The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Elon Musk's Brother Wants to Revolutionize Our Food System
Kimbal Musk is not as well known as his brother Elon, but his work may be no less ambitious. Kimbal and Elon sold their first tech company, Zip2, for $300 million. Elon used that money to launch his next project, PayPal. But Kimbal "left Silicon Valley for culinary school, and later started opening a series of highly regarded restaurants in Colorado," says FastCoExist.
While Elon is revolutionizing transportation and energy at Tesla, SpaceX and SolarCity, Kimbal is attempting to revolutionize the food system (though it should be noted that Kimbal maintains a role on the board at Tesla, SpaceX and other companies). He co-founded the nonprofit The Kitchen Community in 2011, which now has more than 240 Learning Gardens in schools and community organizations across the country. He was inspired to turn his restaurants into something more, so Kimbal uses profits from The Kitchen restaurants to build Learning Gardens and create curricula in Science, Engineering, Art and Math for teachers in cities throughout the U.S.
These Learning Gardens serve "as outdoor classrooms and experiential play-spaces that connect kids to real food and empower them to make healthier food choices," says The Kitchen Community website. "They are designed to be a place where students want to learn and teachers want to teach."
Traditional school gardens weren't engaging students enough, says Musk, so they're forging ahead with a new model and they've brought some of the largest school districts in the country on board, including Chicago, Los Angeles, Denver and Memphis. Each Learning Garden has a regional educator who helps facilitate garden programs and teacher training workshops.
Now, Musk has a new goal of building at least 100 of these gardens per city in 100 cities over the next 50 years. Chicago has already hit its goal of 100, so now they are working to have 200 gardens by 2019, according to FastCoExist.
"The challenge of school gardens is there's no scale," Musk tells FastCoexist. "So until we came along, you'd create a beautiful school garden, and it would do incredibly good things, but it's not like 'Okay, now let's do another 50 of these.' ... We now come in and apply the same amazing curriculum and environment that has had those good results, and we do 100 schools at a time."
But Musk, who is clearly as ambitious as his brother, is not just trying to change the culture in schools. Instead, he's aiming for the entire food system. His restaurant is working with local farmers to grow the supply chain. "We're working on building the local supply chain back up again, from virtually nonexistent, back to something that is scalable, functional and affordable," he says.
Check out the amazing work The Kitchen Community is doing in this video:
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
The Centers for Disease Control has emphasized that washing hands with soap and water is one of the most effective measures we can take in preventing the spread of COVID-19. However, millions of Americans in some of the most vulnerable communities face the prospect of having their water shut off during the lockdowns, according to The Guardian.
Aerial photos of the Sierra Nevada — the long mountain range stretching down the spine of California — showed rust-colored swathes following the state's record-breaking five-year drought that ended in 2016. The 100 million dead trees were one of the most visible examples of the ecological toll the drought had wrought.
Now, a few years later, we're starting to learn about how smaller, less noticeable species were affected.
Natthawat / Moment / Getty Images
Disinfectants and cleaners claiming to sanitize against the novel coronavirus have started to flood the market, raising concerns for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which threatened legal recourse against retailers selling unregistered products, according to The New York Times.
The global coronavirus pandemic has thrown our daily routine into disarray. Billions are housebound, social contact is off-limits and an invisible virus makes up look at the outside world with suspicion. No surprise, then, that sustainability and the climate movement aren't exactly a priority for many these days.
By Molly Matthews Multedo
Livestock farming contributes to global warming, so eating less meat can be better for the climate.