4Rs Tips for 6.24.2022 – The Dirt on Dirt: Our Lives Depend on Healthy Soil

Healthy Soil is More Important Than You May Realize

Healthy dirt is required to grow our food, and yet the majority of our soil has been depleted of the nutrients it needs to do that. Once soil loses all its critical microorganisms, it becomes sand.

Healthy soil feeds life on the planet

Photo by Lisa on Pexels.com

We need healthy soil in our future

Scientists are telling us that, at the rate our soil is degrading, by 2045 the amount of food we are able to grow will have decreased by 40%. Yet we will have 15% more people on the planet. Research has found that we have around 45 – 50 years of agricultural soil left.

Anyone who plants things wants abundant growth; a big crop. From the big companies and farms, down to the backyard gardeners. That’s the goal. Not knowing better we’ve been using human-made solutions in order to accomplish this, and they harmed our dirt. 

It’s time to help our soil heal. Here are some things to know and tips for what you can do in your little patch of the world.

  • Buy organic – Organic farming practices support healthy dirt.
  • Check out How to Grow Houseplants Sustainably. The more plants you grow the more you reduce your carbon footprint. Even houseplants.
  • Composting – not only reduces food waste but also feeds your dirt with the organic matter it needs. Find other ways to do that here.
  • Never till your garden – I know, I know. It’s a practice my parents and even their parents did. They just didn’t know better. It disturbs the microorganisms and releases CO2 that we’re trying to keep in the soil that naturally sequesters it.
  • Always cover your soil with mulch or other organic materials, like leaves. This helps keep good organisms and CO2 in the ground.
  • Don’t EVER use fertilizers – Not on your garden, your flower beds, or your grass. They kill the good organisms.
  • Don’t use chemicals like pesticides and herbicides – There are natural ways to repel bugs and weeds, and healthy soil will have the organisms to fight these. We just need to return it to its healthy state.
    • Diatomaceous Earth is a natural powder I’ve used that keeps bugs off plants. 
    • Check out these ideas for other natural pesticides.
    • There are natural home remedies you can use for weed killers.
  • Diseased crops mean diseased soil. Keep working on building healthy dirt by giving it the nutrients it needs, not chemicals that make it weaker.
  • Use cover crops. If you have a farm or a lot of planting space, read up on regenerative gardening and why it’s important to grow cover crops.

We have to get big Ag to change. Your voice can do that.

The bad news is it’s going to take a few years, a few harvests, to get the soil back to normal health. But first, we have to get everyone on board.

  • We need laws that regulate the use of soil – While many countries, including the US and the EU, have regulations for farming and agriculture, they mostly address chemicals and how to avoid contamination. 
    • Those giant machines farmers and big ag use are damaging the soil.
    • We need to push governments to enact stronger legislation about how the soil is used, in order to protect it from abuse.
  • We’ve reached a point where policy change is the only thing that will save us.
    • We can’t wait for big ag to voluntarily make changes to how they do business.
    • Smaller farmers may not be able to afford a switch from old methods. We need incentives to help them do it.
  • Activate to care for the soil. The number one thing our soil needs right now is your voice. 
    • Visit Save Soil and watch the 6-minute video. Then join the Save Soil movement at Conscious Planet where you can find resources like this toolkit with ways to spread the word over social media and other mediums.

The health of our dirt is in our hands.

Why It’s Important

There are so many reasons why we need to fight for healthy soil. 

Though our soil is a natural living organism and should contain millions of microorganisms to feed and nourish us, this is no longer the case. 

The soil is supposed to provide complex nutrients for our bodies. Research is showing that humans are now deficient in major vitamins, like A, C, K, E, and Iron, because there isn’t enough in our food. This is more than poor eating habits. 

Even if you eat whole foods, fruits, and vegetables, you can no longer get the vitamins and nutrients your body needs because the soil can no longer deliver them.

Food crisis is a driving force behind war and revolution. The majority of wars have been fought over food and resources. Our current practices are leading us to a food shortage. This will lead to instability and death, not just from starvation.

“There is no peace if there is no food. It’s as simple as that.”
Dr. Rattan Lal, Professor of Soil Science, Ohio State University, World Food Prize Awardee 2020

Watch this video to learn more about how life depends on soil and why focusing on the health of our soil should be our number one priority. And share it with all the planet-friendly people you know.

Healing our soil so it captures carbon again is the quickest way to reduce global warming.

Every living thing is carbon-based, including soil. The more healthy soil we have on the planet the more it can work as a natural way to sequester carbon where it belongs, in living things.

And if that’s not enough to convince us to change, take a look at our anticipated future food supply. This article from EcoWatch tells us the foods we’ll be eating in 30 years, from algae to insects, unless we change right now to:

  • Sustainable farming,
  • Resource conservation,
  • Eating locally and seasonally, and 
  • Eating plant-based as much as possible.

Time to Take Action

If you only have time to do one thing for the planet, outside of practicing 4Rs in your home, learn more about how to save the soil. Our lives literally depend on it. 

This Save Soil page has a link to the save soil movement by Conscious Planet. Start there to find ways to get involved and how to talk about the issue. For an update on Sadhguru and his journey to save soil check out this recent article.

If you haven’t yet, please consider downloading the free Climate Action Now app to your phone. Turn on notifications and the app will remind you to take your five actions each day. I did mine this morning and it took ten minutes! Come on, don’t tell me you can’t spare ten minutes for the planet?

Don’t forget to pledge to pick six lifestyle changes and start working on making them happen. Some are easier than others. Research says that if we each picked six lifestyle changes we can change the path we’re on.

Share this video which might open someone’s eyes to the impact of humans on our planet. Three Seconds was the Film4Climate short film winner in 2016. Give it a watch. It’s only 4 minutes long and well worth your time and sharing.

And, the US EPA has this page with more ideas of what you can do to help fight climate change.

With Much Gratitude

That’s it for this week. If you like this post, please forward it to every earth-friendly human you know. 

If you like this blog and find it helpful, please consider supporting my continued work here.

Drop me a line anytime if you have questions or comments. I love hearing from you.

Thank you for reading these tips and subscribing. Pat yourself on the back for doing your part. Remember, every little bit helps. 

You got this!


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