About this Campaign
It’s not something you think about regularly.
Yet it’s all around us.
Critical to life in so many ways, but always unappreciated.
The soil that we walk on, grow on, live on and depend on is a non-renewable resource. And it’s disappearing quickly.
Our Very Foundation
Soil is easy to take for granted. The dirt under our feet isn’t something you spend hours appreciating in a garden. There are no songs or poems composed about the ground. But that doesn’t mean soil isn’t a critical resource. It is.
At our most basic level we need food and water to survive. Water we worry about, but food we take for granted. It will always be there, or we will be able to grow some more. But will we? Growing food requires quality soil. Grazing livestock and wildlife count on the vegetation that comes from the earth. No earth? No plants. No life.
The Depletion of Soil
Soil has always been one of our most plentiful resources. So plentiful in fact that it was only recently that we, as a global society, realized that our future may hang on the quality of the soil we preserve. Land has always been a form of wealth and power, but the dirt on the land didn’t garner quite as much attention.
But we are paying attention now.
Every ounce of concrete poured in an expanding city or town is “freezing” the soil underneath. Every parking lot, every road and every building is depleting our soil. Poor farming practices lead to erosion. Overgrazing livestock does the same thing. Over time our soil has been buried under our cities, blown away or washed away.
It certainly feels as though we have quite a bit of soil left. Just look out the window and you can see the ground, but not all soil is quality soil, rich with nutrients. And soil isn’t just about growing food. It has many other benefits as well.
The Quality of Soil
Up to one quarter of the world’s diversity in animal life lives in or depends on the soil. Destroyed soil means destroyed habitats and creatures. The soil also provides a natural barrier against flooding as well as a way to filter water. Perhaps most importantly, soil also helps to filter carbon, helping to clean the air and slow global climate change.
It takes more than two thousand years to create another inch of topsoil. Soil is a limited resource that must be protected and cared for, much as we care for and protect our other most valuable resources.
In 2013, the International Union of Soil Scientists petitioned the United Nations to make December 5th World Soil Day. This year, we recognize World Soil Day as a chance to celebrate the importance of soil as a critical component to our lives and the health of the globe overall. In other words, this is a day to celebrate the soil and all it represents to our way of life. It’s a day to get dirty.
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