Updated: Jun 9, 2022
The Role Of Cities In Saving Our Soils
Everyone has a role in regenerating land and saving soil. Even if you rarely interact with soil on a personal level, you are intimately tied to it. After all, it's the basis for the food we eat and the foundation of environmental services we rely on.
This is important and should not be forgotten. Why? Because we are degenerating soils at a rate never before seen in human history. The soils that developed over millions of years of natural processes are being lost in the geological blink of an eye. This is not only tragic for the environment but ultimately for humanity.
So, how can we help regenerate land and save soils from the concrete jungles of the cities most of our population live in? There are many simple ways to do this, and believe it or not, city dwellers can have a HUGE influence on regenerating our soils.
Support Regenerative Agriculture
As consumers, we vote with our money on a daily basis. So why not vote to save our soils? This is good for our planet and good for our health.
The best way to do this is by supporting farmers who are using sustainable and regenerative practices. There are many ways to do this, the simplest is to simply buy organic.
Organic agriculture is better for the soil than conventional agriculture. It relies on using natural sources of fertilizer such as compost, instead of conventional water-soluble fertilizers. This means farmers are adding organic matter and using soil-conservation practices to ensure their soil is healthy and alive year after year.
Fertilizers used in conventional agriculture, degrade soils by diminishing organic matter, causing erosion, and killing almost all of the biological life. After many years, this soil may be unsuitable for agriculture and become desertified. Not to mention these fertilizers often leech from the soils and contaminate our water resources!
If you want to do more than buy organic, there are even better ways to vote with your money. Buying directly from a farmer's market ensures you help small farmers who tend to take even better care of their soils than industrial organic farms. Also buying a farm share from a local CSA can be a great investment to get delicious and local food during the season!
Separate Your Food Scraps
While this might seem like a small thing, separating your food scraps for composting can impact the environment. You can do this by either placing them in your municipal green waste bins or by composting them yourself!
When food scraps go to a landfill this is nutrient-rich material that is wasted. Cities produce thousands of tons of food waste on a daily basis, which can be a great primary material for organic compost. Municipal compost is typically produced in a healthy and sustainable manner. It then goes to be purchased by small-scale and local farmers who greatly benefit from this relatively accessible organic compost.
Food scraps in landfill is bad for the environment and make climate change worse! Under these conditions, organic food waste decomposes anaerobically (without oxygen) and is responsible for the release of huge quantities of methane! Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas, which warms our climate even more than carbon dioxide!
Cities Can Save Our Soils
The truth is, so many people live within cities that city-dwellers play huge economic players as global consumers. By choosing to support local farmers who practice regenerative agriculture, they too can save soils! Composting your food scraps is another daily habit that can add an extra benefit to help preserve and regenerate healthy soil!