GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KREX) — Citizens for Clean Air want to help address climate change and make a positive impact by reducing air polluting burns. The idea is a plant-burning kiln that creates a superfood for plants called biochar.

“It looks a lot like charcoal and, depending on what you using for material, it might look like chunks of wood,” Citizens for Clean Air Vice President Kristin Winn describes.

Heating plant matter and vegetative waste with low oxygen in a kiln creates the carbon filled biochar.

“Working with biochar doesn’t have to start big,” Cora Dickey reports, “All you need is pure interest and a pair of gloves.”

The first year of testing points to success. Small farmers like Michael Lobato say it’s a great new addition to his gardening toolbox.

“I had seen enough from the experiment to start using 10 percent of bio char in my soil amendment,” Fruita Farmer Michael Lobato attests, “That hands-down gave me greater yields in and better fruit.”

Year two of the study is also sprouting proven results and incentivizing farmers to take the next step.

“The idea is there will be a lot of people to grow vegetables either commercially, or in their backyards,” Dr. Gerald Nelson, PhD mentions.

If CCC can convince farmers, orchardists and vineyards it’s better to keep carbon in the soil than to burn it, the next step may be to apply for grants, set up a kiln at the landfill and sell biochar to local farmers. First, the CCA says it needs more volunteers to keep the experiment growing between now and September.

CCA President Karen Sjoberg says few things make you feel better than watching things grow.”

“It’s not a whole lot of time, it’s a good way to spend the summer,” Citizens for Clean Air President Karen Sjoberg elaborates, “We’re very flexible I know that people have busy summers so you know you can go do your thing and still help us at the same time.”

If you’re ready to grow a green thumb, the Citizens for Clean Air invites you to volunteer at one of its four plot sites this summer.