Find Out How These Two Sisters Convinced Bali to Ban Plastic Bags by 2018
Many people probably think of Bali as a care-free, tropical oasis, but according to teen sisters Melati and Isabel Wijsen, Bali has a serious trash problem.
"In Bali, we generate 680 cubic meters of plastic garbage a day," said Isabel. "That's about a 14-story building. And when it comes to plastic bags, less than 5 percent get recycled."
Worldwide, a trillion single-use plastic bags are used each year, nearly 2 million each minute. They're most often used for a matter of minutes, before being discarded. Often, these bags are not properly disposed of and end up in the environment, polluting waterways and endangering wildlife. If they're sent to landfills, they may take up to 1,000 years to decompose, and potentially leak pollutants into the soil and water.
In a TED Talk, the Wijsen sisters explain how something had to be done to protect their beautiful island home of Bali from plastic pollution. In 2013, they created the youth-driven initiative, Bye Bye Plastic Bags, to ban plastic bags in Bali. Through petitions, beach cleanups and even a hunger strike, they convinced Governor Pastika to commit to a plastic bag-free Bali by 2018.
"Don't ever let anyone tell you that you're too young or you won't understand," Isabel told the audience. "We're not telling you it's going to be easy. We're telling you it's going to be worth it."
Watch Melati and Isabel's TED Talk here:
By Itai Vardi
A recent intensification in protests against Williams Partners' planned Atlantic Sunrise pipeline in Pennsylvania prompted a state senator to propose legislation aimed at limiting demonstrations.
Last month, Pennsylvania Sen. Scott Martin (R-Norman) announced his intention to introduce legislation that would pass the costs of law enforcement responding to protests onto the demonstrators. Martin also helped introduce a different bill that would criminalize protests at natural gas facilities.
The so-called "first and last mile" problem is one of the biggest hurdles with public transportation. How do you encourage more people to take Earth-friendlier commutes when their homes are miles away from the train or bus station?
One solution, as this Estonian electric scooter company proposes, is to simply take your commute with you—literally. Tallinn-based Stigo has developed a compact e-scooter that folds to the size of a rolling suitcase in about two seconds.
[Editor's note: I'm still in shock after hearing the news that Lucia Grenna passed away in her sleep last week. When we first met in April of 2014 at a Copenhagen hotel, I was immediately taken by here powerful presence. We spent the next couple days participating in a Sustainia climate change event where Lucia presented her audacious plans to connect people to the climate issue. I had the chance to partner with Lucia on several other projects throughout the years and work with her incredible Connect4Climate team. I was always in awe of her ability to "make the impossible possible." Her spirit will live on forever. — Stefanie Spear]
It is with a heavy heart that Connect4Climate announces the passing of its founder and leading light, Lucia Grenna. Lucia passed peacefully in her sleep on June 15, well before her time. We remember her for her leadership and extraordinary ability to motivate people to take on some of the greatest challenges of our time, not least climate change.
By Stacy Malkan
Neil deGrasse Tyson has inspired millions of people to care about science and imagine themselves as participants in the scientific process. What a hopeful sign it is to see young girls wearing t-shirts emblazoned with the words, "Forget princess, I want to be an astrophysicist."
As Trevor Noah noted during The Daily Show episode last night (starts at 2:25), the real reason Trump has these rallies is to "get back in front of his loyal crowds and feed of their energy." Noah believes that "Trump supporters are so on board with their dude he can say anything and they'll come along for the ride."
By Katie O'Reilly
Two years ago—long before coal became one of the most dominant and controversial symbols of the 2016 presidential election—Bloomberg Philanthropies approached production company RadicalMedia with the idea of creating a documentary exploring the U.S. coal mining industry. Last spring, they brought on Emmy-nominated director Michael Bonfiglio, tasked with forging a compelling story out of the multitudes of facts, statistics and narratives underlying the declining industry.