Berwyn, Pennsylvania – The Biochar Company, creator of Soil Reef™ branded biochar and biochar-blended products, announces the release of a new four-part YouTube video series showcasing the social, economic, environmental, and scientific impact biochar is having on communities and individuals in Costa Rica through its diverse and practical applications. The series follows The Biochar Company’s Director of Social Impact, “Biochar Bob” (Bob Cirino), as he crisscrosses the country with leaders of a Costa Rica-focused non-profit, Estufa Finca (Spanish for “farm stove”), which is catalyzing grass roots biochar adoption by spreading its high-efficiency, biochar-producing cook stoves while simultaneously developing a biochar marketplace.
“From the moment I learned about biochar, I have had an unquenchable desire to share its story with as many people as possible,” says Bob. “With a material as powerful as biochar – something that has the multi-dimensional capacity to make a massive impact in the lives of so many – I couldn’t help but feel compelled to tell the world about it.” But just talking about biochar does not easily satisfy Biochar Bob; he wants to show it, too. The “Biochar Bob Goes to Costa Rica” video series is part of a greater collection of U.S. and international stories featuring Biochar Bob showing what biochar users can accomplish through its many applications and implications.
In Costa Rica, biochar’s impact starts before the biochar enters the farm. Estufa Finca team members, alongside local residents, build biochar-producing cook stoves – made from inexpensive and accessible materials – to create three powerful benefits. First, the stoves use about 40% less fuel than a traditional open fire; emitting 90% less smoke and 85% less carbon monoxide and thus improving in-home air quality. Second, as deforestation is exacerbated by ever-increasing cooking fuel demands, these stoves provide a grass roots tool to abate that threat, especially because homeowners can use any type of biomass as fuel including agricultural wastes. And third, stove owners use their own biochar, created in the cooking process, to amend their soils or sell it to larger consumers like farmers.
“The Biochar Company fully supports the social impact that follows biochar’s adoption. We are committed to sharing the stories of its benefits in the daily lives of individuals throughout the globe, regardless of the ‘developed’ or ‘developing’ status of a country,” says The Biochar Company’s CEO, Jeff Wallin. “When you know better, you do better,” adds Wallin.
The video series are one component of The Biochar Company’s #MySoilReef campaign, a multi-pronged initiative uniting and inspiring biochar users who are building a biochar soil reef across the globe via shared action, online photos and stories. Akin to a coral reef in the ocean, biochar’s porous structure and biologically stimulating nature creates a thriving “Soil Reef.” “Capturing the collective effort of many individuals catalyzes global change. #MySoilReef is developing a global community with a uniting mission,” notes Wallin. “We are a global village when it comes to improving soil fertility and drawing down atmospheric carbon—we have to apply every tool we have in the toolbox. Ground level technology like Estufa Finca’s cook stove is certainly one of them.”
Biochar Bob’s Costa Rica journey was made possible by the support of his fans via an Indiegogo crowdfunding project, The Biochar Company, and the Fair Trade coffee company Dean’s Beans. The videos were produced in partnership with Adam Wisneski, known for his role as President Obama’s personal cinematographer during the 2012 re-election campaign. “The first thing I noticed and admired about Bob was his relentless passion for spreading the word about biochar. It’s contagious. And soon after I found myself boarding a plane to Costa Rica to help him document how the use of biochar was affecting the lives of everyday Costa Ricans. Biochar is a big, big step toward a more sustainable future for all of us,” notes Mr. Wisneski.
In the conclusion of the video series, Biochar Bob asserts, “This earth is a paradise. Let’s use the tools we have, like biochar, to keep it that way.” Biochar Bob now not only tells the story, he has become a part of it – and enveloped many others along the way.
In addition to his YouTube channel, you can follow Biochar Bob by visiting his Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. To learn more about the Estufa Finca project, visit SeaChar.org.