By Beatrice Ann/Philippines
Edited by Rubina Karki/Nepal
Graphic by John Carl Alonsagay/ATO - ClimatEducate Project
This May 3-9, various individuals and organizations from all over the world are highlighting a very important factor needed for our sustenance: the real “black gold” or compost. All of us need food to eat, trees for shade and oxygen, and so do the animals so that they can have shelter and resources for their own survival – all of these come through the soil, and that is why, we need to take care of this valuable entity that we simply regard as “dirt”.
But the truth is, dirt is simply “displaced soil”. That means, the soil we consider as dirt is not utilized to its actual purpose, even though it is filled with life and nutrients. A healthy soil is well-aerated, filled with minerals, and can store large amounts of water. A healthy soil, especially its topsoil, stores carbon. Sadly, because of unhealthy and conventional practices in industrial agriculture, this very valuable resource gets depleted at an alarming rate, globally. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) noted that in Asia, particularly in the South and Southeast Asian region, the years of mono-cropping rice and transforming lands from traditional crops for palm oil, sugarcane and cassava have worsened soil degradation.
Consider, the soil as the fragile skin of planet Earth. It has to be taken care of. This is where compost comes in. With compost, we can improve or maintain the soil health and manage our plant growth very well. For 25 years, the International Compost Awareness Week has been showcasing the tagline: “Soil Loves Compost” and has been continuously advocating for public awareness on the benefits of compost and organics recycling.
So what are these benefits of compost?
There are different ways to compost. FAO has provided voluntary guidelines for Sustainable Soil Management: http://www.fao.org/3/a-bl813e.pdf and the ICAW organizers have provided A Homeowner’s Guide to Composting: https://www.austinrealestate.com/homeowners-guide-to-composting.php
So why don’t you try composting at your own home this week?
Beatrice Ann is the current Director for Education & Advocacy of the ATO - ClimatEducate Project. She is passionate in environmentalism and sustainable consumption.