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5 Things to Know Today: February 21, 2017

5 Things to Know Today: February 21, 2017

Liz Biscevic—5 Things to Know Today

Photo by Gosia Wozniacka / Associated Press

Photo by Gosia Wozniacka / Associated Press

If you decided to unplug over the long weekend, you might have missed that lawmakers are racing to legalize weed in their states in order to unlock the cash crop’s potential. Meanwhile, “big data” could make it easier to save the world and Emma Watson started a new Instagram account that focuses on ethical fashion. 

1. LA Times: Lawmakers are racing to legalizing cannabis in their states to unlock the cash crop’s potential. 
Last fall, California, Maine, and Nevada all passed recreational pro-pot measures, adding them to the growing list of states who have accepted marijuana as a legal, and profitable, commodity. Following this, lawmakers in 17 states—including Hawaii, Connecticut, and Minnesota—have introduced measures that will legalize recreational cannabis for adults and then tax its sale. This month, Colorado—one of the first states to legalize marijuana—released a report showing the state brought in $200 million in tax revenue last year and Washington brought in around $256 million. These states are choosing to put that extra revenue toward the public school system. 

2. Forbes: Investing is nearly as important as saving, and millennials need to get on board. Here’s how. 
Millennials are hesitant to start investing the way past generations did, and experts say this can be a problem for their financial future. Here, experts note five important tips—like getting educated and accepting risk—before getting started. The story also recommends using a Roth IRA or a Roth 401k no matter what your economic circumstance, and reducing fees from investing costs by shopping around before you begin. 

3. Fast Coexist: Big Data could make it easier to save wildlife and save the world. 
A nonprofit created a data analysis tool called BasinScout that identifies where planting trees could have the most impact. The tool combines big data about vegetation next to waterways, the amount of soil and sunlight the location gets, the slope of the land, nearby crops, water usage in surrounding areas, and other factors to create maps for water restoration projects. The highest priority areas end up having the most impact at the lowest cost. 

4. Triple Pundit: Conservatives can save the environment and grow the economy…If they start prioritizing sustainable energy. 
Rather than trying to bring back coal, retail, and factory jobs, President Donald Trump should realize the opportunity in climate change, fund clean energy initiatives, and prioritize sustainability. Doing so would provide the middle class jobs he promised while also reducing our carbon footprint. These jobs would likely offer more competitive salaries than that of retail and coal mining, something that can appeal to everyone on the political spectrum. 

Photo via Instagram.com/the_press_tour

Photo via Instagram.com/the_press_tour

5. Treehugger: Emma Watson promotes ethical fashion with a new Instagram account.
British actress Emma Watson has been a longtime supporter of ethical, sustainable fashion—during last year’s Met Gala she wore a gown made from plastic bottles and organic silk. Now, while promoting Beauty and the Beast, Watson is asking people to think about how and where their clothes are made. Her new Instagram account—The Press Tour—documents the outfits she wears and explains how each one is sourced and made. Each post is verified by well-known sustainable brand consulting firm Eco Age

How to Budget Travel Responsibly, and Other Stories About Traveling Abroad

Stanford Scientists Close in on Cheap Solar Storage with New Battery

Stanford Scientists Close in on Cheap Solar Storage with New Battery