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Opinion: The Impact this Election has on the Future of Nevada’s Environment

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It’s easy to assume national elections are more important than local elections. It makes sense, why wouldn’t we assume the president’s decisions will have the greatest effect on us? After all, the presidency is the highest position of power in the United States. But, the truth is, local elections will always have a more direct impact on you and your community.

During the midterm elections this November, Nevadans have big decisions to make. Specifically, decisions that involve the environment. The Sierra Club and other environmental organizations in the state urge you to vote “no” on Question 3 and “yes” on Question 6. Both are related to renewable energy, but the context of the questions is crucially different. Question 3 is about who provides your energy. Question 6 would require all energy utilities to provide more energy from renewable resources. The information below is provided by the Sierra Club’s official website. For more detailed information, head to

Here’s why you should vote “no” on question 3:

  • NV Energy has changed course on its renewable energy policies and has proposed projects that will double its current level of renewable energy generation by 2023. Voting “yes” on question 3 would force NV Energy to sell these plants, sending Nevada’s energy market into uncertainty and disarray.
  • Nothing on Question 3 guarantees renewable energy.
  • Deregulating the energy market in Nevada could substantially raise electricity rates.
  • If Question 3 passes, it becomes constitutional law, meaning it will be very difficult to reverse if anything goes wrong.

Passing Question 6 means:

  • All electric suppliers would be required to provide at least 50% of their total electricity from renewable resources by 2030.
  • This would help our state significantly by creating a diverse array of job opportunities, from engineers and installers to office employees and factory workers.
  • Our environment would be greener and cleaner. Currently, Nevada receives 80% of its energy from out-of-state fossil fuels such as, gas, oil, and coal.

The vote on these questions will have an enormous impact on the future of our environment and its progression towards clean, renewable energy. This November, I urge you to make a decision that will benefit both the environment and our economy. Increased renewable energy will help ensure a sustainable future for Nevada.

overview of Lake Tahoe

How to be Environmentally Friendly This Summer

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We get it, we get it. Being a full time student and an environmentally friendly citizen can be time consuming and difficult. You don’t always think about recycling or how much waste you’re producing when you’re running late to class or work. Fear not. Here are some tips and tricks that you can implement into your lifestyle this summer that not only will help keep our planet green but will help you save some money, too.

  1. Participate in the Keep Tahoe Red, White & Blue beach cleanup after Independence Day on July 5th. Lake Tahoe gets heavy visitation during summer holidays. Despite the beach being the perfect place to enjoy the season with friends, many visitors don’t pick up after themselves. Last summer volunteers removed 1,676 pounds of trash from Tahoe beaches the day after the Fourth of July, according to The League to Save Lake Tahoe. Plastic and cigarette butts not only look disgusting when left everywhere, but it has damaging effects on local wildlife and lake clarity. The League to Save Lake Tahoe provides reusable cleanup bags, gloves and hand sanitizer, refreshments, giveaways, and free raffle prizes for those who volunteer to clean up. Cleanup sites include Commons Beach, Kings Beach, Kiva Beach, Nevada Beach, and Regan Beach. If you’re unable to attend, you can also make a donation on their website.
  2. Save Water during day-to-day use. According to the City of Reno’s Sustainability Department, if you shorten your shower by just a minute that can be the equivalent of saving 150 gallons of water per month. This not only saves water, but it’ll save you some extra money on your water bill, too. Try to break your habit of turning off the water while you brush your teeth. An average of four gallons is used every minute that your sink is running.
  3. Save Energy by using power strips instead of outlets, and turn off the power strips when you’re not using them to conserve energy. Instead of using your dishwasher’s drying cycle, let your dishes air-dry. This can cut energy by up to 50%. Another great tip is to use wool or rubber dryer balls to separate your clothes. This allows more air to get to your clothes while drying which also saves you energy and money.
  4. Recycle Properly by knowing what you should and shouldn’t throw away. I know I’ve made this mistake myself. I think just because something is paper or plastic it can be easily recycled. Boy was I wrong. Many items of trash I thought would be great for recycling like cardboard pizza boxes, juice boxes, and milk cartons are actually quite difficult to recycle due to grease contamination, being hard to separate, and being a certain type of plastic. I also realized that recycling shredded paper versus non shredded paper makes a difference as well. The more paper is shredded, the more it reduces the grade of the paper, and thus its quality and value. Not even all recyclers take mixed grade paper such as the paper you find in magazines or telephone books. In this case, composting paper after it’s been reduced to confetti size may be a better option if you don’t want to waste it. For a full list of what you can and can’t recycle check out Waste Management’s list of metals, paper, glass, plastics, and more that won’t be wasted if you try to recycle it.