Ecology Project International (EPI) is one of 25 organizations worldwide that will be sharing funding of more than $367,500 of funding from Project for Awesome. Project for Awesome, or P4A, was launched by the Foundation to Decrease World Suck, a Montana-based philanthropic organization. Both were created by authors & brothers Hank and John Green, perhaps best known for their YouTube channel, “Vlogbrothers,” where the two have communicated through video blogs for more than a decade.
Project for Awesome was launched in 2007 as a way for online creators and influencers to use their powers for good. Each December, the Green brothers and other online creators rally their community, known as Nerdfighters, to discuss, chat up, and donate to the fundraiser in order to “increase awesome,” and “decrease world suck.” Creators offer perks for donations from their followers—everything from a lifetime pass to Vidcon (now... Read More
A single plastic straw can take more than 200 years to decompose. In the meantime, those straws often become pollution or even worse, sea turtle or whale “food.” Research estimates that there are 8.3 billion plastic straws befouling beaches worldwide. Plastic has become a dirty word, especially single-use plastics. Ecology Project International’s (EPI) Mexico's Californios Verdes Eco Club took an active role in helping ban the most common single-use plastics in Baja California Sur, including plastic straws.
So what did the Californios Verdes do, exactly? How can other youth activists use the Eco Club’s work as a template for banning single-use plastics in their own communities?
First, the Californios Verdes grew their alliances. A team of 35 businesses, nonprofit organizations, and municipal government arms, from bagel shops to the Los Cabos Association of Hotels and Tourism, named themselves the “Desplastifícate Alianza,”... Read More
It is with a profound sense of gratitude that the Board of Directors and staff at Ecology Project International (EPI) announce the upcoming departure of Executive Director and EPI Co-founder, Scott Pankratz.
Scott and his wife, Julie Osborn, co-founded EPI in 2001. Their initial work connected local Costa Rican teens with the biodiversity and ecological importance of their homeland through hands-on research with leatherback sea turtles. Empowered to make a difference, these conservation-minded teens began to protect their own communities and wildlife resources, and the tide began to turn. In the 19 years that have followed, EPI has transformed the lives of nearly 40,000 students and teachers, and more than 60,000 additional community members in five countries.
Pankratz leaves EPI with a solid foundation: an experienced board of directors, dedicated and skilled department managers, a talented staff, and financial stability. On departing the organization he helped create, Pankratz said,
“A successful... Read More