Words by Tess Becker
Most environmental work centers around key aims; cleaner energy alternatives, reducing pollution, slowing deforestation, and protecting wildlife to name a few. While such solutions are vital they don’t get to the root of many of the problems we’re beginning to face. Those problems are centered around the fact that many of our resources are depleted and our land and soil decimated.
This is something that Kiss the Ground aims to fix with their regenerative agriculture technique.
“I think most climate organizations are working in the context of sustainability,” Finian Makepeace, a co-founder of Kiss the Ground, tells Smiley News. “We are working in the context of regeneration and those two vantage points are very, very, very different.”
The idea is simple in theory: restore the soil we use to its former glory, for healthier land, crops, drainage, and many other positive impacts. This is the principle that the Kiss the Ground team is passionate about.
“Truth be told, facing the climate struggle, I pretty much saw everything that we had in the solution box as a way to go off the cliff just a little bit slower,” Finian says.
He learned about regenerative agriculture and saw that as a way to back us away from the proverbial cliff entirely.
“When I learned about regenerative agriculture and soil health or building soil using carbon in the atmosphere currently causing a problem to rebuild the very stuff that mitigates 99% of the problems we actually get hit with human costs, climate issues from drought, desertification, biodiversity loss, human health decline, water flooding, drought issues, to climate and carbon itself, it presented such a big universal solution,” he says.
A big part of the work that they do is education, serving as a “data stream” so information about the potential of regenerative agriculture can spread throughout society. They don’t want to lead the movement, they want to help it keep its steam.
“Most of the time, the leaders aren't the reason that the world catches on,” Finian says. “It's the second person who's coming to make sure ideas are more available, more connected, more mainstream, more interconnected to regular people.”
They don't want to take the place of the people leading the movement or the people on the ground. Instead they serve purely as intermediaries, similar to how journalists disperse information.
“We really saw our role saying, we're not the farmers, we're not the indigenous knowledge holders, we're not the scientists, so what if we take a role of allowing for this idea to emerge and have a goal of what if by 2025 2030, regenerative ag and building soil is actually seen as the most critical climate change solution on planet Earth?”
At Smiley Movement, we like to elevate the work of charities across the world. Here are three charities whose causes align with the themes in this article.
I Am A Girl NGO. They work to support girls across Barbados. Find out more and support them here.
Cultural Survival. They are an indigenous-led nonprofit focused on empowering indigenous Americans and helping the planet. Find out more.
American Forests. A conservation organization focused on preserving and protecting American forests. Support them here.