Day 16

Soil

SPONSORED BY Dr. Bronner’s

PGC Notes: As a reminder, you must follow all submission instructions in order to be considered for a daily prize. This means including your name, username, email address, and school in every submission. Please be sure to fully read the instructions for each challenge!  Thanks. 

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

Soil is vital to life on earth and its importance extends far beyond growing our food. Did you know that soil is home to a quarter of the world’s biodiversity, and that one tablespoon of healthy soil contains billions of living organisms and bacteria? Although soil is something that we usually 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 the 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!

It turns out that soil is the largest “carbon sink” on the planet in terms of area and storage. We talk a lot about how the atmosphere and oceans store 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 building up in our oceans and causing ocean acidification. 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!

Unfortunately, the health of our soil is threatened by the industrialized world. Monocropping, chemical use, 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. With over 40% of the earth’s land already cleared for agriculture, many of the world’s soils have already lost 50-70% of their original carbon stocks.

However, 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 organic agricultural practices need to be employed to restore degraded land. Regenerative organic agricultural practices include no-till, using diverse cover crops, rotational planting, and composting. There are many solutions for getting carbon back into the soil and leading this movement are today’s partners; Dr. Bronner’s, Rodale Institute, and Kiss the Ground, all working to advance research on soil health and promote these agricultural practices globally.

CHALLENGE

Green

20 POINTS

Think

When we consider climate change, soil is often left out of the conversation. Soil ties so many features of environmentalism together. As activists and environmentalists, it is important to understand the intersection of soil, carbon, and climate change as well as the solutions available right under our feet.

Challenge

Your first task is to get educated! Hunker down and check out the following resources.

  • First, The Soil Story video from our partner Kiss the Ground about the solution to climate change that is right under your feet.
  • Next, check out this video, Soil Solutions to Climate Problems,  from Center for Food Safety narrated by Michael Pollan.
  • Find one new resource about soil and share it with us
  • Share five new things that you learned

Deliverables

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

Submission Guidelines

  • If you do not see an upload button, you need to log in
  • Please submit all entries as PDFs – no word or pages docs.
  • Please save filenames using the following format: firstname_lastname_challengeday_challengelevel_year.pdf (ex: kasie_shils_day1_green_2018.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 points total by logging out and back in again.
  • If you are having trouble uploading, try using a different browser
  • 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 #PGC2018.

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 learn.

Challenge

  • Now it’s time to think about how you would share what you’ve learned so your listeners begin to understand the magic of soil.  
    • Create a teaching tool. Make it informative, super creative and compelling to stop people in their tracks as they learn how vital soil is to the future of our planet. Think beyond powerpoint and consider interactive, video, artwork or graphically charged lessons.
    • Make your teaching tool inspiring yet concise – something that could be consumed in no more than 5 minutes. Make sure to include key pieces of information from your research today. Don’t forget to cite your sources!

Deliverables

Upload a PDF Document with your responses. Please include your name (or team name), username, email, and school.

Submission Guidelines

  • If you do not see an upload button, you need to log in
  • Please submit all entries as PDFs – no word or pages docs.
  • Please save filenames using the following format: firstname_lastname_challengeday_challengelevel_year.pdf (ex: kasie_shils_day1_greener_2018.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 points total by logging out and back in again.
  • If you are having trouble uploading, try using a different browser
  • 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 #PGC2018.

Greenest

60 POINTS

Think

Now that you’re almost an expert on a complex and important topic – it’s time to share what you’ve learned. How could you make your teaching tool go viral?

Challenge

  • Put your awesome and informative presentation into action! Approach this as a campaign that will make a huge difference to our future and our planet. How far and wide can you spread the word in 24 hours?
    • Develop a communications plan to achieve that goal. Here are some ideas: present in a large lecture hall, to a big group of friends who you make a captive audience, on social to a huge sphere of virtual friends who you will start to influence as changemakers. Think big!
    • Write up a reflection of this experience. What were you able to accomplish as a teacher?
    • Include two pieces of feedback that you received confirming that your message reached the audience.
  • Share your teaching tool on the social media platform of your choice and tag @turninggreenorg, @drbronner, @kissthegroundca, and @rodaleinstitute with #PGC2018.

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.

  • If you do not see an upload button, you need to log in
  • Please submit all entries as PDFs – no word or pages docs.
  • Please save filenames using the following format: firstname_lastname_challengeday_challengelevel_year.pdf (ex: kasie_shils_day1_greenest_2018.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 points total by logging out and back in again.
  • If you are having trouble uploading, try using a different browser
  • 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 #PGC2018.

TODAY’S PRIZES

up to 10 winners from the greener challenge will receive:

Dr. Bronner’s Organic Heal Earth Castile Soap
Dr. Bronner’s Organic Rose Bar Soap
Dr. Bronner’s Organic Hand Sanitizing Spray
Dr. Bronner’s Toothpaste
Dr. Bronner’s Tote Bag

Gaia Guy Bamboo Toothbrush
Nutiva Organic Hempseeds
Corona Tools Transplanter
Organic Seeds, Soil, Pot
Josh Tickell Kiss the Ground

up to 10 winners from the greenest challenge will receive:

Dr. Bronner’s Organic Citrus Liquid Castile Soap
Dr. Bronner’s Organic Peppermint Sugar Soap
Dr. Bronner’s Organic Peppermint Bar Soap
Dr. Bronner’s Organic Shave Soap
Dr. Bronner’s Organic Coconut Oil

Dr. Bronner’s Tote Bag
Cobrahead Weeder
Evocative Mushroom Planter
Organic Seeds
Timber Press Garden Revolution by Weaner & Christopher