Soil, you say! ‘Why celebrate SOIL? Isn’t soil just the stuff that gets muddy in the winter and powdery in the summer? What’s World Soil Day got to do with me anyway?’
Well, you’ll be forgiven for not knowing about World Soil Day, but it was first named by the United Nations in 2014 to bring attention to the degradation of our soil across the globe.
The International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) recommended it to the United Nations initially in 2002. Thailand led the recommendation and within the guidelines of the Global Soil Partnership, it became formally established in 2013 and the first World Soil Day was in 2014.
The biggest issue at the moment is increasing salinization of soil around the world. Increasing amounts of salt in our soil leads to a decreasing amount of usable soil to grow crops. Salinization breaks down the nutrients in soil and diminishes its ability to grow food.
It’s estimated that 1.5million hectares of farmland is lost every year because of salinization of the soil. And that’s a scary thought, considering that farmland is essential for rich, thriving eco-systems. In fact, due to salinization of soil, countries like India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and parts of the United States can no longer use their soil for agriculture.
Along with salt affected soil, which covers an estimated 8.7% of the planet, deforestation and urbanization have denigrated the nutrients and moisture contained in soil. It’s estimated that all of our top soil will be wiped out totally in 60 years times.
By bringing awareness to the effects of harmful farming practices, deforestation and urbanization have on soil, we can start to do something about it.
For instance, by integrating regenerative agriculture and agroforestry into farming practices, we will start to reduce the amount of soil that becomes unfit for crop growth.
We know that planting trees and rejuvenating forests is a key component in the fight to maintain our eco-systems. Tree root systems will maintain the moisture and micronutrients found in soil and these factors are essential for growing food to ensure a rich and thriving eco system across the planet.
Soil is responsible for more than 25% of the planets plant life and importantly, 95% of the food we consume comes from soil. It stands to reason then, that poor quality soil will give us poor quality food.
Poor quality soil that’s high in salt and low in nutrients will not be able to produce high quality fruits, vegetables or grains. Equally, it won’t be able to produce the quantity required to sustain a healthy population.
High quality soil also has a knock on effect in the fight against climate change and global warming.
So, what can we do to observe World Soil Day?
We can avoid all single use plastics, as these are not biodegradable and reduce the quality of soil.
We can also choose eco-friendly cleaning, personal care and gardening products in order to protect the soil from any ‘nasties’ that are contained in none eco-friendly ones.
If we take this a bit further, we could consider composting our food waste – composting feeds soil with rich nutrients. Give it a go – your soil will love you for it!
We are Garden Supplies – providing sustainable landscaping supplies delivered to your door. We are a Gloucestershire based company since 1991. We supply walk and play surfaces, top soil and ameliorants, mulches, fencing, aggregates and landscape supplies.
If you’re looking for some help or advice regarding anything from the best mulch choice to paddock maintenance, give us a call on 01453 547 299 or take a look at our website www.gardensuppliesglos.co.uk