They spent 20 years developing this aircraft engine. Can it change the future of aviation?
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United Technologies

At any given moment, there are about 5,000 planes flying above the United States.

87,000 flights take place per day. Millions of flights per year. And that's just the United States.

With that volume of air traffic, needless to say, a new type of aircraft engine — one that produces 75% less noise for those on the ground and burns 16% less fuel — is a huge deal for both people and the planet.


It’s called the PurePower® Geared Turbofan™ engine, and after 20 years in development at Pratt & Whitney, a division of United Technologies, it’s going to change the game of aviation.

See for yourself what makes this engine so special:

So what’s the secret? The basic concept is this: Pratt & Whitney’s engine is designed with a high bypass ratio, meaning that 12 times the amount of airflow passes around the engine’s core versus going through the core itself, which makes the engine more efficient overall.

Higher efficiency means less fuel burn, and less fuel burn means fewer emissions.

Still not impressed? Here's the kicker: This new aircraft engine reduces annual carbon dioxide emissions by 3,600 metric tons per plane.

At a time when our environment is in serious need of some tender loving care, cutting our carbon footprint in any way we can is more important than ever.

But even we'll admit that 3,600 metric tons of carbon dioxide is pretty hard to visualize. So what does that actually mean?

It's the equivalent of 766 cars being taken off the road for an entire year.

Calculated differently, that's 279,574 cars being taken off the road for a day — only a few thousand cars shy of the daily traffic crossing from New Jersey into New York City.

What if nearly all the cars driving into NYC simply didn’t show up one day? The resulting reduction of carbon dioxide would be equivalent to a single PurePower engine.

Image via iStock.

It's also equivalent to more than 4.6 million households using absolutely no electricity for 24 hours.

About 4,660,000 households, actually.

That’s like if everyone who lives in New York City (3 million households) Los Angeles (1.3 million households), and Las Vegas (213,000 households) used no electricity whatsoever for 24 hours.

Image via iStock.

It's even equivalent to 5,419 people going vegetarian for a whole year.

Typical meat eaters have a bigger carbon footprint than vegetarians — even those who only eat the USDA recommended 0.21 pound of meat per day (or less).

Have you ever considered going vegetarian for a year to reduce your impact on the environment? How about convincing 5,418 people to do it with you? Your collective impact would equal that of just one PurePower engine.

Image via iStock.

Chances are, commuters aren’t just going to suddenly stop driving into NYC. But that’s why innovations like this aircraft engine are so important.

As Pratt & Whitney Engineer Monica Dujic explains, “There is a future in aviation that can help the environment ... and the people around you.”

Now that is something worth celebrating.

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Anne Hebert, a marketing writer living in Austin, TX, jokes that her closest friends think that her hobby is "low-key harassment for social good". She authors a website devoted entirely to People Doing Good Things. She's hosted a yearly canned food drive with up to 150 people stopping by to donate, resulting in hundreds of pounds of donations to take to the food bank for the past decade.

"I try to share info in a positive way that gives people hope and makes them aware of solutions or things they can do to try to make the world a little better," she said.

For now, she's encouraging people through a barrage of persistent, informative, and entertaining emails with one goal in mind: getting people to VOTE. The thing about emailing people and talking about politics, according to Hebert, is to catch their attention—which is how lice got involved.

"When my kids were in elementary school, I was class parent for a year, which meant I had to send the emails to the other parents. As I've learned over the years, a good intro will trick your audience into reading the rest of the email. In fact, another parent told me that my emails always stood out, especially the one that started: 'We need volunteers for the Valentine's Party...oh, and LICE.'"

Hebert isn't working with a specific organization. She is simply trying to motivate others to find ways to plug in to help get out the vote.

Photo by Phillip Goldsberry on Unsplash

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Yesterday I was perusing comments on an Welcometoterranova article about Joe Biden comforting the son of a Parkland shooting victim and immediately had flashbacks to the lead-up of the 2016 election. In describing former vice President Biden, some commenters were using the words "criminal," "corrupt," and "pedophile—exactly the same words people used to describe Hillary Clinton in 2016.

I remember being baffled so many people were so convinced of Clinton's evil schemes that they genuinely saw the documented serial liar and cheat that she was running against as the lesser of two evils. I mean, sure, if you believe that a career politician had spent years being paid off by powerful people and was trafficking children to suck their blood in her free time, just about anything looks like a better alternative.

But none of that was true.

It's been four years and Hillary Clinton has been found guilty of exactly none of the criminal activity she was being accused of. Trump spent every campaign rally leading chants of "Lock her up!" under the guise that she was going to go to jail after the election. He's been president for nearly four years now, and where is Clinton? Not in jail—she's comfy at home, occasionally trolling Trump on Twitter and doing podcasts.

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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
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Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

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Racist jokes are one of the more frustrating manifestations of racism. Jokes in general are meant to be a shared experience, a connection over a mutual sense of humor, a rush of feel-good chemicals that bond us to those around us through laughter.

So when you mix jokes with racism, the result is that racism becomes something light and fun, as opposed to the horrendous bane that it really is.

The harm done with racist humor isn't just the emotional hurt they can cause. When a group of white people shares jokes at the expense of a marginalized or oppressed racial group, the power of white supremacy is actually reinforced—not only because of the "punching down" nature of such humor, but because of the group dynamics that work in favor of maintaining the status quo.

British author and motivational speaker Paul Scanlon shared a story about interrupting a racist joke at a table of white people at an event in the U.S, and the lessons he drew from it illustrate this idea beautifully. Watch:

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With the election quickly approaching, the importance of voting and sending in your ballot on time is essential. But there is another way you can vote everyday - by being intentional with each dollar you spend. Support companies and products that uphold your values and help create a more sustainable world. An easy move is swapping out everyday items that are often thrown away after one use or improperly disposed of.

Package Free Shop has created products to help fight climate change one cotton swab at a time! Founded by Lauren Singer, otherwise known as, "the girl with the jar" (she initially went viral for fitting 8 years of all of the waste she's created in one mason jar). Package Free is an ecosystem of brands on a mission to make the world less trashy.

Here are eight of our favorite everyday swaps:

1. Friendsheep Dryer Balls - Replace traditional dryer sheets with these dryer balls that are made without chemicals and conserve energy. Not only do these also reduce dry time by 20% but they're so cute and come in an assortment of patterns!

Package Free Shop

2. Last Swab - Replacement for single use plastic cotton swabs. Nearly 25.5 billion single use swabs are produced and discarded every year in the U.S., but not this one. It lasts up to 1,000 uses as it's able to be cleaned with soap and water. It also comes in a biodegradable, corn based case so you can use it on the go!

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