It’s no secret that climate change is on the brain. For just about everyone. For the most part, we know climate change is a challenge and one we need to address. But the question we have yet to collectively answer is ‘what do we do about it?’. Growing up, the mantra was ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ but lately, it’s felt like our recycling efforts aren’t really doing anything or are a sham. We pat ourselves on the back for putting our plastic bottles into the recycling but then what? Crazy stats around how little those things are actually recycled blow my mind, if they end up at a recycling plant at all or actually just being shipped off to another country altogether.

So we’ve moved more into cutting out the middle man (recyclable goods) of the reduce mantra which means reuse. Reusable water bottles and coffee cups are the big vogue thing. So we pat ourselves on the back and save 0.25 on our Starbucks coffees. But what else? What else can we be doing? What do we throw out constantly? And what about the other things besides physical use, what about our travel and emissions? Our sprays, creams, soaps, everything that goes into the water and down the drain?

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Sustainable Travel: Trends in Air Travel

Remember that time Greta Thunburg made a carbon-neutral voyage across the Atlantic to go to a conference in America and raise awareness around climate change? It sparked a conversation with some of my friends about air travel’s impact on the environment. For years we’ve been talking about cars and their emissions but only recently, it feels, have planes been brought into the mix. Cars are still the majority contributor but airplane emissions’ contribution is not minimal at 9% (according to a 2017 EPA study).

Source: EPA Study, Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks 1990–2017

But as my friends pointed out, we don’t all have time or resources to take the literal long way ’round. So if you have to fly, what can we do? Well, it turns out that airlines (probably in a bid for self-preservation) are considering this as well. Popular flight search sites like Skyscanner have added eco-notices to their flight results for flights that are more emissions-friendly (friendly being a subjective word) so you can see which flights would have less of an impact. How do they do this? Baggage limitations, newer more efficient planes and carbon offset donations are a few things that come to mind.

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Scenes from the Underground

Hum along to the tune of “My Favorite Things” from Sound of Music

Door blockers, pole leaners, noisy rude talkers
Coughers and sneazers who touch the pole after
Drunken football rev’llers singing with pride,
These are the scenes of the Underground ride!

Babies in buggies who scream ever louder
Girls put on make-up to make themselves prouder
Bums and musicians seek room for the night
These are the scenes of the Underground ride!

Boiling hot temper’tures even in winter
Please let the people off, then you can enter
More signal failures are causing delays
These are the things that we face every day!

Please mind the gap.
Watch the doors close.
Stand behind the line.
I must find the Way Out or else I might cry, hope you enjoyed the ride!

Weekend Wanderings: Dubrovnik, Croatia

If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, Dubrovnik will look familiar as the setting for King’s Landing. But it was also the setting for scenes in Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi film so in addition to GoT tours, Star Wars fans can also partake in a walk around the sci-fi city.

Dubrovnik has arguably put Croatia on the map since Game of Thrones took off. Obviously it’s always been as spectacular as it is now but it has become a destination so gets busier in the summer months. Here are a few popular activities as well as lesser known spots.

1. The Walls – Naturally we did this in the afternoon when it was the hottest part of the day (not recommended). The old fortified walls run around the city and offer views of the sea of water as well as a sea of terracotta roofs. People have laundry lines running from their house up to the wall, nbd. You need a ticket to start up the wall but there are a few different exits along the way if you reach your fill. There are also a couple of cafes along the way but not many so bring some water with you on a hot day.

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Weekend Wanderings: Belfast, Northern Ireland

I’ve been doing a lot of UK-local travel lately (and by a lot I mean two places but let’s exaggerate for a good story) because I had to renew my passport and thought it would take forever but actually only took a week! Anyways, I really wanted to go to Belfast because of the Titanic museum and the Giant’s Causeway but that was all I knew to see in Belfast.

I was pleasantly surprised though, you can easily fill a weekend there! I found more to do there than in Dublin and the food was amazing! Granted, we did a day tour out to Giant’s Causeway and along the coast for some Game of Thrones themed visits but even if you aren’t a GoT fan, the tour company runs basically the same tour and sites without the overlay of filming fun facts.

Here are some cool things we learned and tasty things we ate while in Northern Ireland:

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