You hear daunting statistics, such as NASA’s study that says we have approximately 10 years to reverse climate change, and it’s really easy to throw your hands up and resign to do nothing, because why does it matter, anyway?
We face alarming challenges: desertification, deforestation, polluted oceans, dead zones in our seas, pervasive pesticide use (it’s in our guts, the bees are dying), mass extinction, and more, and marginalized communities are disproportionately affected by all of these things.
I don’t say any of this to be alarmist. I’m motivated knowing that, while the entire solution doesn’t lie in our yards, we do have agency in our land stewardship decisions that have a real and lasting impact on reversing global warming.
Many things need to be done to face this global crisis. We can start with looking at the very core of our relationship to “nature” as separate from ourselves and examining the extractive economic practices that constantly seek to convert the world around us, with all of its richness and beauty, into dollars and cents.
But, we do have tools, and we can make incremental changes in every sphere of our lives that build toward resilience.
Project Drawdown, an incredible resource edited by Paul Hawken, and researched by hundreds from the global scientific community, has identified 82 solutions that we can do to draw down atmospheric carbon to reverse climate change. There are apparent solutions available to us, particularly around how we manage land, and of those, there are many that apply to even the smallest residential-scale landscape.
In 2019 we started tallying up our impact in working with clients. We work on roughly 100-150 projects per year, ranging from tiny yards to larger farms and developments. When we added up the cumulative impact our clients have in just one year, we realized something: it’s BIG.
In just one year, here’s what happened:
~500 acres were transitioned to organic management
~150,000 native and medicinal plants were planted
~4500 trees were planted
~40,000 food-producing plants were planted
~11.5 MILLION gallons of water replenished our groundwater and aquifers
I believe it is possible to have a life-giving, reciprocal relationship with land that supports us, even in the urban/suburban context. By creating vibrant landscapes that build health rather than undermine it, we have the tools to address the climate crisis in our yards because small solutions equal big impact, and it adds up quickly.
If you want to know more about stewardship practices that build resilience in your yard, I have a FREE masterclass⏤, The 3 Pillars of a Regenerative Landscape⏤, coming up soon. You can register here if you’d like to learn simple solutions to implement in our yards to make a positive impact easily. We’ll cover techniques for working with water (you only need a shovel!), how to build soil without the need for fertilizers or costly inputs, and how to choose plants that work together to support the ecology of your land (and feed you, too!).