Article by: Serina Branch NASM-CPT and Stephen Alexander IFA, NREMT

Carbon Footprint What is sustainable agriculture and why is it important to YOU? Sustainable agriculture is the production of food, fiber, or other plant or animal products using farming techniques that protect the environment, public health, human communities, and animal welfare. Sounds good, right? Idealistically yes, but realistically this practice hasn’t come close to fruition nationally or globally. The good news is that YOU, the consumer, can spark change with your dollar and make responsible food choices that impact your environment in a positive manner.

Carbon Footprint

Carbon Footprint
“Carbon” is shorthand for greenhouse gas emissions, including CO2, methane, nitrous oxide and F-gases. These gases are released by many different types of activity – not just the burning of fossil fuels, but also farming, deforestation and some industrial processes.

Percentage of global emissions allocated to human activities:


  • Electricity & heat (24.9%)*
  • Industry (14.7%)*
  • Transportation (14.3%)*
  • Other fuel combustion (8.6%)*
  • Fugitive emissions (4%)*

Agriculture (13.8%)*
Land use change (12.2%)*
Industrial processes (4.3%)*
Waste (3.2%)*

*global emissions relative to conventional/ factory farming

Potential costs of modern/ conventional agricultural techniques:

  • Topsoil depletion
  • Groundwater contamination
  • Degradation of rural communities
  • Lowered conditions for farmworkers
  • Increased production costs

Sustainable agriculture potential costs:

  • Environmental health
  • Economic profitability
  • Social and economic equity

Now is the Time

Now is the right time to fully embrace sustainable agriculture – a system in which farmers use techniques that protect the environment, economy, people, and communities.

Embracing sustainable agricultural practices allows farmers to think critically about their farming processes and creatively devising innovative practices to reduce their emissions related with conventional farming activities. S.A.P require farmers to be more careful about the use of natural resources such as water, waste, and energy. S.A.P. in today’s world prompts farmers to develop strategies to reduce “food miles,” and/or grow food locally.

Local food growing stimulates the local economies and reduces the carbon footprint. Also, along with sustainable agricultural practices comes community cohesion, effecting the farmers, laborers and consumers positively.

Community Cohesion in Delray Beach

Right here, in our very own Delray Beach, many people have been making informed/responsible food consumption decisions by shopping at local farmer’s markets, local grocers, or eating at restaurants that provide local farm to table food.


Purgreens, a local farm to table restaurant in the heart of Delray Beach, has been part of the pioneering process that helps reduce our collective carbon footprint. Influenced by responsible agricultural practices, Purgreens has implemented an urban agricultural growing system popularized by LA Urban Farms. This farming system utilizes Tower Garden Aeroponic Technology developed by the world leader in vertical aeroponics. Tower Gardens can grow most all vegetables, fruits, herbs, and edible flowers. This state-of-the-art vertical patented technology is the perfect solution for farming in an urban setting, using 90% less land and 90% less water. This technology also allows the grower to control all elements of food production, most importantly the quality and safety of the water.

The nutrient-dense living produce from PurGreens can be harvested in half the amount of time as traditional organic farming and requires a fraction of the amount of time to maintain (up to 50% less time) all without use of any soil. Best of all, the Tower Garden eliminates the use of any harmful herbicides and pesticides.
Change starts with YOU. You have the capability to make a difference by voting with your dollar. Shop at local grocers, farmers markets, and eat at restaurants that serve food harvested from sustainable agricultural practices. Health is contagious; be the change you want to see in the world