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Big Garden-Small Carbon

June 6th, 2010

To determine your “carbon footprint” means to measure the amount of greenhouse gases that you or your organization is adding to the atmosphere. The term was coined from carbon dioxide, the primary human contributor to climate change. CO2 is a greenhouse gas, which means it traps solar heat in our atmosphere ‘changing’ our climate’s typical patterns.

Everything has a carbon footprint, whether it’s the car you drive, the shoes on your feet or the food at your table. Food requires energy to be grown and is a globally transported commodity. That’s a lot of attention for a tomato.

Whenever you use energy created from fossil fuels, you’re generating carbon emissions. To offset your carbon emissions, or become carbon-neutral, simply means to neutralize your part in the polluting of our environment.

As a green consumer, may people wonder how they can be more sustainable or offset their impact on the planet. Since carbon dioxide emissions are the principal human cause of climate change, carbon offsets are the key to promoting a greener environment. A carbon offset represents the carbon dioxide emissions accounted for in a verified project that reduces CO2 in the atmosphere. Offsetting your lifestyle or business is a great way to market yourself as sustainable, separate yourself from competitors and do your part to combat climate change. Be creative, you can offset nearly anything!

Like EcoAid, Humble Seed’s goal is to show that environmental activism is smart, proactive and part of a good business model. That’s why their product promotes growing locally, skipping the need to transport and grow food away from your backyard. Not everyone has space for an entire farm, but an herb or chili pepper garden is a great start.

Brendan Cook
Brendan is the sustainability director for EcoAid and can help you or your organization start saving money and being sustainable.

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Food Supply Shortages Are a Real Possibility

April 29th, 2010

From climate change to natural disasters, and even human ignorance, there are occurrences that take place in the world that affect food supplies. Two occurrences, out of many, that have been in the spotlight recently are seed shortages and what is known as the topsoil crisis.

It’s hard to imagine not being able to enjoy vegetables such as cucumbers and snap peas, but according to a recent Associated Press article, ‘Wet Summer, More Demand Could Create Seed Shortage,’ that possibility is generating a desire in more people to grow their own foods for seed.

Due to poor seed crops, for American and European seed-growers alike, American seeds are in high demand. This could create a domino effect: seed shortages lead to higher seed demands, and higher seed demands could lead to food supply shortages, which could lead to yet more increases in food costs at the grocery store.

The “topsoil crisis” refers to the depletion of arable land in the world. Topsoil erodes, and due to human civilization and common agricultural practices, our planet is losing vital agricultural soils at an accelerated pace. While our food supply is not depleted, as of yet, the affect that soil degradation could have on our ability to grow food for the world’s population is a serious concern of scientists, because scientists know that the death of a civilization can happen relatively fast.

While it can be discouraging and somewhat scary to read about the future of our food supplies, whether that be via seed shortages or the topsoil crisis, it makes the idea of growing foods that much more appealing, with a philosophy, “from seed, for seed.” While our planet is losing vital agricultural soils, people can turn to their own yards to nourish the land that they have access to, for better foods and peace of mind.

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