Story ideas: Environmental impact of holiday shopping; increasing vaccine uptake in Parc Extension

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Story ideas: Environmental impact of holiday shopping; increasing vaccine uptake
Story ideas: Environmental impact of holiday shopping; increasing vaccine uptake in Parc Extension

Circular economy may alleviate environmental impact of holiday shopping

Cut-rate deals may be enticing around the holidays, but low prices can come with a high environmental cost. If shoppers don’t make choices wisely, their purchases could end up in the landfill. The clothing industry accounts for about 10% of global carbon emissions, but some retailers are taking more responsibility for their environmental impact, said McGill Professor Javad Nasiry , Director of the Sustainable Growth Initiative, at the Desautels Faculty of Management. Zara is one company that has taken steps toward greater sustainability. In October 2022, the Spanish fast-fashion giant launched Zara Pre-owned, a repair and exchange platform that allows its customers to re-sell their Zara purchases and request repairs like replacement zippers.

Unlocking the secrets of Christmas tree branches

On a wintry walk in the woods, have you ever wondered why branches of Christmas trees and other conifers grow the way they do? Some of these trees are chubby and short, while others are tall and skinny. By using statistical modeling and a CT scanner like those used in hospitals, a team of McGill researchers including Professor of Plant Sciences Pierre Dutilleul show why younger tree branches grow in a certain way based on the growth patterns of older branches. -Our eyes cannot always see the stem and connected branches of a Christmas tree - the CT scanner gave us access to this hidden world,- said Dutilleul. CT scanning also allowed for digital measurements that would be practically impossible to make otherwise, Dutilleul said, such as the distance between offspring branches on the same parent branch, or the angle made by an offspring branch relative to its parent. The researchers found that branches at the fourth level followed a growth pattern determined in good part by the branching patterns of the second level branches, and not, as they expected, the third.

Increasing vaccine uptake in one of Montreal’s most culturally diverse neighbourhoods

Community-led initiatives providing linguistically and culturally tailored services in Parc-Extension, the neighbourhood with the highest population density and immigration population in Montreal, helped increase COVID-19 vaccine uptake among the neighbourhood’s residents, according to a new study from McGill researchers. Supervised by Professor Ananya Banerjee at the School of Population and Global Health and Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Occupational Health, the team. interviewed residents and identified that language barriers and inadequate government support for immigrants contributed to inaccessibility to vaccine information and other health-care services for Parc-Ex residents. The researchers say improving access to healthcare services among immigrant groups requires consideration of the non-medical factors that influence health outcomes and fostering trusting partnerships between governments and community organizations. The researchers, who worked in collaboration with Université de Montréal, Co-Vivre, and Afrique au féminin with funding from Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), conducted 50 interviews with Parc-Extension residents. Despite the neighbourhood’s much lower COVID-19 vaccination rate during Quebec’s first rollout, by August 2021, the neighbourhood’s first dose rate surpassed Montreal’s by four per cent.

Mistreated children have more difficulty with emotions as adults

McGill University researcher Rachel Langevin , Professor in the Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology, has found that emotional maltreatment in childhood is linked to difficulties understanding our own emotions, managing impulsivity, and regulating our emotions in emotionally charged situations, which can often arise around the holidays. Even though child maltreatment can take many forms, these are not often studied together. The researchers examined how different forms of child maltreatment - including physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional maltreatment, neglect, and exposure to domestic violence - manifest in the emotional development of young adults. They found that young adults who suffered emotional maltreatment as children were also better at recognizing anger and fear in others but had more difficulty recognizing sadness. Sexual abuse was associated with difficulties achieving one-s goals in emotionally charged situations, and neglect was associated with more difficulty managing impulsivity. Physical abuse was associated with a decreased ability to recognize fear. Survivors of child emotional maltreatment, are encouraged not to minimize what they have suffered, and treat themselves with compassion, which can be a first step toward healing.