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Supporting Nature / Ag tacú leis an Dúlra

It’s no secret that we are facing a climate crisis that threatens not only our climate but our very future on this planet. Already we are seeing the collapse of delicate ecosystems that have been in existence for thousands of years. This rapid deterioration of our natural world is a direct consequence of our activities as a species: the unsustainable practices we have employed to drive our economies and our very way of life.

From catastrophic species loss to the receding ice caps, warning signs are all around us that we are approaching the point of no return. Thanks to our technological development we know which activities are particularly damaging to the environment. Excessive levels of CO2 have been pumped into the atmosphere since the time of the industrial revolution. In addition vast areas of natural habitat, ecosystems that are vital to maintaining nature’s delicate balance have been destroyed to make make way for agricultural land. Agricultural practices, particularly in the beef and dairy sectors, are a significant contributor to CO2 emissions.

We understand the magnitude of the problem and the difficulty in implementing a feasible solution both on a personal level as individuals and collectively as a society. And whilst the quickest way to achieve real progress in this fight is by exercising our right to vote, at Seed and Soul we want to show how small changes in our spending habits and lifestyle choices could go a long towards a circular economy and a sustainable future.

We promote the use of plant based foods. Not only are they far easier to incorporate into a sustainable economy, they are delicious and packed full of health benefits. We have identified the hemp plant as our star performer in these new markets. It’s impressive nutritional profile puts it in the category of superfoods. It has a multitude of applications that go beyond food markets as mentioned in our section on the history of hemp and it’s environmental credentials are incredible. It is more carbon sequestering than trees, meaning it takes excess carbon out of the atmosphere faster than trees, in a fraction of the time. It grows so quickly and vigorously that it outcompetes any weeds in the crop, thereby removing the need for herbicides. It is also naturally resistant to insect predators, removing the need for pesticides and creating a paradise for our dwindling pollinators; bees. Herbicides and pesticides are two of the biggest contributors to global agricultural emissions. It’s has a regenerative effect on soil health. When cultivated, it draws heavy metal pollutants and toxins from the soil into the plant itself whilst it’s deep tap root helps aerate the soil.

Finally and mostly relevantly to ourselves, it would flourish in our Irish climate. This could be a viable solution to a problem we all share. All it requires is working with rather than against nature.