the conversation

How We Can Turn Plastic Waste Into Green Energy

How We Can Turn Plastic Waste Into Green Energy

By Anh Phan In the adventure classic Back to the Future, Emmett “Doc” Brown uses energy generated from rubbish to power his DeLorean time machine. But while a time machine may still be some way off, the prospect of using rubbish for fuel isn’t too far from reality. Plastics, in particular, contain mainly carbon and […]

Join our newsletter

The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!

    3 Ways Making a Smartphone Can Harm the Environment

    3 Ways Making a Smartphone Can Harm the Environment

    By Patrick Byrne and Karen Hudson-Edwards Nearly five billion people worldwide will use a smartphone by 2020. Each device is made up of numerous precious metals and many of the key technological features wouldn’t be possible without them. Some, like gold, will be familiar. Others, such as terbium, are less well-known. Mining these metals is […]

    Is China Worsening the Developing World’s Environmental Crisis?

    Is China Worsening the Developing World’s Environmental Crisis?

    By Jonas Gamso The developing world is in the midst of an environmental crisis. Simply breathing the air is a leading cause of death. One recent study found that pollution is to blame for a fifth of sub-Saharan Africa’s infant deaths. Another showed that exposure to toxins or other dangerous substances in the air killed […]

    Tons of Plastic Trash Enter the Great Lakes Every Year – Where Does It Go?

    Tons of Plastic Trash Enter the Great Lakes Every Year – Where Does It Go?

    By Matthew J. Hoffman Awareness is rising worldwide about the scourge of ocean plastic pollution, from Earth Day 2018 events to the cover of National Geographic magazine. But few people realize that similar concentrations of plastic pollution are accumulating in lakes and rivers. One recent study found microplastic particles—fragments measuring less then five millimeters—in globally […]

    How to Protect Your Children From Wildfire Smoke

    How to Protect Your Children From Wildfire Smoke

    By Cecilia Sierra-Heredia We’re very careful about what our kids eat, but what about the air they breathe? During recent summers, children living on the West Coast of Canada have been breathing some of the most polluted air on record. This is due to seasonal wildfires, which have burned through vast zones of North America […]

    Hothouse Earth: Here’s What the Science Actually Does – and Doesn’t – Say

    Hothouse Earth: Here’s What the Science Actually Does – and Doesn’t – Say

    By Richard Betts A new scientific paper proposing a scenario of unstoppable climate change has gone viral, thanks to its evocative description of a “Hothouse Earth.” Much of the media coverage suggests that we face an imminent and unavoidable extreme climate catastrophe. But as a climate scientist who has carried out similar research myself, I […]

    What Is Causing Florida’s Algae Crisis? 5 Questions Answered

    What Is Causing Florida’s Algae Crisis? 5 Questions Answered

    By Karl Havens Editor’s note: Two large-scale algae outbreaks in Florida are killing fish and threatening public health. Along the southwest coast, one of the longest-lasting red tide outbreaks in the state’s history is affecting more than 100 miles of beaches. Meanwhile, discharges of polluted fresh water from Lake Okeechobee and polluted local runoff water […]

    Can Elon Musk Fix Flint’s Water?

    Can Elon Musk Fix Flint’s Water?

    By Fiona E. McNeill The Michigan community of Flint has become a byword for lead poisoning. Elon Musk recently entered the fray. He tweeted a promise to pay to fix the water in any house in Flint that had water contamination above acceptable levels set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. On Twitter and […]