From the most recent issue of our magazine, Green American, where we update readers on the progress we've made over the last quarter on climate, finance, food, labor, social justice, and more.
Green America's 2022 Victories (and a sneak peek at the work ahead in 2023)
Together, we accomplish the extraordinary. Here we take a moment to celebrate our 2022 victories that Green America members make possible and spotlight advances that will make our work even more powerful in 2023:
Thanks to our campaigns, Amazon, AT&T, and Verizon have gone from using no renewable energy to making some of the largest corporate commitments to clean energy ever.
We launched our Soil Carbon Initiative (SCI) Go-to-Market pilots. SCI provides the “how to” road maps, commitments, and third-party verification to help farms and companies transition to regenerative agriculture for soil and climate health. The pilot farmers, companies, and their networks represent over three million acres.
We reached a milestone of 15,000 registered Climate Victory Gardens that are sequestering carbon equivalent to driving 38 million miles and educated millions of people nationwide about the benefits of regenerative gardening through earned media, our website, and webinars.
Our Toxic Textiles campaign moved Carter’s, the kids clothing company, to commit that 100% of its cotton and polyester will be sustainable by 2030. The company has also committed that all 0-24-month baby clothes will be Oeko-Tex certified as non-hazardous by December 2022.
Our Clean Electronics Production Network collected chemical data from over 100 electronics manufacturing facilities to map the chemicals in use in the electronics industry. In 2022, smartphone maker Fairphone joined Apple, Dell, and HP in committing to eliminating high priority toxic chemicals and protecting workers from these chemicals. We are also working with these companies to substitute safer chemicals in electronics production to protect millions of workers from exposure to the most toxic chemicals in use.
Our Skip the Slip campaign got CVS to offer digital or no receipt options to all customers, saving 87 million yards of receipt paper, enough to circle the globe twice.
In 2023, we’ll build on these victories and our other progress on climate, regenerative agriculture, and protecting workers from toxic chemical for more extraordinary progress for people and the planet. Stay tuned!
Congress Passed the Inflation Reduction Act and Tabled a Dirty Side Deal
In 2022, Green America joined with allies in pushing for strong climate change and social justice provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which was signed into law in August. That coalition also worked together to oppose fossil fuel handouts in the bill. Unfortunately, the subsidies for fossil fuels were incorporated in the final legislation. Still, the IRA is the most significant expansion of climate policy in US history and provides tax incentives and funding that will:
- Rapidly expand wind and solar power in the US.
- Help millions of Americans switch to electric appliances and vehicles.
- Provide billions of dollars in support to Green Banks nationwide to further state and local climate change efforts.
- Provide support to struggling farmers and fund conservation programs.
- Ramp up manufacturing and installation of clean energy technologies in the US to create millions of jobs.
We will use the passage of the IRA to accelerate corporate adoption of clean energy, and ensure federal agriculture funding supports regenerative farming. We’ll also help our members and the public learn how they can access the money that the IRA provides to go solar and switch to electric vehicles. And we’ll help our Green Business members learn how they can take advantage of the IRA to further green their businesses.
Green America also joined with environmental justice allies nationwide to successfully oppose the “Manchin side-deal” from getting included in a must-pass budget bill. This side deal would have accelerated permitting for fossil fuels projects in exchange for Senator Joe Manchin’s vote in favor of the IRA.
“Communities most harmed by fossil fuels would have once again been most hurt by speeding up permitting of fossil fuel pipelines and other infrastructure,” says Dan Howells, Green America’s climate campaigns director.
Green America mobilized our individual and business members and reached out directly to Congressional staffers to encourage their members to oppose. In a victory for people and the planet, the side deal legislation was removed from the budget bill. But it could come back up after the election, so we’ll be ready to mobilize opposition again.
Regenerative Agriculture Provides Healthier Foods for Consumers
The evidence is in. Not only is regenerative agriculture the solution to rebuilding soil health, restoring the climate and regenerating farm prosperity, but crops grown in regenerative fields are better for our health as well. Over the past several decades, conventional crops grown in tilled soils and doused in multiple chemicals produced food with decreasing nutritional benefits.
Not surprisingly, when farmers improve soil health and reduce chemicals, the food that is grown is healthier. Peer-reviewed research from a 2022 study published in the journal PeerJ shows that crops grown in regenerative fields are higher in phytonutrients, vitamins, and other nutrients.
Green America’s Soil Carbon Alliance, our network of farmers and food companies, recently launched the Nutrient Density Working Group to draw attention to the nutritional benefits of regenerative agriculture. Working with farmers and food companies, along with consumer advocates, nutritionists, the medical community, and grassroots groups working on food access, this initiative will help spur the demand for the transition to regenerative agriculture.
“The regenerative farmers we work with like to say ‘healthy soil grows healthy plants, to feed healthy people and communities,’” says Jessica Hulse Dillon, director of Green America’s Soil & Climate Alliance. “Connecting the impact of regenerative practices with nutrient density increases the impact of work in the climate, environmental, and food access spaces to transform our food system.”