What is Carbon Farming and Why Do We Care?
The extraction and burning of fossil fuels by human beings has upset the critical balance of the planet’s carbon cycle. Carbon moves naturally through the Earth’s atmosphere, biosphere, pedosphere, lithosphere, and oceans, but the massive amounts of carbon dioxide released by the aforementioned fossil fuels are now more than our plant life and oceans can absorb.
Global warming has trapped the sun’s heat, changing our climate and shifting the Earth’s jet stream, ocean currents, rainfall patterns, and air temperature, leading to rising ocean levels, melting ice caps, and serious threats to the survival of the planet. Carbon Farming is an approach to land stewardship, that, when implemented holistically, returns more carbon to the earth than it releases. This critical method has the potential to restore the balance of the carbon cycle and fight climate change, while building resilience to drought and increasing our agricultural productivity, naturally.
Current international data from farming systems and pasture trials around the globe show that we could sequester more than 100% of current annual CO2 emissions with a switch to widely available and inexpensive organic management practices, which we term ‘regenerative organic agriculture.’ — Rodale Report
Carbon Farming is an approach to working in harmony with earth’s fundamental cycle— the carbon cycle. Farming and all forms of land stewardship provide an opportunity to harmonize with this cycle. When we fall out of relationship with the movement of carbon, the consequences undermine our ability to exist. When we choose to consider the earth’s most fundamental processes and work with them, we create abundant opportunities to enhance ecosystems and the lives of humans that exist within those systems. - Rebecca Burgess, Founder of Fibershed
What is Climate Beneficial Wool?
In short, Climate Beneficial Wool is sourced from ranches that have a Carbon Farm plan. According to research by Dr. Marcia deLonge of UC Berkeley’s Silver Lab, the process of Carbon Farming and the movement of Climate Beneficial Wool through a regional and renewable energy-powered supply chain has the potential to produce a garment with a net negative CO2 footprint, saving over 150 pounds of CO2 per garment (compared to conventional production).
From 2015-2018, the Climate Beneficial Carbon Farm Fund has generated $41k and an additional $25k in price premiums. These funds go back to the participating ranchers and are invested into individual carbon farm plans. Coyuchi funded projects include purchasing cedar incense trees to be planted in a windbreak and funding a solar-powered water distribution project to facilitate rotational grazing, but plans can be a mix of up to 30 USDA-approved carbon farm practices.
California alone has lost over 50% of its carbon in its rangeland soils, and has set a target to be carbon neutral by 2045. Working with state and federal partners, Fibershed makes the connections needed for truly regenerative fiber systems. Coyuchi is a proud supporter and all purchases of our Climate Beneficial Wool products support 1% for the Planet as well as Fibershed.
Together, we can support much needed collaborations between ranchers, land-managers, makers, and end-users to move carbon out of our atmosphere, and back into our soils — while building our local economies, and generating heirloom quality, regionally-sourced textiles.
1% For The Planet & Fibershed
1% for the Planet is a global network of businesses, organizations, and individuals working together to catalyze positive change for the environment. As members of 1% for the Planet, we contribute directly to our choice of carefully vetted nonprofit environmental organizations in the network, which are approved based on referrals, track record, and environmental focus. Our donations to 1% for the Planet go directly to our partners at Fibershed. So far, the network has raised hundreds of millions of dollars in support of nonprofits that aim to protect the planet.
Fibershed works to close the loop of fiber manufacturing by decentralizing the textile supply chain and supports regional farms and ranches. They’re bringing the “local” movement to the textile industry by developing regional and regenerative fiber systems on behalf of independent producers, and helping farmers implement carbon farming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Through strategic grazing, conservation tillage, and a host of scientifically proven carbon farming practices, their partners are working to create ‘climate beneficial’ fibers that set a new standard in a world that’s looking to rapidly mitigate the effects of climate change.