5 Reasons Why We Need to Save Our Soil Now

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If you’re concerned about living a more sustainable lifestyle, you may be very conscientious about recycling, buying organic foods, choosing environmentally friendly products for your home, and even driving a more fuel-efficient vehicle. But did you ever stop to think about the importance of soil to our lives?

It’s something that is rarely on the radar when it comes to discussing green living, and unless you’re an avid organic gardener, you may have never thought about how our very existence on the planet depends on the health of our soils. But now soil is coming to the forefront of the discussion, as delegates from more than 190 countries prepare to convene for the 2016 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

In fact, while you may have never thought of soil as having anything to do with climate change, it actually has a lot to do with it. Soil is one of the best places to store carbon, but it takes careful management and the use of regenerative agriculture techniques (aka organic and sustainable  methods!) to get the carbon back into the soil where it belongs.

From the interesting video, Soil Solutions to Climate Problems, a timely four-minute-film produced by Center for Food Safety (CFS), here are five reasons why we need to start rebuilding soil carbon immediately:

  1. For Food Security and Sovereignty: 95 percent of our food is grown in soil. Carbon feeds soil, allowing it to produce greater yields of nutrient dense food. Healthy, rich soils facilitate food production that is appropriate to our individual climates and cultures. Farming systems that build soil health have also been shown to be more resilient to extreme weather events such as hurricanes, which will likely become more common as the planet warms.
  2. For Water Security: One of soil’s vital functions is to clean and store fresh water. Typically, as the percentage of carbon or organic matter in soil increases so does the soil’s water holding capacity. Thus, soils rich in organic matter act like giant water-holding sponges. When soils lack carbon they can’t hold water effectively, causing landscapes to oscillate between flood and drought.
  3. To Help Alleviate Poverty: When soils are degraded and lack sufficient levels of carbon, crops don’t thrive. This makes it difficult for small-scale farmers to make a viable living, which means they are often forced to migrate to urban areas where their skills are undervalued….
  4. To Protect Biodiversity: Carbon rich soils are better able to support abundant plant growth than degraded soils. Plant biomass, in the form of grasses, bushes and trees, provides food as well as critical habitat for a wide array of the world’s fauna.
  5. For Climate Security: Too much gaseous carbon in the atmosphere is causing the planet to overheat. That excess carbon is dissolving into our oceans, killing marine life. Meanwhile, there’s actually not enough carbon in the ground where it has the potential to stay in a stable, solid form. Removing excess atmospheric carbon by increasing the rate of plant photosynthesis and leaving soil as undisturbed as possible will help take pressure off of our atmosphere and our oceans.

To read the full article, visit FoodTank.com


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