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How "Eco-Friendly" is the Suez Canal?

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In the past month, the 1300 feet long Ever Given got stuck in the Suez Canal for six days. This event caused a huge setback in shipments and international exports, but how did it affect the environment? More generally, is the Suez Canal “eco-friendly”? After reading some articles about the environmental impact of the Suez Canal, I came across mixed opinions and captivating information which had to be shared.  The building of the Suez Canal began in 1859 when Ferdinand de Lesseps , a French consul to Cairo made an agreement to build a 100-mile canal to connect the Mediterranean and Red Seas. The canal allowed a direct shipping route from the East to the West which significantly decreased the maritime travel time as seem in the image below. However, ships were not the only ones taking advantage of this shortcut. The construction of the Suez Canal created an invasive corridor, it acted as a passage for foreign species from the Red Sea to enter the Mediterranean Sea. Once organisms from t

The Keystone XL Pipeline: The Two Sides

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As an environmental advocate, I generally side with the greener options as I believe that they are an investment for our future. However, we must not forget that environmental justice and social justice go hand to hand. Not every pro-environmental decision is an advantage to society and the economy. The controversy following President Joe Biden 's decision to cancel the Keystone XL Pipeline was related to its social and economic effects. Many were happy for his commitment to the environment, while others believed it was a financial mistake. For this blog, I decided to see this event through the lens of both sides in order to fully understand the controversy. As environmentalists, we want people to hear our thoughts, so we must also listen to the opposer. The Current Keystone Pipeline The Keystone Pipeline transports tar sand oil from Alberta to the middle and end of the United States. Alberta gets these large amounts of crude oil from the Canadian Boreal forest and has been d

Will Water Continue to Supply Us?

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  During my first year as an Environmental Engineering student, I took a course called "Earth Engineering." It was mainly about soil mechanics, yet the first lesson discussed the natural resources left on this earth, and how humans use them everyday. The most surprising fact was the amount of freshwater on our planet, which is barely anything!! As the years go by, experts keep warning us about the arising water scarcity problem. We have already heard many horror stories like the Flint water crisis, and there are many more to come. To learn more about our current situation, I wrote about the present water issues and their unknown future. As the planet continues to warm and the world population endlessly grows, the need for water is increasing at a dangerous pace. Majority of the planet is water, however fresh water is the main source of drinking water for humans, and it only constitutes about 1/10,000th of one percent of the total water; of this minute amount, 68.7% is loc

Is COVID-19 Really Earth’s Helpful Friend?

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  The year 2020 has brought many unexpected turns, the most dramatic being COVID-19. There’s no doubt that it had a pivotal effect on the economy and society as a whole, but I wanted to talk about its impact on the environment. As I was researching, I came upon hundreds of articles, some which argued that C OVID -19 had a positive impact on the environment, others which said it created more problems. As the end of the year is upon us, I wanted to write about the influence C OVID -19 had on the earth. There are several topics to discuss, but I chose to focus on the more common environmental factors.   “We have therefore made the assessment COVID-19 can be characterized as a pandemic”, this news was announced on March 11th by Dr Tedros from the World Health Organization (WHO). From this point onwards, the world shut down. Businesses had to close, schools transferred to remote learning and above all, everyone went into isolation. It was a vital adjustment for everyone, there were chang

Have a Holly Jolly Sustainable Christmas!

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  It’s December, Christmas time! This year Christmas will look different everywhere, so why not try some sustainable ways to enjoy Christmas. During this season we buy ten times more things, we excessively decorate every inch of our house, and we jam out to Christmas bops. In this blog, I hope to give you some sustainable alternatives to your Christmas traditions.   1. Consider alternative Christmas trees The number one Christmas tradition is the tall pine tree that lights up our home. Nowadays, there are several options when it comes to Christmas trees, which all have their pros and cons for the environment. A real cut Christmas Tree : This is the traditional tree everyone loves; the smell of the pine and its unique shape is cherished. When buying a cut Christmas tree look for local and sustainably grown trees. Consider going to a tree farm instead of a department store! Most importantly, once the Christmas season is over, avoid throwing it in the garbage as it will rot in the