How we farm can make a big difference to soil health, water quality …. and even the amount of carbon in the atmosphere. But implementing climate friendly agricultural practices – what’s known as “carbon farming” – is often hard. Ian Howell, who leads the carbon farming program at the Alameda County Resource Conservation District, explains why working one on one with farmers can help.
California coastlines used to be full of oyster reefs, until human activity and development caused populations to drop precipitously. Bringing them back could breathe new life into coastal ecosystems — and protect coastal communities’ against sea level rise. We spoke to Claire Arre about how Orange County Coastkeeper is using a “living shorelines” approach to reintroduce native oysters in Orange County and how other regions can use this strategy too.
As climate change exacerbates droughts, agricultural pollution may jeopardize our drinking water more often. Climate Break spoke to Jennifer Terry, external affairs manager for Iowa’s largest drinking water utility, about the collaborative strategies they’re using to help farmers reduce polluted runoff and protect Iowan’s drinking water.
Before California can reduce its vehicle miles traveled (VMT) — which measures total amount of driving occurring in the state — we need to start thinking differently about how we use space. Hear from Dr. Steve Cliff, Executive Officer of the California Air and Resource Board (CARB), on how he’s thinking about the role for land use and planning in decarbonizing transportation and reducing VMT.
Studies show that using cover crops in combination with other soil management practices can really increase the soil biomass and soil carbon. It’s good for the crop system, farm operation, carbon sequestration and management. Ian Howell, a resource conservationist with the Alameda County Resource Conservation District will explain why the techniques can reduce and remove the carbon emissions associated with agriculture.
Ever wanted a juicy hamburger, but without the actual beef? A potential alternative is plant-based meat. Plant-based meats are — as the name implies — made from plants. It’s the restructuring and manufacturing of plants to feel and taste like an animal product. As more research and innovation emerges, plant-based meats may become both more popular and bio-friendly.
The U.S. produces so much waste that this waste can be quantified using Olympic-sized swimming pools as negligible units of measurement.
Many “recyclable” materials are not recycled or even recyclable. While papers and metals are recycled at relatively high rates, recycling rates for plastic are below 10 percent. Most plastics display numerical codes, purporting to denote a standardized and elaborate recycling system. But the system is convoluted, sometimes confusing even recycling facilities and identifying recycling processes that are not used.
Bioenergy is a form of energy produced through the conversion of biomass. Biomass is living organic matter that contains chemical energy captured during photosynthesis. When burned, biomass releases energy in the form of heat, which can be used to heat buildings or generate electricity. Alternatively, biomass can be converted into fuel or gas to be burned for energy at a later time.
Agroecology is a science that melds western academics with traditional, indigenous farming knowledge. The goal is to form a cohesive understanding of sustainable agriculture using concepts such as biodiversity and nutrient recycling to create a farm system that functions much like an ecosystem.