Quantcast

Do You Use Facial Scrub? If So, Read This!

Insights + Opinion

Marcus Eriksen

Dr. Sylvia Earle with Anna Cummins, Marcus Eriksen and their baby Avani at Blue Ocean Film Festival.

As we move into the Fall season, we're hopping on bikes and cycling 1,400 miles down the east coast for the Last Straw Plastic Pollution Solutions Outreach Tour (see below for a really awesome Trash Challenge where YOU can win prizes from our sponsors). Our goal on the tour is to connect to 50,000 people throughout the month of October and November to show them what 5 Gyres has discovered in our oceans and lakes around the world as well as engage in cleanups down the eastern seaboard. The tour kicks of today in Boston.

We've got some important news to share about plastic pollution upstream in the Great Lakes, the first expedition to study plastics in inland U.S. waters. We've analyzed our data from samples taken in the Great Lakes and what we found is shocking. Microplastic particles, no larger than grains of sand, peppering the lake surface. One sample had more than 600 of them. Yikes! What could they be? After some investigation, we've figured it out. The culprit? Non-natural facial scrub products that employ micro-particle polyethylene beads as an exfoliant. The beads are designed to go from your face down the drain and then to the ocean. We'll be launching a campaign to address this problem in the coming months and we'll need your help to claim another victory for the ocean.

The Great Lakes study demonstrates the 5 Gyres model really well. In a nutshell: we conduct research in places others haven't looked and monitor places that we already know to be polluted, take our scientific data and translate it for the public good through education campaigns, then use our community of passionate, grassroots change agents and ambassadors to drive common sense policy and solutions to plastic pollution. We are the confluence of where science and advocacy meet and the only organization of this kind in the plastic pollution sphere. We don't just produce evidence, we use it to make change.

If you haven't seen our Great Lakes film yet, please check it out.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Natural Resources Defense Council

By Emily Deanne

Shower shoes? Check. Extra-long sheets? Yep. Energy efficiency checklist? No worries — we've got you covered there. If you're one of the nation's 12.1 million full-time undergraduate college students, you no doubt have a lot to keep in mind as you head off to school. If you're reading this, climate change is probably one of them, and with one-third of students choosing to live on campus, dorm life can have a big impact on the health of our planet. In fact, the annual energy use of one typical dormitory room can generate as much greenhouse gas pollution as the tailpipe emissions of a car driven more than 156,000 miles.

Read More Show Less
Kokia drynarioides, commonly known as Hawaiian tree cotton, is a critically endangered species of flowering plant that is endemic to the Big Island of Hawaii. David Eickhoff / Wikipedia

By Lorraine Chow

Kokia drynarioides is a small but significant flowering tree endemic to Hawaii's dry forests. Native Hawaiians used its large, scarlet flowers to make lei. Its sap was used as dye for ropes and nets. Its bark was used medicinally to treat thrush.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Frederick Bass / Getty Images

States that invest heavily in renewable energy will generate billions of dollars in health benefits in the next decade instead of spending billions to take care of people getting sick from air pollution caused by burning fossil fuels, according to a new study from MIT and reported on by The Verge.

Read More Show Less
Aerial view of lava flows from the eruption of volcano Kilauea on Hawaii, May 2018. Frizi / iStock / Getty Images

Hawaii's Kilauea volcano could be gearing up for an eruption after a pond of water was discovered inside its summit crater for the first time in recorded history, according to the AP.

Read More Show Less
A couple works in their organic garden. kupicoo / E+ / Getty Images

By Kristin Ohlson

From where I stand inside the South Dakota cornfield I was visiting with entomologist and former USDA scientist Jonathan Lundgren, all the human-inflicted traumas to Earth seem far away. It isn't just that the corn is as high as an elephant's eye — are people singing that song again? — but that the field burgeons and buzzes and chirps with all sorts of other life, too.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
A competitor in action during the Drambuie World Ice Golf Championships in Uummannaq, Greenland on April 9, 2001. Michael Steele / Allsport / Getty Images

Greenland is open for business, but it's not for sale, Greenland's foreign minister Ane Lone Bagger told Reuters after hearing that President Donald Trump asked his advisers about the feasibility of buying the world's largest island.

Read More Show Less
AFP / Getty Images / S. Platt

Humanity faced its hottest month in at least 140 years in July, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said on Thursday. The finding confirms similar analysis provided by its EU counterparts.

Read More Show Less
Newly established oil palm plantation in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. Rhett A. Butler / Mongabay

By Hans Nicholas Jong

Indonesia's president has made permanent a temporary moratorium on forest-clearing permits for plantations and logging.

It's a policy the government says has proven effective in curtailing deforestation, but whose apparent gains have been criticized by environmental activists as mere "propaganda."

Read More Show Less