The Collingwood Climate Action Team has launched CCAT Voices to provide a forum for casual discussion around climate change issues raised in documentaries. It is also a means of encouraging us either individually or collectively to take local action with increased knowledge and ideas we could rapidly apply.
CCAT voices held their first meeting to discuss the film Kiss the Ground on Wednesday November 18th.
Kiss the Ground focuses on soil regeneration. Current large-scale mono-culture farming practices deplete soil nutrition which results in carbon being released into the atmosphere. The soil is depleted of nutrients, unable to hold water and can cause eventual desertification. Methods that support soil regeneration and carbon sequestration (keeping the carbon in the ground where it’s a positive thing) include minimal tilling of the soil, cover crops to keep moisture in the soil, organic farming and composting of food waste and animal grazing where manure fertilizes soil.
The heart of the discussion went to the impact of a plant based diet versus consuming meat (particularly beef) and what has the greatest impact on the environment to prevent global warming. Feeding animals with crops that could be used for human consumption instead is considered an inefficient use of the crops and resources such as water, soil and farm equipment.
The film also considered the use of urban composting to support soil regeneration. Currently San Francisco has the most successful urban composting program in North America. The green bin is incentivized with free pick-up and there are hefty charges for garbage. Soil is then brought back into the urban setting for use or sent to area farms. For residents in Collingwood, the green bin is taken from the curb to the Elmira facility where it is churned and separated. Our discussion considered that many residents do not use this option and are needlessly sending organics to our landfill site.
The group discussed what we can do in our own community. Purchasing local and in season and considering how our produce gets to the store was a positive option. Composting is the most significant way that we as individuals can help the soil in our own neighbourhoods, both in our yards and by establishing community gardens. Encouraging local composting by Simcoe County rather sending it a distance and creating awareness to composted soil seemed like possible actions we could undertake collectively.
Agriculture in Ontario is a large established industry, so it is difficult for the average person to make changes. As consumers our best bet is to exercise our influence with our buying decisions. If consumers ask for and buy organic it will then become mainstream.
In summary, the film presents how healthy soil could be an essential solution to save our home planet earth. Is this the magic bullet we have been waiting for? Watch the film Kiss the Ground and let us know what you think.
You can send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Listen to a Renowned Scientist argue for the rights of soil – CBC Sunday Magazine November 29, 2020