How We're Greening America

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The PACHA team celebrate the verifications of PACHA bread products as one of the first foods to appear on grocery store shelves with Green America's new Soil & Climate Health Initiative label.

From the most recent issue of our magazine, Green Americanwhere 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 New Verification Label: Regenerative Agriculture Hits the Grocery Aisle

A groundbreaking label from Green America’s Soil & Climate Initiative (SCI) will soon arrive in grocery stores, and with it an inspiring vision of a thriving, sustainable future for our food system.

“The Soil and Climate Health Initiative Verified label represents a measurable commitment to farming systems that seek to restore the land that feeds us,” said Adam Kotin, Managing Director of the SCI.

Green America has been working toward this moment over the past three years, and is excited to announce the first products to successfully complete the independent verification process. These products are made using ingredients from farms with confirmed commitments to actions to implement regenerative agriculture—a farming approach that prioritizes healthy, living soil.

Farmers in the Soil Carbon Initiative are taking action to:

  • Capture carbon in soils, helping the climate crisis
  • Build biodiversity above and below ground
  • Reduce the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides
  • Improve water retention in soils

In order to earn verification, farms track soil health outcomes, use practices that protect and nourish the soil, and commit to continuous improvement.

PACHA, a buckwheat bread company based in Vista, California, uses sprouted buckwheat and sea salt with organic herbs and spices to make their vegan and gluten-free products. PACHA sources its buckwheat from verified regenerative farms for all four of their hearty Sourdough Bread products including Buckwheat Loaf, Garlic Rye, Cheesy Herb, and Buckwheat Buns.

“PACHA is dedicated to nourishing the health of people and our planet through regeneratively grown foods. We are so grateful for the farmers making changes to provide our buckwheat, and for SCI’s work that is making our mission a reality,” said Maddie Hamann, director of marketing and co-founder of PACHA.

Roots Chips, a family-run farm-to-bag potato chip company based in Aberdeen, Idaho uses simple and natural ingredients for its farm-fresh products. Roots Chips sources its potatoes from their very own SCI-Verified regenerative farms for all five of their savory kettle potato chip flavors including: sea salt, barbecue, purple sea salt, jalapeño, and sea salt and vinegar.

“The SCI team has developed an amazing regenerative framework for both farmers and brands that we are thrilled to be a part of. We look forward to this tremendous opportunity to work side by side in this initiative,” said Ladd Wahlen, CEO of Roots Chips and fourth-generation potato farmer.

With more brands and farmers currently working toward verification, look for the Soil & Climate Health Initiative Verified label on additional products at your local grocery store later in 2024!

Clean Electronics Production Network Develops Chemical Safety Trainings

Green America’s Clean Electronics Production Network (CEPN) has begun work on a new project to develop chemical management and safety trainings that protect the health of workers in electronics supply chains. The trainings will be provided to facilities that may not have previously had access to such health-and-safety information, and will provide workers with crucial guidance on how to protect themselves and their coworkers from harmful chemicals.

CEPN will seek commitments from companies to support deployment of the trainings to both workers and management at electronics component manufacturers and final assembly facilities and will make training materials available publicly on the CEPN website.

The project is funded by a grant from the Initiative for Global Solidarity, a program of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. CEPN is seeking further funding for the next phase of the project: direct deployment of trainings for as many as 30 facilities in Vietnam and Malaysia.

The Faces of Green America

We’re excited to launch this new Q&A series profiling the talented Green America team enacting our green-economy mission. First up is Cathy Cowan Becker, Green America’s responsible finance campaign director, who brought her valuable expertise and thought-leadership on green and equitable finance to the development of this issue of the Green American.

What excites you most about responsible finance and community investing?

Responsible finance is an opportunity to use your money not just to stop doing harm but to actually do good. Take the financial commitments you probably have anyway: a bank account, credit cards, insurance, and retirement plan. What if you could use these everyday instruments to build a more sustainable and equitable world? The good news is, you can!

What challenges are you facing in this work?

The first challenge is a lack of knowledge. Many people don’t know how to find a community development bank or credit union, responsible credit card issuer, regional mutual insurance company, or social investment fund. Once you learn about these solutions, it’s a process to move your money to align with your values. It’s very personal—this is your money! But once you learn how to pull your own money out of a system designed to prop up climate chaos and racial inequality and move it into building community, you can help others—including any institutions you are part of such as a house of worship or nonprofit board.

What would you say to someone who’s on the fence about moving money to align with their values?

First, understand this is a process. Take our 10 Steps to Break Up With Your Megabank—it will take a few months to go through that process, and the same is true for moving your credit cards, insurance, and investments. Start with research for where you want to move your money to—Green America has resources to help such as our Better Banking map, a series of responsible finance webinars starting in April, and a responsible insurance directory coming soon. You can also consult a socially responsible financial planner or financial-services member of our Green Business Network.

What are the most powerful actions people can take with their money/investments?

No one thinks that moving your personal bank account, credit card, insurance, or investments out of fossil fuels will by itself bring about the end of the fossil fuel era. But what it will do is make continued investment in fossil fuels by big banks, insurance, and investment firms less socially acceptable—it’s one more step in pushing big financial players to do better and removing Big Oil’s social license to operate. Plus, it builds your local community—a win-win for everyone!

What do you enjoy doing when you are not at work?

I’m a founding board member for Save Ohio Parks, which fights fracking in our state parks, wildlife areas, and public lands. I swim five to six miles per week, go to an occasional concert or show, and I like lounging around with my husband and two cats.

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