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The Sustainable Life
The Sustainable Life

Tips & Advice

The Sustainable Life

A Better Earth

Recycling

Dr. Earth is fully committed to educating the agricultural industry on adopting sustainable practices that will set a new standard for generations to come, preserving our natural environment and empowering individuals to expect better food with less of a carbon imprint.

A perfect example of this is food waste. Organic waste of all types should be turned into liquid fertilizer, not garbage. It has become common practice for farmers to discard roots, leaves, bruised fruits, soggy vegetables, and a variety of quality organic material that he considers an incredible source of healthy and complete nutrition for soil and the plants grown in it.

Milo Shammas has endeavored to educate and enable both distribution channels and retailers to adopt these practices, turning what would otherwise be waste into a valuable fertilizer product. Since we ultimately consume the higher-quality food grown with the support of this fertilizer, using this type of approach is an example of the purest form of sustainability.

Plastics are always a concern in the field of recycling. Dr. Earth takes it even further than just the undertaking of his company’s waste; partnering with a prolific recycling company named Oceanbound – using them as the sole manufacturer of his liquid fertilizer containers. Oceanbound sources their raw material from plastic waste that would otherwise be discarded and drifting in the oceans.

Another groundbreaking company Milo has chosen to team up with is Envision Plastics. This innovative company is partnering with local communities in third world countries. Envision actually creates value for trash by paying the indigenous for trash and recyclable goods, allowing thousands of pounds of post-consumer waste to be removed and recycled. This also helps further assist third world countries with no previously-existing trash removal or recycling infrastructure, empowering them to better manage their trash problems.

Closing the loop entirely is of utmost importance to Milo, and he continues to find new and improved approaches to improving our food growing, as well as supply and distribution chains. He also continues to challenge the industry, finding scalable and effective ways to minimize his company’s carbon imprint while sustaining—or even enhancing—the quality of product Dr. Earth manufactures.

Clean Water

An often-neglected aspect of both commercial and small-scale farming practices is the importance of protecting our water quality. Clean water starts with basic practices that anyone can incorporate into both their garden and lawn care routines. Regardless of location, water is part of a watershed—a region in which water flows across or underneath the surface on its way to a lake, river, ocean, or stream. Because of this, year-round lawn and garden care practices can have a major effect on water quality, even if you don’t live near a body of water.

Scientists have discovered that the phosphorus contained in many fertilizers contributes to poor water quality. Phosphorus is already present in all living things, including the soil. However, an overabundance of phosphorus can disrupt nature’s delicate balance. Runoff can carry excess phosphorus from chemical fertilizers that will eventually run into reservoirs, lakes, and even the ocean. Lawns and plants are not typically able to absorb all of the water soluble fertilizers in chemical fertilizer formulations, so the remaining phosphorus becomes water pollution.

This excess phosphorus could be considered “junk food” for algae, allowing algae populations to bloom unchecked. This reduces the clarity and visibility of the water, which in turn reduces photosynthesis by oxygen-producing aquatic plants, therefore reducing the oxygen in the water. Some forms of blue-green algae can even be toxic. Repeated algae blooms can create green-colored lakes with low oxygen, often resulting in fish kills or depleted water habitat for fish, wildlife and humans. Additionally, such conditions may degrade drinking water supplies and create other environmental nuisances. Many cities have even put out a ban on the use of chemical fertilizers in close proximity to lakes and rivers for this very reason.

The simple solution to this issue is to use only organic fertilizers that contain water-insoluble compounds that will not pollute the watershed indefinitely. Dr. Earth products are all formulated to ensure that there isn’t a negative environmental impact on the water, enabling gardeners and organic farmers to deploy a solution to prevent phosphorus runoff and contamination.

Fair Trade Organics

Fair Trade is a model of sustainable, ethical trade model that places an emphasis on the environment and the people living in it. It is considered the easiest way to do the most good when sourcing or growing food and other naturally-derived products. Fair Trade practices are based on the simple notion that the products humans produce, buy, and sell are connected to the livelihoods of others. Choosing to purchase Fair Trade goods means you support responsible companies, empower farmers, workers, and fishermen, and protect the planet. It’s quite simply a world-changing way of doing business.

Even if you shop regularly at your local supermarket instead of organically growing your own food, you can still support the values and ideals that fair trade and organic practices were founded upon. Fully converting to organic production from less sustainable, less healthy commercial practices can require an enormous investment risk in both money and time. As a consumer, you can choose to vote with your dollar and support businesses making these conversions by purchasing fair trade organic food and products from your local markets every time you shop.

While organic food costs may cost a bit more than non-organic, the short-term cost is more than balanced out by the long-term gain of conserving our soil and providing pesticide free produce to support our overall good health. As we demand and support more organic foods and products, even large-scale companies will have to respond and make changes to serve the market demand. They will adopt healthier practices provided the consumer raises the bar by supporting those companies.

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