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Climate Justice and Environmentalism

Cradle to Cradle: RTH April bookclub selection

Book Club, Climate Justice and Environmentalism, Random Fun Stuff By April 28, 2016 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , No Comments

cradle to cradle

Do you guys ever read a book with ideas in it and think, “Why the hell aren’t we already doing this if it’s so simple?”

That was my over all impression of Cradle to Cradle. And The Upcycle, which is the sequel that I went ahead and read as well because Cradle to Cradle was short. You didn’t have to read the sequel if you didn’t want, but if you liked Cradle to Cradle you would probably like The Upcycle so check it out.

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Nitrogen is nitrogen is nitrogen … right?

Climate Justice and Environmentalism, Gardening By April 25, 2016 No Comments

Often in conversations about the benefits or problems with Organic agriculture, you hear a common refrain. Nitrogen is nitrogen is nitrogen, organic opponents proclaim, the plant doesn’t know if the nitrogen is synthetic or organic in origin, and it uses it just the same. This is said to make the case that it doesn’t really matter what kind of fertilizer you use, it’s all the same to the plant in the end. But this perspective is missing a big chunk of the picture. It is certainly true that a plant doesn’t know the difference between synthetic or organic nitrogen, but to say that means all nitrogen sources are exactly the same is straight up false. Agriculture, and gardening for that matter, is not just about the plant. And the plant is not the only thing that the applied nitrogen interacts with.

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Direct action support

Activism, Climate Justice and Environmentalism By April 21, 2016 Tags: , , , , No Comments

A while back I talked about the importance of activism to making a difference for climate justice, and I promised I would address the topic of how to engage in activism if marching on the streets holding signs isn’t your thing. Today seems like a good day to tackle that subject. There are lots of options, but the one I want to look at most closely is direct action support.

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Can we talk about GMOs?

Climate Justice and Environmentalism, Gardening By April 14, 2016 Tags: , , , , , , No Comments

Having trouble with the GMO debate? Me too. Lets talk about it.

The point when I first made up my mind about GMOs was in a college biology class in 2010, when a student brought up GMOs in class, and the professor said that we should be very concerned about GMO technology, indicating that it was a troubling practice that we should all be wary of. This same professor had discussed other crunchy philosophies with me that I felt on the fence and maybe a little skeptical about, such as vaccine refusal and raw milk, and I felt pretty confident in the things she said about those, vaccines are safe and effective, raw milk is a waste of money, etc., etc. So when she straight up said in class that GMOs were bad, I figured that sealed the deal. I became pretty hardcore in my opposition to GMOs.

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The Soil Will Save Us: RTH March bookclub selection

Book Club, Climate Justice and Environmentalism, Gardening, Random Fun Stuff, Sustainable/Resilient Living By April 4, 2016 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , 2 Comments

The-Soil-Will-Save-Us-400

This post is late because it’s spring and this is a homestead. I’m pretty busy.

So, what did you guys think of The Soil Will Save Us? I was interested in this book because I am interested in both using tools to combat climate change, and sustainable meat production. This book had a lot of information in it, and it made me want to look into the scientists interviewed in it, and their work in general. There were quite a few scientists and prominent environmentalists interviewed, as well as a bunch of farmers. I wish there had been more practical information about soil carbon sequestration and how to do it yourself in your own environment, but over all I felt like I learned a lot and that is awesome.

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An ode to clay soil

Climate Justice and Environmentalism, Gardening By March 16, 2016 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 2 Comments

An ode to clay soil

Everyone in Colorado has clay soil. Okay, fine, maybe not the whole state, but most of the front range, particularly the Denver Metro area, is clay. I’ve lived all over this town and never have I dealt with anything else. It’s clay, clay, clay everywhere you go.

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Official Polyculture Lawn Plans

Climate Justice and Environmentalism, Gardening By March 14, 2016 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 4 Comments
Apparently this polyculture lawn is from a park in Missoula Montana. It looks pretty awesome, doesn't it? Hoping for a similar effect in mine! Image obtained here.

Apparently this polyculture lawn is from a park in Missoula Montana. It looks pretty awesome, doesn’t it? Hoping for a similar effect in mine! Image obtained here.

I discussed the concept of polyculture lawns earlier, but here are my actual plans for my lawn. Some of this stuff might not work out in the long run, but there’s only one real way to find out, so I’m giving it a try. To recap, my goals are increased carbon sequestration and improvement of biodiversity through cultivating a multi species lawn.

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Making meat more sustainable

Climate Justice and Environmentalism, Home cooking By March 9, 2016 Tags: , , , , No Comments

Conventional meat production is one of the biggest contributors to climate change, producing approximately 15% of our greenhouse gasses. There are ways to raise livestock that is less carbon intensive, in fact, those methods may even sequester some carbon, but they take much more space than conventional meat production does. We can’t even produce enough meat for everyone on the planet to eat as much as Americans do using our current methods, we certainly are not going to be able to produce enough meat for everyone using the carbon sequestering methods. If we want to fight climate change, a reduction in the amount of meat Americans typically eat is probably going to be necessary.

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Polyculture Lawns – Increasing biodiversity, and maybe sequestering more carbon

Climate Justice and Environmentalism, Gardening By March 2, 2016 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , 8 Comments

Polyculture Lawns: An experiment in turning my turf into a more biodiverse, carbon sequestering environment

I’ve been learning all about lawn care in my Landscape Management class this semester. Since starting this program, I’ve found a deeper interest in lawn than I ever thought possible, which still isn’t that high. Turf is kind of boring, and most lawns are nothing but turf. You don’t realize just how boring turf is until you are staring at it’s auricles with an eyeloop trying to figure out if this is Kentucky bluegrass or fine fescue. But lawns and turf aren’t always the same thing, and lawn care has sparked my interest. Mostly, I am interested in how we can use lawn to create more biodiversity in the landscape and capture carbon. The more I thought about this, the more the idea of a polyculture lawn began to take shape in my mind.

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Beyond Bikes and Busses, Part 2: Human Powered Transit

Climate Justice and Environmentalism, Community, Social Justice By February 22, 2016 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , No Comments

This is part four in a series I’m running about car culture. If you would like, feel free to read part one, part twopart three, and part four, which make the case for why we should move away from car culture, what barriers prevent us from doing so, and what alternatives we have to it. Subscribe and you’ll be notified by email when the rest of the posts in the series are published, as well as other cool posts about urban homesteading, environmentalism, and feminism!

What was originally meant to be one post on the various alternatives to a car centered culture has gotten so long that I decided to break it up into multiple posts. There are, it turns out, a lot of alternatives to car culture we could be utilizing, and that means there is a lot to discuss. That’s the benefit of discussing this in a series rather than trying to squeeze it all into one post. We left off talking about the different options for mass transit that we could use to replace some of our car usage in society, their benefits and their applications. Today, we’re going to discuss personally owned, human powered transit.

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