Pollution

An adult humpback whale and a juvenile swim underwater as rays of sunlight streak through the ocean.

(Swanson Chan/Unsplash License)

University of Connecticut
Human-generated sound pollution is harming the way aquatic animals communicate. Here's how several scientists are communicating this issue to the public.
Dirty blue surgical mask on the ground covered in a few fallen leaves.

A discarded mask was one of the many types of litter resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. (Andy Mabbett/Creative Commons 4.0)

Northwestern University
From neighborhood cleanup to city-wide effort, Cleanup Club Chicago organizes volunteers in an effort to address plastic litter pollution.
Fashion designer, Ngwane Liz poses while wearing one of her garments.

Fashion designer, Ngwane Liz poses at Down Beach Limbe wearing an up-cycled dress from her "NWF" collection. (No Waste Factory)

Mandela Washington Fellow
The cost of staying fashionable goes beyond the price tag to the environment. Sustainable Fashion designer Ngwane Liz is reversing the fast fashion trend by patching pieces of tossed clothes into new garments.
A woman in a pink wrap and head covering looks at a brightly colored, round fabric-covered thermal cooker, with a lidded pot nestled inside. A woman on the right, with long black hair, reaches toward the pot.

Aisata Ibamie, right, a young renewable energy engineer and innovative clean energy activist from Cameroon, demonstrates how her ASAAB Thermal Cooker is used. (Photo courtesy Aisata Ibamie)

Mandela Washington Fellow
Most people in sub-Saharan Africa still use a wood fire to cook food. Aisata Ibamie, a young renewable energy engineer from Cameroon, has a low-tech solution to reduce indoor air pollution and save trees.
A man wearing a blue button-down shirt, with a white mask in his shirt pocket, tan pants, and a bright blue hardhat, stands in front of a large stack of primarily gray plastic bricks.

Nelson Boateng, founder and Chief Executive Officer of NelPlast Eco Ghana Limited, stands in front of some of his award-winning bricks made from recycled plastic. (Photo courtesy Nelson Boateng)

Mandela Washington Fellow
A former tech worker turned eco-entrepreneur in Ghana works to intercept plastics on the way to the landfill by repurposing the plastic into an award-winning building product.
Four shots of a model in a black and white colored tunic
George Washington University
Through fashion, Brazilian designer Daniel Davilla detects the intrinsic beauty of “junk” and molds it into a garment that appeals to all audiences.
Garden bed with green sprouts covered by a dome of plastic sheeting.

A hoop house composed with plastic sheeting and tubes provides cover for a raised garden in Washington, DC. (Lance Cheung/USDA (Public Domain Mark 1.0))

University of Maryland
University of Maryland international Ph.D. student Krisztina Christmon launched her award-winning idea of repurposing farm plastic as part of a university innovation challenge in 2020. One year later, she serves as CEO of Repurpose Farm Plastic LLC.
The George Washington University
As the awareness of the perniciousness of plastic grows, companies and universities are implementing initiatives to go plastic free. GW was the first university in Washington, D.C., to do so.

Pictured (left to right): Berkana McDowell, Eva Stanton, Alexis Hernandez, Maya Cheav, Ben Jensen, Ruby Baldwin-Smith, Veronica Warner, Max Burrous, Kate Hartshorn, Holland Hatch, Christian Grevin, Hannah Waldorf, Amy Asmussen, Kelly Ly, Hilary Lee, Dr. Richelle Tanner, Koa Tanner. (Photo by Chapman University)

Chapman University
When 25,000 gallons of oil spilled along Huntington Beach, Calif., in early October 2021, damaging valuable, intertidal ecosystems and threatening public health, environmental advocacy students saw an opportunity to make a difference.

(Photo by Hannah Richter/ University of Chicago)

University of Chicago
Composting is a growing practice that diverts food waste from greenhouse gas-producing landfills; Chicago colleges provide a case study into how this practice can be implemented more broadly today.

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