By: Bibiana Egbunike
Yes, you read that right, the key to decreasing C02 emissions might just be beneath your feet. Kiss the Ground, a 2020 Netflix documentary directed by Rebecca Harrell Tickell and Josh Tickell offers a new and hopeful perspective on the detrimental problem of increasing emissions and soil degradation. As the name suggests, we should be grateful to our soil as it would be playing a vital role in the fight against global warming. The soil’s powerful regenerative capacity and ability to sequester large amounts of carbon means that it should be nurtured and protected rather than drowned in toxic pesticides and chemicals.
The documentary begins by showing the vast amounts of land that has fallen victim to the overuse of pesticides and chemicals. Furthermore, the narrator, Woody Harrelson, explains how unsustainable farming practices have not only damaged our vital carbon remover by inducing soil erosion but also led to significant health issues and changes in our climate. It’s not all bad though, as the documentary then presents a well-thought-out solution: regenerative farming, can reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere and also regenerate the degraded land. This solution is like a breath of fresh air from the intoxicating problem of global warming. Soil is all around us: in your backyard, at the side of the street, in the park and of course, in our impressive forests. We can all contribute to this solution by taking care of any patch of soil we can get our hands-on. You, as an individual can consider planting a tree, nurturing the soil in your backyard, or getting a compost bin to reduce your food waste. Composting is particularly important as it reduces the amount of waste thrown into landfills and contains important natural nutrients for the soil.
The documentary, through various clips, shows how captivating healthy soil can be. Multiple sustainable and regenerative farmers are interviewed to share some insight into their farming practices. An impressive farmer shows how a barren land can be turned into luscious green vegetation if it is properly cared for. The Loess Plateau in China is an example of the wondrous performance of regenerative farming. However, it doesn’t stop there, as there are also economic benefits. Regenerative farming has also demonstrated its ability to be tremendously profitable. The documentary highlights that regenerative farming could increase farmer’s profits by $100 billion annually. Who wouldn’t want to invest in such an impressive opportunity?
This documentary does an excellent job of inspiring hope rather than leaving you with dread. It expresses the importance of the soil we overlook every day and emphasizes how dependent we actually are on it. In addition, the documentary presents an unbiased view of how modern agriculture has caused environmental degradation and is simply unsustainable. We need to graduate from these old-fashioned unsustainable methods into sustainable production of both crops and cattle.
Moreover, one thing this documentary does brilliantly is not putting pressure on viewers to change their lifestyle choices, as most people seem to shy away from those kinds of documentaries. It doesn’t tell you to go vegan to save the planet. Instead, it offers sustainable ways meat consumers can purchase ethically produced animal meat and nurture their soils. Even vegetarians can be more aware of the kinds of eggs they buy as cage-free chickens produce eggs with much more nutrients. It is not only a cinematic masterpiece but it truly caters to all audiences. Vegan or not, environmentally friendly or not, this documentary is truly insightful and you would not regret giving up 90 minutes of your life to watch it. So, in between your classes and due dates, take a break and give this documentary a little over an hour of your time.
Feature image source: Unsplash