actually flush them, however, it’s always best to ease on the side of caution, and properly dispose of any and all cleaning products that you’re using inside of the home. Just because we’re in the middle of a viral pandemic, doesn’t mean that our environment has stopped suffering either. 

Spring Forward

The Benefits Of “Springing Forward” With Daylight Savings

During this round of daylight saving time (DST), many Americans find themselves struggling with the loss of one hour. However, others enjoy the fact that it’s not completely dark outside by the time they leave the office. Regardless of your stance, studies have proven that the “spring forward” round of DST saves lives, energy, and prevents crime due to the extended hours of daylight. There’s such a difference that some scientists believe that Congress should move the entire country to year-round DST; in other words keep the clocks permanently forward. 

When there’s extended hours of daylight, less lives are put at risk, as studies show that evening rush hours are twice as fatal as morning ones for a variety of DST related reasons. Besides more people being on the road, it’s also more likely that intoxicated individuals are getting behind the wheel when it’s darker out. There’s also more of a rush for people to get home to take advantage of the little amount of daylight they would have left after a full day at work. This is especially true for those with children.  When there’s extended daylight into the evenings, there’s less of a chance of an accident occurring because people are able to pay more attention to their surroundings. 

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A 2013 study found that improved lighting in the evenings also reduces crime rates by up to 20%. Oddly enough, this holds true the most with juvenile crimes, as kids under the age of 18 are more likely to commit a crime after school hours and in the early evening, especially considering at the beginning of the spring-to-fall DST it got dark by 4:30 in some areas of the country. Criminals tend to wait for it to be darker out to commit their crimes as there’s less of a chance of them being spotted by innocent bystanders. Crime rates in general are 30% less likely to happen during the morning/afternoon hours when it’s still light out. 

Another major benefit to DST, and one of the original reasons we decided to start moving our clocks back and forth every year, is the amount of energy it saves annually. When the sun is out later in the day, natural energy sources have an extended period of time in which they can continue to create said energy. 

More sun in the evening means less electric power is used for lighting, as well as a reduction in the amount of oil and gas needed to heat certain buildings and homes. For example, officials working at the California Energy Commission estimated that about 4% of the state’s winter energy usage could be saved if the clocks were permanently kept forward. 

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The biannual clock switching has also been proven to negatively affect individuals health and welfare. Heart attacks increase by 24% the week after we “spring our clocks forward” every March, the same type of increase occurs in the fall as well. When individuals don’t plan the switch in times accordingly with their night time routines it can lead to overall feelings of physical and mental fatigue, which can also lead to a series of other types of accidents. 

Finally, there’s a major increase in recreational activities and consumer spending when the sun remains out later in the evening. Studies show that Americans are much more likely to go out and shop after work when the sun remains out during the spring months. This is extremely beneficial to the likes of local businesses and the economy in general. 

In addition, Americans are more likely to get out and get some sort of physical activity when it’s light out in the evenings, as there’s less of a rush to race the sun as it sets. Extended hours of sunlight benefits our health, energy-use, and overall safety, and it’s why so many have made the argument that we should always have the clocks pushed forward. Only time will tell if our federal government will make the switch and reap the rewards of “marching forward” permanently.


Meet The Traveling Veterinarian Who’s Helping Homeless Pets For Free

Stewart is now known as the “Street Vet” in California, as he spends his free time traveling around the golden state in search of homeless people with animals.

NYC Pizza

New York Pizza Shop Delivering Photos Of Shelter Dogs With Every Order

New York is known for its pizza. Anyone who’s ever visited the state knows that while they’re here they need to try a genuine bagel, bacon egg and cheese, or slice of pizza. When it comes to the multitude of pizzerias scattered throughout New York, however, it can be hard to distinguish what makes a certain establishment unique. For one franchise based in Amherst, they’re making major social strides through their advocacy for shelter pet adoption. 

Just Pizza & Wing Co. is attaching flyers of adoptable furry friends to each of its pizza deliveries to help aid a community organization that promotes adoption over shopping for puppies at storefronts that likely get their animals from cruel puppy mills. The best part of the whole deal is Just Pizza is offering a $50 gift certificate to any customer who ends up adopting a dog because of the pizza box fliers. 

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Mary Alloy owns Just Pizza & Wings Co. with three of her children, and the idea to incorporate posters for available shelter dog’s trying to get adopted onto each pizza box came when Alloy and her kids began volunteering with the animal rights group, Niagara Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA). Alloy is no stranger to working with non-profit charity organizations, so volunteering to help protect animal rights seemed like a no-brainer for her and her family, and when an event coordinator whom Alloy had grown close to suggested using pizza boxes as a way to get more “advertising” for shelter dog adoptions, Alloy jumped at the opportunity. 

Kimberly LaRussa is the coordinator who’s worked with Alloy on implementing this new program which began distributing fliers this past Friday (2/28), and both the pizzeria and shelters are receiving a surge of new clientele, after 48 hours one puppy named Larry has already been adopted thanks to the collaboration!

“We’ve had a tremendous amount of interest and support from the community and beyond since the story went viral on Friday. Many people want to order a pizza just to get the shelter dog photo, other pizzerias have offered to put flyers on their pizza boxes, and so many people are tagging their friends and family. The shop is getting a lot more business, as well. While the restaurant usually uses about 600 to 800 boxes every week, it has already gone through 500 boxes since Friday,” LaRussa and Alloy said in an interview.

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As previously mentioned, Alloy is no stranger to working with charitable organizations and incorporating advocacy for them within her own business. She’s already heavily involved with hospice care, non-profit medical organizations, autism centers, children’s hospitals and other animal shelters as well throughout New York. 

Just Pizza & Wings Co. has nine locations throughout New York, and within each are dozens of donation boxes for various organizations. Alloy said she’s always wanted to work with the SPCA, but running her business obviously always took priority. Previously she provided food donations to events for the SPCA, but once her kids offered to help and the county approved of the program, they were able to do even more for these adoptable friends. 

Within the coming weeks, LaRussa and Alloy hope to begin printing fliers for adoptable cats to also include with future pizza orders, as you never know what customer might be more of a cat person or a dog person. Alloy also claimed that they will continue with this program “for as long as it takes to get every shelter animal adopted.” 

Alloy is hoping other pizzerias throughout the country will see her now viral story and implement the same type of charitable program for their local shelters, for now though, Larry the puppy has a pizzeria to thank for his new family.

Death Valley, California

Where Should You Go On Your Next Road Trip?

In the United States, going on a road trip has been a traditional means of vacationing since the creation of the car. The ability to just get in your car, start driving, and eventually end up in a different state can be such an exhilarating experience, let alone much cheaper when compared to airfare and other means of traveling. So what are some of the best road trip destinations to hit in America?

First, the state of Washington in general is known for its vastly wide array of landscapes, hiking destinations and national parks, all perfect destinations to pass through or stop at on your road trip journey. More specifically, the North Cascades National Park, which is situated right next to the Washington Pass route that will take you between two iconic mountain ranges which will be your view for a majority of the trip. Additionally, the route itself will take you through a multitude of nature preserve sites that you can pull over and enjoy, such as the Liberty Bell Mountain, Early Winters Spires, and Kangaroo Ridge.

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Olympic National Park

Speaking of Washington National Parks, while you’re making your way through the state you should definitely stop at the Olympic National Park, which is arguably the most well-known park in the state, as it’s known for having a diverse range of natural environments to explore, including rainforest hiking trails, mountain territories, and coastal beaches; all of which are located within the park. One of the more popular beach destinations in the park is Rialto Beach, which is known for its massive driftwood “decorations” that are scattered among the shore. 

Moving outside of Washington, California is one of the most popular road trip destinations in America. However, why just make it the final stopping point? California is huge and has a whole slew of different cities, beaches, and nature preserves in general that can occupy an entire week of travel. State Highway 1 is known as “The Lost Coast” in California, and it takes over 650 miles of California coastline without any major access roads, hence its name. You can drive, hike, backpack, bike, and more along the entire trail and because of how huge it is, the possibilities for what you’ll witness while exploring the hidden roads are endless. 

Like the Olympic National Park, Joshua Tree National Park in California near the Barker Dam is one of the more famous road trip spots/getaway destinations for most who visit the golden state. The Dam provides a major source for fresh water in an otherwise extremely dry and arid environment. That fresh water will also draw the attention of many unique species, which can make for some pretty picturesque nature shots. 

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Death Valley

Death Valley National Park is on the cusp of California and Nevada and is known as America’s hottest and driest national park due to the fact that it has the lowest altitude when compared to every other park in the country. The desert environment itself isn’t your stereotypical vision of endless sand and cloudless skies, but instead holds a bunch of deep canyons, multicolored rock formations, multi-textured sand dunes for any sort of desert activity like hiking, riding an ATV or dune buggies, etc. and with a name like Death Valley, you’re sure to have an unforgettable time.

Finally, it’s appropriate to also mention Arizona in this list. Arizona is located in the perfect place for a road trip, as it has Utah, Nevada, California, and New Mexico on its border, as well as the very famous Grand Canyon National Park in its residence. Beyond that, Arizona also has a myriad of photogenic landscapes, such as the Horseshoe Bend, which is one of the most photographed locations in the United States. The bend itself is located within the Colorado River and is about 100 miles from the Grand Canyon itself. The Saguaro National Park also holds a certain claim to fame in Arizona, as it’s known for holding some of the nation’s largest cacti species within its vast landscape (some can grow to be over 50 feet). 

Regardless of where you want to go on your road trip, make sure you’re remaining present and taking in all the scenery that the open roads of America have to offer. Never be afraid of a spontaneous detour, and pack a camera only for the really special moments so you can spend your time savoring every second of your nomadic journey. 

Plastic Bags

New York Plastic Bag Ban Goes Into Full Effect This Week

New York’s plastic bag ban will go into full effect this Sunday (3/1) and store-owners throughout all five boroughs are preparing themselves by buying paper bags in bulk, and implementing new marketing strategies to encourage customers to bring their own bags. A lot of establishments throughout the state of New York have already begun transitioning out plastic bags from their businesses, however, for others it’s a bit of a scramble. 

Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the legislation last year on Earth Day as a means of reducing litter throughout the state, especially in New York City, but also to combat climate change in general by protecting wildlife from eating said litter, and reducing overall greenhouse gas emissions that are directly linked to plastic bag production, distribution, and disposal. 

As previously stated, the ban goes into full effect on March 1st and states that all New Yorkers will either have to bring their own reusable bags when going grocery shopping, or pay a five cent fee per paper bag they need; the fee does not apply to individuals who use SNAP of WIC. Certain bags are exempt from the ban, such as garbage or garment bags, or any kind of bag that’s used to wrap perishable foods. 

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“It’s self-explanatory. It’s the right thing for the environment, and we really care. Our clientele also appreciate the fact that we care about the environment. Yes, it’s going to be a little bit of transition for many stores — being a shortage of bags or whatever it may be — but we wanted to be proactive on it,”  said Carlos Alfara, director of produce for all Union Market stores in NYC.

Union Market has also created their own informational campaign that they’re calling “BYOBag” as a means of informing all NYC residents on the specifics of the new law. Part of their campaign also instructs all sales representatives and cashiers to talk to customers about the new policy, as well as offering a 10 cent discount to every customer who brings their own bag.

For Union Market, however, as a chain making this transition isn’t as financially impactful as it would be for smaller, independently owned businesses who are paying nearly three times the amount for paper bags, hence the fees. Store owners are encouraged to also keep all cardboard boxes they recieve in case customers want to use those for groceries as well. At the end of the day, customers will get used to the change, and the planet will surely thank New Yorkers in the long run.

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New York has now become the third state in America to fully ban plastic bags statewide; California and Hawaii being the other two. According to Riverkeeper, a water advocacy nonprofit, New Yorkers use more than 23 billion single-use plastic bags every year, and the average life cycle of each bag is about 15 minutes long, before being improperly disposed of. Riverkeeper has also been outspoken about their discontent with this specific ban, stating that it’s simply not enough, especially when compared to the massive amounts of single-use plastic that New Yorkers go through in general annually. 

Plastic containers used for take out throughout the hundreds of thousands of places to eat in New York contributes to some of the most plastic waste for the state. Additionally, critics of the ban claim that while it is a step in the right direction, the amount of fossil fuels required to transport containers and paper bags is just as much as it would be for regular plastic bags. 

“They’re [plastic bags] cheap, convenient, waterproof, strong enough to hold groceries but thin and light enough to make and transport using scant energy, water or other resources. Though they’re called single-use, most people reuse them, typically as trash can liners. When governments ban them, consumers buy thicker substitutes with a bigger carbon footprint,” wrote John Tierney in The Wall Street Journal.

The Department of Sanitation for New York City will be scattered throughout the five boroughs this Friday handing out reusable bags as preparation for the change. While it may not be the biggest accomplishment in terms of combating climate change, it’s this type of systematic action that we need worldwide if we want a shot at saving our dying planet and all its inhabitants. 

Colorado River

The Colorado River Is Drying Up, Putting 40 Million Americans At Risk For Drought

The Colorado River provides water that supports more than 40 million Americans. Anyone living between Denver and Los Angeles, can most likely thank the massive river for a renewable and clean source of water. However, like most natural resources on Earth in 2020, climate change is beginning to take its toll. 

Scientists have found that there has been a 20% decrease in the Colorado River’s flow within the 21st century, when compared to the rate at which the flow was decreasing last century; an issue that they are blaming climate change on. Researchers who worked on a recent study, posted last week in the Journal Science, found that more than 50% of the river’s flow decline is due to increasing global temperatures. This is becoming a major issue that will only get worse; the biggest concern being the extreme water shortage that scientists are predicting millions of individuals who rely on the river as a water source will endure within the coming years. 

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“For each 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit of warming averaged across the river’s basin, its flow has decreased by nearly 10%. Over the course of the 20th and early 21st centuries, the region has already warmed by an average of roughly 1.6 degrees Fahrenheit. The study also examined the impact that pollution and heat-trapping gases could have on the river’s water supply. Without any cuts to [these] emissions, the river’s discharge could shrink by between 19% and 31% by the middle of this century,” (National Climate Assessment).

The Colorado River is one of the most vital rivers in the United States because of how much land it covers, and how many people rely on it as a renewable resource. The river itself begins at a high altitude in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and Wyoming. It stretches throughout the Southwest of the U.S. and ends up in the Gulf of California. However, according to the study, by the time the river gets to California its reduced down to nothing more than a trickle of water. 

On its journey from the mountains down to the golden state, the river makes a few detours to supply fresh water to cities like Denver, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Diego, Phoenix, and a multitude of farms that reach all the way down to Mexico. If the river continues to slow down, a majority of these places will be left at serious risk for drought, and will likely dry up.  

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According to the study, “Global warming is taking a severe toll on the snowpack that feeds the river, the scientists found. As temperatures increase, snow cover in the region is declining, meaning less energy from the sun is reflected back into space and more warms the ground as heat. This triggers a vicious cycle that leads to even more evaporation and therefore, less water supply.”

Increasing global temperatures has also already had a multitude of negative effects on the planet, obviously, that have already begun affecting the river as well. Lake Powell and Lake Mead are two of the Colorado river’s main reservoir sources, and they both are currently half full, to what’s considered their normal/sustainable volume of water, due to a 20-year-long severe drought brought on by climate change. 

In total, seven states rely on the river for water. Last year, the federal government reached an agreement regarding the rights of the river and how it should be governed within the next decade or so; the deal will protect the river until 2026, and negotiations are scheduled to take place at some point this year to determine which sectors of the river are the driest, and thus need to greatest protections/rehabilitation efforts. 

In general, a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions brought on by new technology, federal policies, and true systematic/economic change will help reverse the extensive damage this river has endured, as well as protect the rest of the planet from the massive amounts of destruction it’s already been through thanks to humanities ignorance on global warming.

Lake Adirondack Park Mountains

Fun Things To Do In Upstate New York

New York is one of the cultural hubs here in the United States. Within one state lies a whole myriad of cultures, cities, places to go and people to see, however, a lot of the amazing things that New York has to offer are often overlooked once you drive past Westchester. Yes, New York City is an amazing and beautiful metropolitan that actually holds up to all the hype it gets, however, upstate New York is like NYC’s middle-child sibling, and it’s time we stop neglecting her! 

For one, it doesn’t take hours upon hours in the car to get to an area in upstate where the mountains engulf every horizon view and the fresh air fills the lungs of forest wildlife. New Paltz, for example, is just an hour or so away from Manhattan, and is perfect for any low key day trips you might be planning. New Paltz is extremely popular amongst Long Islanders and it’s not just for their reputation as a college town. Main Street in New Paltz is filled with old-school 70’s vibes as the roads are lined with record shops, clothing stores of all kinds, a multitude of eateries inclusive for any dietary restriction, and countless hiking trails to give you those mountain views you crave. If you want to hike in the mountains you’ll have to drive an extra 20 minutes outside of the town, but besides that, everything you could possibly want to do is within walking distance of one another. 

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Tupper Lake, located in the Adirondack Mountains is another amazing hiking area for all outdoorsy types. Tupper Lake is known for its “Wild Walk” that runs through the Adirondacks. The park/hiking trail itself has a bunch of surprises along the way, including a four foot story tree-house that even has its own human-sized bird nest where you can take a much needed rest. 

The Adirondack Mountains in general is one of the best upstate New York hot spots because there’s so much to do! The Mountains themselves have a ton of beaches for the summer months, including Little Wolf Beach, the largest beach on the Adirondack campus; which happens to be over 80 acres large. All the beaches are equipped with trained lifeguards (during the summer months) who constantly are monitoring the many water activities to do such as rope swinging, trampolining in the water (you read that right), and diving off the docks. 

If you’re looking for a less active means of getting around upstate, look no further than a boat tour that explores New York’s Thousand Islands. The tour itself takes place in the St. Lawrence River, and as you travel through from New York up towards Canada, professional tour guides will enlighten you about the 1,800 islands that you’ll encounter on your 50 mile long journey. The trip takes you through some of the most magnificent and historical locations in New York, such as Boldt Castle and the Alexandria Bay.

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Looking for something a little more family-friendly as well? The Enchanted Forest in Old Forge is New York’s largest water park and has over 55 rides and attractions. Beyond just amusement park attractions, The Enchanted Forest also offers paddle-board tours and chairlift scenic rides so you can look forward to a truly unique way of taking in the sights.

Lake George is another extremely popular family-friendly hot spot for upstate lovers. Just north of Albany, Lake George is another upstate destination that won’t take you a half a day to get to. The surrounding land is recognized as a state park, which means it includes a ton of recreational activities such as the Million Dollar Beach, which is named as one of the best beaches in New York; and it’s not even on a coast! It was able to snatch the title due to its cleanliness, multiple public facilities/activities, and poster-worthy views of the Adirondacks and surrounding state.

No matter where you go in New York, consider trying somewhere beyond just the city. NYC is truly magnificent, but it will always be there and because of its constant motion and “never sleeps” attitude, it won’t change too much if you decide to take a day-trip up to the mountains to remind yourself of the diversity and beauty that is New York.

For more information on all things upstate New York, check out their official website.