Reduce Your Impact
by Kori Bubnach
“In other environmental issues we tell people to stop something, reduce their impact, reduce their damage,” states US Ecologist Gary Nabhan in a recent interview. Nabhan is a ethno botanist/gardener whose promotion of biodiversity has caught the attention of many over the years. Since his book, Coming Home to Eat. was published in 2001, the local food movement has ignited, causing a worldwide green epidemic.
Over the past few years, there has been a dramatic rise in the number of organizations and businesses that have contributed to the promotion of sustainability through conservation. The Earth Day Network has played a large part in bringing conservationist and green enthusiasts together, sharing ideas and discussing new ways to support the planet. Other large organizations and non-profits like Doug Band and the CGI (Clinton Global Initiative) have been working on successful emission reduction projects in the San Francisco Bay area. While climate control has continued to worsen, collaborative and individual acts are vital for any successful green campaign. As human beings, we are urged to reduce our carbon footprint, consume more healthy foods, and spend less time in the shower! But let’s take a minute to step back and look at this from a different perspective; one that Gary Nabhan strongly suggests.
According to The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, only about a quarter of crop diversity is left and a dozen species now give 90% of the animal protein eaten globally. In accordance, just four crop species supply half of plant-based calories in the human diet.
Eating homegrown food, as Nabhan suggests, will have a greater impact on sustainability for our planet as a whole. “Eat what you conserve,” is a well-established theory focused on eating the fruits and vegetables that we are attempting to conserve/save; by doing so, we are promoting the granular dissemination of various plant species.
According to agriculturist Marco Contiero, “Biodiversity is an essential characteristic of any sustainable agricultural system, especially in the context of climate change.” His theory suggests that as individuals, we tend our own crops/plants, and when purchasing, we should buy local farm products at supermarkets and grocery stores. In the end, this condenses export/import reliance, thus reducing our carbon footprint.
Both theories rely profoundly on an action-oriented approach at conservation and sustainability. With an abundance of green movements following Earth Day 2010, many organizations and individuals have chosen to follow expert opinions like the ones demonstrated by both of these highly influential agriculturalists.
So remember, as the fall season approaches, to be sure to visit your local farmers markets to purchase your fresh fruits and vegetables. As eco-conscious individuals, do not hesitate to stop the next time you drive by a yard stand with fresh crops. Promoting biodiversity and localized farming is a crucial piece of the conservation puzzle.