October 29, 2012

Optimize and the Environment

I was recently asked a great question about the ingredients in OPTIMIZE, as it relates to the environment. It is a thought-provoking issue so I wanted to share my response with you! Here's the question:   "Optimize contains Leonardite. I've read some of the scientific research on this material, and there is good evidence it is a fine product to add to soil. I do wonder about it on an environmental level, however. Like fossil fuels, leonardite is a mined, non-renewable highly concentrated form of carbon. Is using leonardite to amend soil sustainable? Won't it, as it decomposes in the soil, release additional carbon into the atmosphere, promoting global warming?"

Thanks for the great question! It is possible to apply concentrated organic compounds such as humic and fulvic acid from substances other than leonardite. High-quality leonardite is used because it is a rich source of organic compounds and because it is inexpensive. It is inexpensive because it is a byproduct of the coal industry. We understand that coal mining is not considered to be environmentally friendly, but it does exist and one of its byproducts is leonardite. As long as the coal industry is in operation, leonardite will continue to be available. We feel that it is better to use all available materials from this process, rather than let anything go to waste.   Leonardite, on its own, is environmentally friendly. It will not contribute to carbon in the atmosphere because it is completely stable. It has already been fully decomposed and it does not emit any gasses at all. Carbon has to turn to gas to get into the atmosphere; leonardite will not turn to gas. Carbon dioxide and methane are examples of carbon-based gases that are a concern and leonardite does not contribute to the existence of either. Leonardite will actually reduce carbon dioxide by growing healthier plants that more effectively take up carbon dioxide and produce oxygen. And the benefits for plants are beyond measure! The humic acid in OPTIMIZE (in the form of leonardite) coats soil particles to keep soil loose and to improve the water and air exchange (like flour on sticky pizza dough). It also feeds beneficial micro-organisms to encourage activity to break up hard soil and fight plant disease. The result is happier, healthier plants every time!   I always welcome your questions about our products, soil health and all gardening-related questions! Leave a comment on my Facebook page!