Smokey Bear Is Getting A Makeover — And A Snapchat Lens

Smokey’s social media game is on fire.

Image via Wendy/Flickr.

“Only you can prevent wildfires.” We all know the mantra well because it’s been Smokey Bear’s slogan for the past 73 years. Whether you’ve seen him holding a fire danger sign at the entrance of a national forest or praising fire safety on TV, he deserves more attention than ever in light of a recent uptick in wildfires. Luckily, his new public service announcements are lit enough to spark some interest.

Partly to raise awareness about the little-known causes of wildfires and partly to bring Smokey Bear up to speed, the U.S. Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters partnered with the Ad Council to revamp Smokey’s image. Thanks to new artwork by Brian Edward Miller, Evan Hecox, Janna Mattia, and Victoria Ying and social profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snaphat, Smokey Bear is now fully emerged in the 21st century.

Ever since the original, real-life Smokey Bear was rescued from a New Mexico blaze as a cub in 1950, he’s served as a gentle reminder to camp conscientiously — not to mention one of the most notable American icons to date. Though there’s still plenty of work to do when it comes to spreading awareness. U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell said in a press release,

“Humans cause nearly 90 percent of all wildfires nationwide, which today burn hotter and longer, destroying millions of forested acres and homes; Smokey needs our help now more than ever. It is helpful to provide information to children and adults about the less commonly known wildfire causes such as improperly burning debris and not fully extinguishing ashes and hot coals. By bringing awareness and inspiring responsibility, we hope to show how important it is to be mindful of how everyday activities can start harmful fires.”

Another fun fact: You can blame Steve Nelson and Jack Rollins for starting the controversy over including a “the” in Smokey’s name. While many have been calling him “Smokey the Bear” since their popular 1952 song debuted, his real name has always been a little simpler: just Smokey Bear. It’s cleaner.

With all the drama surrounding national parks this year at the hands of a less-caring administration, it really is up to us to preserve and protect what beautiful natural landscapes we have left. The Trump administration has moved to water down protections for public lands in the hopes of opening up pathways for extensive oil drilling and privatization of national parks. This goes against a century-long tradition of designating public lands as national monuments, effectively preserving them for future generations and maintaining the health of the ecosystem as a whole. That, combined with the Trump administration’s aggressive denial of climate change, means it’s entirely up to us to protect the environment — for both our sake and for generations to come.

via Douglas Muth / Flickr

Sin City is doing something good for its less fortunate citizens as well as those who've broken the law this month. The city of Las Vegas, Nevada will drop any parking ticket fines for those who make a donation to a local food bank.

A parking ticket can cost up to $100 in Las Vegas but the whole thing can be forgiven by bringing in non-perishable food items of equal or greater value to the Parking Services Offices at 500 S. Main Street through December 16.

The program is designed to help the less fortunate during the holidays.

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However, all of that has changed since the election of Donald Trump in 2016. Voters in Maine, particularly those who lean left, have run out of patience with Collins and her seeming refusal to stand up to Trump. That frustration peaked with the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

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via / Flickr and Dimitri Rodriguez / Flickr

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Photo by HAL9001 on Unsplash

The U.K. is trying to reach its goal of net-zero emissions by 2050, but aviation may become the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.K. by that same year. A new study commissioned by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) and conducted at the Imperial College London says that in order for the U.K. to reach its target, aviation can only see a 25% increase, and they've got a very specific recommendation on how to fix it: Curb frequent flyer programs.

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Nearly every airline in the world has a frequent flyer program. The programs offer perks, including free flights, if customers get a certain amount of points. According to the study, 70% of all flights from the U.K. are taken by 15% of the population, with many people taking additional (and arguably unnecessary) flights to "maintain their privileged traveler status."

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