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World Soil Day 2022- What can children do to save soil?
We think about saving water, air and forests, but we rarely think about soil unless we are gardeners or farmers. But as we require healthy water and air, we require healthy soil. Soil sustains insects, plants, vegetation and animal; It helps filters the water, hold the foundations of our house and do many more things. In other words, it provides us with everything from food and fibre to fuel. Children must also be made aware of soil conservation, as they are the ones who will be going to shape the world. The best thing is that you don’t need to teach them rigorous agriculture practices to conserve soil; some easy steps can help, such as the ones below.
1. Save food to save soil
All food that we buy from the grocery store impacts the entire food supply. So, teaching children not to waste food can help save the soil because all food that goes to our home requires water, land and energy to grow. Moreover, food that goes to waste could benefit an individual who could have consumed it. Reducing the wastage of food not only lessens the burden on the environment but also helps feeds someone who might have to sleep another night without food.
2. Plant diversity is the key
Studies have confirmed that plant diversity improves soil health by acting as a substitute for chemical fertilizers and pesticides. There are various ways through which diversification is performed, like crop rotation, agroforestry, mixed planting and many more. One way to do this is to plant multiple crops such as pulses, beans and millet altogether. Another way is to consume different types of food that increase their demand in the market. The best schools in Nalagarh take students to farm field trips to help them understand things, such as how food is grown and what role soil plays in the development of a healthy crop.
3. Go for soil testing
Though soil testing sounds a bit technical, it can really help your child learn about soil type, PH and texture in a fun way. You can find simple soil experiments online that your kids can easily perform at home. Moreover, the Government of India has opened various laboratories for soil testing all over India where you can take your child and get to know which nutrients are already present in the soil and what it is lacking.
4. Pick organic content
Extreme use of fertilizers and chemicals in the soil has damaged it drastically. The use of organic content in the soil can save it from further damage, so whenever you and your child go to buy products for your lawn or garden, make sure they are made up of organic things. Also, try to follow practices that prevent topsoil particles from flying away or running off.
5. Make compost at home
Compost is not another thing that we add to the soil; it is an addition that offers numerous benefits. It improves soil structure, adds nutrients, absorbs water and reduces (sometimes ends) the need for chemical fertilizers. It is easy to compost at home and teach to children; Start by helping the children identify materials they can use to compost, such as food scraps, fruit scraps, vegetable scraps, dry leaves, grass and plant clippings, eggshells and coffee grounds. Then let them collect these items daily in the outdoor garden or kitchen bin. Once the compost is ready, help them use it in your garden's plants. And after a few weeks or months, show them the result.
6. Learn about soil conservation
Although top CBSE schools in Baddi teach students about soil conservation, you should also teach your children about it at home. The best is to give them hands-on experience in the garden (if you have one). Even small children will learn several things about soil, plant and bugs in a garden. Start by helping them dig and encouraging them to sow the seeds. While they are doing the work, keep educating them about things, such as what role soil plays in our life, etc.
7. Grow trees to protect the soil
Trees not just provide us with fresh air, but it also secures the topsoil by preventing soil erosion. It is essential to teach this to children, and one of the best ways to do this is to take their help in sowing plants, trees and shrubs in the bare areas of your garden. The tree roots hold the soil and protect the topsoil from running off with water. Also, nutrients present deep down are drawn by plants and shrubs to the surface, increasing the quality of the topsoil.
8. Soil depletion is decreasing food nutritional levels
According to the National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), Hyderabad, food items’ nutrition levels have rapidly declined in the last three decades. The three factors responsible for this are poor seed, unhealthy soil and air pollution. Teaching children how soil depletion is negatively impacting the nutritional value of food items can help them realize the importance of saving soil and taking steps that can change the situation.
The bottom line
Soil is vital to plants, animals, insects, worms, humans and the entire ecosystem. Our children must know ways, methods and practices to save one of the most valuable natural resources that mother earth has provided us. We hope this article will help you create a generation that will be remembered for protecting the land, not destroying it.