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I bet you didn’t know that today is World Soil Day. Unfortunately, most don’t, but with December 5th now recognised globally as a day to raise awareness of the importance of improving soil health, that’s about to change. The campaign, “Stop Soil Erosion, Save Our Future,” hopes to finally demand the world’s attention. So, what is soil erosion? In simple terms: it’s the removal of fertile (nutrient rich) topsoil through water, wind and tillage of the land. Other causes of soil erosion range from industrial waste, deforestation, excessive use of pesticides, climate change and the overgrazing of land for meat production.

 

As everything is connected in this vast world of ours, soil erosion has reverberating effects on our ecosystems and food production. Second only to population growth, it is the biggest environmental problem the world faces. David Pimentel, professor of ecology at Cornell University, in New York, explains, "The problem, which is growing ever more critical, is being ignored because who gets excited about dirt? The vast majority -- 99.7 percent -- of human food comes from cropland, which is shrinking by more than 10 million hectares (almost 37,000 square miles) a year due to soil erosion, while more than 3.7 billion people are currently malnourished.” As soil erosion affects food output, reduces biodiversity, and affects the nutrient content in the soil, it is clearly an issue that needs the world’s attention.

Luckily David Pimentel explains that controlling soil erosion should be quite simple: “The soil can be protected with cover crops when the land is not being used to grow crops." Other solutions are planting grass and shrubs, adding mulch or rocks, improving drainage, avoiding soil compaction, and building retaining walls. Not to mention limiting the overgrazing of land, and deforestation – which unfortunately is not so simple!

 

So, each year as December 5th rolls around, give some ‘conscious’ thought to the food you eat and the products you use (especially if they are plant-based), and more importantly, where they come from. As everything we imbibe and put on our skin demands nutrient-rich, soil in order to thrive. We at Romilly Wilde are all about being mindful about our choices and living as clean as possible from the inside out. The connection between all things is impossible to ignore: clean soil means clean food, healthy ecosystems and a cleaner planet.