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World Soil Day!

Updated: Dec 5, 2020



One aspect of creating biodiversity and maintaining our planet’s flora and fauna tends to go unappreciated: soil. However, that's why today is so special. As per the United Nations, today marks World Soil Day!


According to the United Nations, December 5 was chosen as World Soil Day because it is on the birthday of the late H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej, King of Thailand, who was one of the main proponents of creating initiatives that focus more attention on soil, the anchor holding biodiversity together.

Soil contains the micronutrients necessary to create life, is the home to a plethora of microorganisms and small critters, and protects lands from floods and droughts. However, overworking land, without giving it proper rest to regenerate its nutrients, and the leakage of toxic water that contains heavy metals and pesticides, greatly damages the health of soil.

All of the world’s water systems are interconnected. Whether through groundwater, rain, or lakes, what humans put into one system, can negatively affect the other. However, to protect our soil, we can make lifestyle changes that put the planet’s health as our main priority. First, we can reduce our food waste through recycling nutrients that haven’t reached their full potential quite yet. Ignoring the kale that has been sitting in your fridge for two weeks until the point that it becomes inedible, or throwing away leftovers, wastes precious resources, and forces agricultural production to increase. Furthermore, you can help protect soil, and the world’s water quality, through composting. Composting reduces the need for chemical fertilizers, and enriches soil with vital nutrients. Instead of throwing away organic matter into a landfill, where it will not biodegrade, we can compost and allow for the matter to benefit other life forms, such as trees, mushrooms, and shrubs.


World Soil Day is a day for us to reflect on how our seemingly insignificant lifestyle choices impact the world around us. No impact is too small, every action that you make matters! I hope that you take World Soil Day to eat up the food in the back of your fridge, before it goes to waste!


Sources:

  1. https://www.un.org/en/observances/world-soil-day

  2. https://www.ceh.ac.uk/why-should-we-conserve-and-manage-our-soils

  3. https://www.treehugger.com/things-everyone-protect-soil-4855245

 

Carly Gottlieb is a senior at American Heritage School in Plantation, FL.

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