World soil day - why do we need to care for our soil?
December 5th marks World Soil Day, and if you’re not familiar, we’re breaking down what it is, and why you should be excited about the opportunity to look at how we can all care for our soil just a little bit better.
Read on, because us plant-based eaters are all about protecting that soil that our plants grow in.
What is World Soil Day?
So, what is World Soil Day? It’s a day and a campaign called “stop soil erosion-save our future” that was started to help bring awareness to help support healthy ecosystems and thus support overall human well-being.
The campaign hopes to be able to not only bring awareness to the challenges that are currently present in maintaining healthy soil, but also to encourage different organizations, governments, and every day people to help work together to improve the overall health of soil today.
What is Soil Erosion?
A huge part of World Soil Day is to put an end to soil erosion. Soil erosion is when that healthy, also known as fertile topsoil, is stripped away of things like water and wind, and when land is prepared for growing crops.
It’s estimated that roughly 33% of the world’s current soil is degraded. This is expected to jump up to 90% by the year 2050.
So, why is soil erosion a problem? From a nutritional standpoint, it can cause crops to be unable to retain water and nutrients. This is why soil depletion has become such a hot topic of conversation over the last few years.
It can also affect us financially, as losing that topsoil can lead to higher production costs, which results in higher costs for the consumer.
Soil erosion can also lead to higher levels of runoff, which can lead to nutrient loss, and an increase in pollution and sediments finding their way into the waterways. It’s a very real issue, which can continue to become an even bigger problem if we don’t become aware of just how problematic this is and can become.
Here’s How You Can Get Involved
If you’re passionate about supporting the health of our soil, there’s no better time than now to get involved. For World Soil Day, you can get involved with your own World Soil Day (WSD) campaign! The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has a detailed explanation of how you can get involved here. They even have different campaign materials like posters to make getting involved easy and fun!
They also have a "greening the future "photo challenge you can get involved in. All this requires is finding a native plant at your local farmers market or grocery store, plant it, hold your pledge card and snap a photo! What’s the purpose of this? According to The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, when soils are covered with vegetation, they are not only healthier but also protected from issues like soil erosion, so plant on!
With small steps like this, we can all make a difference in reducing the massive issue of soil erosion and help prevent that 2050 soil erosion prediction from becoming a reality.