Over Grow The System

Prioritizing Environmental Sustainability

Category: Blog

How Much Does It Cost to Go Green?

With climate change knocking on the door, the push for going green is stronger than ever. This process includes several steps that apply to different aspects of your lifestyle. In the most general sense, going green would affect what you eat, what you drive, and how you power your home.

Energy sources

This is arguably the most important part of going green. Fossil fuels today still power most cars and other means of transportation, heat your home, and bring the electricity all of your devices require to run. Oil, gas, coal, and wood remain among the most popular materials used in energy production. However, they pollute the air and water, contribute to global warming, and cause the extinction of one species after another.

The good news is that there are plenty of renewable energy sources out there. Wind power is quite popular in Europe, where the climate and geography are conducive. Solar power is even better since the Sun has quite a long life ahead of it. If humanity perfects the techniques of capturing and storing the radiation the Sun emits, fossil fuels will become obsolete.

Switching from one to the other energy source means more research and development, as well as an effort into replacing the existing infrastructure. For example, one reason electric cars are not too popular right now is the lack of convenient power stations. On the other hand, drivers of regular vehicles pass by hundreds of gas stations each day.

Switching to green energy applies to the whole world and concerns roads, buildings, power plants, factories, and more. The price of the transition is quite high on a global scale. According to a report by the International Energy Agency, it could cost as much as $45 trillion.

Costs for you

Modifying your home to run on solar energy can cost as much as $30,000 on paper. However, many states offer tax cuts and incentives that would lower this amount to $12,000 or less. Plus, your bills would be smaller, so the price difference would make up for the investment costs over time. In Norway, there are specific lenders that help you make the switch to more efficient, long-term cost saving solar energy options, such as Sambla’s forbrukslån.

Additionally, expect to spend up to $2,500 on replacing your water boiler and toilets with water-saving ones.

As for switching to an electric vehicle, the price of the car is comparable to a regular one. However, the annual fuel costs are twice lower for EVs, so you would actually be saving money.

Food

You can help the environment by making more mindful food choices too. Switching to organic products is one part of it. Fruits, veggies, and animal products certified organic are grown without the use of heavy chemicals.

Using more sustainable farming techniques is better for the environment — it’s also not as expensive as you think. A Harvard study on food found that eating healthy only costs $1.5 more per day per person.

Another important consideration here is meat consumption. The majority of the fertile land in the world is used to grow food for your food.  If you switch to eating less meat (or none at all), these lands could be used to farm fruits and vegetables for humans, increasing supply and thus lowering the overall prices of food.

What is Over Grow The System?

Over Grow The System has been dedicated to raising awareness around our food system, sustainability, and how to live a life that is more in tune with nature. We recognize that many aspects of our current systems in place around the globe are causing much of the environmental destruction and social issues that we currently face. There is no simple answer, but through OGTS, we seek to shed light on those out there who are talking up the call to create alternatives through urban and rural farming, permaculture, sustainability projects, green tech and much more. What we face is in no way a easy fight, but for the future of not just humans, but much of the life on the planet, it is quite possibly one of the most important.

We’re social! Connect with us on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

Growing the Next Generation of Farmers

What is a Young Agrarian?

A new entrant into agriculture. Someone from the country to the city who values food, farming, nature and community.

Who are the Young Agrarians?

Young Agrarians is a grassroots initiative made up of agriculturalists and media conspirators intent on growing food sustainably. Inspired by The Greenhorns to build a network Canada-side to celebrate, connect and recruit young farmers – the Young Agrarians are the movers and shakers of a new agrarian movement: young agriculturalists, farmers, urban farmers, market and community gardeners, community groups and academics, organizations and the public who want to ecologically rebuild, promote and inspire the agriculture of our country. We are using the power of media and the internet, and bringing people together in real time- to build community and grow ‘good, clean, and fair’ food.

Why do we need Young Agrarians?

  • Canada’s farming population is shrinking, reaching a historic low in 2006, according to Statistics Canada figures. While one in three (33%) Canadians used to live on a farm in 1931, that number plummeted to one in 46 (less than 2%).
  • Population of Canada 33,739,900, # of farmers in Canada 684,260 or 327,055 farm operators (less than 2% of total population)
  • Stats Canada average age of Farmers in 2011 = 55
  • $20,000 average yearly net loss for farmers in Canada
  • 1 in every 2 farmers under 55 report that off farm employment is their main source of income
  • Land-use changes and fossil fuel burning are the two major sources of the increased CO2 in the atmosphere that is changing the global climate. Overall, land use and land-use changes account for some 31 percent of human-induced greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Livestock now account for 50 percent of emissions from agriculture and land-use change
  • In British Columbia, according to the Fraser Basin Council’s 2010 Sustainability Snapshot, more than 50% of farmers are aged 59 and up with less than 5% 34 and younger.

What Guides Us:

Agriculture, Agro-Ecology, Agrarianism, Capacity Building, Celebration, Collaboration, Community, Crowdsourcing, Diversity, Ecology, Education, Food, Food Sovereignty, Inclusion, Farmer + Migrant Workers + Indigenous Rights, Inspiration, Land-Access, Mapping, Mentorship, Networks, Participatory Frameworks, Partnerships, Start-up Financing, Sustainability, Transparency

What does Young Agrarians (YA) do?

YA is both an on-line and off-line network and community building project.

YA is building an online network to engage young farmers, would be farmers and the public in the reshaping of our food system.  It includes:  a young farmers blog and farmer resource map centralizing information about sustainable agriculture resources to support the next generation of food producers! Our social media channels are buzzing! Join the conversation @youngagrarians and hashtag us at #youngagrarians.

Off-line we are developing a suite of programs. Throughout the year we offer EVENTS, farm tours & potlucks, 1-2 day mixers, educational workshops and more. Winter 2014/15 we are offering a Business Mentorship Network program, as well as landlinking events. Check out TOOLS for more information.

Help us build the network!  YA is looking for collaborators!  Are you doing great stuff in your community already around local food and farming?  Get in touch!

FarmFolk CityFolk

Young Agrarians is happy to partner with FarmFolk CityFolk! FarmFolk CityFolk (FFCF) is a not for profit society that works to cultivate a local, sustainable food system.  Since October 1993, FFCF has been supporting community-based food systems by engaging in public education with farm and city folks; actively organizing and advocating around local, timely issues; building alliances with other organizations; and harnessing the energy of volunteers.  FFCF’s current projects include: the BC Biomass Trader, Community Farms, Get Local, Grain Chain, Microloan Program, Shared Harvest BC and Young Agrarians.

To download our outreach document to share with your networks, click here: About Young Agrarians.