Climate change artist–Camille Seaman, plus Mather House as a living lab. Compostfoundation.Org and International Compost Awareness Week!
Climate Change Artist–Camille Seaman, Compostfoundation.Org, International Compost Awareness Week, Mather House as a Living Lab
CLIMATE CHANGE ARTIST CAMILLE SEAMAN
Photographer Camille Seaman believes in capturing images that articulate that humans are not separate from nature. Born to a Native American father and African American mother, Camille’s sense of connection with nature stems from growing up in the Shinnecock Indian Nation on Long Island, New York, and the influence of her grandfather.
Seaman spent the last two decades documenting the rapidly changing landscapes of Earth’s polar regions. Her photographs have been published in National Geographic magazine. The Distant is Imminent is her latest work. It’s a three-minute video depicting still and moving images from Antarctica and the Arctic.
The film short is intended to be projected on the walls of cities most threatened by rising sea waters. There are five versions of The Distant is Imminent one each for New York City, Tokyo and Amsterdam, two for Limerick, Ireland, Seaman’s current hometown.
According to her, “It’s estimated that 70,000 Irish addresses are at risk of coastal flooding by 2050.” This is noteworthy, given Limerick lie on the banks of the River Shannon, about 110 km, about 69 miles from the Irish coast.
If you live in one NYC, Tokyo or Amsterdam, Seaman urges you to download the video files from her Google Drive–(the link to which you can get by clicking on that link in the Deeper Dive Section of this story at theclimate.org/episodes) and then project the video on a wall somewhere, to raise awareness about the climate crisis.
Why does The Distant is Imminent matter to us? There’s a line in each video depicting where the water level would be in that particular location in 2050, if no action is taken to curb climate change. It’s jarring visual impact is a clear reminder that icebergs melting might feel distant and abstract, they’re in fact quite imminent and personal.
MATHER AS A LIVING LAB
Ten research teams will share $1.3 million in the eighth round of the Climate Change Solutions Fund (CCSF) awards. Aiming for impact at both the local and global level, these projects will seek to reduce the risks of climate change, hasten the transition to renewable energy, diminish the impact of existing fossil fuels on the climate, understand and prepare for the effects of climate change, and propel innovations needed to accelerate progress toward a healthier, more sustainable future.
L Mahadevan, de Valpine Professor of Applied Mathematics, Physics, Organismic and Evolutionary Biology; Faculty Dean of Mather House; Vijay Reddi, Associate Professor, SEAS; Anas Chalah, Assistant Dean for Teaching and Learning, Active Learning Labs, SEAS.
The goal of this project is to help residents of Mather, one of Harvard University’s undergraduate student houses, to quantify and deliberate on the consequences of their consumption in the broader context of climate and environmental change.
Using miniature sensors, students will measure the use of energy and water, food consumption and waste, along with indoor and outdoor variations in the ambient conditions, such as temperature, carbon dioxide and humidity through the seasons and semesters. The anonymized data will be analyzed using statistical tools combined with mathematical models to ultimately stimulate debate about policy changes and inform choices and decisions associated with sustainable approaches to community living and learning.
DEEPER DIVE: CCSF
THE COMPOST RESEARCH AND EDUCATION FOUNDATION
Regenerating healthy topsoil is one of the most effective ways to sequester carbon on the planet. One way to effectively create healthy topsoil is through the soil amendment commonly known as Compost. Many experts will tell you that the foundation of soil renewal is, compost.
So how do we ordinary folk (and municipalities too) get schooled on compost best practices? Where to go? Why, the Compost Research and Education Foundation is where. The CREF supports initiatives that enhance the stature and practices of the composting industry by supporting scientific research, increasing awareness, and educating practitioners and the public to advance environmentally and economically sustainable organics recycling.
How does compost help? By recycling organics into compost and using it on our farmlands we create healthy soils that produce healthier food and higher yields. It also reduces the need for fertilizer and pesticides, improves water quality and conserves water, as well as stores carbon in soil – helping to reduce climate change. Compost not only helps the environment but also helps to decrease food shortages experienced around the world.
What CREF Does:
- Increases awareness and educate the public through supporting public outreach to raise public knowledge of composting and its importance to long-term sustainability.
- Fosters scientific research opportunities.
- Advances the stature and practice of the composting industry by offering professional development opportunities and disseminating best practices throughout the industry.
The foundation was established in 1992, and is currently headquartered in Raleigh, NC. The group offers Composter Training Programs and Compost Sampling Videos. The videos are visual reference guides aimed to improve one’s compost sampling technique. There is a composting handbook and a toolkit, too.
Lots to check out on their website. Surf on over to compostfoundation.org to get your hands dirty!
DEEPER DIVE: Compost Foundation
INTERNATIONAL COMPOST AWARENESS WEEK
We owned and operated a food scrap compost business for three years, and I had no idea about International Compost Awareness Week. International Compost Awareness Week (ICAW) is the largest and most comprehensive education initiative of the compost industry. It is celebrated nationwide and in other countries each year during the first full week of May. We missed this year, but next year—mark your calendars people—it’s scheduled to be held May 7-13, 2023.)
The goal of ICAW is to work together to raise public awareness on why we all should be composting our organics recycling and using compost. The program includes poster and video contests in the fall and activities and events held during the week in May. Throughout the week of ICAW, community, school, government and business events are held to encourage and celebrate composting – all types of composting – from backyard to large-scale.
The 2023 International Compost Awareness Week (ICAW) theme is truly a collaborative and international effort. This year, we teamed up with the International Compost Alliance (ICA) to select: For Healthier Soil, Healthier Food…Compost!
Why does the ICAW matter to us? One of the initiatives of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), is Zero Hunger: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture. The chosen 2023 theme best reflects the goal of focusing on how compost can have a role in helping feed the world, by making our soil healthier which produces healthier food.
It also reduces the need for fertilizer and pesticides, improves water quality and conserves water, as well as stores carbon in soil – helping to reduce climate change. For Healthier Soil, Healthier Food…Compost!
Mark your calendars, May 7-13, 2023.
DEEPER DIVE: ICAW