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
Dear Friend of EPI,
Change is one constant in life, and in recognition of this, I am sharing news with you of change on the horizon. After thoughtful consideration, my EPI Co-founder, Julie Osborn, will be stepping down from her role as Advancement Director later this year. This has been a transition that she has thought about and that we have discussed - as a team, with the board, and with our staff - for many months, as it is paramount for the organization and the many youth we serve that we ensure an effective transition. We at EPI are deeply grateful for Julie's vision and leadership during the nearly two decades since we set out on this journey together.
Given Julie's leadership role with both the strategic direction of the organization and the acquisition of funds to support our mission, our transition plan involves two... Read More