Omarlyn Martinez, a Boston teen, worked full-time this summer in hopes of paying for his college tuition and also to save money. Since Martinez comes from a single parent household, saving money was always difficult, especially since he only had a checking account at first. Now, he’s able to save with a savings account. Martinez is hoping to get into investing and aspires to buy a house for himself, and one for his mom in the Dominican Republic.
We all struggle when it comes to saving money. Despite some of us having bank accounts and reminding ourselves not to overspend, we do it anyways. 
Jeff Paddock, a Financial Empowerment Coordinator at Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción, is a financial coach for low-income families. He guides people of all ages on saving, as well as encouraging them to reach their financial goals.
“For kids, I recommend getting in the habit of putting change away in a jar in their room,” said Paddock. “When you become a teenager, I recommend setting savings goals. This is something that is very important.” 
Getting in the habit of saving early fosters discipline and control. Paddock recommends for teens to open a savings and a checking account because “once they have a steady income, they should set up an automatic transfer of a few dollars from the checking to their savings. This will build the habit of saving a little every month.” 
Kathy Lee, a freshman at Northeastern University, does not have her own bank account, but has one under her parent’s name. 
“I was told to save money by my parents. But that never ends up the way they expected it to be,” said Lee. At a young age, her parents advised her to save all her money from Chinese New Years. “However, much like a child, I did not learn my lesson,” she said. “I still spend a bit here and there but it has decreased quite a bit.”
In her spare time, Lee likes to shop. “I only make the purchase if I believe that item is absolutely necessary and practical for my daily lifestyle.” Following this method, Lee learned to save money little by little.
Paddock has two tips for teens to practice when preparing for their first big purchase. 
The first tip consists of three rules:
Rule one - open a bank account so that your money is safe. Storing your money in your room could be dangerous because it could be lost, stolen, or destroyed.
 Rule two - track how much money you have in your account.
 Rule three - spend less than what you make. Even though it sounds simple, it could be difficult. 
The second tip is to open a separate emergency savings account where you put a little bit of money away. “Emergency savings are like first aid kits. They should be close, accessible, and hidden away,” said Paddock. 
An important things to do is to calculate your monthly income, as well as bills or monthly expenditures you have to pay for. Next, generate a budget that includes how much you’ll spend on eating out, entertainment, social activities, shopping for clothes, etc. Subtract your monthly expenses and social spending from your monthly income, and you’ll get an idea of how much you spend monthly. That way, you can estimate how long it will take to save for that large purchase. 
Jeff Babcock, a Senior Associate at WS Development, said an overarching principle is that the earlier you start saving, the more time your money has to grow. For this to happen, Babcock recommends that teens seek out a savings account that has a high interest rate. If you want to save even more money, finding an index fund could be an alternative. Index funds are composed of a variety of stocks and bonds, Babcock explained. 
“You're investing a little bit in a lot of different things, diversifying your risk. When you invest $100 into index funds, it can be spread across all these investments, industries, or even the entire economy. ” The downside to this is that there is a bit more risk at play, and you may lose money. 
Once you get in the routine of saving, you can decide whether to put that money in a low-risk savings account or higher-risk index fund. Students can open a brokerage account to begin investing in index funds even though it is a bit more advanced and complicated, so research is crucial.
 “It is important to know what investing is like. Time is really your best friend when it comes to saving money, the sooner the better, for sure,” said Babcock.

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Marine biologist and conservationist Rachel Carson once wrote, “For most of us, knowledge of our world comes largely through sight, yet we look about with such unseeing eyes that we are partially blind. One way to open your eyes to unnoticed beauty is to ask yourself, ‘What if I had never seen this before? What if I knew I would never see it again?’” 
Imagine waking up one day and not seeing any trees, grass or flowers. Imagine not being able to take a hike or canoe on a lake. Imagine the day we run out of nonrenewable resources. I know I do not want to.
Living a sustainable, minimalist lifestyle can seem daunting. You may doubt your ability to change old habits. However, once you understand the environmental impacts of your actions, it gets easier. 
Vicky Chen, who was in the recycling club her senior year of high school, said that she believes recycling and leading a sustainable lifestyle is important because “by repurposing recyclable materials, we can reduce the amount of waste products disposed in landfills that would otherwise sit for centuries before natural decomposition occurs.”
Chen also stated, “It’s the little things people use and throw away everyday that can make a big difference in the long run.” Choose to start making a difference in the environment today by utilizing this informative advice.

10 Ways to Become More Eco-Friendly Today
Everyone knows to use reusable water bottles and shopping bags, but here are some lesser-known tips to help you lead an even more sustainable lifestyle.
-Start buying and using microfiber towels, old t-shirts, or cotton dish rags instead of paper towels. Dirty paper towels cannot be recycled.
-Start a small garden in your backyard or even on your kitchen countertop. Nothing beats fresh grown produce right from your own home, plus plants help purify the air.
-Trade your current light bulbs for LED or CFL light bulbs if you do not currently own them. They consume less energy than incandescent ones.
-Invest in a shower timer and a water-saving shower head. It will amaze you how much water you have wasted previously.
-When doing laundry, only dry the clothes you are going to wear within the next few days. The other clothes should be air-dried instead to conserve energy.
-Ask for digital notices, bills, and invitations instead of getting them in the mail to create less paper waste.
-Check out trendy and stylish metal straws! They are reusable and come in a variety of colors. Plastic straws are a danger to wildlife, and contribute to ocean pollution.
-Store gift bags and boxes you receive for future uses instead of going out and buying gift bags and boxes—that way they are there when you need them.
-Make your own natural home cleaners. For flat surfaces, water and vinegar are most fitting, and for clothes, you can use saponin from quinoa as detergent. They are eco-friendly because they do not pollute the environment or release toxins.
-Invest in solar energy chargers along with solar water heaters. These can reduce energy costs along with noise pollution and greenhouse gases.

Sustainable Superstar: Laura Preshong
I chatted with the owner of Laura Preshong Ethical Fine Jewelry about how buying jewelry from ethical stores can contribute to a better environment. 
How did your brand mission, “make ethically sourced jewelry we would like to wear, treat people the way we would like to be treated and protect our human rights and environment like our lives depended on it” come to be?
The business mission statement comes from my heart. What I believe is the best way to run a business.
What are the environmental impacts of mass-produced jewelry and accessory?
The environmental impacts are the devastation that comes with clearing large areas of land for mining. Mining produces chemicals that leach into the water which disrupts the migration of animals. Any type of large-scale anything is horrible for the environment and usually pays very little. 
Where and how did Laura Preshong Ethical Fine Jewelry begin using the manufacturing practices that the store stands by currently?
 We started our ethical sourcing and branding around 2010. There was a small movement by independent brands after the Leonardo DiCaprio movie “Blood Diamond,” and we joined in. 
Can you go into detail and expand on the statement that you “use very little large scale manufacturing or chemical processes in our ethically sourced jewelry”?
We are hand making everything in our Boston studio. Less big manufacturing means less impact and waste on and in the environment. All of our diamonds are sourced from Botswana, Africa, or Canada; all the rest of our materials are U.S. made.
What is some advice you have for teenagers who want to begin living a more sustainable life?
Reduce, reuse and recycle.

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The war on drugs cost the U.S. billions of dollars, putting countless people in prison for using a plant that has never been the direct cause of a death. 
Nationally, marijuana is becoming accepted and eventually legalized. According to the Pew Research Center, about 60 percent of Americans are pro-legalization of cannabis.
“It's everywhere; it's a huge part of American culture,” said Boston teen Thalia Correll.
According to Vox, marijuana is now legal for recreational use in eight states, Massachusetts being one of them. Legal marijuana helps the buyers and communities by being a healthier alternative to drinking or smoking cigarettes and creates taxes which can be used for repairing faltering infrastructure or towards needed social programs.
Marijuana legalization will not only help the community, it will stimulate the economy. 
“The state-regulated marijuana industry has created tens of thousands of jobs and generated hundreds of millions of dollars for state and local governments,” said Tvert. According to Vox, the marijuana industry in California alone could be worth $5.1 billion by the end of the year. 
“Adult marijuana sales have generated more than half a billion dollars in state tax revenue...more than $225 million has been allocated to the Department of Education to benefit schools,” said Tvert. 
In addition to improving the economy, legalizing marijuana would discourage the use of more dangerous drugs. 
“Marijuana is objectively less harmful than alcohol, tobacco and many other legal products,” said Tvert. “Researchers have concluded it has fewer and less severe addictive properties.” In 2014, about 30,000 people died from alcohol use, and the statistics would be much higher if alcohol-induced violence were included. Cigarettes too, present much higher risks than marijuana. According to, 48.5 percent of cancer deaths are tied to smoking cigarettes. Marijuana, on the other hand, has known medical uses and according to the Washington Post, there have been zero deaths from overdoses. 
A common argument against legalization is that marijuana is a gateway drug that leads to abuse of more dangerous drugs. Psychiatrist Robert L. DuPont recently penned a New York Times op-ed arguing “people who are addicted to marijuana are three times more likely to be addicted to heroin.” He came to this conclusion largely based on the fact that many heroin addicts have regularly used marijuana as well. However, while there is a correlation between marijuana use and heroin use, in a New York Times piece written by Ethan Nadelmann, the founder and executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance says this does not mean that marijuana users are more likely to use heroin. 
Legalizing marijuana has nothing but positive effects on the community. It will help the economy, allow people to buy safely without being exposed to dangerous people and drugs and provide a healthier alternative to cigarettes and alcohol. The war on marijuana is a complete failure that had severe effects on America, and it is time that it finally came to an end.

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Imagine trying to live your normal life without the most basic human necessity—clean, usable water. In the community of Flint, Michigan, they are going through that exact problem. Large amounts of lead, which is incredibly unhealthy to consume, were found in Flint's tap water in 2014, and the problem remains unresolved.
According to NPR, the crisis began when the state government switched from their previous water system, in which they bought treated water from Detroit, to a new system, taking water from the Flint River in order to save money. However, because the City of Flint rushed to complete the project, they did not properly treat the water. Typical water treatment includes the addition of chemicals like phosphoric acid to the water, in order to prevent corrosion in the pipes and dangerous metals from getting in. Because Flint failed to add this, lead from the pipes leached into the water which citizens used. Many people became sick or more susceptible to illness after using the lead-filled water. No amount of lead in water is safe, and the amount in Flint's water was noticeably above FDA levels.
Additionally, inadequate chlorine in the Flint pipes allowed iron to leach into them. The iron promoted the growth of bacteria, which led to an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease. Legionnaires’ spread quickly, becoming the third largest outbreak in the U.S. ever, and the effects were devastating. According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, 87 people were infected with Legionnaires’, and at least 10 of them died.
 In response to the crisis, the government provided free water bottles to the people of Flint, but in 2017, the Michigan state government cut off this supply, claiming the tap water is safe to use again. Many people are suspicious, and some have downright refused to use the water since they say it is still unclean. Since the cut-off of the free water bottles, Flint community fundraisers have been set up to raise money to help those in need. 
“Flint still doesn’t have clean water!” comedian Michelle Wolf said at the end of White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Also, recently, multi-billionaire Elon Musk has recently tweeted that he will devote himself to helping fix the pipes in Flint. 
However, despite these celebrities attempting to bring awareness back to what is happening, Flint has received barely any news coverage in recent months, though dangerous conditions continue.
“I had forgotten about the crisis,” said Cincinnati teen, Eva Wittenberg. Boston teen Thalia Correll said she had only seen “an occasional tweet about it.” 
It is important that Flint is covered better in news media because important information continues to come out. If you want to help those affected by the Flint water crisis, you can donate to the Flint Water Fund or other charitable organizations or do your best to spread awareness and help give the people of Flint a voice.

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Imagine Boston 2030 Has an Affordable Housing Problem
Imagine Boston 2030 is a plan to fix Boston. 
Boston mayor Marty Walsh wants the city to look better. His plan is to turn Boston into a healthy city with money-saving technology by 2030. Walsh’s idea on housing is really impressive. In the document, “Housing A Changing City: Boston 2030,” the plan states it will help ensure growth and prosperity reaches every corner of Boston. 
“Imagine Boston first came out of Marty Walsh’s mayoral campaign. He was going around talking to residents and heard housing pressure was getting bad,” said Natalia Urtubey, executive director of Imagine Boston 2030. A top priority for Imagine Boston is making housing affordable. As good as this seems, there are pros and cons for housing in the future. 
To accomplish this goal, the city is going to create 53,000 new units of housing at a variety of income levels across the city: 44,000 units of housing for the workforce, 5,000 units of housing for senior citizens, and 4,000 units to stabilize the market and bring rents and housing prices under control. 
Walsh is already doing things for Imagine Boston 2030 to be successful. According to, Walsh announced the Acquisition Opportunity Program, which provides loans to ensure that property owners maintain affordable rent levels for low and middle income families, and maintains current tenants in good standing. The $7.5 million investment is a step towards preserving more affordable housing for Bostonians. 
 Residents in Boston have arguments against the project. They believe housing will still cost more. Most people believe they are going to be forced to out of Boston because they cannot afford to stay. Housing is a problem right now because people are already struggling to maintain an apartment in 2018. According to, in 2018, the average rent in Boston is $3,001 and its goes up 3 percent every year. 
“People are demanding more out of housing today, particularly with the rise in the cost of rents and the short supply of housing,” said Walsh in an interview with Boston Magazine.

We have 12 years until the plan should reach its goals. I am very confident that Walsh set this up perfectly. 
“I want the city to be better than I found it. And I found it in pretty good shape,” said Walsh in a interview with Chris Sweeney.
 I believe this will be the case, but I hope what he speaks shows by 2030. Also, people love Boston because of its diversity and opportunity. They should not have to move out because things are too expensive. 

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