Looking around, it may be hard to imagine soil, or dirt, as a scarce or limited resource, but in fact, it is. Soil is a very necessary component of our ecosystem and our very lives. And while a mother of young children might argue this fact, the truth is, we can’t make more soil. We have what we have and if we damage it, it cannot be replaced.
Perhaps you haven’t thought about the scarcity of soil. After all, the evening news is full of stories about the lack of water in drought-stricken areas. Keep watching and you’ll hear about coal and oil — fossil fuels that drive our economy. These are limited resources with which we are all very familiar. But soil? Have you ever considered that we might so irrevocably damage our soil that it would be useless to provide all of the services we’ve come to take for granted?
Why Soil is So Important
Obviously, one of the most important uses for soil is as a growing medium for our crops — the food supply for humans and livestock. We are keenly aware of this in central Indiana where agriculture is a booming business. Care must be taken to avoid introducing contaminants into the soil that would find their way into our crops. Additionally, soil that has been altered by chemical pesticides, herbicides, or snow & ice melt products may not yield plants with ideal nutritional value.
But growing medium isn’t the only reason we need healthy and sufficient soil. Soil filters our water — another reason we need to also be careful of contaminants getting into our water supply. There are more living individual organisms in a tablespoon of soil than there are people on the earth. These microorganisms have been the source of the antibiotics we need to fight infections. The best china dishes are made from soil! About 70% of the weight of a textbook or magazine is soil. Soil is used in skin treatments, in building materials, and is the basis for our nation’s agroecosystems, providing us with food, fiber, and fuel.
How Can We Protect Our Soil?
One way we can all contribute to the protection of the soil we have is to reduce the amount of pollution that finds it’s way into our watershed and land. Judicious and careful use of chemicals and responsible disposal are critical. At Landscape Solutions, we have dedicated our time, talents, and resources to technology that helps us mitigate the negative impact we have on our environment. We use alternative fuels that produce fewer and safer emissions. We maximize the effectiveness of the deicer products we use, thereby minimizing the amount that is needed.
In your own home, you can use organic and environmentally conscious methods to fertilize your garden and combat weeds and pests. Making a deliberate effort to reduce the amount of waste you produce and to reuse and recycle whatever you can will also contribute to reducing the amount of pollution that finds its way into our soil.
Building our homes and engineering our communities and cities to control harmful erosion is another way we can be good stewards of this resource. Responsible construction protects wetlands and preserves green spaces. On your own property, you can use landscaping and retaining walls to control soil runoff and erosion.
Technological Advancements & Investments
Significant progress is being made to limit the mobility of contaminants and to rehabilitate polluted land. We must continue to develop new technologies to produce more feed, fiber, food, and fuel with less land, less water, and less energy. Soil scientists have introduced novel soil management strategies that can only be accomplished through investment in research and implementation of the new technology.
We as a society of consumers must insist on making this type of research and investment a priority!
Landscape Solutions Remains Firmly Committed to Conservation
Archaeologists have determined that the ruin of many sophisticated and advanced civilizations, such as the Mayans, resulted from their mismanagement of their soils. Will we learn from the mistakes of our ancestors? Will we leave a mess for our descendants?
Soil is a limited, non-renewable natural resource. As with any scarce resource, we need to be vigilant in protecting it, judicious in how we use it, and careful about what we do to it. Landscape Solutions was a pioneer in the lawncare, landscape, and snow/ice management industry, having dedicated our resources to green technology. Through our blog and organizations with whom we partner, we seek to educate consumers and peers about the importance of such measures as well as share ways we can all contribute to the solution.
We believe that as caretakers of our land, it is our responsibility not only to keep it well-maintained and beautifully manicured, but to protect it from damage and to preserve it for future generations.
“To forget how to tend the soils is to forget ourselves.” Muhatma Gandi
How can you get involved?
If you want to be a part of the movement to preserve our soil and all of our natural resources, incorporate some of the advice we share throughout our site. If you are an HOA officer or property manager in the Hamilton County or central Indiana, partner with us at Landscape Solutions to provide your lawncare, landscaping, and snow/ice management services.