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Archive Environmental Progress News – January/February 2023

Big Results in 2022!

Biochar Training

Our Biochar Project has grown by leaps and bounds this past year. Below is a recap from our Vice President Jason Highberger.

He wrote “It’s kind of funny now but at the start of the year we were hoping that we could achieve 100 t CO2eq by the end of 2022…needless to say, we were way off!!  In 2022, our farmers and amazing team have sunk and verified more than 2,100 t of CO2eq.  Awesome!

Some highlights of our 2022 journey…

  • January:  Warm Heart registers Biochar Life as a Public Benefit Corporation
  • February:  completed field test pilots in Kenya, Malawi and Thailand
  • March:  successfully completed the EBC accreditation, delivered our first c-sink certificate to CarbonFuture
  • June:  received external seed funding investment
  • July:  secured 3 year purchase agreement with CarbonFuture for minimum of 8500 t CO2eq
  • August:  launched production in Tanzania lead by Chris as Country Manager
  • October:  reached 1,000 t CO2eq certified (9 months ahead of schedule!), Alex joined the team as Director of Operations (yay!)
  • November:  established MOU with Carbon4Good – kick starting a great partnership with PlantVillage & DreamTeam, Dr. David Hughes joined the board
  • December:  showcased by Ithaka Institute to the GIZ, certified c-sink activities by farmers in Indonesia (an Ithaka Institute project)

As of this morning, 505 farmers across 5 countries have produced biochar adhering to the Artisan standard and the numbers continue to grow!  The farmers have been supported by more than 30 amazing verifiers and 4 country managers.  We’ve distributed more than $100,000 USD to farmers and local team members providing economic benefits to the community and families.  The farmers have applied more than 1,000 t of biochar helping improve soil health and crop yields all while preventing the emissions and health risk of open field burning. 

We look forward to an even more successful 2023 and have plans to continue expanding and growing our base of farmers trained on how to turn their crop waste into biochar,

We could have not reached this milestone without the help of the many dedicated volunteers who have helped us along the way. We thank you from our heart!

Guest Articles

Bright Future Facts Related to Solar Energy

By Solar Panel Installation (Philipines)

The sun is an abundant natural resource that humanity has harnessed since ancient times. Technological developments have provided society with several ways to utilize this natural resource. In energy production, solar energy is acquired by capturing heat and light from the sun.

Solar energy harnessing technology can be classified into two categories. These are active solar systems and passive solar systems.

Active solar systems harness solar energy using electrical and mechanical components such as photovoltaic systems, voltage controllers, blowers, and pumps to capture and convert the sun’s energy.

On the other hand, passive solar systems harness solar energy without active mechanical or electrical devices. Instead, solar energy is captured by orienting a structure to the sun, selecting materials with favorable light-dispersing properties, and developing spaces that naturally circulate air.

Solar energy is one of the world’s most popular renewable energy sources. Here are some benefits and bright future facts related to solar power to further your appreciation for going solar.

Highly abundant energy source

According to energy.gov, solar energy is the most abundant energy resource on the planet. About 173,000 terawatts of solar energy strike Earth constantly. That’s 10,000 times more than what the world uses as energy.


Solar energy is one of the most renowned environment-friendly energy sources. Solar harnessing technology and power plants do not produce air pollution or greenhouse gases.

The clean energy produced by solar energy harnessing equipment far exceeds the carbon footprint associated with the raw materials used to build them. As a result, solar energy has a significantly lower impact on the environment than other energy sources.

Back on the grid

Grid technology allows any extra energy generated by a solar-powered home or business to be fed back to the grid. When renewable energy resources are unavailable, the grid can supply electricity.

In addition, if your town or city has “,” you may get a credit on your power bill. This is when excess electricity generated by renewable energy systems pulls back your electricity meter as it is fed back into the grid.

Slowing climate change through solar

Energy pollution is the highest contributor to air pollution worldwide. According to the American Geosciences Institute, the major energy sources in the United States are petroleum, gas, and coal.

Most American homes are running on energy that produces CO2 and methane. Solar energy users can slow global climate change by reducing the pollution from using coal and natural gases.

One of the cheapest energy sources

In 2017, solar electricity costs dropped from $0.28 to $0.06 per kilowatt-hour for utility-scale photovoltaic solar power. In addition, residential and commercial-scale solar electricity expenses have dropped from $0.52 to $0.16 and $0.40 to $0.11 per kilowatt-hour, respectively.

This makes solar power one of the cheapest alternatives to fossil fuels, coal, and natural gas, costing anywhere between $0.05 to $0.10 per kilowatt-hour.

Renewable energy rooftops

Rooftops are one of the most excellent locations for solar panel technology to harness the sun’s energy. As a result, households and businesses can obtain renewable energy that would’ve been wasted otherwise. 

The last decade has shown a sharp decline in solar photovoltaic (PV) systems costs. This decline was driven by PV module efficiencies and hardware and inverter costs.

According to a report from Nrel.gov, “Since 2010, there has been a 64%, 69%, and 82% reduction in the cost of residential, commercial-rooftop, and utility-scale PV systems, respectively.”

Solar-powered roads

Solar roads are constructed using solar photovoltaic technology. This technology can help generate renewable energy from public roads, residential streets, driveways, and parking lots.

Solar roads can have many benefits. For example, their energy can power nearby communities, heat roads during winter to prevent vehicles from skidding, distill water in areas with limited access to clean water supplies, charge electric vehicles, and many more!

Where Solar Shines the Brightest

Solar energy is the most abundant energy resource in the world and has some of the most positive impacts on the environment. This energy helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions, global warming, carbon footprint, and many more!

By going solar, humanity’s reliance on fossil fuels will be reduced in favor of one of the most generous, constant sources of energy available: the sun.

How Sustainable Livelihoods Help Startups

By Kat Sarmiento

In the business world, sustainability is becoming increasingly important. With the rise of environmental issues and the aim to create a more equitable world, sustainable livelihoods are becoming essential for startups. 

In this article, we will explore how sustainable livelihoods can help startups and small businesses in their quest for success. From generating funds and establishing credibility to building resilience and improving the quality of life, we will explore how sustainable livelihoods can provide startups with the foundations they need to thrive. 

But before we dive into how sustainable livelihood helps startups, let’s first know what exactly “sustainable livelihood” means.

Defining Sustainable Livelihood

Simply put, sustainable livelihood refers to the ability of individuals or businesses to generate income and resources over time in order to provide for their needs. This includes things like providing food, shelter, and healthcare, as well as generating income over time so that people can have economic security in the long term. 

12 Ways Sustainable Livelihoods Help Startups

For startups, in particular, sustainable livelihoods are especially important, as they need to make sure that their businesses will have the financial resources necessary to continue operations and grow over time. They need access to capital, the right people, and a steady source of customers in order to succeed.

Sustainable livelihoods help startups achieve this goal by providing a range of benefits, such as: 

1. Generating Funds

Sustainable livelihoods generate funds that can be used to finance a startup’s operations and growth. Funds generated through sustainable livelihoods can be used to pay employees, purchase supplies, and invest in research and development. Moreover, funds generated through sustainable livelihoods can help startups become more profitable, which then helps them attract investors and further grow their operations.

2. Establishing Credibility

Establishing credibility is essential for startups to attract investors, customers, and partners. Sustainable livelihoods demonstrate that a startup is serious about its operations and has the capability of maintaining itself over time. They also demonstrate that the startup is aware of its environmental and social responsibilities and is working to meet them.

3. Building Brand Awareness

A startup needs to build brand awareness in order to be successful in the long term. Sustainable livelihoods provide an opportunity for startups to reach out to potential customers by showcasing their products or services on various platforms such as social media, print media, digital media, etc., which increases brand visibility over time.

For example, virtual events and webinars provide an ideal platform to promote a startup’s products and services. Or, environmental and social initiatives can be highlighted on social media to create a positive impression about the startup.

4. Improving Efficiency

A sustainable business model helps startups identify areas where they can make improvements in terms of efficiency and cost-effectiveness, so they can maximize their profits while minimizing their expenses. By improving efficiency, startups can save money on operational costs, which leads to increased profitability over time.

5. Strengthening Relationships

Sustainable livelihoods help strengthen relationships between startups and their suppliers, customers, partners, etc. This leads to better collaboration and communication among all stakeholders involved in the business process, which results in higher productivity levels overall. 

6. Enhancing Quality

Having a sustainable business model allows startups to focus on quality rather than quantity when it comes to their products or services. This ultimately leads to better customer satisfaction rates and increased loyalty from existing customers as well as new ones who may be looking for something special or unique that only your startup offers! Moreover, it increases the perceived value of your product or service, thus allowing you to charge higher prices. 

7. Increasing Competitiveness

Sustainable livelihoods are designed to provide access to new markets, allowing startups to operate more efficiently and effectively. This can help startups stand out from the competition by creating unique products and services that customers may not find anywhere else.

8. Reducing Risks

Starting a business involves taking on a lot of risks. Sustainable livelihoods help to reduce that risk by providing an alternative source of income and reducing the financial burden it takes to keep the business afloat, as well as offering financial stability during times when demand for products or services is low.

9. Fostering Growth

When it comes to startups, fostering growth is essential. It is not uncommon for businesses to be stuck in the same place with limited progress. Sustainable livelihoods can help startups break out of this rut. By providing resources and connections, startups can build a sustainable business model that produces significant growth.

10. Creating Opportunities

By providing access to markets, capital, and resources, startups can take advantage of opportunities that would otherwise be out of reach. Sustainable livelihoods also provide a platform for entrepreneurial growth and innovation, allowing for new business models to emerge or existing ones to be refined.

11. Building Resilience

When businesses face unforeseen challenges, such as pandemics or natural disasters, having a sustainable livelihood helps them remain flexible and better equip themselves to weather the storm. Sustainable livelihoods are also advantageous when it comes to financial stability, as they can help businesses make more informed decisions when planning for the future.

12. Improving the Quality of Life

Sustainable livelihoods give startups the opportunity to provide employment and financial security to their employees, which in turn can boost morale and create a better work environment. Additionally, it has a positive effect on the local economy, as the money that is generated is reinvested back into the community. 

Wrapping Up

Sustainable livelihoods can provide immense benefits to startups like yours that are looking to grow their businesses. So, change your mindset now! Start exploring different options today and start your journey toward a more sustainable business model! 

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