Day 17

Soil

SPONSORED BY GUAYAKI YERBA MATE

The Story of Stuff Project
Guayaki
EcoWatch

OVERVIEW

“One of the best-kept secrets in the world today is that the solution to global warming and the climate crisis (as well as poverty and deteriorating public health) lies right under our feet.”

Ronnie Cummins, International Director of Regeneration International and the OCA

Do you ever really think about how we could solve climate change? The answer may be right beneath your feet — soil. Soil is vital to life on earth. And its importance extends far beyond growing our food (though that is very important). Did you know that soil is home to a quarter of the world’s biodiversity, with one tablespoon of healthy soil containing billions of living organisms and bacteria. Although soil is something that we may take for granted, it has the potential to be the biggest hero in our fight against climate change.

How? Soil holds more carbon than the atmosphere and all vegetation combined. And as it turns out, carbon isn’t always the villain in this climate change story.” Without carbon,life wouldn’t exist. The problem is where carbon is stored. Yes, too much CO2 in our atmosphere is a bad thing, but if we reallocate it to where it is most needed and advantageous – like in soil – it can actually help create a more sustainable future!

Soil is the unsung hero of climate change. It is the solution that is literally right beneath our feet. That’s because soil is one of the biggest “carbon sinks” on the planet. We talk a lot about the atmosphere and oceans storing carbon, but soil holds more than any of these other “carbon sinks” combined!

Sequestering carbon in soil doesn’t just reverse the heating effect of excess CO2, it also expands soil’s water-holding capacity, which creates more drought-resistant lands for our farmers. It also keeps carbon from falling into our oceans causing ocean acidification and harming precious marine ecosystems. Plus, carbon sequestration feeds soil bacteria and other microbes that create a thriving environment for plants to grow. Moving carbon from the air to the soil is a win, win, win!

Unfortunately, the health of our soil is threatened by the industrialized world. Mono cropping, chemical fertilizers, pesticide and herbicide applications, deforestation, and urbanization all degrade soil’s ability to store carbon. Conventional agricultural practices rely on toxic inputs, which reduce soil nutrients over time and leave large plots of land useless. And with over 40% of the earth’s land already cleared for agriculture, many of the world’s soils have already lost 50% of their original carbon stocks.

But soil is starting to make its mark in mainstream climate change conversation. As written by Paul Hawken in “Drawdown Project”, no other mechanism known to humankind is as effective in addressing global warming as capturing carbon dioxide from the air through photosynthesis. Soil is powerful! To harness its power, regenerative agricultural practices need to be employed to restore degraded land. Regenerative agricultural practices include no tillage, diverse cover crops, rotational farming, and composting of course! There are many solutions for getting carbon back in the soil and leading organizations like The Rodale Institute are working to advance research on soil health and promote these agricultural practices globally.

By nourishing our soil, we not only create a thriving planet, we are able to reverse some of the harm that has already been done. It is a key example of taking the bad (carbon) and turning it into something great.

CHALLENGE

Green

20 POINTS

Think

When we consider climate change, soil is often left out of the conversation. But we are missing a big opportunity by doing so. Soil ties so many features of environmentalism together. As an activist and environmentalist, it is important to understand the intersection of soil, carbon, and climate change and the solutions available right under our feet.

Challenge

  • Get educated! Hunker down and watch these two videos about soil and soil health. First, check out this video from Kiss the Ground, a partner organization which is working tirelessly to restore soils worldwide by promoting and developing models that accelerate the adoption of regenerative agriculture. Then watch this Center for Food Safety video narrated by Michael Pollan.
    • Share five moments that really resonated with you from these films.
    • Choose one fact you didn’t know to post on social media, pair it with a photo that helps tell the story. There’s a good chance that if you were shocked by something about soil, your friends will be too. Caption the picture with additional information that may be of interest. Don’t forget to @TurningGreen #PGC2017

Deliverables

Upload a PDF Document with your responses from the two videos you watched. Include a screenshot of your social post. Please include your name (or team name), username, email, and school.

Submission Guidelines

  • Please submit all entries as PDFs – no word or pages docs.
  • Please save filenames using the following format: firstname_lastname_challengeday_challengelevel.pdf (ex: kasie_shils_day1_green.pdf)
  • Do not include # or spaces in filenames
  • Please be sure to include all content for your submission in one doc
  • Do not upload a file bigger than 5 MB
  • You will get a confirmation on screen that your submission uploaded correctly (green) or that it failed (red) and to try again.
  • If your total points do not change, your submission did not load correctly and you will have to try again. You can see your point total by opening the Edit Profile tab on the bottom nav bar. Your point total will be at the top of the page.
  • Send any questions you have to info@turninggreen.org
  • Don’t forget to post about the challenge and your learnings/doings on social media and tag us on Facebook @TurningGreen, on Twitter @TurningGreenOrg, and on Instagram @TurningGreenOrg and use #PGC2017.

Greener

40 POINTS

Think

As you know by now, soil is a complicated topic. So now it’s time to dig a little deeper to see what else you can find and start to share the information you are learning about. Below are a few recommendations for resources, but feel free to explore on your own to find the information that is most interesting to you.

Challenge

  • Hit the virtual books and do some research.
  • Now it’s time to think about how you would teach all of this information to someone who has never heard about the tremendous benefits of soil.
    • Your lesson should be no more that 5 minutes. Make sure to include key pieces of information you learned from your research today.
    • Don’t forget to cite your sources!

Deliverables

Upload a PDF Document with your responses, a link to the new article you read and your full lesson plan. Please include your name (or team name), username, email, and school.

Submission Guidelines

  • Please submit all entries as PDFs – no word or pages docs.
  • Please save filenames using the following format: firstname_lastname_challengeday_challengelevel.pdf (ex: kasie_shils_day1_greener.pdf)
  • Do not include # or spaces in filenames
  • Please be sure to include all content for your submission in one doc
  • Do not upload a file bigger than 5 MB
  • You will get a confirmation on screen that your submission uploaded correctly (green) or that it failed (red) and to try again.
  • If your total points do not change, your submission did not load correctly and you will have to try again. You can see your point total by opening the Edit Profile tab on the bottom nav bar. Your point total will be at the top of the page.
  • Send any questions you have to info@turninggreen.org
  • Don’t forget to post about the challenge and your learnings/doings on social media and tag us on Facebook @TurningGreen, on Twitter @TurningGreenOrg, and on Instagram @TurningGreenOrg and use #PGC2017.

Greenest

60 POINTS

Think

Now that you’ve put together a lesson plan on a complex and important topic – it’s time to put it to use! Get creative about how you want to convey this information to your peers. Think beyond PowerPoint and consider interactive, video, or graphically charged lessons. How can you make a tricky concept go viral? You’ve got 5 minutes to make an impact, how can you be most effective?

Challenge

  • Based on your lesson plan, put together a brilliant 5-minute presentation. Have fun and make sure your voice shines through, but don’t forget to stick to the facts.
    • Try to get permission from a teacher or professor to present to your class. If you can’t get permission, present to a group of at least 5 friends!
    • Allow time for feedback and questions at the end.
    • Share one of the questions and tell us how the students responded. (were they interested, enthusiastic?)
    • Share a photo that one of your peers took of you in front of the class presenting.
    • How did it feel to be a teacher?
    • Share a beautiful image that depicts something you learned and caption it with a fact that inspired you, that you want teach forward.
      • Instagram and tag @turninggreenorg and @kissthegroundca, @nutiva, @fibershed and hashtag #kisstheground and #PGC2017

Deliverables

Upload a PDF Document with your responses. Include a screenshot of your social media post. Please include your name (or team name), username, email address and school.

Submission Guidelines

  • Please submit all entries as PDFs – no word or pages docs.
  • Please save filenames using the following format: firstname_lastname_challengeday_challengelevel.pdf (ex: kasie_shils_day1_greener.pdf)
  • Do not include # or spaces in filenames
  • Please be sure to include all content for your submission in one doc
  • Do not upload a file bigger than 5 MB
  • You will get a confirmation on screen that your submission uploaded correctly (green) or that it failed (red) and to try again.
  • If your total points do not change, your submission did not load correctly and you will have to try again. You can see your point total by opening the Edit Profile tab on the bottom nav bar. Your point total will be at the top of the page.
  • Send any questions you have to info@turninggreen.org
  • Don’t forget to post about the challenge and your learnings/doings on social media and tag us on Facebook @TurningGreen, on Twitter @TurningGreenOrg, and on Instagram @TurningGreenOrg and use #PGC2017.

TODAY’S PRIZES

up to 10 winners from the greener challenge will receive:

Guayaki Yerba Mate Organic Cotton T-Shirt
Guayaki Yerba Mate Travel Mug
Guayaki Yerba Mate Sparkling Mate (2)
RW Garcia Harvest Crackers

Acure Sunscreen
Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds Organic Pea Seeds
Timber PressThe American Meadow Garden

up to 10 winners from the greenest challenge will receive:

Guayaki Yerba Mate Pre-Colombian Gourd & Bombilla
Guayaki Yerba Mate Organic Loose Leaf Mate
Guayaki Yerba Mate Organic Orange & Organic Revel Berry
Guayaki Yerba Mate Organic Energy Shots (2)

RSVP International Endurance Compost Pail
Ecovative Mushroom Soil Planter
Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds Organic Spinach Seeds
Chronicle Books Cookbook