Why do we need to celebrate soil?
December the 5th, World Soil Day is dedicated to soil. Soil all over the globe. Sandy soil, clay soil, chalky soil, you get the idea. This may seem like an odd concept given that it’s something that we largely take for granted. Why celebrate soil?
Soil is underrated, it may not seem particularly interesting to some, let alone important. But the importance of healthy soil is overlooked to our detriment. It is essential to our well-being, healthy food, ecosystems, and biodiversity. Sustainable soil on a global scale, is crucial to sustaining an ever-growing population. We need to save our soil!
What is salinization
The effects of pollution and climate change is affecting soil globally causing salinization; a dramatic increase in the natural salt content in the soil. The effects are markedly worse in arid climates like Africa and Latin America. However, globally we can see the increasing effects of salinization even here in the UK. Soil degradation is a huge threat to the ecosystem. It can affect everything from our food to our water. Salinization has also adversely affected biodiversity. World Soil Day shines a light on the countries worst affected by the degradation occurring and calls for swift solutions.
Soil and COP26
Healthy soil was the topic of much discussion at the climate crisis talks held in Edinburgh in November 2021. Acknowledgment that agricultural communities are being adversely affected by salinization was tempered with the knowledge that it is also a large contributing factor. Initiatives are being set up all over the world to help fund and demonstrate a more holistic approach to farming.
That said, the contributing factors to soil salinization are not limited to the agricultural community alone. Consumerism and modern-day convenience, it seems, are huge contributing factors to the crisis. World leaders and large conglomerates are slowly making progress towards a meaningful change as pressure mounts from an ever more globally conscious public. Recognition is needed of the link between the economic and social significance of soil management and how world leaders can reduce the impact of salinization and degradation.
Why going organic is good for soil
We use organic ingredients in Truthpaste. Organic farming means healthy soil which stores more carbon, improving air and water quality and, ultimately health. Given that many of our ingredients are sourced from parts of the world where salinization is becoming an increasing problem, it is even more important to us to support farming communities that contribute towards a healthy soil pH by using organic farming practices.
There are measurable benefits to organic farming. Measures are set to be put in place to ensure that farming practices are managed globally. The use of pesticides and fertilizers needs to be monitored to ensure that the pH of the soil is healthy. Furthermore, a 2020 study revealed global ‘blind spots’ in studying soil that it suggests should be rectified if we are to keep track of how ecosystems and biodiversity are affected.
What can we do to save our soil?
You can do your bit for this unsung hero of the ecosystem by choosing organic products when you shop. It need not cost the earth either! You can see our 5 tips to going organic on a budget to get you started.
If you want to get a bit more ‘hands on’, then why not start a home compost? Look into what can and can’t be composted and how it benefits the soil. World Soil Day may not sound like the grandest of events, but take a moment just to appreciate its vital importance.
Carlos A. Guerra et al. (2020) Blind spots in global soil biodiversity and ecosystem function research.03 August 2020
UNFCCC (2021) COP26 Sees Significant Progress on Issues Related to Agriculture. 12 November 2021
Kelly S. Ramirez et al. (2015) Toward a global platform for linking soil biodiversity data. Frontiers, 30 July 2015
World Soil Day: Campaign report, (P7) 5th December 2020. Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations