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The Climate Change Diet

February 14, 2014

I’m going on a diet. A Climate Change Diet. An eating regime that not only makes me healthier, but also affects the earth and ecosystem in beneficial ways. If enough of us signed up for the Climate Change Diet or Climate Diet, we might have a positive impact on the global climate crisis.

The Climate Diet differs from other diets in that I won’t be counting calories. I won’t be required to exercise anymore than I already do.  There are no restrictions as far as having to adopt a vegetarian, vegan or paleo diet. After being on the Climate Diet for a few months, I may not look any better in a little black dress, but chances are, I and future generations will continue to have many opportunities to wear that dress!

The Climate Diet is simple. You can do it if you grow your own food or if you purchase all or most of of your groceries from a store.

Here is its only rule:

Do your best to eat food that was grown in a responsible manner by someone who, through their growing methods, increases soil fertility.

That’s it. Buy food from someone who takes care of the soil. If you grow food, take care of your soil. Good land stewards have a direct influence on climate change because their agriculture and grazing methods directly affect the amount of carbon in their soil.

Farmers and ranchers can sequester excess carbon from the atmosphere and put it to beneficial use in soil through managed grazing, no or low till agriculture, cover cropping, composting, mulching and using bio-based fertilizers and soil amendments instead of synthetic toxins that harm soil fertility.

On the Climate Diet, you would most likely buy organically grown food and meat. Synthetic pesticides and herbicides decrease microbial life within the soil. A soil rich with microbes is alive and fertile. These microbes, especially mycorrhizal fungi, can increase the amount of carbon in the soil. Most of the world’s soils are carbon-depleted.  By choosing to eat the Climate Diet way, we are creating the conditions for soil carbon-sequestration to happen!

As an added bonus, when plants are grown in healthy soil, they are usually more nutrient rich, which is good news for our health. Plus, synthetic herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers are usually made of fossil fuels which have a devastating impact on our environment and contribute greatly to climate change.

If you eat meat, the Climate Diet means buying grass fed beef and other animal products from a ranch or farm where the animals are grazed in a way that increases grass growth, soil fertility and carbon sequestration. Grasses, especially perennial native grasses can act like big straws sucking carbon out of the air. The carbon can then be stored in the soil for a long time in the grasses’ long tap roots until it is disturbed.  In this type of land management, animal waste, instead of being a pollutant (like it is in crowded feedlots) becomes a natural soil amendment.

Soil Solution Production Still 3

However we do it, increasing soil fertility could be a giant step in reversing climate change.

Let’s adopt the Climate Diet and see what happens… our dietary choices might lead us to a greener, healthier world and a more stable climate.


Rainwater Harvesting Basics

January 26, 2014

When the governor of California, Jerry Brown declared that the state was facing a drought situation, he voiced what many Californians were already feeling and noticing. 2013 was the driest year on record and so far, 2014 has been a dry year.

In this 3 part YouTube video series, Brad Lancaster author of Rainwater Harvesting For Drylands, talks about water, water conservation, building resiliency in the system and how to slow, spread and sink the water that (hopefully!) falls on your land.

As Brad Lancaster says in this video, “We need to strive to do things in such a way that the natural resource base is at worst, maintained but at best, steadily enhanced.”

For more videos about rainwater harvesting and water conservation visit the Sustainable World Media’s YouTube Channel.

Best Sustainable World Media Blog Posts of 2013

January 1, 2014

We’ve had a busy 2013 at Sustainable World Media. We’ve added lots of videos to our YouTube Channel and finished our documentary The Soil Solution To Climate Change.

We also wrote on our blog. Our top posts for 2013 were:

May The Flock Be With You– We met chicken expert and soil builder Pat Foreman while we were filming The Soil Solution. Pat talked with us about the many virtues of these wonderful creatures who through their actions can increase soil health, save you money on garden inputs, give you delicious food and decrease your carbon footprint.

Agriculture As Art–  We were thrilled that our five-part YouTube video series on Keyline Design with Permaculturist Darren Doherty was featured in an art exhibition in Sydney,  Australia in November. The exhibition highlights the work of Australian farmer and engineer PA Yeomans whose work is now used on farms throughout the world. Yeomans developed the Keyline System- an agricultural method that increases soil fertility, conserves water and regenerates land.

Increasing Soil Fertility Is A Job For Us All– We learned so much about the importance of soil while filming The Soil Solution. In this post, we wrote about ways to build healthy soil, even if you don’t have a garden or yard. An example: When you buy food,support farmers and ranchers who treat the soil like gold, who use non-toxic/organic methods of growing food including: low-till plowing, composting, cover cropping and mulching.

Tea Time For The Soil! How To Brew Your Own Compost Tea– Compost Tea contains billions of microbes and beneficial organisms that help plants maintain a healthy immune function. Keep your Soil Food Web alive and thriving. It’s Tea Time! Learn how to brew this nutrient rich tea in our YouTube Video with Oscar Carmona.

Thanks to everyone for your support and interest in our educational environmental videos.

Happy New Year from Sustainable World Media!

Who’s Your Farmer? Marshall Chrostowski

December 8, 2013

Marshall Chrostowski is an organic farmer with decades of experience. Point out any plant at the Pacifica Market Garden in Carpinteria, California and he will not only know its name, but also the plant’s history and uses. We were lucky enough to follow Marshall around his garden for a few hours with our video cameras. We learned so much about heirloom varieties of plants, how the Pacifica CSA works and some organic methods of pest control.

Marshall was recently honored in the Santa Barbara Independent as a Local Hero. We couldn’t agree more. Marshall knows and loves plants and when you visit the Pacifica Market Garden, and witness its verdant beauty, it’s obvious how much they love him!

Who’s Your Farmer?  is a new YouTube video series created by Sustainable World Media that highlights the farmers who grow food and nourish both people and planet by using organic and regenerative agricultural practices.

Permaculture In Cuba- Don’t Miss The IPC11

November 17, 2013

We met with Permaculture designer and teacher Roberto Perez on his whirlwind tour of the United States promoting the International Permaculture Conference and Convergence (IPC11) that takes place in Cuba in November of this year.


Roberto Perez works at the Antonio Núñez Jiménez Foundation for Nature and Humanity and is on a mission to spread the word about the conference and also about the positive impact that Permaculture has had on his country.

Agriculture As Art- PA Yeomans Exhibition Opens In Sydney

November 17, 2013

The Yeomans Project opens on November 28th at the Art Gallery of NSW. The exhibition highlights the work of Australian farmer and engineer PA Yeomans whose work is now used on farms throughout the world. Yeomans developed the Keyline System- an agricultural method that increases soil fertility, conserves water and regenerates land.

Ian Milliss and Lucas Ihlein, curators of the exhibition have gathered images, writing, films and educational videos as part of the exhibition.

We are delighted to announce that our five-part Keyline Design At The Beach Video Series with Permaculture Designer and Keyline expert Darren Doherty will be included in The Yeomans Project.

The exhibition will also feature an old Yeomans Plow, books and artifacts lent by PA Yeomans’ daughters, a large chalk map of one of Yeomans’ properties, live discussions and a Field Trip to an early Yeomans experimental farm outside of Sydney (free, but bookings required).

Here’s to you, PA Yeomans who practiced the art of transformation with soil and water.

MULCH- Good News for You and the Soil

October 7, 2013

MULCH- what a descriptive word for an excellent method that keeps your garden healthy and your plants thriving. Mulching is an easy cost-effective way to recycle green waste, hydrate your garden beds and soil and increase the population of  soil food web inhabitants .

Mulching mimics what happens to plant materials that fall onto a forest floor. Leaves and other plant debris are decomposed by the soil organisms, including the mighty FBI- fungi, bacteria and invertebrates.  Adding a layer of mulch to your garden, about 4″ high, keeps these critters on site; improving your soil with their presence and activities.

When you mulch, you are stacking functions, a concept found in Permaculture. Mulching not only increases the fertility and moisture content of  your soil, it also alleviates weeds, so you don’t have to pull the weeds out yourself or use toxic herbicides.

What can you use for mulch? Pretty much anything!  Cardboard, bark, straw, newspaper and finished compost can be reincarnated as mulch, that eventually after the decomposers are through with it, will become soil.  Sheet mulching is a fun, no-till way to get your soil ready for planting.

To learn more about mulch we visited the LifeScape Garden, a beautiful organic garden located on the grounds of Santa Barbara City College. There, we met Dr. Mike Gonella, mulch man extraordinaire who showed us how to use this fun, easy and aromatic method of gardening.