Although it is the base below our feet often supporting us, many of us tend to forget about soil. It is what grows our crops, filters water, and provides a home for many organisms. It is also a crucial carbon sink that helps reduce the amount of greenhouse gases in the air. As we continue to pollute our oceans and air, we must also pay close attention to the pollution of our soils as they are just as important. Soils are often polluted with trash and chemicals such as pesticides, mercury, nitrate, and many more. A recent study revealed that worms are unable to thrive in soil with microplastics in it. 95% of our food comes from the soil; therefore, it is crucial to be aware of how we are affecting it. There are five main ingredients that make up soil: silicate minerals, clay minerals, organic matter, air, and water. Yearly, we take out about 30% of organic matter from the soil, but we do not replenish the soil after we take it out for farming. The soil cannot keep up with our mass production. Earthworms play a crucial role in churning the soil and help pull material from the top and break down the carbon for the soil. They help us replenish the soil with the organic matter that we take from it from farming. If we continue to pollute our soils with microplastics, the earthworms will be unable to be sustained at the necessary level to help fertilize the soil.
This issue stuck out to me as I realize that with pollution I focus so much on air and water that I truly do not give soil the attention necessary to ensure that the environment is taken care of. Soil plays such a crucial role in sustaining humanity that is shocking what little attention we pay to how we are affecting our soil. Our mass production of foods is depleting the soil and our inability to properly dispose of trash like plastics is having a large toll on its overall health. In the video attached to the article they mentioned that there are 6 inches of soil standing between humanity and extinction. This is a stunning concept, yet they are correct. There needs to be more public education on soil chemistry and pollution if we want to avoid ruining the very thing sustaining us.