“The nation that destroys its soil, destroys itself.”– Franklin D. Roosevelt
World Soil Day is held annually on 5th December. This year’s theme – Be the Solution to Soil Pollution aims to shine the spotlight on unsustainable farming practices, industrial activities and mining, untreated urban waste and other non-environmental friendly practices. With a growing population expected to reach 9 billion by 2050, soil pollution is a worldwide problem which degrades our soils, poisons the food we eat, the water we drink and the air we breathe.
Facts & figures
Below you will find a list of 3 simple tips that will help us reduce soil pollution:
1. Plant more trees
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Soil erosion is activated, when there are no trees to prevent the top layer of the soil from being carried by different agents of nature like water and air.
The effects of acid rain and floods can wipe out healthy soil in the absence of trees, which would otherwise help absorb and maintain these waters and the toxins that come along. Through reforestation efforts and planting new trees and vegetation in areas that are at risk to erosion, soil pollution can be further interrupted.
2. Use natural alternatives to toxic substances
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The World Health Organization estimates that over 3 million people are hospitalized due to pesticide poisoning every year, resulting in a quarter of a million premature deaths.
The pervasive use of pesticides in agricultural production can weaken and destroy the community of microorganisms living in the soil, particularly when these chemicals are overused or misused.
Current alternatives that promote sustainable agricultural practices include crop rotation, biological pest control and polyculture.
3. Purchase organic produce
Photo credit: Pixabay
Buying organic products is one of the easiest ways to reduce pollution in our soil.
Sustainable agricultural production practices have become vital for overturning the trend of soil degradation and safeguarding current and future global food security. If more people buy organic products the demand for nonorganic food will decline, which means less reason and opportunity to use those fertilizers and pesticides that contribute to land pollution.
On 26 – 27 March 2019, the Responsible Business Forum on Food and Agriculture will take place in Bangkok, Thailand and will bring together more than 300 leaders from companies, start-ups, investors and international agencies, to share and discuss how we can scale innovation in the production of more sustainable, nutritious food. More info here