What’s A Soil Carbon Sponge?


(And What’s Fair Trade Got to Do With It?)

We continue learning about how Fair Trade promotes environmental justice.

The term “soil carbon sponge” came up in a discussion — we wondered what it is and why it’s a big deal.

The soil carbon sponge is porous, well-mixed soil, rich in plant roots, home to a great variety of life forms, filled with nutrients and air, and often holding lots of water. In other words – the soil carbon sponge is a very happy and healthy place where plants flourish. The sponge is key to nature’s ability to take carbon from the atmosphere and return it to the soil where it belongs.

Some farmers, like those growing coffee and products we enjoy through Equal Exchange, use climate-smart agriculture practices embracing water conservation and soil enrichment. Farmers like these and the practices they use help keep the soil carbon sponge healthy. Carbon from plants gets stored in the soil. Microorganisms in the soil keep the carbon level stable. Carbon and minerals in the soil provide pockets of space for water to be absorbed, hydrating the earth and helping to keep the planet cooler and prevent over-heating.

Fair trade climate-smart farming practices promote justice for our planet. The soil carbon sponge is a big deal – geographically global and affecting everyone. Now that we know what the soil carbon sponge is, we can help keep it healthy by continuing to support Fair Trade producers and their farming practices.

Fair Trade coffee, tea, chocolate, snacks and olive oil will be available for ordering February 12 to February 21, 2022. Equal Exchange recently implemented some price increases. We’ve reviewed the price changes. Except for a few items (noted on the order form), we’re going to hold at our current prices for now.

The February order form can be found in the church office, on Ascension’s Fair Trade webpage, HERE, or USE THIS DIRECT LINK.

You can also send an email to us at with your order or to request an order form. Ordering will be paused during Lent. We plan to resume ordering shortly after Easter.