Thailand's iconic Maya Bay, made popular by the Leonardo DiCaprio film The Beach, will be closed to tourists indefinitely, CNN Travel reported.
The beach had been closed temporarily since June 1 to restore the damage done by more than a million yearly visitors, but on Tuesday Thailand's Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) announced the closure would continue "until natural resources return to normal."
The announcement came in the form of a letter signed by DNP director-general Thanya Nethithammakul.
"The ecosystem and the beach's physical structure have [not] yet returned to its full condition," the letter said, in Thai.
The beach, visited for its golden sands and clear blue water surrounded by the dramatic cliffs of Ko Phi Phi Leh island, shot to prominence following the release of the 2000 DiCaprio film. It drew as many as 5,000 visitors and 200 boats daily and generated 400 million baht (approximately $12.4 million) a year, The Guardian reported.
But the beach's popularity was less profitable for its coral reefs. It is estimated that pollution from litter, boats and sunscreen destroyed 80 percent of the coral around the bay.
Because Maya Bay has no hotels and forbids overnight stays, all of that damage is caused by day-trippers, often boating in from nearby Phuket, CNN reported.
"It's very difficult to remedy and rehabilitate because its beach was completely destroyed as well [as] the plants which cover it," national parks director Songtam Suksawang told The Guardian.
He further said the original four-month recovery timeline was "impossible," a belief that was shared by environmental groups when that timeline was first announced, since coral only grows by half a centimeter a year.
"More than 1,000 corals are being installed at Maya Bay. Trees are also being planted on land nearby. Experts realize that it is too fast to open Maya Bay at this stage," Worapoj Lomlim, chief of the park that includes Maya Bay, told The Thaiger.
The Maya Bay closure also extends to Lo Sama Bay in the same Hat Nopparat Thara – Moo Koh Phi Phi national park.
The pollution that accompanies tourism has been a growing problem for beaches in the region. Indonesia declared a "garbage emergency" this year after a video of a diver encountering plastic off the coast of Bali went viral. Meanwhile, the Philippines closed its famous Boracay Bay for six months in April, and President Rodrigo Duterte called the resort area a "cesspool," The Guardian reported.
Unlike Maya Bay, Boracay is on schedule to reopen in stages starting this month, CNN reported.
Plastic Shreds, Rubber Bands and Balloon Pieces Found in Thai Turtle https://t.co/66MdIJDbvM @YEARSofLIVING… https://t.co/kAbqzWX722— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1528736311.0
Watch to find out the story behind the newly discovered G. leonardodicaprioi, found in the Maliau Basin of Malaysian Borneo.
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CBD oil is one dietary supplement where "organic" labels are very important to consumers. Learn about the importance of organic hemp oil, why it's better for the environment, and which CBD companies actually make trustworthy products with sustainable farming processes. Use our curated list to find the best organic CBD oil that's better for you and the environment.
What is Organic CBD Oil?
CBD stands for cannabidiol, and it's one of the hundreds of cannabinoids found within cannabis sativa plants. This plant compound is believed to have many potential health and wellness benefits, including support for anxiety, stress, sleep, and chronic pain.
Since CBD is extracted from industrial hemp, it contains only trace amounts of THC (the psychoactive component in cannabis plants). Instead, the effects of CBD are much more subtle and promote a general sense of calm and relaxation in most users.
The most important (and prominent) certification for organic products comes from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). What exactly does this certification entail? Essentially, a label indicating that a product is "USDA Organic" or "Certified Organic" means that at least 95% of the ingredients are obtained from organic sources.
For hemp to be considered organic by the USDA, it must be grown without the use of industrial solvents, irradiation, genetic engineering (GMOs), synthetic pesticides, or chemical fertilizer. Instead, farmers rely on natural substances and mechanical, physical, or biologically based farming techniques to cultivate healthy and organic crops.
Choosing an organic CBD oil without additives is important because it indicates that a product is both safe to use and better for the environment. CBD extracted from an organic hemp plant is more likely to be free from pesticides, heavy metals, and other harmful toxins. This allows you to enjoy the benefits of the plant extract without worrying about any additional and unwanted compounds. Organic CBD is also a better choice for the environment, as it is grown using more sustainable farming practices that help preserve and protect land and water resources.
Our Top Organic CBD Oils
Each product featured here has been independently selected by the writer. You can learn more about our review methodology here. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
- Best Overall Organic - Spruce Lab Grade CBD Oil
- Best Organic Full Spectrum - Charlotte's Web Original Formula
- Best USDA Organic - Cornbread Hemp Whole Flower CBD Oil
- Best Organic Flavor - R+R Medicinals Fresh Mint CBD Tincture
- Best Organic Broad Spectrum - Joy Organics CBD Oil
- Best Organic CBD for Stress - Plant People Drops+ Mind + Body
- Best Organic CBD for Sleep - NuLeaf Naturals CBD Oil
- Best Organic Satisfaction Guarantee - CBDistillery Relief + Relax
How We Chose the Best Organic CBD Oils
To create our list of the best organic CBD oil, we compared brands and products on a number of different criteria. These included:
- Hemp Source - We chose brands that use organic hemp grown in the U.S. and that follow natural and organic farming practices.
- Natural Ingredients - Each of the products on our list were examined to see if they used organic and natural ingredients for things like flavoring and carrier oils.
- Strengths - We looked for organic CBD oils that provide different concentrations of CBD to choose from, depending on your needs.
- Lab Testing - All of the CBD products we recommend must undergo independent third-party lab testing and provide access to those results.
- Certifications - In addition to USDA organic certification, we also looked for seals from the U.S. Hemp Authority, U.S. Hemp Roundtable, B-Corp, and other industry standards.
A note about USDA organic certification: before the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, no hemp-derived products could be dubbed as "certified organic" as the hemp plant and its extracts were still categorized as a Schedule I Controlled Substance.
Due to the fact that industrial hemp has only recently become an agricultural crop, very few CBD oils are USDA certified organic. Many CBD products contain hemp extracts from plants that were grown organically, but may not be federally certified yet. Where necessary, we researched each brand's growing and harvesting practices to determine if they follow organic and natural cultivation methods, even if they are not fully certified by the USDA.
8 Best Organic CBD Oils of 2021
Best Overall: Spruce Lab Grade CBD Oil
Spruce CBD is well-known for its potent full spectrum CBD oils that provide many of the additional beneficial phytocannabinoids found in hemp. This brand works with two family-owned, sustainably focused farms in the USA (one located in Kentucky and one in North Carolina) to create its organic, small product batches. This tincture contains 750mg of CBD, but they also offer a max potency Spruce CBD oil that contains 2400mg of full-spectrum CBD extract.
- CBD - Full Spectrum
- Strength - 25 mg CBD per serving
- Source - North Carolina and Kentucky
Best Full Spectrum: Charlotte's Web Original Formula
One of the most well-known brands in the CBD landscape, Charlotte's Web has been growing sustainable hemp plants for years. The company is currently in the process of achieving USDA Organic Certification, but it already practices organic and sustainable cultivation techniques to enhance the overall health of the soil and the hemp plants themselves, which creates some of the highest quality CBD extracts.
- CBD - Full Spectrum
- Strength - 50 mg CBD per serving
- Source - Colorado
Why buy: Charlotte's Web offers CBD oils in a range of different concentration options, and some even come in a few flavors like chocolate mint, orange blossom, and lemon twist. We love Charlotte's Web Original Original Formula because it is made with U.S. Hemp Authority Certified CBD and organic extra virgin olive oil.
Best USDA Organic: Cornbread Hemp Whole Flower CBD Oil
Cornbread Hemp Whole Flower CBD Oil uses USDA organic hemp grown on Kentucky farms and USDA organic MCT coconut oil. What makes Cornbread Hemp unique is that they only use hemp flower to create their CBD extract, resulting in a cleaner, purer product. Vegan and non-GMO, this organic CBD oil provides all of the secondary cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids of hemp without any preservatives, flavorings, seeds, or stems.
- CBD - Full Spectrum
- Strength - 50 mg CBD per serving
- Source - Kentucky
Why buy: We love Cornbread Hemp Whole Flower CBD oil because it is made using USDA certified organic hemp flowers to create a top-notch CBD oil packed with beneficial plant compounds. Use this oil in the evening to relax and to help you fall asleep.
Best Organic Flavor: R+R Medicinals Fresh Mint CBD Tincture
R+R Medicinals Organic Full Spectrum Hemp Extract comes in a great introductory strength for new CBD users and a delicious fresh mint flavor. Made with organic full spectrum hemp extract, organic MCT coconut oil, and organic mint flavoring, this CBD oil is USDA certified organic for a product you can trust. It also contains over 2 mg of the secondary cannabinoids, like CBC, CBG, THC, CBN, and CBDv, that can help provide the fullest effect.
- CBD - Full Spectrum
- Strength - 16.67 mg CBD per serving
- Source - Colorado
Best Organic Broad Spectrum: Joy Organics CBD Oil
For those concerned about THC, Joy Organics CBD oil makes a great option. This formula is USDA certified organic and is made with organic broad spectrum hemp extract and organic olive oil for a natural, THC-free product. It's also certified by the U.S. Hemp Roundtable and third-party lab tested for purity. If you prefer, you can also find Joy Organics CBD Oil in several additional flavors, including Tranquil Mint, Summer Lemon, and Orange Bliss.
- CBD - Broad Spectrum
- Strength - 30 mg CBD per serving
- Source - Colorado
Best Organic CBD for Stress: Plant People Drops+ Mind + Body
Plant People Drops+ Mind + Body CBD oil offers an organic, natural supplement that could help support your body's response to stress and inflammation. USDA certified organic, non-GMO, vegan, and gluten-free, this CBD oil is also doctor-formulated using 100% organic hemp grown in Colorado. It can provide 21 mg of cannabinoids like CBD, CBL, and CBG per serving. Plus, Plant People is a certified B-corp and certified Climate Neutral as they plant a tree for every sale.
- CBD - Full Spectrum
- Strength - 21 mg CBD per serving
- Source - Colorado
Why buy: We love Plant People Drops+ Mind + Body formula because it provides a doctor-formulated and USDA organic way to help you manage stress and inflammation while promoting overall wellness. We especially like that the brand is Climate Neutral certified, making this organic CBD oil good for you and the earth.
Best Organic CBD for Sleep: NuLeaf Naturals CBD Oil
NuLeaf Naturals sources its CBD extract from organic hemp plants grown on licensed farms in Colorado. Their CBD oils contain only two ingredients: USDA certified organic hemp seed oil and full spectrum hemp extract. NuLeaf Naturals uses the same proprietary CBD oil formula for all of its products, so you get the same CBD potency in every tincture (30 mg per mL), but can purchase different bottle sizes depending on your needs.
- CBD - Full Spectrum
- Strength - 30 mg CBD per serving
- Source - Colorado
Why buy: We love NuLeaf Naturals CBD oil because of its simplicity. With only two ingredients and one consistent strength, this oil makes it easy to know exactly what is in it and how much CBD you will get with each serving. Take NuLeaf Naturals CBD oil in the evenings to relax and enjoy a full night's sleep.
Best Organic Satisfaction Guarantee: CBDistillery Relief + Relax
All CBDistillery products use non-GMO and pesticide-free industrial hemp that's grown using natural farming practices on Colorado farms. Their hemp oils are some of the most affordable CBD products on the market, yet they still maintain a high standard of quality. CBDistillery has a wide variety of CBD potencies across its product line. We also love that they offer a 60 day money back guarantee so that you can try their CBD oil risk free.
- CBD - Full Spectrum
- Strength - 33 mg CBD per serving
- Source - Colorado
Why buy: We recommend CBDistillery Relief + Relax CBD oil as a great way to start your day and promote a sense of calm and wellness throughout. The brand is certified by the U.S. Hemp Authority, the U.S. Hemp Roundtable, and the National Hemp Association for their natural, reliable CBD extracts.
The Research on Organic Hemp Oil
What does the science say about organic CBD oil? There is evidence that CBD can help for certain conditions, specifically things like anxiety, sleeplessness, and pain. In fact, CBD taken for anxiety may have fewer side effects than certain prescription anxiety medications. However, as hemp and CBD remain unregulated by the Food and Drug Administration, it is vitally important to do your research and choose high-quality and safe products.
Using organic CBD oil is an easy way to help ensure that you can enjoy the health and wellness benefits of CBD while avoiding any potential toxins or synthetic chemicals.
Hemp is a unique plant, not only for its rich cannabinoid content, but because it is a bioaccumulator, and has the ability to absorb a wide variety of components in the soil. This trait means that hemp can help the environment through the remediation of green spaces, but it poses great risks when it comes to the creation of CBD products derived from hemp.
Because hemp has a high capacity for compound uptake, this means that the plants can retain harmful chemicals like pesticides, heavy metals, and other residual solvents. This is especially true when it comes to synthetic chemicals that are more toxic to humans, and difficult to remove once they have been absorbed by the hemp plant.
Organic farming practices help reduce the risk of hemp crops absorbing harsh chemicals that may later end up in CBD oil after extraction. When you're taking CBD as a wellness supplement to help alleviate your symptoms or improve your overall well-being, the last thing you want is to ingest compounds that might negatively outweigh the benefits of CBD. This is an important reason to look for third party lab test results when shopping for CBD products since these certificates of analysis can show the full cannabinoid and terpene profile of a hemp extract, as well as test results that search for the presence of any residual solvents. If you choose a non-organic CBD oil, you will need to rely even more on the independent lab test results to make sure the product is safe.
In addition to creating a better end product, organic farming practices are also better for the environment. Sustainable and organic farming methods may reduce pollution, conserve water, reduce soil erosion, increase soil fertility, and use less energy. The use of natural pest deterrents as opposed to chemical pesticides is also better for nearby animal populations and ecosystems.
How to Choose CBD Oil for You
When shopping for an organic CBD oil, you can look for certain key ingredients and certifications to find the best options. Here are some tips on how to compare and choose the right organic CBD oil.
What to Look For
Start by looking for the following pieces of information when considering any CBD product:
Make sure you know if the product uses full spectrum, broad spectrum, or CBD isolate hemp extract. Full spectrum CBD contains all of the natural phytocannabinoids, terpenes, and fatty acids found in the hemp plant, including THC. This may produce a fuller result through the entourage effect. However, if you are concerned about THC, or are subject to a drug test, broad spectrum and CBD isolate products offer a great alternative.
Always check to see how much CBD the product contains. This is measured in milligrams per container and milligrams per serving. A single serving for CBD oil is typically 1 mL, and most brands offer recommendations for measuring and dosages.
The source of the hemp used to extract CBD is vitally important. We recommend choosing brands that use organic and naturally-grown hemp raised in the U.S.A. for safety standards. This is the quickest way to ensure that the CBD itself is pure and free from pesticides or other harmful compounds.
We only recommend CBD oils and products that are subject to independent third-party lab testing. This is a crucial step that verifies both the safety and purity of the oil as well as the potency of the CBD per serving. Look for brands that give you easy access to the lab test results for every product they sell.
How to Read Labels
Here are the primary things to look for when reading the label on a CBD oil or product:
- Type of CBD - The label should clearly state whether the product contains full spectrum, broad spectrum, or CBD isolate hemp extract. If it is broad spectrum or isolate, look for a mark that tells you it is "THC-free."
- Certifications - Certain brands will include seals of approval to show that their product is USDA-certified organic, non-GMO, made in the U.S.A., or U.S. Hemp Authority certified.
- Other Ingredients - Check the ingredients list for anything in the product besides the CBD extract. This typically includes a carrier oil, like MCT or hemp seed oil, but can also include flavorings or botanicals. Make sure they are all-natural and that you are not allergic to any of them.
- Test Results - Most brands include a QR code on the packaging or the label of their CBD product that you can scan to view the third-party test results. This is a key way to know if a brand is trustworthy and whether their CBD is safe to use.
How to Use
Organic CBD oil is used just like any other CBD oil tincture, and is primarily ingested using a dropper to measure out the correct dose. Many brands recommend that you take the CBD oil sublingually by placing the CBD tincture under your tongue for 30 seconds or so before swallowing to aid in absorption. You can also add CBD to food and beverages, though some argue that this lessens the effect.
Some of the most common wellness advantages that people seek from organic CBD include:
- Chronic pain relief
- Anti-anxiety effects
- Better sleep
- Improvements in mood
- Internal balance and regulation
If you take organic CBD for help with sleep, take the recommended amount about an hour before bed. If you are taking it for anxiety, you can take one dose in the morning and another in the evening to help promote a sense of calm throughout the day. As with all CBD products, we recommend that you start with a lower dose and gradually increase it to achieve the desired effects rather than starting with a high dose.
Safety and Side Effects
CBD, while generally well-tolerated and safe for adults, can produce side effects in certain people. These are generally very mild, but can include things like nausea, diarrhea, fatigue, and irritability. CBD may also interact with certain prescription drugs, especially blood thinners and statins. If you take a prescription medication, be sure to consult with your doctor before starting CBD.
CBD has the potential to help with a number of health and wellness concerns, especially anxiety, insomnia, and chronic pain. To make sure that you choose the right option, go with the best organic CBD oil without additives from a brand you trust. Use our list to help you get started and find the natural relief you need.
Melena Gurganus is the Reviews Editor at EcoWatch. She is passionate health and wellness and her writing aims to help others find products they can trust. Her work has been featured in publications such as Health, Shape, Huffington Post, Cannabis Business Times, and Bustle.
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society says that its vessel, the M/V Farley Mowat, was ambushed on Jan. 31 by a group of poachers posing as fishermen while the ship was conducting maritime conservation patrols in a vaquita refuge in Mexico's Gulf of California. It's the second such attack in less than a month.
The conservation organization says its ship was surrounded by more than 50 assailants on 20 high speed boats, according to a press release shared with EcoWatch.
Sea Shepherd said the side of the Farley Mowat caught fire and its windows shattered because the attackers were hurling molotov cocktails and projectiles such as lead weights and large stones at the vessel.
The group also released dramatic footage of the confrontation:
SEA SHEPHERD SHIP'S WINDOWS SMASHED AND HULL SET ON FIRE BY POACHERS www.youtube.com
Crew onboard the Farley Mowat used high-pressure fire hoses to defend the vessel while Mexican Navy soldiers and federal police stationed aboard opened fire into the air and sea to deter the attackers. Neither the crew nor the security personnel sustained injuries. No arrests have been made.
The Farley Mowat was similarly attacked by roughly 35 fishing boats in the waters on Jan. 9.
"These repeated attacks have made Sea Shepherd's vital conservation efforts within the Vaquita Refuge challenging in recent weeks, casting a doubt on the vaquita's chances of survival," the press release states.
Projectiles, including lead weights and large stones, were hurled by poachers.Sea Shepherd
Sea Shepherd conducts maritime patrols in the upper Gulf of California, or Sea of Cortez, to protect the critically endangered vaquita, a porpoise endemic to the waters. Experts say there could be as few as a dozen vaquitas left.
The operations are conducted with the knowledge and cooperation of the Mexican government to help detect illegal fishing activities, the Associated Press noted.
The conservation group retrieves gillnets from the waters to protect the vaquita. The marine mammal is not directly hunted but they become entangled and drown in the illegal nets set for capturing totoaba, a large and critically endangered fish that's prized for its swim bladder as a Chinese delicacy.
The latest confrontation happens as the new Leonardo DiCaprio-produced documentary Sea of Shadows—which features the plight of the vaquita and Sea Shepherd's work to save it—premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.
"Sea Shepherd is 100 percent committed to continuing retrieval operations of illegal ghost nets and active illegal gillnets to protect the vaquita marina from extinction at the hands of poachers and criminal gangs," Locky Maclean, Sea Shepherd's director of ship operations and campaigns, said in the release. "We look forward to working closely with the new government and are grateful in playing a part in the protection and preservation of such a special region of the world, and such an iconic species, the vaquita marina."
THE VAQUITA ~~ New Doc on Nearly Extinct Vaquita Features Sea Shepherd Last year, an international vaquita recovery… https://t.co/hKZjOf75Dm— Wildlife Warriors (@Wildlife Warriors)1525957252.0
The Seychelles has created two vast new marine protected areas in the Indian Ocean after a groundbreaking finance deal brokered by the Nature Conservancy and other stakeholders, including environmentalist and Oscar winner Leonardo DiCaprio.
In exchange for writing off a portion of its debt, the island nation agreed to protect a total of 81,000-square-miles of ocean—that's about the size of Great Britain.
Seychelles was able to pay off an outstanding sovereign debt with $21 million raised by the Nature Conservancy. Future debt payments will go into a new trust, the Seychelles Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust, to finance new marine protection and climate adaptation projects
The scheme is understood to be the world's first "debt-for-nature" finance plan designed to protect ocean environments. The agreement will also help the low-lying archipelago prepare for the effects of climate change, including warming and rising waters and ocean acidification, and to protect its vital tourism and $300-million-a-year fishing industry.
"This effort will help the people of Seychelles protect their ocean for future generations, and will serve as a model for future marine conservation projects worldwide," DiCaprio, whose foundation donated $1 million towards the debt, said. "These protections mean that all species living in these waters or migrating through them are now far better shielded from overfishing, pollution, and climate change."
Today, Seychelles announced two new marine protected areas that equal the size of Great Britain. Join me and… https://t.co/aszoTCLj7h— Leonardo DiCaprio (@Leonardo DiCaprio)1519227489.0
Seychelles Minister of Environment, Energy and Climate Change Didier Dogley announced the two new marine protected areas at an event on Wednesday in Victoria, the country's capital.
The first covers the waters around the remote Aldabra Atoll, home to seabirds, hawksbill turtles, giant tortoises and the endangered dugong. The area also includes the world's second-largest raised coral atoll. This area will be fully protected and bans all extractive uses, from fishing to oil exploitation. Only research and regulated tourism is allowed. The second area is centered around the Seychelles' main islands and will only allow limited fishing and tourism.
According to the Guardian, the two parks cover 15 percent of the Seychelles ocean and the government plans to double this by 2021.
New marine protections in Seychelles will further safeguard dugongs, sea turtles, and other endangered species! Hel… https://t.co/9LoArt1zxY— The Nature Conservancy (@The Nature Conservancy)1519244164.0
"Our large ocean brings development opportunities but also responsibility," said Seychelles President Danny Faure. "Our ocean is central to our development and for the future of generations to come."
Faure called the deal a "paradigm shift on how we manage and use our coastal and ocean resources, how we work together as a government and as communities."
Nature Conservancy president Mark Tercek said the Seychelles can be a model for the rest of the world.
"What you see today in Seychelles is what we expect to introduce in the Caribbean and other ocean regions facing the threats of climate change," he said.
To Succeed, Large Ocean Sanctuaries Need to Benefit Both Sea Life and People https://t.co/dptfvEnwg5 @savingoceans @OceanLeadership— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1511563811.0
Actor and environmental activist Leonardo DiCaprio has joined Kingo—a Guatemala-based business that provides low-cost solar energy kits for off-grid communities—as an investor and member of its board of advisors.
"Solar power is key to a future without fossil fuels, and Kingo's technology will help enable broad use of clean energy across the developing world," DiCaprio said in a statement. "I am proud to invest in Kingo as they seek to eradicate energy poverty, and I look forward to serving as an advisor to the company."
Kingo offers a range of pay-as-you-go kits consisting of light bulbs, photovoltaic panels and a battery that can store electricity generated during the day.
Its prices are competitive compared with the cost of buying candles every day, and also eliminate the need for polluting alternatives such as kerosene and diesel. Users do not have to pay installation fees or maintenance costs.
Since its founding in 2013, Kingo has serviced more than 60,000 households around the world and has installed around 7,000 new systems each month, the company touts. Its mission is to help provide clean, affordable energy for the 1.2 billion people worldwide who do not have access to the power grid.
"Seventeen percent of the world's population still lacks access to power. Access to electricity represents one of the biggest restrictions for progress, as it is the base for all productive activity," Kingo founder and CEO Juan Fermín Rodriguez, who grew up in Guatemala, said in an interview last year.
"We aim not only to eradicate the lack of access to electricity, but also to play a spearheading role in the transition from the world's energy consumption in becoming 100 percent renewable."
To date, Kingo has raised $25 million in several equity and debt rounds led by prominent investors and institutions, including the largest utility in Europe (ENGIE Rassembleurs d'Energies), one of the largest utilities in Latin America (FCP), PeopleFund, the Dutch Development Bank, the French Development Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank. DiCaprio's investment amount was not disclosed.
"We are honored to have
Leonardo DiCaprio, someone who is seriously committed to addressing climate and environment-related causes, invest in Kingo and join our board of advisors," said Rodriguez in a statement.
"Leo will help advise Kingo as we work to achieve growth through expanded R&D capabilities and new market entry strategies. We remain committed to developing innovative solutions to the 1.2 billion people who currently live in the dark."
Seychelles Creates Groundbreaking Marine Reserve With Help From Leonardo DiCaprio https://t.co/EdXlLrzu1X… https://t.co/mUAkj11OSl— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1519324409.0
Last year, an international vaquita recovery committee rang alarm bells after reporting that there were just 30 left on the planet, with more recent estimates pegging the tiny porpoise's population at only 12.
Now, the plight of the world's most endangered marine mammal—and the intense conservation efforts to save it—is the subject of a new documentary from Red Bull's Terra Mater Factual Studios, Variety reported Tuesday.
The new film, slated for completion this year, has the working title Vaquita—Sea of Ghosts. The name likely refers to the vaquita being driven to the brink of extinction due to unauthorized gillnet or "ghost net" fishing in the Gulf of California, the critically endangered species' only known habitat. Gillnets, which are used to catch totoaba bass sought by Chinese markets, can entangle and kill marine animals, including the vaquita that get trapped in them.
Terra Mater previously collaborated with actor and environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio's production company Appian Way on 2016's The Ivory Game that was among the 15 finalists for the best feature documentary Oscar.
According to Variety, the film starts with a meeting between DiCaprio and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto. Last June, they signed a memorandum of understanding aimed at conserving marine ecosystems in the Gulf of California and saving the vaquita porpoise.
Vaquita—Sea of Ghosts also shows sometimes-heated conflict between Mexican drug cartels and Chinese crime gangs versus the Mexican government, the U.S. Navy, the FBI, Sea Shepherd and other wildlife activist groups, Variety reported.
The film is directed by award-winning Richard Ladkani, who was also behind The Ivory Game. It will premiere internationally in 2018.
First #Vaquita Rescued in Bid to Save the Porpoise From Extinction https://t.co/8gAYe00Pjm @Oceana @VaquitaCPR @WWF @NWF @seashepherd— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1509026587.0
Hawaii passed a reef-harming sunscreen ban this summer, but the state law does not go into effect until 2021. Palau's law, passed this week, will go into effect in 2020. After that time, retailers will be fined $1,000 for selling sunscreens that contain 10 chemicals researchers believe are harmful to coral and other marine life, including oxybenzone and octinoxate, which are used in the majority of U.S. sunscreens.
#BeatPollution action Palau to ban “reef-toxic” sunscreens in what it claims is a world-first initiative to stop c… https://t.co/ggvgFFWBS3— UN Environment Programme (@UN Environment Programme)1541142067.0
"This short but important bill has the potential to make a lasting impact on the environment here," President Tommy E. Remengesau, Jr., wrote in a letter introducing the bill.
The sunscreen ban is part of a larger push to reduce the impact of tourism on the archipelago's unique biodiversity. As of last year, all visitors are required to sign a "Palau Pledge" stamped into their passports saying they will protect the environment, The Guardian reported.
Sunscreen containing certain chemicals is a threat because studies have found these chemicals can make coral less resistant to the coral bleaching that accompanies climate change. They can also inhibit the growth of young corals.
"If our most famous tour sites have four boats each hour, [and tourists] need at least one ounce of sunscreen to cover up, that can equate to a gallon every three hours," government spokesman Olkeriil Kazuo told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, according to the Huffington Post. "Any given day, that would equate to three or five gallons of sunscreen into the ocean and Palau's famous dive spots, snorkeling, biodiversity and coral."
Kazuo told NPR that one of the biggest motivators for the law was a 2017 study finding toxins from sunscreens in the country's unique Jellyfish Lake, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The famous lake was closed for more than a year because the jellyfish were disappearing, the Huffington Post reported.
"It's the first country to ban these chemicals from tourism. I think it's great, they're being proactive," Haereticus Environmental Laboratory in Hawaii Executive Director Craig Downs told The Guardian. "They don't want to be like Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia, where they've had to shut down beaches. The coral reefs around those beaches have died."
For example, Thailand announced in October that it would have to close Maya Bay, made famous by the Leonardo DiCaprio film The Beach, indefinitely. Pollution from boats and sunscreen had killed 80 percent of its corals.
For divers who want to protect wildlife while staying sun-safe, you can lather up with sunscreens that use zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which do not harm coral reefs. Or you can wear protective gear.
On an industry level, Downs told BBC News that sunscreen makers are responding to bans like Hawaii's and now Palau's with a mix of resistance and enthusiasm.
"The big boys are fighting it. Johnson & Johnson and L'Oreal don't seem to be on board," Downs said. "But much of the rest of the industry have already come out with what they are calling 'Hawaii-compliant sunscreen,' and it is a big marketing boost for them."
It’s Time to Raise the Reefs https://t.co/510CHcGaJ1 @Oceanwire @Seasaver @OceanLeadership— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1517094909.0
- Palau Creates One of the World's Largest Marine Sanctuaries ... ›
- Hawaii Moves to Ban More Reef-Harming Sunscreens ›
Animal agriculture is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than the entire transportation sector, but eating a burger doesn't have to come with a side of guilt.
The company's staple Beyond Burger is made mostly from pea protein. Beet juice gives it a red meat-like color and allows it to "bleed" like a regular beef burger when cooked.
"Livestock production is a major contributor to carbon emissions," DiCaprio said in his investment announcement. "Shifting from animal meat to the plant-based meats developed by Beyond Meat is one of the most powerful measures someone can take to reduce their impact on our climate."
"The company's ability to create appealing, healthy meat directly from plants will go a long way in helping everyday consumers take action on climate change," he added.
"I am thrilled to officially welcome Leonardo DiCaprio to the Beyond Meat family," said Ethan Brown, the chief executive of Beyond Meat, in a statement. "His investment and role as an advocate reflects a shared vision that meat made directly from plants, like our Beyond Burger, has enormous benefits for human health, the climate, natural resources, and animal welfare."
"I look forward to continuing to collaborate as we bring delicious, satiating products to a rapidly increasing consumer base."
Beyond Meat has grown immensely since its founding in 2009. Its products can now be found in more than 11,000 stores nationwide, including Walmart, Target, Whole Foods, Kroger, Safeway, Publix and Sprouts as well as eight BurgerFi's locations and six TGI Fridays, Business Insider reported.
Other big-name investors of the Los Angeles-based startup include Bill Gates, Twitter co-founders Biz Stone and Evan Williams, the meat company Tyson Foods and the Humane Society. Dicaprio's exact investment amount was not disclosed.
DiCaprio, and his Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, has long put his philanthropic dollars towards environmental organizations and businesses that protect oceans, land and wildlife, as well as operations that work to fight against climate change. The foundation has offered more than $80 million for such causes since its founding in 1998.
Dicaprio's latest investment doesn't just make environmental sense, but a financial one too. The global market for alternative meats such as tofu, tempeh, textured vegetable protein, seitan, quorn and other plant based sources is forecasted to garner $5.2 billion by 2020.
Should the bill become law, California has to entirely transition away from fossil fuel electricity in less than three decades. Utilities would also have to get 50 percent of their energy from solar, wind or other specific renewable sources by 2026 and 60 percent by 2030. The legislation requires the state to slowly transition away from natural gas, which is California's top electricity source.
Senate Bill 100, introduced by Sen. Kevin de León, (D-Los Angeles), was approved in the Senate last year. Both chambers now must agree on amendments, but it is expected to be finalized by Friday before heading to Gov. Jerry Brown's desk for approval. The Democratic governor is poised to sign it into law, The New York Times reported.
Today #CA took another great stride toward a 100% clean energy future. #SB100 will spur technological innovation, j… https://t.co/UbJ96BzLvx— Kevin de Leόn (@Kevin de Leόn)1535507317.0
"I will always work for the people of California, and the future, [that's] why I authored this bill. And after a grueling year it has finally passed. And our state will remain a climate change leader in the world," de León, who is running for U.S. Senate, tweeted Tuesday.
The passage comes less than two weeks before the Rise for Climate, Jobs, and Justice mobilization in San Francisco on Sept. 8 and the Global Climate Action Summit from Sept. 12-14, where Gov. Brown will serve as co-chairman.
The first state to adopt such an aggressive clean energy standard was Hawaii in 2015, calling for 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2045.
The Golden State's move is considered groundbreaking because it could inspire other governments and spur Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Washington, DC, to consider similar pending legislation.
If signed, California will represent the largest global economy and one of the biggest states of any kind in the world to have a goal of moving to 100 percent clean energy, the Sierra Club noted.
"This is a pivotal moment for California, for the country, and the world, Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club, said in a statement. "While Donald Trump abandons reality by ignoring the climate crisis and the incredible growth of clean energy, California is stepping up to lead the transition to a 100 percent clean energy economy."
Opponents of the initiative include Pacific Gas and Electric Company, San Diego Gas & Electric Company, Western States Petroleum Association, Agricultural Council of California and more than two dozen others, The Sacramento Bee reported. Some lawmakers worry the bill could hurt fossil fuel workers and raise utility prices.
"We pass all these goals for renewables, but at the same time our families back home will pay the cost with an increase in the electric bills every year as we try to achieve this," Assemblyman Devon Mathis, R-Visalia, told the publication.
The bill was praised by most Democrats, green organizations and high-profile environmental activists, including Vice President Al Gore, actor and former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Leonardo DiCaprio, Chris Hemsworth and Mark Ruffalo.
"With wildfires intensifying and temperatures skyrocketing, the impacts of climate change across the Golden State are impossible to ignore," 350.org executive director May Boeve said in a statement. "Just this week, the state's own climate assessment revealed that climate change will be deadlier, more destructive, and costlier than previously thought. SB 100 is a critical first step toward addressing the worsening climate crisis, but to truly change course, we must end fossil fuel extraction."
California Set to Require Solar on Most New Homes https://t.co/FZwWM5Ujoj @SEIA @greenpeaceusa @EnvDefenseFund… https://t.co/onyTyCbZ3x— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1525700817.0
"Don't touch California. If you want to drill, do it off Mar-a-Lago," the former California governor and vocal Trump critic tweeted Monday, referring to the president's resort in Palm Beach, Florida. "Or better yet, look to the future, follow California's lead and go green and we can all breathe easier. The U.S.'s largest economy is nearly 50 percent renewable. #ProtectThePacific."
Earlier this month, the Trump administration proposed to increase new offshore oil and gas drilling off the Pacific and Atlantic coasts. The proposal drew criticism from liberals and conservatives alike, who warn that such operations at sea could expose coastal areas to the risks of blowouts, explosions, catastrophic spills and seismic blasting.
Schwarzenegger, a Republican, has emerged as a prominent environmentalist and renewable energy proponent. He has also thrown his weight behind an extension of California's cap-and-trade program signed by his successor, Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown.
"Our fishing, tourism, and recreation industries employ hundreds of thousands of great people," Schwarzenegger continued. "Our coasts are an economic gold mine. Do not put them at risk."
Our fishing, tourism, and recreation industries employ hundreds of thousands of great people. Our coasts are an eco… https://t.co/0jLJ0qFSSh— Arnold (@Arnold)1516664632.0
The Pacific Coast is too valuable to risk a devastating oil spill. With a $56 billion ocean economy, and hundreds o… https://t.co/174WkecDt2— Leonardo DiCaprio (@Leonardo DiCaprio)1516676688.0
Controversially, a week after the Trump administration's announcement was made, Interior Sec. Ryan Zinke said Florida is "obviously unique" and "off the table" from the list of states that could see increased offshore oil drilling after a plea from the state's Republican governor, Rick Scott.
The move immediately prompted politicians and environmentalists from coastal states around the country to call for their states to also be exempt. According to the New York Times, "at least 15 governors of coastal states, one-third of them Republican, have publicly opposed Mr. Trump's offshore drilling plan."
Schwarzenegger's tweet is akin to filmmaker and fellow Trump critic's Michael Moore threat to frack off the coast of the president's Florida vacation home after the drilling plan was announced.
"We'll be drilling right off the coast of Mar-a-Lago. God Bless You Donald Trump for making this possible! The oil we drill just off your beach will pay 4 our entire show! And any spills – we're going to let the ppl of Florida keep whatever they collect 4 free!"
Moore also responded to Florida's removal from the drilling proposal.
"WAIT! WHAT? Trump's removing Florida from the list of states to do offshore drilling after I've already rented my fracking equipment to drill off Mar-a-Lago? Three days after I announce, he does this? Bastard!"
Here’s our fracker! We’ll be drilling right off the coast of Mar-a-Lago. God Bless You Donald Trump for making this… https://t.co/R5Vfrku13l— Michael Moore (@Michael Moore)1515274372.0
Environmental activist and Oscar-winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio announced that his foundation has awarded $20 million to more than 100 organizations supporting environmental causes.
This is the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation's (LDF) largest-ever portfolio of environmental grants to date. The organization has now offered more than $80 million in total direct financial impact since its founding in 1998.
"We are proud to support the work of over 100 organizations at home and abroad," DiCaprio said. "These grantees are active on the ground, protecting our oceans, forests and endangered species for future generations—and tackling the urgent, existential challenges of climate change."
The new grants cover six areas: climate change, wildlife and landscape conservation, marine life and ocean conservation, innovative solutions, indigenous rights and the California program.
"There exist today many proven technologies in renewable energy, clean transportation and sustainable agriculture, that we can begin to build a brighter future for all of us," he said. "Our challenge is to find new ways to power our lives, employ millions of people and turn every individual into an advocate for clean air and drinkable water. We must demand that politicians accept climate science and make bold commitments before it is too late."
As reported by Mashable, during DiCaprio's remarks at the conference, he called out the Trump administration for its refusal to acknowledge climate science, especially as a string of climate-related natural disasters tear across the country.
"We have watched as storms, wildfires, and droughts have worsened, and as extinctions have become increasingly frequent. And some of us have also listened as the scientific community sounded alarm bells about climate change as far back as the early 1990s," he said.
"Yet with all of this evidence—the independent scientific warnings, and the mounting economic price tag–there is still an astounding level of willful ignorance and inaction from the people who should be doing the most to protect us, and every other living thing on this planet."
DiCaprio also lamented Trump's controversial decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement.
"We watched as this White House pulled us back from the Paris climate agreement, the landmark blueprint for containing global emissions and slowing the increase in global temperatures, and we listened as they said that the powerful forces of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma did not change the President's mind about climate change," he said.
"I still believe that the United States has the potential to lead the world on this issue. We can only hope that the president begins to see it too, before it is too late."
Watch DiCaprio's interview with the former Secretary of State below. DiCaprio appears at the 8-minute mark:
By Phineas Rueckert
The list of celebrities pitching in to help out the victims of Hurricane Harvey is growing.
And the most recent star to contribute to the relief effort is no stranger to helping out those in need.
Thursday morning, Leonardo DiCaprio pledged $1 million to the United Way Harvey Recovery Fund, Variety reported.
He joins a growing entourage of stars to donate to the victims of one of the worst storms to make landfall in the U.S. since Katrina, including Beyonce, Sean "Diddy" Combs, Ruby Rose, Rachael Ray, Ellen Degeneres, Fall Out Boy, Sandra Bullock, Kevin Hart, Dwayne Johnson, Kim Kardashian, Chris Brown, Nicki Minaj, DJ Khaled, T.I., Jack Antonoff, Chris Young, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Lopez, Alex Rodriguez and Selena Gomez.
In response to DiCaprio's donation, United Way Worldwide president and CEO Brian Gallagher had high praise.
"Responding to Hurricane Harvey requires the best of all of us—and that's what this gift represents," he said.
Established Wednesday, the United Way Harvey Recovery Fund "will distribute 100 percent of donations for recovery in the affected areas, community by community, in the months and years ahead," according to a press release.
United Way, which is supported by nearly 3 million volunteers worldwide, is uniquely positioned to respond to Harvey. The organization has a network of 1,800 community offshoots around the world, 23 of which are located in the path of Hurricane Harvey.
It also has experience with long-term disaster relief. United Way responded to Hurricane Katrina in 2006 and flooding in India's Tamil Nadu region in 2015.
The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation is also no stranger to disaster relief. According to Business Insider, the foundation donated to victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the 2010 Haiti earthquake and Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
"We support efforts to build climate resilient communities and protect vulnerable wildlife and ecosystems across the planet, and have supported disaster relief and victim funds in the past," Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation CEO Terry Tamminen said. "We hope others will step up and support the United Way and other organizations."
Both organizations have their work cut out for them.
In the past several days, Harvey has gone from a Category 4 hurricane at landfall to a tropical storm that is still currently making its way across the U.S. southeast. Along the way, it dumped trillions of gallons of water on the fourth most populous U.S. city, Houston, displacing 30,000 and killing at least 30.
The long-term impacts of Hurricane Harvey are still to be determined.
It's been estimated that only one in six of the 800,000 occupied housing units in Houston have flood insurance, which could create an imminent housing crisis for the city's most vulnerable residents.
"Most people who lose homes or have them damaged in Harvey won't have money to replace or repair them," the Atlantic wrote.
Furthermore, the National Flood Insurance Program expires in September and is in danger of itself collapsing.
In the wake of a storm of this size, public health risks also abound, the Washington Post has reported.
This includes the incidence of West Nile Virus increasing in the long-term as mosquitos breed and multiply in the stagnant water; post-traumatic stress disorder and depression; and mold exposure that can exacerbate allergic reactions.
DiCaprio's donation to United Way should remind us that although disasters last just a few days or weeks, the long-term impacts can be just as bad, and sometimes worse. You can donate to the United Way Harvey Recovery Fund here.
Reposted with permission from our media associate Global Citizen.