What to Know About Soil Health Today and How Self-Development Can Support Sustainability

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What's happening around the world with our soils right now, how does that impact our health, and how does this fit into the sustainability conversation? And, how can we go from awareness of systemic issues, which often are very large scale and challenging to comprehend, to taking meaningful action and moving the needle forward in a positive way? On this episode, Nikki Silvestri, the Founder and CEO of Soil and Shadow, who's also a former Executive Director of People's Grocery and Green for All, shares her wisdom with us. Let's dive in.

This is a conversation on Green Dreamer Podcast with Kaméa Chayne, a show exploring environmental and intersectional sustainability from ideas to life. Subscribe to Green Dreamer on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, or any podcast app and let’s learn what it takes to thrive in every sense of the word!


[2:20] What got Nikki into sustainability. 

[3:45] Kaméa: "What's something most people don't understand about how social inequality impacts the movement?" 

[6:35] How self-development can support sustainability. 

[8:10] Nikki: "If you can't make sophisticated decisions because you're so tied to your own opinion... then we're never going to get anywhere." 

[8:45] Kaméa: "How can we inspire a mindset shift from defensiveness to a higher purpose?" 

[10:35] What motivated Nikki to found Soil and Shadow. 

[14:15] Nikki: "Focusing on building healthy soil is an intervention that is almost impossible to get wrong if you're doing it the right way, so you will unintentionally benefit other systems." 

[15:20] Kaméa: "What is the condition of soil degeneration across the world today?" 

[16:49] What we can do as individuals to support regenerative farming. 

[19:22] Kaméa: "What do you think is missing from our current way of looking at sustainability?" 

[19:55] Nikki: "Soil is pretty hidden when you think about the environment." 

[10:41] Nikki: "It's really important that those of us who are working on environmental solutions have some kind of regular interaction with the ecosystem. There needs to be hands in the dirt in some kind of way." 

[21:18] Kaméa: "How can we elevate soil health into the conversation of sustainability for the public?" 

[24:02] Nikki's thoughts on what it takes to go from awareness to creating meaningful change. 

[24:08] Nikki: "The practice of looking externally when we feel uncomfortable is much less effective than looking to ourselves first."

[27:57] Nikki: "If my behavior is going to be counterproductive to the outcomes I'm going for because it's going to reinforce guilt and shame, then I'm not going to do it." 

[28:30] Nikki's thoughts on what we need to accelerate towards a thriving planet.   


Keep in Touch


To follow: @myleik

Self care practice: "Listening to podcasts while I wash my hair." 

Words of inspiration: "I am enough." 

Green tip: "Go to a farmer's market." 

Element of hope: "When people are able to do their own work and then share it vulnerability." 

Words of Wisdom: "You are enough."   

Two Takeaways