Dirt is Good :)

Remember this slogan by Omo? or was it Sunlight? Okay… by Unilever? Much as I don’t enjoy soil science much, thanks to an interesting experience a few years ago, here are some facts proving that dirt/soil (will use them interchangeably) is not just good but amazing.

  1. soillayersMost soil has 6 layers. It’s also known as the ‘Soil Profile’.
  2. Soil consists of 50% water and air. The other 50% is made up of broken rock and minerals from decaying flora and fauna.
  3. It takes 500 years to produce just under an inch of topsoil, this is the most productive layer of soil.
  4. The amount of sand, clay and silt is what gives different soil types their various textures. Most soils are a mix of all three as can be seen in the image below:
    soil-type
  5. There are more microorganisms in a handful of soil than the world population. For example, there are approximately 5,000 different types of bacteria in just one gram of soil.
  6.  Soil acts as a sink/ storage /sequestrator  of approximately 10% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions.
  7. It stores approximately 0.01% of the Earth’s total water.
  8. Soil acts as a pollutant filter for underground water
    and finally,
  9. About 1.4 Million earthworms can be found in an acre of cropland. WOW. 1.4 Million! o_O. They enrich the topsoil by feeding on organic material and converting it into nutrients. They also make soil more absorbent and aerated.

    Isn’t dirt great?

    Read more about soil here, here, here and here.

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Just Do It.

Just Do It

Look familiar? That is Nike’s 80’s slogan, which was inspired by a murderer. I kid you not. Google on the history of that slogan… only after you’re done with this post sil vous plait… 🙂

Nobel Laureate the late Prof. Wangari Maathai once shared this story on the humming bird:

One day a terrible fire broke out in a forest – a huge woodlands was suddenly engulfed by a raging wild fire. Frightened, all the animals fled their homes and ran out of the forest. As they came to the edge of a stream they stopped to watch the fire and they were feeling very discouraged and powerless. They were all bemoaning the destruction of their homes. Every one of them thought there was nothing they could do about the fire, except for one little hummingbird.

This particular hummingbird decided it would do something. It swooped into the stream and picked up a few drops of water and went into the forest and put them on the fire. Then it went back to the stream and did it again, and it kept going back, again and again and again. All the other animals watched in disbelief; some tried to discourage the hummingbird with comments like, Don’t bother, it is too much, you are too little, your wings will burn, your beak is too tiny, it’s only a drop, you can’t put out this fire.

And as the animals stood around disparaging the little bird’s efforts, the bird noticed how hopeless and forlorn they looked. Then one of the animals shouted out and challenged the hummingbird, in a mocking voice, What do you think you are doing? And the hummingbird, without wasting time or losing a beat, looked back and said, I am doing what I can.

Hummingbirds are among the smallest of birds, most species measuring in the 7.5–13 cm (3–5 in) range. The bee hummingbird is measures only 5cm! They are  colorful birds with iridescent feathers which means that their feathers change colour in different angles…Too cool. They flap their wings so fast (about 80 times per second) that they make a humming noise. Hummingbirds can fly right, left, up, down, backwards, and even upside down. They are also able to hover by flapping their wings in a figure-8 pattern. They have a specialized long and tapered bill that is used to obtain nectar from the center of long, tubular flowers. It’s feet are used for perching only, and are not used for hopping or walking.

If a 5cm creation can do what it can, there really is no excuse to lack of action for the rest of us who have the opposable thumb.

So, if you can plant a tree, pick some litter, avoid pollution of water , soil and air, sustainably use natural resources, harvest rainwater, take care of an orphaned animal, contribute towards an environmental cause, recycle, reuse and reduce… Just Do It!