Why Sustainable Agriculture Gives Us Reason To Be Hopeful


A repeating element of history is that students and young people provide the energy for change in society. In the environmental movement, projects that focus on rooftop gardens, open source technology, and intensive community development through food are helping shift the paradigm of our traditional structure to a more environmentally and socially conscious one.

What I find incredible (and ironic) about our contemporary world is that we know more about our species, the planet, and the universe than ever before, but what we’ve uncovered is that our current model is at odds with our daily lives. As a result, a comprehensive shift in the controlling paradigm is necessary. Young people leading the movement for implementing sustainable practices in our homes, buildings, and cities is a mechanism for achieving these changes.

The term “sustainable” is open to interpretation, and for me, it describes a closed system where  output equals input. There are a number of systems that influence our daily lives, and the production and distribution of food, in particular, is drawing the interest of our generation. For me, the act of eating is a representation of the simple complexity of life — “putting into your mouth what the Earth has grown is perhaps your most direct connection to [it],” says prominent food author Frances Moore Lappé. Food not only connects us to the planet, but it connects us to each other. Because we all depend on it, everyone should have equal access, and failure to ensure this is an offense against the human family and represents the definition of injustice.

Agriculture has become more and more appealing to our generation and has resulted in the launching of many projects with the objective of bringing sustainable change. Here are three projects I’ve come across that have had the greatest influence on my thinking:

Photo Credit: Coy McKinney