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Organic farming lessons could help reduce carbon emissions

By Rodney Woods

Due to the increasing effects and consequences of climate change, the chairman of the Centre for Organic Research & Education says the lessons learnt in organic farming could be used to meet the needs for a greener, cleaner and sustainable global environment going forward.

As calls for drastic changes in the way waste is dealt with continue, Eric Love said we need to adopt a closed-loop "circular economy" model.

“The ‘circular economy’ approach to waste diversion can be best demonstrated by organic farming practices,” he said.

“They support natural systems of regeneration, and waste simply does not exist as it revolves through the system to complete the circular economy cycle.

“The traditional linear food systems have for many years supported a fast-growing population and economic growth, but also left a detrimental effect on water, soil quality, biodiversity, ecosystem services and the climate.

“As a result, a fundamental transformation to adopt circular economy systems globally is needed now more than ever as the future survival of humans hangs in the balance.”

Organic farming can benefit the environment in a number of ways according to CORE, including by reducing the environment’s exposure to pesticides and chemicals that can cause long-term contamination in the soil and water supply, using compost as organic fertiliser which will promote soil organic matter and fertility which will boost biological activity within the soil, and promoting biodiversity.

Mr Love said the circular economy was a recent aberration of the waste hierarchy of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

“Decreasing food waste must include this multi-pronged approach because the amount of food we waste is unbelievable,” he said.

“One in five shopping bags full end up in the bin.

“This is equivalent to $3800 worth of groceries per household each year.”

National Organic Week will be held from September 7 to September 13.

The Centre for Organic Research & Education is urging everyone to get involved by organising or participating in organic events held by their local community.

● For more information visit: www.organicweek.net.au