5 Things You Need To Know Today (March 19, 2018)

Photo: Alan Novelli

1. An entire nation is going zero waste.

Wales currently recycles at a high rate of 63.8% (for context, America is at 34.6%) and now the nation wants to go zero waste by 2050, meaning no waste sent to landfill. They plan to achieve this lofty goal by opening zero-waste stores and investing in new recycling systems. (Green Matters)

2. Donating your clothes might not be as good for the environment as you think.

Because of fast fashion, there are far, far more clothes donated than people actually need. When you donate your clothes, they're often broken down into scraps for insulation or cleaning or shipped to other countries—less than 20 percent is actually distributed to people by the donation charities. We're buying five times more clothes than we were in 1980, making the solution not about recyclability but about minding our consumption in the first place. (NYLON)

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3. These are some of the best ideas we've heard all year.

Chasing Genius is a National Geographic competition that aims to promote solutions to major world challenges. This year it was all about connectivity and technology, and the winners include ideas like an app to keep trash out of nature and a "Turbo Tax for women's rights" in the Middle East. (Fast Company)

4. Drug addiction in the elderly is on the rise.

For years doctors have warned that use of "benzos" like Valium, Klonopin, Xanax, and Ativan could be dangerous, but use of the drugs has risen among older adults, who are particularly vulnerable to their effects. If you or a loved one is on a benzodiazepine, ask your doctor if the usage is safe. (NYT)

5. To measure heart health, pay attention to BMI.

A new study on 300,000 men and women ages 40 to 69 found that those who have a body mass index between 22 and 23 ran the lowest risk of developing cardiovascular disease. A BMI higher than 23 and lower than 18.5 left people at higher risk. (NYT)

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