Stefanie Spear is founder and CEO of EcoWatch. She has been publishing environmental news for more than 25 years. Stefanie is dedicated to educating and motivating readers to become engaged in their community, adopt sustainable practices and support strong environmental policy to protect human health and the environment.
From 1990 - 1999, after graduating from the University of Wisconsin, Stefanie published the newspaper Affinity to educate Ohioans on pressing environmental issues. She was inspired to start her publishing career after a summer internship in 1990 at the Sierra Club Yodeler, a newspaper published by the Sierra Club’s San Francisco Bay Chapter. During that summer, she spent much of her time in the redwoods participating in Redwood Summer, a series of protests and marches aimed at stopping clearcutting of old growth forests.
For the next six years, Stefanie split her time between her hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, and Eugene, Oregon. She did a stint with the Earth First! Journal in 1993. She helped organize public events to stop salvage logging and educate people on fire recovery at Warner Creek in Oregon’s Willamette National Forest, and did timber sales monitoring.
After moving back to Cleveland full time, Stefanie took a six year hiatus from publishing environmental news to raise her two children. Stefanie launched EcoWatch in 2005. For the first seven years, EcoWatch published a bi-monthly newspaper printing 80,000 copies per issue and distributing them at more than 2,200 locations throughout Ohio.
In October 2011, EcoWatch transitioned from a print publication to an online news website. With an initial focus of uniting the voices of the grassroots environmental movement and mobilizing millions of Americans to engage in democracy to protect human health and the environment, EcoWatch has expanded its reporting to include environmental news, green living, sustainable business, science and politics, and continues to feature content from renowned environmental and business leaders via its Insights blog.
EcoWatch is one of the nation's leading news website. We are at the forefront of uniting all shades of green to ensure the health and longevity of our planet. We are leading the charge in using online news to drive fundamental change.
You can follow Stefanie on Twitter at @StefanieSpear.
Cole is a full-time reporter for EcoWatch. He believes that climate change and environmental destruction are, in the words of Bill McDonough, “intergenerational remote tyranny.” He is excited to be a part of the movement that is liberating us from the tyranny of extraction and destruction through regeneration and renewal.
He thoroughly enjoyed living and learning in DC, where he attended American University. Most of all, he loved studying abroad in Costa Rica, where he explored volcanoes, beaches, rainforests and rivers. After graduating, he headed west to do a farmer training program for a year in Reno, Nevada.
Now back in Cleveland, he is excited to rediscover his hometown. He enjoys being in the great outdoors and staying active. He especially loves to hike, ski and play the piano.
Irma is the editorial assistant at EcoWatch. She graduated from Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism in Athens, Ohio. Born in Bosnia & Herzegovina, Irma moved to the U.S. in 1997 after having been refuged to Germany as a result of the Yugoslavian civil war.
She specialized in political science at Ohio University. She is passionate about coming together as a collective unit for the planet, in order to restore this Earth back to its natural state of balance and unity.
In her spare time, Irma enjoys, hikes with her dog Myla, riding her bike and attending live music concerts with her friends and family.
Lorraine is a freelance writer for EcoWatch. Her journalism career began in New York City, where she received a M.A. from NYU's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, and where she worked at several entertainment and lifestyle publications, including the New York Post's Page Six.
She found a love for environmental journalism after wandering into an ecological conference in Minneapolis in 2013. She's since been published on a whole range of green topics for NationSwell.com, from sustainable fashion to photovoltaic panels.
A native Angeleno, Lorraine is a perpetual transplant who has lived in Japan, England and now in South Carolina, where she once preached against Solo Cups at a tailgate (and thinks that's why no one's invited her to another ever since). She tweets @LorraineLChow.
Todd is EcoWatch's web developer. He has been building and fine-tuning websites for more than 10 years with special emphasis on the Wordpress platform. He has worked on a diverse range of websites including those for internet start-ups, authors, publications, web communities and more; giving Todd a focus on creating web experiences that are intuitive and valuable for visitors.
Todd also has extensive experience working with start-up businesses in the capacity of product manager which gives him a particular sensitivity to users needs. In addition to his work for EcoWatch, Todd is building products and implementing branding for event technology company EventHero.
When not kicking website tires, Todd enjoys playing tennis, hiking and working on home renovation projects.
James is EcoWatch's social media intern.
He lives in the UK and is a graduate from the University of Southampton where he studies Environmental Sciences (BSc). After volunteering with Young Friends of the Earth UK, he currently works as a social media officer for the UK charity Woodland Trust. He is also an associate of the Institution of Environmental Sciences.
In a dramatic rescue captured on camera, a Florida man ran into a pond and pried open an alligator's mouth in order to rescue his beloved puppy, all without dropping his cigar.
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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Jean-Marc Neveu and Olivier Civil never expected to find themselves battling against disposable mask pollution.
When they founded their recycling start-up Plaxtil in 2017, it was textile waste they set their sights on. The project developed a process that turned fabrics into a new recyclable material they describe as "ecological plastic."
Mounting Piles of Waste<p>It is not only the streets of Chatellerault where pandemic pollution is piling-up, but also the world's beaches and oceans. Once there, they can take up to 450 years to degrade and disappear.</p><p>Esther Röling, co-organizer of the annual Adventure Clean Up Challenge held on Hong Kong Island, has seen this waste firsthand. In October the sports challenge pitted teams against one another in a competition to remove trash from 13 hard-to-reach coastal areas around the city.</p><p>They find tons of both disposable and reusable masks, said Röling. "You wonder how it ended up there. Was it just thrown on the ground? Or was it in a garbage bag that broke open?"</p><p>Almost 10,000 kilometers away in Antibes on the sunny French Riviera, it's a similar picture. For the past few months, divers and clean-up volunteers working with an ocean clean-up non-profit called Operation Mer Propre have been collecting an increasing number of masks found on land and in the sea.</p><p>"Since the beginning of the lockdown when we started to count, we've reached 800, 900, [and now in total] 1000 masks," said co-founder Joko Peltier. </p><p>According to <a href="https://unctad.org/news/growing-plastic-pollution-wake-covid-19-how-trade-policy-can-help" target="_blank">UN estimates</a>, up to 75% of all coronavirus-related plastic could end up as waste in oceans and landfills.</p>
The Limits of Recycling<p>Yet not all are convinced the recycling of this waste is possible on a global scale. </p><p>"What those citizen groups are doing is really beneficial but once they collect it, it should just go to a landfill or an incinerator. They shouldn't necessarily expect it to get recycled," said Jonathan Krones, an industrial ecologist and visiting assistant professor of environmental studies at Boston College.</p><p>That's because mask recycling programs like Plaxtil are few and far between and most don't have the benefit of a readily adaptable production process. </p><p>Even in countries with solid recycling infrastructure, he says, the system is designed to separate out specific types of waste like bottles or cardboard.</p><p>"I imagine that it would be technically feasible to develop a separation process to filter out masks, but there simply aren't enough of them to make that economical," he said.</p><p>Collection is a big hurdle, he adds. Since each mask only weighs a fraction of a gram and they're scattered on roads or mixed with other trash, it is difficult and costly. </p><p>"You need a lot of raw material of the right quality to make investing in the recycling technology and the recycling system worthwhile," he said.<span></span><br></p>
Hemp, Sugar Cane and Sustainable Alternatives<p>Some projects are instead addressing the material used to make masks.</p><p>French company Geochanvre have created a mask made primarily from hemp, while in Australia, researchers at the Queensland University of Technology are experimenting with a disposable product made from agricultural waste. </p><p>Biodegradable options are exciting alternatives to reduce the fossil fuels needed for the creation of plastic-based masks, said Krones, but they don't absolve the wearer from the responsibility of what happens afterwards. </p><p>Bio-based masks often need their own composing solutions, he explains, because in landfill they can produce high amounts of the greenhouse gas methane when anaerobic bacteria feeds on the organic material. Methane is known to be significantly more potent than carbon dioxide.</p><p>"I think as long as we have in our mind that we want to have disposability, we're going to have to wrestle with a variety of different sorts of environmental tradeoffs," he said, adding that reusable, fabric masks are the best option available to most people.</p><p>Precimask is developing a clear face covering with an optional visor made from hard plastic, designed to be long-lasting.<br></p><p>Air enters either side of the cheeks through a technology normally found in pool filters and car exhaust systems, said company spokeswoman Juliette Chambet.</p><p>"We wanted to make ceramic-based filters that would be washable and cleanable, which would allow them to be reused as many times as desired without having to buy a new consumable or produce waste," she said. </p><p>Ultimately, encouraging mask wearers to think about the entire lifecycle of a mask is key, explains Neveu. </p><p>"We want people who put on the masks to realize that they are also responsible for the waste, he said. "It's not inevitable that this [pandemic] will become an environmental catastrophe.</p><p><em>Reposted with permission from </em><em><a href="https://www.dw.com/en/covid-19-recycling-pollution-trash-pandemic/a-55707817" target="_blank">Deutsche Welle</a>.</em><a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/r/entryeditor/2649032193#/" target="_self"></a></p>
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By Bret Wilkins
In a year in which the United States has already suffered 16 climate-driven extreme weather events causing more than $1 billion in economic damages, and as millions of American workers face loss of essential unemployment benefits due to congressional inaction, a report published Monday reveals the Trump administration has given fossil fuel companies as much as $15.2 billion in direct relief — and tens of billions more indirectly — through federal COVID-19 recovery programs since March.
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As Thanksgiving approaches, some Indigenous organizations and activists caution against perpetuating further injustices towards Native communities. Indigenous activist Mariah Gladstone, for example, encourages eaters to celebrate the harvest time in ways that do not involve stereotypes and pilgrim stories.
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Losing weight and reducing fat is a hard battle to fight. Thankfully, there are fat burner supplements that help you gain your target body and goal. However, how would you know which supplement is right for you?