Thursday, December 10, 2009

EARTH University Graduation and Principles of Sustainability

In major news, EARTH University's class of 2009, 98 new agents for change, is graduating today at 11:00AM Eastern standard time. You can tune in to view a live video broadcast of the commencement ceremony here. Congratulations to the Class of 2009; we are very proud of all of you!

In other news, George Dyre recently discussed the principles of sustainability and strategies for development on his Strategies for Sustainability blog. He has an interesting outlook on sustainability that I believe is worth checking out.

Also, check out a new sustainble agriculture platform, proposed by IFAP, who discusses the importance of committing to create "a global agricultural plan with clear national targets that [will] give more of the resources to agriculture and prioritization of the sector in national policies with the cooperation of farmers and important stakeholders".

During her interview, which is posted below, Nora Ourabah Haddad--senior policy officer at the IFAP and supporter of Farmers First--made a very profound statement about sustainable agriculture, "Farmers do develop sustainable agriculture practices daily, but they have to be supported to do that." I absolutely believe that this is important to remember when considering sustainability. In order to improve the value of sustainable agriculture and cultivate farms globally with innovative practices, we must support our farmers wholeheartedly.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thankful for EARTH

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone from the EARTH University Foundation! Let's be thankful for sustainable agriculture, EARTH University, and everyone who is helping to make the earth a better place! It's incredible that the world is moving in a green direction, now more than ever. It's no doubt that EARTH University is a major contribution to the world. I'm truly thankful for EARTH University and what they are doing for the planet!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Chase Bank Challenege

Haciendo un solo clic, puedes votar por EARTH en un nuevo reto, para que la Universidad EARTH gane $25,000! Gracias por sus votos para apoyar la EARTH!

Just a single click and you can vote for EARTH to win $25,000 in the Chase Bank Challenge. Thank you for voting to support EARTH!

Friday, November 13, 2009

What's Going On

EARTH University, an institution of higher education focusing on sustainable agriculture, has a long relationship with the U.S. Agency for International Development, which makes this news exciting. Find the article at this website.

Follow EARTH University student Johanny Arilexis Pérez Sierra, class of 2009, on her blog. She is currently doing her internship at the University of Florida. Follow her at blog here!

Zachary Shahan, a writer for the blog Eco Wordly, recently posted an article about the new report, "The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity". In his report, Shahan reiterates that conserving our environment is not only important to our future but also our economic success as well, “As the report says: ‘The failure of markets to adequately consider the value of ecosystem services is of concern not only to environment, development and climate change ministries but also to finance, economics and business ministries.’” I found his article very interesting! You can find it here.

Monday, November 2, 2009

What "Sustainability" Means to EARTH

The Tico Times (a Costa Rican newspaper) ran a great story on EARTH, called "EARTH University Works For the Planet" by Adam Williams. Read more to find out where your Cause dollars are going.

Williams also sat down with Walter Robb, co-president and chief operating officer for Whole Foods, and discussed the importance of sustainable practices and the continued relationship between Whole Foods and EARTH University. Here's how Walter Robb defines sustainability for EARTH:
There is no single definition to what [sustainable agriculture] means around the world. It’s very difficult to grow organic bananas in the tropical rainforest because of the moisture and so forth. But EARTH has done everything right. For example, they recycle the plastic on the banana trees; they put barriers in the field to stream water; they put organic fertilizer made from banana waste itself back on the crops. They go over and above the organic standard in many ways. So their definition of sustainable consists of things like paying workers a fair wage. They put latrines in the field, and they are building community centers where the workers live. SO, their definition of sustainable is what is good for the worker and good for the community… So what is the difference between sustainable and organic? The difference is that there are times when they have to use some chemicals to fights off pests, but they are doing so much more than that. When you look at the total picture, you are getting a truly sustainable product.

Here are some pictures of banana farming and examples of how EARTH produces sustainable products:

The banana farms at EARTH University, located in the Caribbean slope town of Guácimo.

Students and workers are not allowed to use cars while on campus.

This anaerobic digester is the main fuel source for the campus cafeteria. Anaerobic digestion involves a series of processes in which microorganisms break down biodegradable material in the absence of oxygen. This process produces methane gas, which can be used as an energy source.

EARTH's banana farm is the only one in the country that doesn't make workers carry bananas from the fields to the packing warehouse. Instead, they use an aerial train.

Bananas are covered in plastic bags to avoid contact with insects. EARTH does not use chemical pesticides in the bags but rather a new organic product made of garlic and pepper.

Photos by Ronald Reyes / Tico Times

Friday, October 30, 2009

Facebook Case Challenge Continued

Check out the video our students made. Help them win the $50,000 Case Challenge and they will send you something from Costa Rica!!

In other news, the Tierra Cosecha event last Saturday was a huge success! We appreciate everyone's participation and support! Here's a few pictures from the event:

Guests were greeted at the door and admitted for a $10 donation. At this point they received a raffle ticket and a Sweetwater glass.

Tierra attendees filled out their contact information and submitted their tickets in the raffle. Thanks to our fabulous sponsors, there were many great door prizes in the raffle, such as a dinner for two at Woodfire Grill!

The event was catered by Evos, a self-proclaimed "healthy and environmentally sound fast food chain", which was very tasty!

Tierra guests had the opportunity to learn about EARTH University and many of the things that go on at the university in Costa Rica.

One of the most exciting events of the evening was the Capoeira show which was performed by Cordao de Ouro.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Tierra Cosecha Fundraiser at the SweetWater Brewing Company in Atlanta

What do salsa and sustainability have in common?

Find out on Saturday, October 24th, 2009 from 7:00pm - 10:00pm at the SweetWater Brewing Company in Atlanta, Georgia. This event has an age limit of 21 and over.

Apart from an array of door prizes, you can look forward to earthy decorations from Farmer D as well as catering from Evos.

Some of our door prizes include:
Dinner for four at Parish
Private party at East Andrews for up to twenty one (21!) guests. Includes complimentary drinks, appetizers and admission to that night's Andrews Upstairs show.
A bottle of South African wine and a t-shirt from ISAW wines.