The 10 year challenge- Earth edition

People ring in the new year with many different ways. If you’re on social media, specifically Facebook, we are sure you have noticed the most recent trend of celebrating the new year.

The 10 year challenge.

Individuals are flooding their feeds with their profile picture from 2008 followed by their most recent. Even some celebrities chimed in posting pictures of themselves from ten years ago. Overall the trend is a fun way to take a step back and be thankful for change. But we at KKB would also like to participate in this challenge!

But how about we do the 10 year challenge for Earth?

Let us take a step back and look at how much the earth has changed within the last ten years.

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  1. Ice Sheets

    Ice sheets are a mass of glacial land ice and contain enormous amounts of frozen water. Major ice sheets cover Greenland and Antarctica. They contain more than 99 percent of the Earth’s freshwater. If the Greenland ice sheet continues to melt, scientists estimate that the sea level would rise about 6 meters. And for the Antarctic ice sheet, around 60 meters. In the past ten years, climate change has caused the melting of the ice sheets to increase by 40 percent. The Ice loss has tripled over the past decade and continues to make sea levels rise.

2. The Great Pacific garbage patch

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The Great Pacific garbage patch is the largest accumulation zone for ocean plastics on Earth. It is located in between Hawaii and California. A measurement from 2018 states that there were nearly 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic afloat within it. It has gone through it’s own 10 year challenge as well by growing tremendously and rapidly. Maybe this is not one we quite want to brag about on Facebook…

3. The Coral Reefs

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The coral reefs are some of the most beautiful and vibrant parts within in our oceans. They light the water with colors and provide homes for many different types of marine life. But lately, those vibrant colors have started to fade. The colors have grown paler, almost muted. Coral reefs have suffered from centuries of commercial fishing operations, climate change, pollution, and much more. You can read more about all the things that affect Coral Reefs here. These are some of the most beautiful parts of our ocean and we must do what we can to protect them.

4. Deforestation

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Forests cover around 31% of the land on our planet. Not only do they provide vital oxygen but also serve as habitats for many animals. Some of the worlds most threatened animals live within our forests. But sadly forests around the world are slowly dying away due to many different causes. Deforestation can be traced back to wildfires, development, cutting for agriculture, and logging for timber. Forests can be home to much of the world’s biodiversity and are crucial to mitigating climate change. World Wildlife states that we lose around 18.7 million acres of forest annually. There are many small ways that we can slow down this process. Recycling is a huge one. Every piece of paper counts. If you want to take a bigger step, plant a tree and become an advocate for reforestation.

But we shouldn’t just focus on the bad..

Keep Knoxville Beautiful is constantly making strides towards bettering our planet and providing the necessary education so that you can too!

Each year the number of volunteers, clean ups, pounds of litter picked up, and students that KKB reaches continues to grows. For our own ten year challenge we have implemented many more programs, clean ups, and beautification projects. And we will only continue to grow!

Comparing KKB’s 2018 year to 2017 we see lots of ways we improved and expanded!

We completed 90 more litter pick ups, collected 25,217 more pounds of litter, reached around 1000 more kids with our presentations, and facilitated around 3,500 more volunteer hours. This is all just within the year of 2018!

Thank you for all the support. We are looking forward to 2019.

Have a great new year from KKB and let us be more aware of the changes happening around us.