Soil is an essential part of the natural environment from which most of our food is produced. It provides living space for billions of organisms, and as the foundation of basic ecosystem functions, soil acts as a water filter, helps climate regulation and conserves biodiversity.
But soils are under pressure of growing population and expanding industrialization. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, approximately 33 percent of our global soils are degraded.
Soil plays a vital part in the natural environment. /VCG Photo
Therefore, in order to raise awareness of the importance of soil, December 5 has been declared World Soil Day by the UNsince 2012.
Soil pollution, which is largely caused by man, has reached an alarming level today. Hence, it's necessary to know how to prevent soil pollution, so that small measures can be taken by each individual.
A man rides a bicycle over cracked soil near Lake Van ahead of the December 5 World Soil Day in Van, Turkey. /VCG Photo
If everyone follows the 3R principle, the soil pollution caused by landfills will be reduced largely. Landfills are actually forms of pollution which are potentially toxic. The materials that are dumped into landfills contain toxins which are eventually absorbed into soil and groundwater.
Waste materials /VCG Photo
For example, electronics including televisions and computers contain substances like acids and lead which can pose threats to the environment and public health.
By shopping differently, buying things that are useful, durable and well-made; getting creative and reusing old items, as well as recycling as much as possible, will not only save more money but also make the planet greener.
A Berlin-based startup has designed a series of mugs and reusable cups made from recycled coffee grounds. /VCG Photo
Organic products are no doubt more expensive than chemically grown products, but only in this waycan organic farmers be supported. As more organic productions arise, more pounds of harmful pesticidesand chemicals can be prevented from entering our environment.
Plant more trees
The loss of trees can cause widespread soil erosion. A forest can stabilize the soil, enhance the land's capacity to store water, and prevent erosion. So minimize the use of office paper, disposable chopsticks and paper cups, plant more trees and live green.
Edible spoon and chopsticks /VCG Photo
There are still many other ways to protect the soil and our environment. By taking action, a differencecan be made.