Ever thought about going green? If every person can do something for the Earth, we would greatly reduce our impact on the environment. It’s important to be aware of our human footprints because we can’t use too much of the limited natural resources. Over-production, harmful chemicals, un-recyclable products, and trashes has damaged our Earth and will continue to harm our environment. It has dramatically affected animals and plants in terms of their homes and their own species. Therefore, it is better and wise for people to try to save the Earth by using sustainable and recyclable resources.

Globe Goes Green Icon Finalhttp://www.urbanone.com/

  • Bring your own recyclable/fabric bags to shop for groceries. It will help reduce plastic waste in the environment and you can use it over and over again. If it’s too much, there is the alternative to use the store provided paper bags.
  • Recycle what you can! Don’t forget about recycling common things such as papers, cans, cardboards, electronics, etc.
  • Purchase organic food when possible and support your local grocery stores/farmers. Not everyone can afford organic food since it is pricier in the U.S. But when possible, it is best to support those who have or produce chemical/hormone free products. It will be beneficial to your body as there is no/less toxins/chemicals/hormones that could affect your health.
  • Carpool with people or ride public transportation. It will help reduce the amount of carbon monoxide a.k.a the gas automobiles produce when burning gas, to transfer into the atmosphere. We can all decrease the rate of global warming by sharing vehicles.
  • Grow your own produces! If you have a green thumb or want to help the environment, it is always possible to have your own little garden. Seeds are widely available in great prices and it doesn’t take much time or space to plant them. You don’t have to be an expert at gardening, but just have the time and patience.
  • Compost your food waste. It would bring great fertile soil to your garden and you would not have to worry about wasting food. It’s not necessary, but will help decrease food waste in the environment.
  • Do chores the old fashion way! Sweep the floor with a broom, air dry your clothes if possible, and wash your dishes instead of using a dishwasher, etc. It is more time consuming and takes more energy, but it’ll be worth it.
  • Use energy saving objects in your daily life. It’s great to have or buy products that has energy saving features such as compact fluorescent bulb, energy efficient appliances, extra insulation, insulating blinds, solar panels, storm doors and windows, and water saving fixtures.
  • Reduce your water consumption. It’s great that we are provided with clean waters to use and drink. But it does come with a price because clean water doesn’t come for free. About 70% of Earth is covered in water and approximately 97% of it is salt water. We can’t drink salt water so it’s wise for us to conserve our fresh water as much as possible and not put harmful pollution in them.
  • Make things from scratch! You can always make things from scratch if you really don’t want any harmful things in your food/clothes/things. It can be quite hard to find the resources, but a fun project to try out. And it doesn’t have to be anything amazingly hard to do/make.
  • Have you thought about your own human footprint? Here is a website that lets you take a quiz to determine how many Earths necessary to support everyone if they followed your steps: http://myfootprint.org/

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In this program i have  learned how to keep communities safe and how to make them feel safe. Over thess past few days i have  met new people and learned abut things i didn’t know. Asian Media Access has also thought me how to stay away from dugs and what can happen if you use them or abuse them.

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Honestly, I thought that work would be harder than this. The first few days of work was okay, it was nice meeting new people and obviously, it’ll probably get better than this. It wasn’t jumping exciting but that’s because the first few days of work was supposed to help us and lay down all the procedures and rules. I think that maybe the only thing that was difficult for me was that I came one day late, so I kind of had to get the hang of things pretty quickly. But fortunately for me, there wasn’t a lot that I had to do to catch up with everyone else.

On the second day of work, my supervisors had gone over the topics and projects we were going to work with this summer. We also went over the kind of things we were going to do and which kind of format we were presenting it in. Throughout the summer, we will be making postcards and making videos about problems that teenagers are having today. Such things as teen pregnancy, runaways, substance use, gang violence and other things.

This summer was the first summer that I had got in to Step-Up. I had tried to get in last summer, but I didn’t get accepted.  I think that Step-Up can be helpful but at times, it’s kind of boring. Step-Up really helped me improve my resume and taught me other things that would really help me in an interview, but it was like school all over again. In my experience, my classes took about 8 hours long, and I just don’t think that 8 hours are needed.

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Bullying is not right and should not happen to anyone. Many people are victims of bullying and it has, still does, cause a lot of fear and suicides. The least we can do to make the world a better place is to use our voice to speak out against bullying.

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If you are a victim of bullying, it’s time to speak out before it gets worse. Don’t let bullies take control of you. They’ll only make you be in constant fear. There are your friends and family to help you out. The best thing to do is ask for help from a close person and don’t take on bullies yourself. You aren’t alone in this situation.

Bullying

If your friend or close ones are victims of bullying. It’s time for you to reach out to them for help and comfort. If not, ask for assistance to prevent future bullying. It’s best to do something helpful rather than just hearing or passing it like it’s okay. You should not ignore bullying because that victim may need help and is unable to ask for any.

Bullying

Remember that bullying can come in any forms. It could be verbal, physical, and through online. No one wants or needs to feel like they are worth less than someone else. We can decrease bullying as long as we have open minds to reach out to the victims and encourage youths to respect one another.

Here are some data about bullying:

  • There are about 160,000 children that miss school every day out of fear of being bullied. – http://www.bullyingstatistics.org
  • Each year suicide claims approximately 30,000 lives in America which makes it responsible for more than 1% of all deaths in the U.S. – National Alliance on Mental Illness, 2013
  • Over half, about 56 percent, of all students have witnesses a bullying crime take place while at school. - http://www.bullyingstatistics.org
  • There were 38,364 suicides in 2010 in the United States — an average of 105 each day - National Center for Injury Prevention and Control [CDC], 2012
  • Of a 2011, national sample of students in high school (9th-12th grade), 15.8% reported that they seriously considered attempting suicide, 12.8% reported creating a plan, and 7.8% had attempted suicide 1 or more times – National Center for Injury Prevention and Control [CDC], 2012
  • More than 1 in 3 young people have experienced cyberthreats online. – http://www.bullyingstatistics.org

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There are a lot of stereotypes about the Hmong people out there. Ignorant people tend to believe in them and it creates misunderstandings. So this article will be dedicated to breaking those stereotypes and explaining them in deeper depth.

  1. Teenage Hmong girls get pregnant a lot. It is as inaccurate statement because pregnant teens range from all kinds of race. The point is that it used to be more common and accepted when the Hmong immigrated to the U.S. because young marriage was common in Laos. It’s a cultural thing since Hmong people did not expect to live long in those days. It’s less common in present day since the younger Hmong generations are learning about sex in schools and using protections.
  2. The Hmong people are an unknown race. Well, if history was recorded and taught truthfully, then there would not be such a thing called the “Secret War”. People would’ve have known about the Hmong much earlier and the war that presumed afterwards the Vietnam War. The Hmong people sided with the U.S. When the U.S. loss and withdrew their troops, the Hmong were targeted and many were killed. It’s a problem of inaccurate information where the Hmong are assumed to be of “some Asian descent”. The Hmong have their own culture and people just like any other race. So outsiders should not rely on heavy media portrayals because they are are false information.
  3. Hmong people are in gangs. To be precise, it was more common back then because they were a new minority in the U.S. and needed in some ways to be united against others. Although it is less popular now for Hmong people to be involved in gangs since it’s dangerous, gangs still do exists. It shouldn’t be assumed that most Hmong people are involved in gangs because it’s not true.
  4. The Hmong people are uneducated. Another broad statement that is implied on Hmong people as a whole. The Hmong people are originally farmers who made a living off the land and their produces. Most of those knowledge are focused on farming and there really isn’t a need to be educated’ when most Hmong people lived in the countryside of Laos. Therefore, it takes a longer time for the Hmong people to adapt and adjust to the U.S. It is easier for the younger generation since they are born in the U.S. and go to English speaking schools, but the older generation don’t have those opportunities. It’s not that the Hmong people are uneducated, but limited to how far they can continue their education with legitimate reasons just like any other people.
  5. Hmong families live in one house and cannot afford to live in another house. If you’re struggling to make ends meet, it is wise to save money by living with your family/parents. It is true for all beginning families who can’t rent/buy a home yet. It doesn’t imply that the Hmong people are poor or anything. It is a financial strategy. The Hmong people don’t see living with their relatives as an issue and they don’t practice trying to force their children out early either. The Hmong culture value family over space and money. It is not seen as an awful burden like how the American culture perceives it.
  6. Many Hmong families live on welfare. Anyone who is in the lower class tends to rely on government welfare more. Not all Hmong families rely on government help and for those who do, they actually do need it. It is not like Hmong people don’t pay taxes either because they do. Who else is going to help low-income families out of generosity? Not much.

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We live in a society where alcohol’s presence is everywhere. There will be moments where other people try to make another person drink through various pressures. Here are some advices to help you avoid being peer pressure into drinking:

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  • Just say no. If a person walks up to you and offer a drink, don’t say yes automatically. Reject their offer and express that you don’t want to drink, period. Saying no at the beginning will save you rather than saying no later. If people see that you are easy to boss and be pushed around, they’ll make sure that you drink till you’re blacked out.
  • Walk away and avoid. The best solution is to avoid drunk people or people who are drinking in general. They’ll think that you’re bored or that you need to ‘drink to have fun’ so it’s best to avoid them.
  • Stand your ground and defend if you have to. Some people relentlessly follow you and don’t know when to stop. So make sure you can voice your opinion and reasons so that they won’t walk over you. For example, phrases like : “I will not drink so you need to stop it”, “I’m not here to get drunk”, “Stop trying to peer pressure me”, and “Excuse me, I’m going to use the bathroom”.
  • Don’t attend any event with alcohol involved. If you know there will be alcohol involved then just don’t go. You’ll be walking straight into annoying people and being peer pressure. If you didn’t know there was going to be alcohol involved then leave if you have to or find a space where you can avoid it.
  • Don’t let people guilt you into anything! If your friend, a relative, or someone close tries to play the guilt card, it’s best to reject them no matter what. Remember just because it’s somebody you know, doesn’t mean they get to influence you into something you don’t want to do.
  • Use your brain, have the confidence, and use your voice. If you are not confident in whatever you may say, people aren’t going to get that across. So make sure that you are able to confront people.
  • Don’t offer to be that ‘friend who is the sober driver’. It will save you less time for trouble! Besides, do you really want to drive around with a bunch of drunk people in the car?

In conclusion, don’t let other people’s decisions influence yours. No matter if it’s a stranger, friend, family, or relative, they don’t get to walk over you. So just be careful in your situations/decisions and avoid alcohol.

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Like many other Asian cultures, respect in the Hmong culture is an important part. If you’re someone who don’t know how or what is considered respectful in the Hmong cultures then it would be harder for you to understand why they do things the way they do. So here’s a list of situations/advices that will help you understand the culture better.

  • Respect your elders. This rule applies to most Asian cultures as well because it is perceived that younger people should treat elders respectfully since they are wiser, hold more experiences, and are older. Therefore, if you are seen disrespecting your elder like your mom, your dad, or somebody older then it makes you look shameful and dishonorable. People may lecture you for doing so.
  • Single women/men should not talk to married men/women or vice versa. This usually apply to family gatherings or outside social events. It is considered as a form of disrespect in the other partner’s presence, especially for the men. The Hmong people believe it is improper to do so without their partner because rumors may spread. So men will greet other men by shaking hands where the women may say hi or nod her head and she will greet the women.
  • In big social events, men eat first followed by women then children. It is rude for women and children to eat before men do in social events. Men eats first because they are from the family line (not the wives’ family side) and the animals are sacrificed to their ancestors.
  • A clean/neat house reflect upon the family. Traditionally, the Hmong women (sometimes with their children) do all the chores in cleaning, cooking, and taking care of the family. But now, chores are shared in marriage. If a visitor arrives and enter a dirty home, it reflects badly on the family as rude and lazy. Being able to keep one’s home clean is more respectful because it makes it more comfortable for outsiders.
  • It is expected that a wife of a husband of another religion or type of Hmong must covert to their ways in respect of their lifestyle, ancestors, and marriage. This is because the Hmong girl will not belong in her family anymore and will identify herself religiously of her husband’s .
  • Firstborn sons are expected to live and take care of his parents. It is really disrespectful for any family to put their parents in retirement home because it is seen as being lazy and uncaring. It is the responsibility that the firstborn son do the job even after he’s married and his parents are expected to share a home with him. It is perceived a right thing to do so because parents have cared for and supported the children since their births.
  • When someone related offer gifts such as food or money, it is respectful to accept it. Usually this happen then the offered party may reject it at first for a couple times. But ultimately at the end, it is more respectful to accept it because they are offering something out of kindness.
  • It is best for someone of another religion to not talk about their own religion in presence of traditional/Shaman Hmongs. Although a lot of Hmongs have converted to different religions, it is considered rude if they discuss about their religion or try to convert Hmong people in their homes. If a Shaman family accepts people of a different religion into their home, it is expected that they respect them too.
  • It is common that when a male/female enters into a another Hmong family’s house, the parents will ask him questions. It is assumed by the parents that a female/male may be a boyfriend/girlfriend/friend of the daughter/son. It is expected that the female/male answers the question. If not, then it would be rude because the parents will want to know. They may ask simple question such as “What’s your last name?”, “What’s your parent’s name?”, “Where do you live?”, and “Where did your family come from?”. It is to determine the female’s/male’s reputation and relationship to their child.
  • During a Hmong marriage ceremony, it is supposedly rude, especially for the groom, to reject drinks from elders. That is why the groom/bride have a set of bridesmaid(s)/groomsmen to drink in place for him/her to not disrespect.

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world-food

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So when you see or hear about other people eating things out of the ordinary, you may stop to wonder why. Well, each culture eat different things depending on their culture, environment, resources, and etc. So it’s not entirely rare or new to those people since they have ate those things for a long period of time. Here is a list of things that people may enjoy outside of the general U.S. diet.

  1. Insects/Bug: Yes, this type of food may sound disgusting and scary, but a lot of it are eaten by people in Asia and Africa. Common ones are crickets, spiders, grasshoppers, beetles, silkworms, bees, larvae form of insects/bugs, and more. They are a good source of protein when there isn’t enough meat around.
  2. Eels:  A type of fish that is less popular in the U.S., but commonly found in Asia, and parts of Europe. It is rich in vitamins, protein, and omega-3 content.
  3. Tongues, ears, feet, head, etc., or whole body: The parts and/or the whole body of animals, which are usually not eaten in the U.S. are consider a delicacy or an essential part to use in cooking. In some cultures, it is important to not waste parts of an animal’s body because there’s a lot to do with it and sometimes, food are scarce.
  4. Intestines/organs: Usually are of common animals such as pigs and chickens, intestines/organs are perceived as food. For example, the heart, lung, liver, skin, gizzard, tripe, and kidney are eaten. People like to eat it for multiple reasons, some may say its good for your health and others may say they’re delicious parts to enjoy.
  5. Alive animals: Some people believe that food is best served when it’s freshest and that means eating it when it’s alive. Parts in Asia, such as South Korea and Japan uses raw and live seafood to eat like octopus, fishes, oysters, sea urchins, and more.
  6. Snake, crocodile, and other reptiles: These food are widely use for protein and the belief of medical benefits. They are eaten in Australia, South America, Asia, and parts of Europe. Snakes can be used in wines and dishes. Crocodile for it’s meat, skin, teeth, and other body parts. Reptiles such as lizards are common source of protein also.
  7. Fermented Eggs/Fertilized Eggs: They are eggs of chicken and are quite popular in parts of Asia. Fertilized eggs has chicks inside of them, but before hatching, they are boiled. People enjoy eating these for its texture and taste. Fermented eggs are wrapped in material of food that makes it turn brown and grayish black/green in the middle. They are left for days to ferment, but it varies on who makes it. Each are very different and has their own unique taste.
  8. Frogs: Maybe you’re not a fan of the other foods, ever thought about trying to eat frogs? Their size varies so you can try small ones or bigger ones. In parts of Europe and Asia, frogs are eaten using most of the parts or just the legs. People who tried it before said it taste similarly to chicken meat.
  9. Bats: In places like Asia, Africa, and parts in Australia, bats can be be a source of protein, but eat at your own risks! Research have found that some bats are not safe to eat for possible diseases that they may carry.
  10. Blood sausage/pudding: This type of sausage usually have pig’s blood that is mixed with other grains/veggies such as rice, onion, potatoes, and more. It is commonly found in parts of Europe and most of Asia. It has a grainy soft-like texture and can be eaten alone or as a side dish.
  11. Mice/Guinea Pigs/Rats: There have been reports of people eating mice, rat, and guinea pigs in parts of Asia, Europe, and South America. In Peru, it is normal for families to live with and eat guinea pigs. They are probably one of strangest food to try out of your comfort zone.
  12. Stingray: Mainly eaten in South Korean, stingrays are considered a delicacy and something challenging to eat. They are often fermented and holds a very strong stinky smell. It is not everyone’s favorite, but some people do like it.
  13. Turtle: Particularly enjoyed in Asia, this endangered species is another delicacy.

There are probably more food that are not on the list. Hopefully, this will help you understand the different food that people eat all over the world. More of the common ingredients are found in Asian supermarkets and for the unique ones will have to be eaten abroad.

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From the “Anti-Tobacco on Youth” brochure, here are 10 tips to keep away from tobacco and stop it from spreading.

1331582825689http://www.fhcrc.org

1.    Prevent yourself from secondhand smoking (don’t breath in the same air when smokers are smoking).

2.    Avoid being peer pressured from your social groups and society.

3.    Stray away from smokers that could possible try to put you in awkward situation.

4.    Prevent putting your health at risk by not using tobacco.

5.    Help discuss about tobacco use and its risks with younger people.

6.    Keep cigarette smokers far from young children and babies when you can.

7.    If you’re 18 and over, don’t buy cigarette packs for youths.

8.     Don’t use electronic cigarettes in place of tobacco use. It is proven to be harmful as well.

9.    Try to cope with your problems/stress in a healthy positive way, rather than turning to tobacco and other dangerous sources as your first resort.

10. Say no to tobacco when offered.

Remember the choice is yours. Think about what you can do and what you would do for yourself and for the sake of others. It’s not about everything else at the end of the day so be smart about your decisions.

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Summer is shortly around the corner and it means there will be no school in session for the next 3 months! What a great relief! Well, now it’s time to start thinking of what you may or can do over the summer. Don’t let three months of warm weather go to waste by watching TV and staying inside. Here is a list of things to make your summer a little brighter!

  • Find a summer job. Whether you want to work part-time or full-time, it’s up to you. It is always nice to make your own money and have spending cash.
  • Attend, work, or volunteer at a summer camp! If you like being with people and outdoor, being at a summer camp can be a good experience and allow new opportunities. Summer camps’ length vary from programs so it doesn’t have to take up your whole entire summer.
  • Go on a summer trip! Either with your family, or if you’re old enough, with your friends, take a summer trip by any given transportations. It could be at a cabin, out of state, or even out of the country!
  • Find a new hobby or activity that you can do outdoors. The point of summer is that the weather is finally warm enough for you to be outside so make the most of it! Play sports, go biking, talk a walk along a trail, go swimming, go to a amusement park, have a barbecue, hike uphill, go fishing at lakes, camp outside, and more.
  • Spend time with family and friends. More free times means you can hang with them more often and longer. The more memories you make, the better your summer will be.
  • Attend festivals and fairs! Summer is the season for people to celebrate and there are so many things too discover. Attractions such as great food, fun entertainment, and sights will keep you accompanied.
  • This probably isn’t on top of your list, but if you want to volunteer for your community, a charity, or for a good cause, why not do it? It is good for people once in a while to do something positive. Also, there’s a lot of events that lets you volunteer for hours to days or longer.

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