December 30, 2015
In the New Year we are taking on an exploration of how we can make simple pledges for the earth, because the little things do add up.
Check out our campaign #RegenResolutions at www.regenerativeresolutions.com
We’re launching it today along with a video that we made in Paris during COP21 with Earth Guardians, feat. Xiuhtezcatl, Aaron Ableman and Finian Makepeace called “I Stand”.
But why did we choose the word Regenerative?
We’re not talking about regrowing limbs or robots that come back to life. We’re talking about the most fundamental way that the Universe works – Regeneration is the process of renewal, restoration, resilience and growth – even in the face of disruption. It’s how all of nature is designed! Regeneration explains how an entire forest can spring up from a single seed. One seed produces 100 seeds that produces 10,000 seeds – so the act of a forest growing creates abundance and adds positively to the environment. Nature naturally creates abundance and designs for regeneration, and we can, too. The best part is that people aren’t just the problem; we can be a necessary part of the solution, too – if we work in concert with natural systems. What if the “waste” or byproduct of all our systems added to the health of the environment instead of took away from it? What would the environment look like if the runoff from the factory was actually a natural fertilizer to feed the plants and wildlife nearby?
Unfortunately, a lot of what we do now in our daily life contributes to “the problem” – to degenerative systems that lead to the overuse of our natural resources and even climate change. The more we use our systems (agriculture, transportation, energy, etc) the more they harm and degrade the natural environment.
Regeneration goes beyond sustainability and asks us to think about every aspect of our lives: food, clothing, shelter, energy, transport and more. How was this made? By whom? From where? What impact does this have on the environment? How can I leave things better than I found them?
Since Kiss the Ground was founded we’ve been promoting the importance of soil health and transitioning our farmland to Regenerative Agriculture.
Regeneration is also the lens through which we can understand that nature is designed to feed and support us, over and over again – even for a growing population.
The way we grow our food can restore ecology and create abundant food sources, if we work with nature instead of against it.
“Regenerative organic agriculture”, as described by the Rodale Institute, is a set of widely available and inexpensive land management and agriculture practices. These practices create healthy soil––essential for all life––by a) not tilling the land, b) not using pesticides or synthetic fertilizers, c) composting, d) planting cover crops, e) promoting biodiversity, and f) using animals to regenerate the land through planned grazing.
Regenerative farming also increases “the fertility of the land, making it more productive and better able to absorb and hold water, a critical function especially in times of climate-related floods and droughts,” share Debbie Barker, International Director of Center for Food Safety and Michael Pollan, food journalist and Berkley professor, in their recent Washington Post op-ed.
These practices also store excess atmospheric carbon in the soil and have the potential to cool the planet, restore ecosystems and feed the world – a grand possibility that has been long known and increasingly validated through science.
Indeed, regenerative agriculture is gaining traction worldwide. At the recent COP21 global climate summit, the French spearheaded the signing of an international agreement called “4/1000 Initiative: Soils for Food Security and Climate”, an initiative that aims to show that food security and combating climate change are complementary. The voluntary action plan proposes that countries increase the organic carbon matter in their agriculture soils by 0.4% per year, a step that if fully implemented would help keep planetary warming below +2°C (+3.6°F).
In short, governments, farmers and individuals can be the climate heroes of our future. We have a choice, in everything we do, to work with nature to repair the damage we’ve done and create abundance for us all. We can create the world we want.
“If governments won’t solve the climate, hunger, health, and democracy crises, then the people will… Regenerative agriculture provides answers to the soil crisis, the food crisis, the health crisis, the climate crisis and the crisis of democracy.” – Dr. Vandana Shiva, author, environmentalist, activist and a member of the Regeneration International steering committee.
Make your #RegenResolutions and add to our list of ways to participate in Regeneration worldwide.
We’ve started a list of things that you can do if you don’t live on a farm. We’re hoping that you can help us add to the list by coming up with your own #RegenResolutions. May we see more care for the earth and each other in 2016!