Day 4

Organic

SPONSORED BY PATAGONIA PROVISIONS

The Story of Stuff Project
Guayaki
EcoWatch

OVERVIEW

“Organic is something we can all partake of and benefit from. When we demand organic, we are demanding poison-free food. We are demanding clean air. We are demanding pure, fresh water. We are demanding soil that is free to do its job and seeds that are free of toxins. We are demanding that our children be protected from harm. We all need to bite the bullet and do what needs to be done—buy organic whenever we can, insist on organic, fight for organic and work to make it the norm. We must make organic the conventional choice and not the exception available only to the rich and educated.” ― Maria Rodale, Organic Manifesto: How Organic Farming Can Heal Our Planet, Feed the World, and Keep Us Safe

You’ve certainly heard the term organic, but what goods can be organic, how do you define certified organic, and why should you care? Whether food, body care, fiber or otherwise, certified organic means an item was grown and produced without toxic, synthetic pesticides or fertilizers and genetic modification. Such products promote ecological health and biodiversity by meeting specific production requirements outlined by national standards and independent certifiers. Buying certified organic means you are directly supporting the health and wellbeing of both people and planet. 

Not all food is created equally. Take this example: a recent study tested organic and non-organic milk to see what chemicals they contained. The results were shocking! Non-organic milk contained growth hormone, pesticide, and antibiotic residues, including two that are illegal in the United States. Organic milk contained no such contaminants. 

These chemicals have a real, lasting, negative impact on human bodies. There is a significant difference in pesticide levels found in people eating organic vs. conventional diets. This video explores the positive effect that just two weeks of eating organic can have on health.

Not only is organic beneficial for our health, organic agriculture is also key to mitigating climate change. Conventional agriculture produces greenhouse gases that contribute to a multitude of negative effects, including loss of biodiversity, deforestation, and sea level rise. Organically farmed soil can store more carbon and as a result reduce greenhouse gases. For more information on this effect, check out this video about regenerative processes and sequestration.

When it comes to purchasing organic products, one thing to look out for is greenwashing. Common marketing tactics include the use of beautiful imagery like rolling green pastures and bright blue skies, or words like “natural” or “fresh” to create the illusion that the products represented are eco-friendly, even when they’re not. Greenwashing is the practice of using marketing and advertising to deceptively promote the perception that an organization’s products, aims or policies are environmentally friendly, when in fact they are not. Looking for labels like USDA Organic ensures that products are truly organic, like today’s partner, Patagonia Provisions.

For more information about why to shop and grow organic, check out The Organic Center’s fact sheet, “Top 12 Reasons to Go Organic”.

CHALLENGE

Green

20 POINTS

 

THINK

If you aren’t familiar with the true benefits and cost of organic food and products, you may not be making an entirely informed decision about your purchases. This challenge will provide the evidence behind organic, prompting each of us to be a more conscious consumer. 

CHALLENGE

To get started, read this article here about the benefits and basics of organic food and take a look at The Organic Center’s infographic on how to make organic more affordable. Answer the following questions:

  • Why does organic matter? In the process of understanding that question, find and share three benefits of organic that impact you, all species, and the planet. 
  • Share two ways that a student might shop for organic items affordably. 
    • Is this something you could implement in your life? Why or why not?

DELIVERABLES

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

Submission Guidelines

  • If you do not see the upload button you will need to log in
  • Submit all entries as PDFs; no Word or Pages documents
  • Be sure to include all content for your submission in one document
  • Save filenames using the following format: firstname_lastname_challengeday_challengelevel_year.pdf (ex: kasie_shils_day1_green_2019.pdf)
  • Do not include # or spaces in filenames
  • Do not upload a file larger than 5 MB
  • You will see a confirmation in green that your submission uploaded correctly; if you do not see this confirmation, please try again
  • If your total points does not change, your submission did not load correctly, please try again. You can see your points total by logging out and back in again.
  • Send any questions 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 #PGC2019

Greener

40 POINTS

THINK

In today’s TED Talk, Ali Partovi, a founder of tech non-profit Code.org, previous board member of FoodCorps and vocal investor in sustainable farming, speaks about how important it is to support organic farmers and the future of organic agriculture. Luckily, one important way of supporting organic agriculture is with your dollars – and the more people who buy organic, the more powerful the impact on people and planet! 

CHALLENGE

Watch today’s TED Talk to inform yourself about the multitude of ways organic farming is beneficial. 

  • Based on the information you learned so far from today’s challenges, create a great visual (a drawing, painting, word web, poem, etc.) about the benefits of organic.

Now, it’s time to learn more about organic agriculture in your local community. Research about nearby farms and farmers markets that support organic agriculture. Find three examples of organic agriculture nearest you to highlight, and gather the following information about each:

  • What is the farm called? 

  • How far is the farm from your school?

  • What products do they offer? Do they offer products besides organic produce, meat, or dairy?

  • Where can you buy their products? 

  • Would you consider buying their products to support local, organic agriculture?

DELIVERABLES

Upload a pdf of your responses. Include your name (or team name), username, email address and school.

Submission Guidelines

  • If you do not see the upload button you will need to log in
  • Submit all entries as PDFs; no Word or Pages documents
  • Be sure to include all content for your submission in one document
  • Save filenames using the following format: firstname_lastname_challengeday_challengelevel_year.pdf (ex: kasie_shils_day1_greener_2019.pdf)
  • Do not include # or spaces in filenames
  • Do not upload a file larger than 5 MB
  • You will see a confirmation in green that your submission uploaded correctly; if you do not see this confirmation, please try again
  • If your total points does not change, your submission did not load correctly, please try again
  • Send any questions 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 #PGC2019

Greenest

60 POINTS

THINK

It’s important to be aware of greenwashing when shopping for organic products. Common marketing tactics include the use of beautiful imagery like rolling green pastures and bright blue skies, or words like “natural” or “fresh” to create the illusion that the products represented are eco-friendly, when this may be far from the truth.

CHALLENGE

It’s your turn to be a detective. Stop by any grocery or convenience store near your campus and walk the aisles. If you aren’t able to physically go to the store, check out an online store like Walmart, Kroger, or Harris Teeter

  • Take photos of 3 products (1 household item, 1 food item, and 1 body product) that are seemingly “natural” based on their packaging, but that you believe could be using greenwashing tactics.
  • Look at the ingredient list on each of these products and identify any ingredients that you aren’t familiar with. Research a few of these ingredients (up to 2 ingredients per product) to see if there are any known adverse effects on human or environmental health. Tell us your findings.
  • Based on your research, do you think the products are greenwashed? If yes, why? If no, why not?
  • Select one product you believe to be greenwashed and find a greenwash-free, organic alternative. Create a side-by-side comparison and present some facts in a creative and informative way. 
  • Post this comparison to a social media platform of your choice. Caption it with the reason to switch and how you plan to approach grocery shopping in the future. Don’t forget to tag @TurningGreenOrg and use #PGC2019. 

DELIVERABLES

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

Submission Guidelines

  • If you do not see the upload button you will need to log in
  • Submit all entries as PDFs; no Word or Pages documents
  • Be sure to include all content for your submission in one document
  • Save filenames using the following format: firstname_lastname_challengeday_challengelevel_year.pdf (ex: kasie_shils_day1_greenest_2019.pdf)
  • Do not include # or spaces in filenames
  • Do not upload a file larger than 5 MG
  • You will see a confirmation in green that your submission uploaded correctly; if you do not see this confirmation, please try again
  • If your total points does not change, your submission did not load correctly, please try again
  • Send any questions 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 #PGC2019

TODAY’S PRIZES

Up to 10 Greener and 10 Greenest of the most outstanding submissions will be chosen as winners and awarded prize points to redeem in the PGC Prize Store. Greener wins = 75 prize points, Greenest wins = 100 prize points. Check the Winners page to see if you’re selected!

 

5 submissions will be randomly selected to receive:

Patagonia Provisions Red Bean Chili
Patagonia Provisions Black Bean Soup
Patagonia Provisions Tsampa Veggie Soup
Patagonia Provisions Mushroom & Kamut Savory Grains
Patagonia Provisions Kale & Kamut Savory Grains
Patagonia Provisions Apple Breakfast Grains 
Patagonia Provisions Mango & Almond Bar
Patagonia Provisions Curry Seeds
Patagonia Provisions Chipotle Seeds

Each time you submit a challenge, you get an entry. Complete Green, Greener, and Greenest to triple your chances!

Extended deadlines and extra credits do not apply.