The Drop In vol.01

Lauridsen Skatepark - Des Moines, IA 

Well, it looks like Iowa has taken the lead in providing the latest, and dare I say, greatest, skatepark in the Midwest. With the opening of 88,000 square foot, Lance Mountain designed, Lauridsen skatepark in Des Moines.

Photos and videos of this spot are already starting to pop up on the socials and it looks amazing.

The new park will be hosting the Dew Tour from May 10th-27th, but you can bet your freshest freshie that PILLLAR will be rounding up the crew and taking the 3 1/2 hour drive as soon as it's open to the public. 

Bite - The Zero Waste Toothpaste

 I had my first experience with "zero waste toothpaste" last night. It was, well, it was fine. Probably not the in-depth review you were hoping for, but the judge is still out on this one.

Bite states on the opening page of their website "The only plastic-free and clean way to replace the paste you've used your whole life." Bite was founded by asking the questions "why does toothpaste come in plastic and what exactly are we putting in our bodies when we brush our teeth?" Admittedly, two questions I've never asked, but I'm glad they did. 

Bite's main product is a replacement for your standard tube of toothpaste, which is a small breath-mint sized 'bit' that comes in a glass jar. You pop one of those little dudes in your mouth, and then brush the crumbs around and spit. 

After the initial use, it did feel like it got the job done as would regular toothpaste, but I want see the effects of using their product over a longer period of time before I give it my seal of approval. Note...I'm am clearly not a dentist and not included in any of the "4 out 5 dentist recommend" studies.

Good on them for taking the plastic out of one more common household item. Respect.

Crypto and the Environment

Boy, did this single tweet, from everyone's favorite crypto-troll Elon Musk send me on a massive nosedive into a seemingly never-ending rabbit hole. 

Unless you live under a rock (and if that's the case, what are you doing living under a rock?), you've probably seen something on the Internet about crypto currency over the past couple of months. 

I'm in no way going to try to explain crypto, there's plenty of resources around that, but there is one thing that has been creeping up in the conversations about crypto currency that has caught my eye. The environmental impact.

The more research I did (YouTube and various news articles) about the impact that crypto currency has on the environment, I could find statistics and figures on both sides of the argument. Needless to say, with crypto still relatively in its infancy, there will be much more analysis in this space as it becomes more mainstream.

All that being said, if you are an investor or thinking of investing into crypto currency, as with anything, I think it's good to know the impact of what you're investing in.

Here are a couple of stats that stood out to me:

1. Crypto currency is "mined" by using computer power to solve algorithms or "proof of work"  that shows there was in effort to acquiring the coin. This ming uses a significant amount of energy to power computers that are solving the algorithm.

2. At best estimates concluded by a Cambridge University study, currently 39% of Bitcoin (the first and most recognizable crypto currency)  is mined using coal energy.

3. The mining of Bitcoin uses 0.1% (120TWh) of all electricity generated in the world. That's more than Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google and Microsoft combined.

4. The legacy banking system uses approximately 140TWh of electricity worldwide.

5. The Crypto Climate accord has committed to shifting to 100% renewable energy by 2030, however this does not take into account the crypto-mining that is done outside of this accord, much of which is done in China where coal power is a main source of electricity.

If at this point you're still reading and I haven't lost you yet, the whole point of this is to say that Crypto Currency in its current state is a new strain on the electricity grid across the globe, much of which is powered by non-renewable resources. If crypto continues to grow, as it's expected to, then there needs to be great consideration of how electricity is generated to power the computers that make this possible.

-Corey

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