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New Index Reveals the States That Are the Best at Recycling

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How often do you recycle? Are there easily accessible recycling opportunities where you live? It can be challenging to recycle as much as one may wish to in areas that do not have the infrastructure (or cultural incentive) to support it. Overall, Americans have a recycling rate of 32%, but this varies significantly across the country. So which U.S. states are best and worst at recycling? The team at BottleStore.com has created this impressive and detailed index to rank each state’s overall recycling efforts.

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I absolutely love indexes like this because they provide a more comprehensive story through multiple sources of data. They used four different metrics, including each state’s recycling rate of all CCPM (common containers and packing materials), pounds of waste per person that is recycled instead of being sent to the landfill, and two different state recycling policy and law “bonuses”. If the state has a bottle return system in addition to curbside services and/or has a policy that supports high CCPM recycling, 25 points are awarded for each. Two states known for their abundant natural beauty have the highest scores – Maine, the Pine Tree State, and Vermont, the Green Mountain State. Alaska and Mississippi are in last place. I really love how they broke it down into categories too, including recycling rates of cardboard, rigid plastics, PET bottles, aluminum cans, steel cans, and glass bottles and jars. This can be helpful for readers who wish to see how their state could improve and may empower them to recycle more in areas where their state may be lacking. The colors are beautiful too – all in all, an aesthetically pleasing and informative chart!

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Charts

The 50 States Ranked by How Appealing They Are for Boating

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Boat lovers have a new way to pick their dream destination with this chart ranking states by how desirable they are for boaters. The SI Yachts team used a detailed scoring system to rank these states. The system considers some of the major factors important to boaters like average temperatures, number of sunny and cloudy days, amount of coastline, lakes, and rivers, hurricane risk, number of boats owned in the state, and the average cost of boater’s insurance. All these factors, averaged together, created the team’s ultimate list of boating states.

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Despite the hurricane risks, Louisiana still comes out on top as the best state for boating. Miles and miles of coastline and waterways, low swampy areas, and a fishing legacy make boating a way of life in the Bayou State. As for the bottom of the list, New York was not the Empire State for boating. Expensive boater’s insurance and few days of ideal weather meant that despite this state’s abundance of lakes, rivers, and coastline, it just wasn’t an ideal place to own a boat.

Every boater has different priorities to guide where they want to set sail, but this chart is a great way to consider where you’ll find a boater’s paradise. There’s a great diversity of regions in the top states on this list so East or West, North or South, you’ll find the perfect boating destination.

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Are Attention Spans Getting Shorter? A New Study Says “No”

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Attention spans are nosediving in our modern society and it’s no surprise that technology and social media are most often given the blame for this. But are attention spans getting shorter for everyone? Maybe not. A new study by Brainscape, which analyzed their users study habits, has revealed that students’ attention spans are actually getting longer while studying. Yes, you read that right. In a world of shrinking attention spans, Brainscape users study sessions are getting longer, which means their attention spans are actually growing.

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Brainscape used the length of study sessions as a relative measure of attention span. They compare their users’ sessions with the average number of minutes studies indicate the general public can focus and, as you can see, with each year attention spans grow. By 2024, students were actively studying for 5 minutes more per session than they were in 2015. While this number is impressive in its own right, users are usually completing several sessions a day, this means that they are studying a LOT more than they were 10 years ago.

For the general public, however, attention spans are assuredly still shrinking. To keep people’s attention, movie scenes are now shorter than they’ve ever been (even though the movies themselves are longer), and websites like TikTok, which is famous for their super-short attention span-friendly videos, is exploding in popularity. While TikTok is believed to be popular because of shorter attention spans, some believe that TikTok itself is helping to make those short attention spans even shorter.

It’s unclear if attention spans will ever get back to the level they were once at (it seems unlikely at this point), so it will be interesting to see how this problem will develop into the future.

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Study Ranks National Parks by How Dangerous They Are

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Travel planning can be stressful, but the team at Cocoweb made one aspect of the job a lot easier with this detailed visual chart of the relative safety and danger of each National Park. The National Parks are the crown jewels of the United States, full of stunning vistas, diverse wildlife and plant life, and lots of opportunities for outdoor fun and exploration. With wilderness adventures come risks. The Cocoweb team created a scoring system for park danger and ranked each National Park in the chart by their relative safety and danger.

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The scoring system used a few different criteria to rank the parks. Aspects include fatalities, number of search and rescue missions, dangerous animals, number of drownings, falls, and heat exhaustion deaths, and cell service coverage. The scores showed these ten parks as the most dangerous:

  1. North Cascades
  2. Lake Clark
  3. Denali
  4. Wrangell-St. Elias
  5. Isle Royale
  6. Gates of the Arctic
  7. Sequoia and Kings Canyon
  8. Grand Teton
  9. Yellowstone
  10. Glacier Bay

These parks have some common factors (besides several of them being in Alaska.) Many of them have extreme temperatures, remote areas that are hard to access by rescue teams, and high mountain peaks that should only be tackled by expert hikers. Some of the dangerous parks are the most famous and most visited. Don’t avoid a park just because it has some dangerous hikes, locations, or conditions. Rather, you should choose your activities carefully and arrive prepared with emergency plans, survival kits, and first aid materials. The best way to enjoy the parks safely is to know the risks, listen to ranger guidance about which trails to take at what times, and make sure you stick to hikes and activities that match your experience level.

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