See How Climate Change Will Affect Your City Over the Next 30 Years

iStock/KarenHBlack
iStock/KarenHBlack

Most of us are well aware that the Earth is getting warmer. But it’s often hard to imagine how that future will feel. Vox recently tried to put the scary statistics into context by visualizing how winters and summers in 1000 cities all over the U.S. will change over the next 30 years or so.

The infographic lets you type in the name of the city nearest you, then visualizes the change between the average summer high and winter low between 2000 and 2050. New York City, for instance, had a summer high of 83.1° F in 2000, but 30 years from now, in 2050, that number will rise to 87.9°F. Winter in the city will be warmer, too, rising from a 28.5°F low in 2000 to a 32.6°F low in 2050.

Those changes may not seem that big, but those are just averages, and don’t tell the full story. There will be more heat waves and other extreme weather events, more dramatic shifts from periods of rain to periods of drought, and other changes that go beyond mere temperatures. These changes will vary from city to city—northern areas are warming faster than southern ones—but overall, many cities will start to feel like their southern counterparts do today.

Within the Vox visualization, you can explore projections for how populations and temperatures will change in different cities, including the ones expected to warm the most and the least over the next 30 or so years. (Oakland is looking good right now, but you may not want to move to Fargo.) You can also see how each city’s year-long temperature and precipitation forecasts are expected to change month to month.

It’s a bleak reality. In addition to changing the weather, agriculture, animal populations, and natural landscapes, climate change will effect what world heritage sites you’ll still be able to see, what wine you’ll be able to drink, what trees you’ll be able to plant in your yard, and so much more.

Explore how your hometown could change over on Vox.

Looking to Downsize? You Can Buy a 5-Room DIY Cabin on Amazon for Less Than $33,000

Five rooms of one's own.
Five rooms of one's own.
Allwood/Amazon

If you’ve already mastered DIY houses for birds and dogs, maybe it’s time you built one for yourself.

As Simplemost reports, there are a number of house kits that you can order on Amazon, and the Allwood Avalon Cabin Kit is one of the quaintest—and, at $32,990, most affordable—options. The 540-square-foot structure has enough space for a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom, and a sitting room—and there’s an additional 218-square-foot loft with the potential to be the coziest reading nook of all time.

You can opt for three larger rooms if you're willing to skip the kitchen and bathroom.Allwood/Amazon

The construction process might not be a great idea for someone who’s never picked up a hammer, but you don’t need an architectural degree to tackle it. Step-by-step instructions and all materials are included, so it’s a little like a high-level IKEA project. According to the Amazon listing, it takes two adults about a week to complete. Since the Nordic wood walls are reinforced with steel rods, the house can withstand winds up to 120 mph, and you can pay an extra $1000 to upgrade from double-glass windows and doors to triple-glass for added fortification.

Sadly, the cool ceiling lamp is not included.Allwood/Amazon

Though everything you need for the shell of the house comes in the kit, you will need to purchase whatever goes inside it: toilet, shower, sink, stove, insulation, and all other furnishings. You can also customize the blueprint to fit your own plans for the space; maybe, for example, you’re going to use the house as a small event venue, and you’d rather have two or three large, airy rooms and no kitchen or bedroom.

Intrigued? Find out more here.

[h/t Simplemost]

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prAna and Other Apparel Brands Are Starting a Movement for Sustainable Packaging

Sustainable packaging looks good on this sweater.
Sustainable packaging looks good on this sweater.
prAna

Even if your cat or toddler can entertain themselves for hours with the packing materials that came with your new sweater, all that unnecessary waste may still weigh heavily on your mind.

Recycling is always a good idea, but it would be better if companies found more eco-friendly ways to ship products in the first place, right? A fashion brand called prAna thinks so, too. Since its inception in 1992, prAna has always been committed to producing sustainable apparel made from organic or recycled materials; the founders even sent their first shipments in old fruit boxes. As the organization grew, however, they gave in to the convenience of plastic packaging. And after a retail manager asked the corporate office what to do with the piles of empty poly bags, they knew they had to find a better solution. They started by cutting down on poly bags (those single-use sleeves that garments are often sealed in when you order them online). In the last decade, they’ve kept more than 17 million out of their packing and distribution processes.

Glassine is a much more sustainable—and recyclable—material than plastic.prAna

And this week, prAna launched the Responsible Packaging Movement, an initiative that encourages other fashion brands to join them in shifting to more sustainable packaging. prAna itself is planning to cut all plastic from consumer packaging by next year, and is also working on eliminating materials sourced from endangered and old-growth forests. Along the way, the company will devise webinars, resource guides, roundtable discussions, and more to help other brands make changes, too. So far, Mara Hoffman, Outerknown, and Toad&Co have all joined the movement, and other brands can find out how to do so here.

“As a sustainability leader in the apparel industry, we have always looked beyond our products to use our business as a platform for good,” Rachel Lincoln, prAna’s director of sustainability, said in a press release. “We are so excited to launch this movement to bring people together with a platform to share knowledge.”

Was this prAna dress packaged in plastic? No.prAna

While you might not have your own clothing brand, you can still support the Responsible Packaging Movement by making sure you’re buying your products from companies committed to sustainability. And outside the world of online shopping, here are 15 other ways to reduce your carbon footprint.