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Fight Climate Change in Your Own Garden
By Deonna Anderson
During World War I, Americans were encouraged to do their part in the war effort by planting, fertilizing, harvesting and storing their own fruits and vegetables. The food would go to allies in Europe, where there was a food crisis. These so-called "victory gardens" declined when WWI ended but resurged during World War II. By 1944, nearly 20 million victory gardens produced about 8 million tons of food.
Today, the nonprofit Green America is trying to bring back victory gardens as a way to fight climate change.
That's according to Jillian Semaan, food campaigns director at Green America, who added that the organization wants "to allow people to understand shifting garden practices towards regenerative agriculture and what it means for reversing climate change and sequestering carbon out of the atmosphere and putting it back into the soil."
The organization is doing that through an educational video and a mapping project. Recently, more than 900 people added their gardens or farms to the Climate Victory Garden map that tracks U.S. agricultural activities that use regenerative practices.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has said—and continues to reiterate—that carbon sequestration accounts for a large portion of global agricultural mitigation potential. Globally, agriculture accounts for 11 percent of greenhouse gas emissions caused by humans, according to the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions. But a movement called regenerative agriculture is pushing for farming practices that improve, conserve, and build up soil (and soil carbon). Experts say that practices that increase soil carbon—known as carbon farming—could curb emissions.
Over the next two years, Green America plans to educate people on the benefits of regenerative agriculture through its Climate Victory Gardens campaign. It is producing videos that will explain regenerative practices, and staff members will attend conferences to encourage gardeners and farmers to join the movement. By 2020, it hopes to have at least 5,000 gardens and farms on its map.
In its recently released campaign video, Green America describes five ways to make "climate victory gardens" using regenerative practices—such as ditching chemicals, covering soil, and encouraging biodiversity.
In addition to helping reverse climate change, regenerative practices also produce healthier soil that in turn produces healthier food.
"Soil health is so powerful, and we as a society, we as a people, need to understand what we're putting in our bodies, and it all starts with the soil," Semaan said. "It all starts with what we are about to eat, but we can't have healthy food if we do not have healthy soil."
This article was funded in part by a grant from the Surdna Foundation.
Reposted with permission from our media associate YES! Magazine.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Sierra Searcy
This week, progressive Democrats and youth advocates are launching a nationwide tour to win support for the Green New Deal. Though popular, the ambitious plan to tackle climate change has struggled to earn the endorsement of centrist Democrats in Rust Belt states like Michigan, the second stop on the tour.
Earth Day is celebrated each year on April 22nd. The official theme of Earth Day 2019 is 'Protect Our Species.' In honor of Earth Day, EcoWatch has kicked off a second photo contest. Show us what 'Protect Our Species' means to you. Maybe there's a tree you've always loved, or perhaps it's a photo of the bird you adore that always visits your yard. We're excited to see what species means a lot to you. Capture a moment and send it our way!
It's heartening, in the midst of the human-caused sixth mass extinction, to find good wildlife recovery news. As plant and animal species disappear faster than they have for millions of years, Russia's Siberian, or Amur, tigers are making a comeback. After falling to a low of just a few dozen in the mid-20th century, the tigers now number around 500, with close to 100 cubs — thanks to conservation measures that include habitat restoration and an illegal hunting crackdown.
By Jordan Davidson
The climate crisis has us spiraling towards higher temperatures while also knocking out marine life and insect species at an alarming rate that continues to accelerate. But, just how long will it take Earth to recover? A new study offers a sobering answer: millions of years.
By Jeremy Lent
Facing oncoming climate disaster, some argue for "Deep Adaptation" — that we must prepare for inevitable collapse. However, this orientation is dangerously flawed. It threatens to become a self-fulfilling prophecy by diluting the efforts toward positive change. What we really need right now is Deep Transformation. There is still time to act: we must acknowledge this moral imperative.
By Julia Conley
The equipment was towed across millions of miles of ocean for six decades by marine scientists, meant to collect plankton — but its journeys have also given researchers a treasure trove of data on plastic pollution.
The continuous plankton reporter (CPR) was first deployed in 1931 to analyze the presence of plankton near the surface of the world's oceans. In recent decades, however, its travels have increasingly been disrupted by entanglements with plastic, according to a study published in Nature Communications on Tuesday.