Lou Licht

Lou Licht is an environmentalist and entrepreneur. He’s the founder and president of Iowa City-based Ecolotree Inc., the world’s first for-profit phytoremediation company. What the heck is phytoremediation? It’s the process of cleaning up polluted land using plants. Licht’s company uses quick-growing, commercially-valuable poplar trees to remove pollutants or render them harmless.

In a 2008 post on Green, the New York Times’ environmental blog, Azadeh Ensha discusses how phytoremediation can be used to secure waste in landfills.

If you’re interested in the cleaning up the environment using plants you should check out the Facebook page of the International Phytotechnology Society. There, you can interact with like-minded environmental geeks.

Why the links?

I linked to http://www.ecolotree.com/ because it is the homepage of Ecolotree. It contains a wealth of information about the company and phyoremediation along with some biographical material on Lou Licht. It has quite a few informational tabs, including an “About Us”. I couldn’t find when it was last updated, but it looked current.

But since Ecolotree is a for-profit company, I wouldn’t use just that site to explain the environmental benefits of phytoremediation, because of the potential that it presents a biased view. To make sure I fully contextualized the process, I also linked to an article from the US Agricultural Research service, part of the US Department of Agriculture. I trusted the site because of its “.gov” domain.

I referred readers to the New York Times blog, because many people consider the paper America’s most trusted news source (although some would wholeheartedly disagree) and it’s my personal favorite. Out of the millions of random blogs on the Internet, I figured this one, affiliated with a legitimate news organization had to have some credibility.

And the Facebook page of the International Phytotechnology Society is a perfect interactive source. It has a lot of general information and discussion on its wall, some of it recent. It also had 57 members, which lends it a some credibility.


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