When someone mentions water pollution most automatically think about oil spills and trash islands, but what many people don’t know is that plastic straws can even more deadly. According to a study done by National Geographic Americans use over 500 million straws everyday, most of them ending up the ocean, and they don’t just harmlessly float around either. According to Ukonserve Blog millions of seabirds die from straws every year and 90% of them have eaten some type of plastic. In the North Pacific alone fish consume more than 12,000 to 24,000 tons of plastic alone. Sea turtles often mistake straws for food, making it the second most likely cause of death. Remember that cute little baby sea turtle from Moana, is the convenient, non-reusable straw more important then its life?
Even though these plastic straws seem so essential and irreplaceable in the modern world, there are shocking number of alternatives we can choose from. Metals and compostable straws are real and surprisingly cheap. An estimated price is around 5-6 dollars for a pack of four straws with a cleaner. This is a great deal considering how durable they are. A pack of compostable straws are a little more expensive, but they’ll also help the environment and maybe even your garden.
There are so many things we take for granted and don’t even think about the environmental effect they’ll have. Things like straws, grocery bags and even rappers can be detrimental to our environment and world. Even though we won’t fall the victim to these silent killers, doesn’t mean they should go unnoticed. We can’t continue to kill innocent animals and our environment for a convenient straw to sip an icy beverage through.
Story by Fiona Austin
Finland is the number one happiest country in the world, the US is number 18, and their education systems might have something to do with it.
Finland is a noticeably innovative country when it comes to its education system, and its innovation has shown results. Finland is consistently one of the highest performing countries on the PISA (Program for International Student Assessment,)one of the more important tools for measuring education systems around the world.
Here are some things that Finland does better than the United States when it comes to education.
The Finnish test is called National Matriculation Examination and it is taken at the end of high school. This test is graded by teachers, not computers and it isn’t cautious of more complex concepts.
2. College tuition is completely free
In Finland, bachelor, master, and doctoral degrees are completely free. Students feel free to pursue higher education goals without worrying about loads of student debt that many Americans face. And the same deal goes for foreign students. Tuition is 100% free for any student accepted into a college or graduate program in Finland.
This greatly contrasts with the US. In 2017, the average student loan debt was 37,000.
3. More time for play
Finnish students spend very little time on homework. In a 2014 study on 15-year-olds around the world by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) said that on average, Finnish students spend about 2.8 hours on homework a week. This is a very small amount of time compared to the 6.1 hours Americans spend on homework per week.
Fins put a lot of value on free time and play. By law, teachers must give 15 minutes of free time for every 45 minutes of work or lecture time, wherein the US, kids and teens typically get less than half an hour of free time a day.
4. Teaching is one of the more respected professions
Teachers in Finland aren’t underpaid like the ones in the US. Actually, they’re valued a lot. In Finland, the average teaching salary is about 70,000 per year. This is insanely high compared to the 35,000 that US teachers earn each year.
Teaching is such an important occupation because Finland puts a lot of dependence on their children as the foundation for the development of the future.
To become a teacher in Finland, the candidate must have at least a masters degree and complete the equivalent of a residency program in US medical schools. As a result, teachers strive to make the best learning environment possible
As you can see, maybe the US could learn a few things from Finland with our annual standardized tests, overly expensive college tuition, small amount of free time, and our under-appreciated, underpaid teachers.
Story by Ava Macie
Taylor, Adam. “26 Amazing Facts About Finland's Unorthodox Education System.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 14 Dec. 2011, www.businessinsider.com/finland-education-school-2011-12#in-an-international-standardized-measurement-in-2001-finnish-children-came-top-or-very-close-to-the-top-for-science-reading-and-mathematics-25.
Tung, Stephen. “How the Finnish School System Outshines U.S. Education.” Stanford University, 20 Jan. 2012, news.stanford.edu/news/2012/january/finnish-schools-reform-012012.html.
Weller, Chris. “8 Reasons Finland's Education System Puts the US Model to Shame.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 6 Dec. 2017, www.businessinsider.com/finland-education-beats-us-2017-5.