About Branch Out

The mission of Branch Out is simple: Fight for climate justice with truth and trees.

We are working at the cutting edge of climate action and media, developing a regenerative funding model which makes carbon farming the foundation of our media efforts as we work towards designing a carbon-negative media ecosystem.

How do we do it? First, we assembled a team of journalists committed to covering the climate crisis and its solutions. We highlight the perspectives that mainstream media too often overlooks, and as a nonprofit, we are free from the conflicts of interest that distorts the reporting of corporate-backed media outlets. Through our independent media coverage, we tell the truth about pollution, climate science, regenerative agriculture, social issues, and everything in between.

Second, we engage with partner organizations to help them fund and execute carbon farming projects. We have worked with a wide array of organizations, from the San Francisco Bay Area to the Sahel, and back to Southern Oregon. These projects have focused on reforestation, permaculture, and regenerative agriculture as a means of putting carbon back in the soil and supporting communities most impacted by the climate crisis.

Branch Out was founded as a nonprofit organization on July 10th, 2017.

Branch Out – Board:

Thomas Harun – Executive Director

Since founding Branch Out in 2017, Thomas has guided its evolution from a tree-planting charity to a multi-faceted climate media and carbon farming organization. His current focus is on the launching of new partnerships and projects to form a strategic network capable of designing a carbon-negative media ecosystem. Outside of work, his favorite ways to pass the time are biking, hiking, gardening, and reading.

Keaton Peters – Writer/Editor

Keaton became involved in Branch Out early on in 2018 and quickly began leading the organization’s development as an environmental news source. He has played a major role in shaping Branch Out’s editorial style, recruiting and developing freelance writers, and managing Branch Out’s breaking news coverage. Outside of work, he is also a songwriter and music producer, and enjoys basketball and hanging out with his cats.

Yahya Apanii – Lead Journalist

Joining Branch Out in 2020, Yahya’s focus has been on writing a series of in-depth articles at the cutting edge of climate journalism. His reporting for Branch Out began with writing the most comprehensive article on COVID-19 and the Climate Crisis published early in the pandemic. His subsequent reporting has helped define Branch Out’s emphasis on supporting Indigenous land stewardship and climate justice for Indigenous Peoples. In his free time, Yahya enjoys gardening, listening to Hip Hop, and reading history and political theory.

James Balanoff – Director of Enterprise

James teamed up with Branch Out in early 2021 to assist with its return to the world beyond words. That summer, he left his nest in the Midwest for the desert brush of eastern Oregon, to experiment with off-grid living techniques and manually cultivate a fire-resistant permaculture. Drawing on a bricolage of professional experience with musical production, technical writing, and historical critique, his goal is to grow the (live and active) culture of Branch Out, feeding back and feeding forward, into a regenerative enterprise ecosystem. In the meantime, you can catch him outside, howbowdah.