EcoConsumer Tom Watson on KOMO4 News

In observance of Earth Day, KOMO4 News hosted King County EcoConsumer’s Tom Watson and four of his special guests to showcase youth innovators and leaders who are working on great projects and making a difference in our communities.

“Earth Day is all about the future” said Watson, “and our guests today are the future.”

Two of Tom’s guests were University of Washington students Maika Bui and Kaitlin Tighe, from the team that won the 2018 Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge Grand Prize with their BioPots – biodegradable planting pots that are an earth-friendly alternative to the plastic containers typically used for the seedlings and flowers we buy.

Watch the KOMO4 coverage of Tom and his fantastic guests below:


Maika Bui explained, “It is a biodegradable pot that is plantable, that is made of wood fiber and spent beer grain. Over 1.6 billion pounds of plastic end up in landfills every year because of plastic pots. With BioPots, we hope displace that.” Kaitlin Tighe then demonstrated how the pulp and spent grain – a waste product from the beer industry – combine to form a slurry that is poured into a mold, producing the BioPots.

“That is so, so functional, and helpful for the environment as well,” said KOMO4 Anchor Mary Nam. “Alright, very cool.”

Tom’s other two guests were Duwamish Valley Youth Corps’ Daniella Cortez and Director Carmen Martinez. Daniella shared with KOMO4’s Mary Nam how youth corps members are learning about environmental issues in our communities and spending usually one day a week taking action to make the Duwamish Valley community a better place, emphasizing the love the community has for Seattle’s only river, saying, “… it’s really important to the people here in South Park and Georgetown, because we do live right there and it is a big part of our community. We love our river, and it’s a beautiful thing to have. But, if we don’t take care of it, we’re not going to have it for much longer.” Director Martinez shared details about the youth corps’ tree planting program.

King County EcoConsumer is a DNRP Solid Waste Division program. Tom and the rest of the EcoConsumer team share the stories of many of their impactful efforts on their King County EcoConsumer Twitter feed, Pinterest board and YouTube channel. The KOMO4 coverage of Tom and his fantastic guests can be viewed here on their YouTube channel. Past KOMO4 features are available on EcoConsumer’s King County site.

KOMO4 EcoConsumer Capture

From left to right, KOMO4’s Mary Nam, King County EcoConsumer’s Tom Watson, University of Washington students Maika Bui and Kaitlin Tighe, and Duwamish Valley Youth Corp’s Daniella Cortez and Director Carmen Martinez.