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April 3 - April 24, 2019
Ellen Beberman's avatar

Ellen Beberman

TriLakes Loons


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Ellen's actions

Action Track: Social Justice

Fund Family Planning

#7 Family Planning

I will donate to supply a community with reproductive health supplies.



Learn More about Regenerative Agriculture

#11 Regenerative Agriculture

I will spend at least 20 minutes learning about the need for more regenerative agriculture.



Research Cement Alternatives

#36 Alternative Cement

I will spend at least 20 minutes researching cement alternatives that reduce the carbon footprint of concrete.



Share Bioplastic Disposal Tips

#47 Bioplastic

I will spend at least 15 minutes researching how to properly dispose of bioplastics in my city and share this information with 5 friends, family and/or colleagues.


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  • Ellen Beberman's avatar
    Ellen Beberman 4/17/2019 6:35 AM
    Donated to Friends of UNFPA for reproductive health services in communities around the world. A necessity for women and girls everywhere!

  • Ellen Beberman's avatar
    Ellen Beberman 4/08/2019 11:05 AM
    Today's task was learning about regenerative agriculture.  The idea is that carbon - a lot of it- can be sequestered in soil using certain agricultural practices like low/no till, cover cropping, crop rotation.  I found a good overview, here. There is a lot to like in this concept.

    The credo of organic farming is "feed the soil." I am fascinated by soil science (one of my bedside books is called Building Soils for Better Crops) and by how little we really know about the role of biology and physics in soil. Hardened scientist that I am, there is some magic in how soils keep themselves healthy as long as they get a good supply of organic matter and moisture.

    Many farms today are using one or more of these practices, because they have myriad benefits in addition to carbon sequestration - less erosion, less labor/tractor time, less runoff.  I am very curious to get some idea of what the quantifiable results are for carbon sequestration.

    OTOH, I'm skeptical that this process is greatly impeded by synthetic fertilizers. The paper I read had some resources backing up that claim; however a quick google search came up with scholarly articles claiming better carbon sequestration with synthetic fertilizer. Maybe more research is needed. I also can't find any direct link between GMO plants and lower sequestration. My guess is that there is less crop rotation on farms that use GMO seeds. One benefit of GMO crops is that they allow no-till agriculture, so it's not clear to me why this would be discouraged.

    So much more to learn on this topic! I find it one of the most inspiring mitigation techniques.

    • Betsy Brooks's avatar
      Betsy Brooks 4/12/2019 9:07 AM
      We need scientists like you to weigh in on this kind of thing.  Arguments I've heard against synthetic fertilizers - may be bad for the microbiota in the soil, overapplied, washes off into bodies of water causing blooms of algae, buildup of salts in the soil. But if we use it in the RIGHT amount, it might help. 

  • Ellen Beberman's avatar
    Ellen Beberman 4/03/2019 3:01 PM
    Started researching alternatives to cement. I knew that making Portland cement is very energy intensive (see: "The cement industry is the most energy intensive of all manufacturing industries" by the US Energy Information Administration, July 2013) I also have recently learned about using coal fly ash in its manufacture.*  While this is a good use for this toxic material, because it depends on the coal industry  continuing to produce the stuff, it begs the question of how much it enables the coal industry, thus not reducing carbon emissions. (*What I learned about this product is that manufacturers were scrambling to find coal ash, precisely because the supply is diminishing. Which is a good thing, for everyone but the people making it. They are actually importing it right now from over seas.)

  • Ellen Beberman's avatar
    Ellen Beberman 3/28/2019 12:51 PM
    Just getting started with this concept. I'd like to learn more about better choices for building materials and for agricultural materials.