Increased demand for plastic is doing more damage to both humans and our environment than we thought. A study in the journal Nature Sustainability finds that earth’s carbon footprint has doubled since 1995, much more than previously believed. Researchers say countries like China and India are the main culprits of the increase due to their coal-based production of plastic. Particles produced by burning coal can cause bronchitis, asthma, and cardiovascular disease.
Recreational pot has been legalized in 19 states and medical marijuana in nearly 40. So it’s no surprise fatal car crashes involving pot consumption have doubled over the last 20 years, according to a study in the American Journal of Public Health. The percentage of crash deaths involving pot is up to 21%, while fatalities in crashes involving both pot and alcohol more than doubled. Drunk driving crash deaths, meanwhile, have stayed flat.
Researchers have known for months that depression is way up since the start of the pandemic, and a new study in the journal Frontiers in Psychiatry finds that sitting around more is a big reason. Among people who met federal physical activity guidelines before the pandemic, stay-at-home orders cut activity by a third. Almost all those people felt more anxious, depressed, and lonely… but researchers say those who couldn’t get moving again within a few weeks were likely to feel worse.
And finally… in a lot of cities, you can rent an electric scooter… with the presumption that it’s good for the environment. But a new study in the journal Transportation Research Part D shows e-scooters often have a bigger carbon footprint than what they replaced. Most of the time, people renting e-scooters would have either walked, taken public transit or ridden a bike… all means of transportation with low environmental cost. However, people who own e-scooters most often use them to replace a car trip… so they’re good for the environment.