Climate Smart Agriculture
Mitigating climate change – Assessment of innovative approaches integrating climate-smart practices and crop protection products to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in agriculture —
The proposed study aims to quantify soil greenhouse gas fluxes in different types of agricultural techniques for growing corn.
Southern Piedmont Climate-Smart Project
In partnership with Rodale Institute, eleven other universities, farming NGOs, and consulting firms, we are working with vegetable farmers and farmers markets in the Southern Piedmont to promote the adoption of climate-smart farming practices and expand markets for the sale of climate-smart commodities.
Food waste is a reckless phenomenon that exacerbates environmental and public health concerns. Every year, over 70 million tons of food waste are generated in the US alone, a number which is expected to increase as the population does. Most of this waste accumulates in landfills, where potent greenhouse gasses such as methane are released as a result. Since landfills are initially a convenient way of disposing of our waste, we have come to over-rely on dumps.
After donating edible food to those in need or converting inedible food into compost, anaerobic digestion (AD) is the best waste disposal method in terms of greenhouse gas reductions. It uses a community's own organic waste to create biogas, a form of renewable energy, by utilizing the power of microorganisms. This allows communities to both manage their contributions to landfills and create a new form of energy to use, which diversifies their energy supply and improves energy resiliency.
AD can be integrated on either a large scale such as a large urban anaerobic digester that uses the entire city’s organic waste, or on a much smaller scale such as one that is family, farm, or community-based. Whichever way it is implemented, it can lead to economic benefits by creating green jobs and freeing up space that would otherwise be taken up in landfills. Not to mention the serious reductions in air and water pollution stemming from landfills.
A Viable Solution
At the Saikawa Lab
We're working on a project called
From Food Waste to Biogas through Anaerobic Digestion
as a prototype for the City of Atlanta and to curtail environmental justice concerns.
Quick Recap: AD
AD uses the mighty power of microbes to convert organic waste into energy. The waste can be food, manure, or any other organic material that needs to be disposed of.
Not only is clean energy produced, but compost is the byproduct! This compost can then be redistributed to local farms to improve agricultural yields and reduce the need for harmful pesticides.
AD reduces greenhouse gas emissions, offers a clean alternative to waste disposal, and provides renewable energy and compost to communities.
By offering these benefits, communities all over the world can empower themselves to take control of their waste management and energy needs, without harming the planet or its inhabitants.
Although AD has the capability to process waste into sustainable energy, it has the potential to smell less than satisfactory in neighboring communities.
For these reasons, the AD plant proposed for Emory University is planned to process inedible cafeteria food in a way that diminishes the smell, an innovation that will help other AD plants optimize their process.
Places that have AD's
Anaerobic digestion can be found all over the world. For example, AD is utilized in the United States, Mexico, Thailand, and South Africa, just to name a few.
This process is only just beginning. The future of AD will likely expand as countries discover the countless benefits it provides.