GOOD

Step Away from the Smartphone

This article is part of The GOOD (and ReadyMade) Guide to Slowing Down, from GOOD Issue 18. Read more of the guide here. Easy ways to unplug...


This article is part of The GOOD (and ReadyMade) Guide to Slowing Down, from GOOD Issue 18. Read more of the guide here.

Easy ways to unplug your gadgets and your life

Perhaps you've heard: Texting while driving can kill you. If you ask us, staying too connected behind your desk can be dangerous, as well. In recent studies, single-taskers have outperformed those who take on many tasks at a time, suggesting that multitaskers are less efficient, have heavier workloads, and set themselves up for elevated stress and its related problems, like weight gain, sleep loss, and elevated blood pressure. What to do? Unplug from the infostream.Stage a blackoutStay off email, instant messenger, and your phone for a few dedicated hours daily, or even for a whole day. Use that time to focus on your most important work, and spend your leftover time googling stuff, fiddling around on Facebook, and otherwise gathering the steam to do it all again tomorrow.Don't spam yourselfUse a separate address or at least a filter to redirect messages from the senators, activists, online communities, and retailers to whom you give your address.Declare email bankruptcyIf your unread emails have reached unmanageable proportions, wipe the slate clean-just notify everyone in your contact list first. To prevent another crisis, set up an autoreply signaling that you check email only once a day and recommending the phone for urgent matters.Leave your smartphone at homeYeah, yeah, you love that little gadget because it gives you "freedom." But that little gadget also means you have no excuse, ever, to not be reachable. Pick one day a month to leave your house without your smartphone. There are still pay phones in all major cities, and no one will miss your mobile uploads (trust us).Turn off the instant messengerEnough said.Illustration by Tim Lahan
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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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Communities

For more than 20 years. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) has served the citizens of Maine in the U.S. Senate. For most of that time, she has enjoyed a hard-fought reputation as a moderate Republican who methodically builds bridges and consensus in an era of political polarization. To millions of political observers, she exemplified the best of post-partisan leadership, finding a "third way" through the static of ideological tribalism.

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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Politics
via Truthout.org / Flickr and Dimitri Rodriguez / Flickr

Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign looks to be getting a huge big shot in the arm after it's faced some difficulties over the past few weeks.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a leading voice in the Democratic parties progressive, Democratic Socialist wing, is expected to endorse Sanders' campaign at the "Bernie's Back" rally in Queens, New York this Saturday.

Fellow member of "the Squad," Ilhan Omar, endorsed him on Wednesday.

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Politics
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.

Currently, air travel accounts for 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions, however that number is projected to increase for several reasons. There's a growing demand for air travel, yet it's harder to decarbonize aviation. Electric cars are becoming more common. Electric planes, not so much. If things keep on going the way they are, flights in the U.K. should increase by 50%.

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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