These acts of stewardship restore soil and ocean health by feeding carbon to plants, which in turn forms nutritious food, reverses global warming and revitalises local economies. But in order to make this possibility an accessible reality to all, and offer generations to come the flourishing future they deserve, we have to stop burning fossil fuels and end the degenerative farming practices which degrade our seas and soils.
WHAT IS REGENERATIVE AGRICULTURE?
Restoring soil with regenerative agriculture (by planting cover crops and perennials, mob grazing native animals, and eliminating monocultures, GMO, and tilling) offers heaping handfuls of hope to our planet and our society.
Properly practised, using the principles developed by Indigenous peoples around the world, terrains that are desertifying due to degenerative farming and gardening practices (which allow carbon to escape) can instead sequester up to 60 tons of carbon per acre as regenerative agriculture creates an environment carbon can do positive things in.
Soil scientist Rattan Lal estimates that if we enhanced the carbon content of the planet’s soil by 2 percent, we could offset 100 percent of current greenhouse gas emissions. Considering the apocalyptic reality to greet us if we don’t do everything we can to reverse global heating, it’s a movement worth working into policy and bolstering through grassroots movements like Kiss The Ground and Farmer’s Footprints which fight for soil health and food sovereignty simultaneously.
WHAT IS REGENERATIVE AQUACULTURE?
Soil isn’t the only element that can be regenerated, and regenerative ocean farming or regenerative aquaculture, offers an incredibly hopeful solution for our waterways, closing the loop to create potentially sustainable food systems through the creation of small-scale coastal underwater gardens.
These vertical aquaculture gardens require only a few non-privatized acres of the ocean and can grow heaps of seaweed and shellfish (oysters, mussels, clams) which improve water quality, create habitats for other marine life, and offers sustainable food and biofuel to life forms above and below the surf
Both seaweeds and shellfish require no input, thriving off the sunlight, nutrients, and plankton benevolently offered by the natural world. In addition, oysters filter nitrogen pollution caused by ‘conventional’ agricultural practices by incorporating it into their shells and tissue as they grow, as they filter through 50 gallons (227 liters) of water a day.
Seaweed sequesters carbon dioxide from its overpopulation in the atmosphere, creating food for heterotrophs (beings which cannot produce their own food and thus eat autotrophs who feed themselves through the sun) while it does. It grows at a rate 30 to 60 times faster than land-based plants, so much so that one study suggests that if we cover 9 percent of the world’s oceans in seaweed farms, we could draw down the equivalent of all our current emissions, and grow enough protein to feed a population of 10 billion. Supporting projects like Greenwave is a great way of creating a new generation of ocean farmers who are enhancing food security and reversing global warming in this way.
A FLOURISHING FUTURE
To ensure we make this hopeful promise of human and planetary health a reality, and offer generations to come the flourishing future they deserve, we have to stop burning fossil fuels and end the degenerative farming practices which degrade our seas and soils. Empowering instead unseen or ignored life forms beneath the surface of our feet and seas to aide us in unwinding ourselves from the grips of self-perpetuated acts of ecocide.
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