Eco Company is covering a lot of ground...from the Breaking Ground Conference in San Francisco, to Students for Solar Schools in Thousand Oaks, to an insect museum at the University of California Davis, to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. First Brendan and Jordan find out what's going on at the Breaking Ground Conference and discover teens planting 10,000 seedlings a year, using creativity to create art from trash and sprucing up their neighborhoods...literally!
Today were talking teens! Teens doing great things to support the sustainability of the planet. First up Adam goes to Santa Monica. Santa Monica High School is just a few blocks from world famous Santa Monica Beach, a great reason for the students here to take a special interest in keeping it clean and free of trash. The school's multi-awarding Team Marine does that...and a lot more! Yes, they clean the beach, but they also regularly test water quality, lobby against single use plastic bags...and recently built a solar boat! Adam caches up with them on the beach to see what they're up to.
Eco Company travels to Southern California to visit the Algalita Marine Research Foundation. Algalita has been conducting research about plastic in the Earth's oceans for 15 years. Sailing on the foundation's 50 foot catamaran, the Algalita, researchers have traveled around the globe to trawl for plastic in the 5 major gyres where plastic debris gathers. Adam visits the lab to see all of the plastic "confetti" which is meticulously catalogued and analyzed. What he learns will startle even those who are acutely aware of the oceans' growing issues with plastic waste.
In this episode we find amazing teens doing great things for the planet. But first Brendan visits a Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory where they are researching the efficiency of cooking stoves...those using wood and coal utilized by over 3 billion people world-wide to prepare 3 meals a day. It will give you a great appreciation of why this is so important.
There's a heavy dose of science in the first half of this episode, and some weird science at that! There's some very interesting research is taking place at the Department of Energy's Joint Genome Institute. We're talking DNA from thousands of years ago extracted from permafrost!! In the first story, Brendan pays them a visit to get the scoop on the latest studies with implications on climate change, and there he discovers two teens in lab coats helping out!
From returning sea lions to a marine sanctuary to the man who organized the first Earth Day and the event that inspire it, to teen guides at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and a man making eco-friendly surfboards, this episode is all about our oceans and beaches. First up Jordan leaves land behind as she climbs on board the Kitty Kat, a boat on a mission to the Farallon Islands and the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary off the coast of California. The trip has the special purpose of returning seven sea lions to the ocean in a protected place where they will find a lot of friends.
Teens all over the world are doing amazing things to help the planet. This episode profiles six of them making their make around the world. We start in South India. There two Pleasanton, California, teens have started a program to replace harmful tobacco farming with cultivation of the sustainable Jatropha plant to help the poverty stricken area and reduce deforestation at the same time. The Jatropha plant fruit produces oil that can be used to make biofuel.
We all love to enjoy a sunny day at the beach. But we're probably unaware of the critters that live and thrive beneath the sand, critters that are an important part of the food chain and the balance of nature. Well, Eco Company's Brendan found some teens who are looking for sand crabs and documenting the ebb and flow of its population. It's a real story of budding scientists.
They call themselves the Creek Geeks, They're students from Mira Loma High School in Sacramento, CA, and they are the force behind the Arcade Creek Project. They do it all...habitat restoration, vertebrate (bird) cataloging, creek mapping, and biological assessment. It's all in a day's work for this crew.
This episode features what has been called "Nature's Cathedral," the majestic redwood trees. First up we meet some guys that don't mind getting a little dirty. And they're up bright and early on a Saturday morning to go to work! They're giving up part of their weekend to help restore an overgrown grove of redwood trees. Brendan and Jordan grab some gloves to lend a hand and to find out why they are passionate about preserving these majestic Giants.
In this episode of Eco Company we see what happens to our waste and to the stuff we recycle. It's an eye-popping experience! We start...where else...at a landfill. There is obviously a lot of trash that doesn't have a second use...or does it? Brendan finds out that trash goes 200 feet deep. All that trash produces methane gas and this place is putting it to good use.
As Eco Company travels around, we find organizations and teen groups who are dedicated to making a difference. This episode profiles groups who are doing everything from cataloguing trash on the beach and ocean, to restoring a native habitat, to growing organic vegetables, to lobbying politicians! First up Jessica meets up with a group of girls participating in the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Young Women In Science program. They get their sea legs and head out on the Monterey Bay, home to more than 30 species of marine mammals. But there is danger in these waters in the form of trash.
Schools and clubs provide great opportunities to get involved in doing good things for the planet. Eco Company found four outstanding organizations making their mark! First up we go to the beach! Because beaches and lakes are popular recreation areas, they often become a wasteland of plastic and garbage that people leave behind. But we found a Girl Scout troop that has adopted a Northern California beach and is determined to keep it free of trash and waste. Jessica caught up with them on beach clean-up and some of what they find is very surprising.
It may look clean, but cotton is actually one of the dirtiest crops around. Cotton has a big footprint in the world. Cotton growers use 11 percent of the world's pesticides and it takes more than 700 gallons of water to grow enough cotton to make just one T-shirt. But some farmers are doing things differently and Jordan heads out to the fields to find out how.
Many marine mammals are harmed or critically injured by our trash in the oceans. But Jalena found one place that's on a mission to save these creatures. The Marine Mammal Center in Northern California rescues seals, sea lions, porpoises and other injured or sick mammals and thanks to the dedication of hundreds of volunteers, they are healed, cured, rehabbed and returned to their native habitat. And some of the volunteers are concerned teens.
Meet Gerty, a Volkswagen Beetle. But she's not an ordinary Beetle. That's because the Bheda Family greened her up!! It was total family project. They tore out the old gas engine and put in a new electric motor. No easy task! And as Jalena found out, the project had it's share of problems...and a lot of satisfaction when the wheels successfully hit the road.
Why is there so much talk about saving our rain forests? Eco Company visits an indoor rain forest at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park to find out why rain forests are so important to the delicate balance of our world-wide eco system. The creatures and the facts are both pretty stunning.
This week Eco Company is all about alternative energies and alternative fuels. First up Adam goes looking for cleanest, most environmentally-friendly car of the future. In Sacramento, CA, he finds the California Fuel Cell Partnership, a group of car manufacturers who have come together to create just that. After 10 years of developing Fuel Cell cars that run on hydrogen, the cars are a reality. Adam gets to take one for a test drive. Take a look and see what you might be driving in 8-10 years.
It's all about food and we start in the school cafeteria. The menus at most school cafeterias are filled with pizzas, corn dogs, grilled cheese and such...all simply pulled from the freezer and heated up. But we found one cafeteria that's different thanks to Chef Ann Cooper. She is on a mission to change the menu and provide fresh, organic and healthy foods for students. Jordan caught up with her to get the whole story.
Eco Company tracks down teen climate crusaders, all with different approaches to their dedication. Jessica catches up with an inspirational teen from Ventura, CA, who has been an eco crusader since he was 12. From starting his own environmental non-profit organization to becoming the youngest presenter trained by Al Gore’s Climate Project, this high school sophomore isn’t taking climate change sitting down!