Irrigation on the Great Plains

Amid dropping water tables, widespread soil erosion, and rising average temperatures, Great Plains farmers are largely reliant on expensive irrigation methods that come with a host of environmentally damaging side effects. Put simply, agriculture in the western United States uses more water than can be sustained.

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Reforestation realities with Jim Mann of Future Forest

This week’s perspective on climate solutions comes from across the pond. We spoke with Jim Mann, Co-founder and CEO of The Future Forest Company, a UK based carbon removal business focused on fighting climate change and protecting biodiversity. Future Forest takes a multi-pronged approach to CO2 sequestration at mega scale and their goals are as big as Earth itself.

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Farmland financing with Claire Mesesan and Raya Carr of Iroquois Valley

This week, we spoke to Claire Mesesan and Raya Carr of Iroquois Valley REIT, an organic farmland finance company that provides farmer-friendly leases and mortgages to the next generation of organic farmers. Over the last 15 years, Iroquois Valley has helped transition thousands of acres of conventionally farmed land to sustainable agriculture. Their farmer-first philosophy ensures that every parcel they work with is stewarded by someone who is committed to its prosperity and has access to the resources and support they need.

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Impact Investing 101

Impact investing means integrating your values into your investment strategy. Separate from charity or philanthropy, impact investments generate positive social and environmental impact without compromising financial return.

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Impacting investing + climate action with Zach Stein of Carbon Collective

Zach Stein is a cofounder of Carbon Collective, an automated investment manager built for solving climate change. Carbon Collective helps people make smart, sustainable investments by nixing fossil fuel corporations, backing climate solutions, and pressuring the rest of the market to decarbonize. Managing your financial investments can be complicated and intimidating, but it shouldn’t also cause you climate anxiety! Zach broke down how Carbon Collective works, and why you can feel great investing with them.

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A wrap on plastic

Plastic is used on farms for crop cover, irrigation tubing, feed storage, and more. For example, film mulch — perforated plastic sheeting laid over fields for plants to grow through — suppresses weeds, improves water efficiency, and increases crop yields. But the proximity of these synthetic materials to soil and food may have frightening consequences for human and environmental health.

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The magic of mycelium

Grouped masses of hyphae are called mycelium. They branch and grow through soil like tiny roots. Numerous mushrooms you see aboveground might all be the fruits of one individual fungus whose mass is primarily hidden beneath the surface. The largest single organism on the planet is a fungus in eastern Oregon, which was discovered in 1998, and sprawls for nearly 10 square kilometers.

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A concrete catastrophe?

Concrete is the second most widely used substance on the planet, eclipsed only by water. If the cement industry were a country, taking in all stages of production, it would be the third largest carbon dioxide emitter in the world. It is responsible for nine percent of global industrial water withdrawal. And to make matters worse, 75 percent of water demand for concrete production occurs in water-stressed regions. Industrial expansion has replaced miles of arable soil, grasslands, forests, and other regions of ecological diversity with the brutal material — a process incredibly resource-intensive (if not impossible) to reverse.

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