Climate Change Is Roasting Your Beans

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Did you know the coffee industry is worth over $10 billion USD? Coffee is the largest traded item around the world other than oil. Over 90 percent of the land that coffee growers use to farm green beans in Latin America will probably suffer from climate change. Rain patterns and higher temperatures are just two factors that could hinder the growth of our favorite beverage on the planet.

High-quality beans are grown in specific regions along the coffee belt. If the growth of high-quality product becomes difficult, the consumers will pay in rising prices. Some coffee growing countries are testing eco-friendly growing solutions to combat the change in temperatures. If these tests become a reality, we could see coffee being produced in countries like Russia or North America.

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Black Friday…

The American holiday among holidays. For 365 days, our culture sits and waits for the one night of the year that the lights come back on at midnight in every single Walmart and Target across America. The pent-up anxiety just fills each house, taking over any enjoyment of the real holiday at hand.

Now, I don’t know about you but getting trampled to death in Walmart is not on my bucket list. For hours on Thanksgiving night, Americans line up outside of big-name department stores with sales flyers in hand, waiting for the lock to click on the other side. Some people take it to the extreme and camp outside the shops for the entire day. It is an unexplainable phenomenon that I have been trying to comprehend for many years.

The first time I ever experienced this horrific yearly ritual I had gone with friends. They promised me that we would have a great time. We were going to have hot chocolates, walk around the outdoor mall and visit a handful of shops. We went to this outdoor outlet factory that was not too far from our hometown. I had no idea what to expect, or what I had signed up for until we got to the exit on the highway that entered into the mall. The traffic was just stopped, and so were we- for forty minutes.

So we carried on, parked and walked to one of the signs with the “YOU ARE HERE” maps. We picked a couple of stores and tried to remember where they were.  Our first store was just ahead of us, but the line was clearly visible and going all the way around the next row of shops. The attendants at the front estimated two hours before we would even get to the front of the line.

I was astounded. I just couldn’t believe people were this into shoes around here. So we decided since we would be here for a while that we would go check out the lines at the other stores first. We went into a clothing store that I wanted to check out. Of course, no line. When we got inside though, the place was trashed. It looked like people just took the nicely folded piled of shirts and pants and just threw them in the air for fun. I walked around, stepping over clothes and hats and shoes and everything you can imagine that one would find in a store for men and women’s apparel and accessories. I was started to get irritated because I couldn’t find anything and left the store shortly after. There were people outside of stores arguing about children’s toys, cops were breaking up a brawl in the courtyard and I had enough of the festivities for this night.

I knew that I was stuck in this mess to the end so I just kept going until I found a coffee shop where I split from the group and nested until they were completed with the live version of “The Purge.” I never again went to any Black Friday events after that. I decided that I valued my sanity, warmth, and comfort so much more than a $25.00 Nautica sweater.

The entire concept is flawed from top to bottom. After waiting a couple years, the internet caught up and now we have Cyber Monday so I’ll meet you for an extra-hot latte and we can go shopping my way.

–  Hazel N.

P.S. I am so excited for Cyber Monday and I can’t afford to be excited.

Millennials were raised that way…

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Every day I come in contact with so many different people. Different races, different genders, and certainly different ages. There are a few terms that my ears catch when bits of conversations enter my thought filled mind and millennial is one. Millennials are a generation group born around the early 80’s to the late 90’s. There are over 80 million millennials living in the United States, far surpassing the previous generations at their peaks.

People who use the term “millennial” often follow it up with a negative stereotype or criticism that is unwarranted. While looking a bit further into this juicy topic, it can be openly stated that there are several things that this generation requires to survive. My favorite three are teamwork, praise and cell phones. I took some time to really think about this topic because it was oddly true, but not in a negative way that it is being perceived. Someone somewhere has lied about something.

Millennials need teamwork, partners and peers to accomplish their daily human activities. Yes, we sure do. You want to know why? Our leaders and adults determined that we should need to participate in all possible activities and team building exercises from the sandbox ages to early adulthood. Even when we pay to go to school and further out educational careers we are STILL required to participate and work as teams. Do you think we like teamwork? It makes me sick but I can’t stop being a team player as much as I don’t want to be. My mind has literally been brought to believe that if I didn’t help Suzie and Jim do their own jobs while doing mine too then I am a terrible person and deserve to be shamed.

Aside from the notion of independence being washed out of existence, we are then ridiculed for being given praise…by the exact people that gave us praise. I mean our grandparents and our aunts and uncles who got stuck watching us every spare moment they had as we were growing up because our parents worked (or parent) 70 hours a week to buy diapers. We were spoiled rotten by our family members and now we are being punished for it. Well, damn grams, if I’d known you were gonna hold it over my head for the rest of my life I most certainly would not have said yes to an afterschool snack every day!

Lastly is our cell phones. They are attached to us more so now than ever with the rise of hands-free technology. Though we may not seem like carrying around a five-inch computer with the capabilities of limitless YouTube and Wikipedia binges is a burden, it goes from hero to zero fast. We don’t carry our phones around so that we can sit and play games mindlessly all day long while passive aggressively ignoring your texts while we make facebook status updates and Instagram posts. No, we carry our phones around, fully charged and functioning in our hands all day staring at the screen in search of one word, “Mom.”

You do not want to be the child that does not respond back or answer a call from your mother within a reasonable two-second span of time. It has been conditioned in our brains from, sometimes as early as eight or nine to carry these devices around with us in anticipation of the randomness and vague text. Do you know how much more productive I would be if I could leave my phone at home every day like my dog? I can’t even go from one side of my bedroom to the other without at least being in my pocket. My anxiety starts with the rush of internal fire the moment I realize it has been on vibrate or silent for more than an hour.

Millennials are a very large group of individuals that are hardly observed for their positive characteristics because most of them are still figuring out how to survive in a world that they were actually taught nothing while about growing up.

-RedEye