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Indian Ink

Save soil so our kids never stop smiling

The world’s largest living organism is on the brink of extinction

We must pass on soil to our kids as live, fertile soil. Not as dead, sterile sand (pix by @babulous)

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Ours is the generation with the most comforts and conveniences of any generation that has ever lived. In doing this, we ravaged earth’s resources without a thought about the world we are leaving for our kids. However, instead of being cursed as the generation who destroyed the world, we can be remembered as the ones who saved it if we do just one thing. Save Soil.

This is one of my longer posts as I have tried to simplify a complex subject. It may take over 20 minutes to read it. But that’s ok as it’s a life and death issue. (You can also use the ‘listen’ button located above the title of the article, but you will miss the stats that back up what I say, as they are embedded as images.)

We are all only half-humans

Did you know that 60% of a human body is made of micro-organisms, with only 40% being genetic human material? By that logic, soil is also a living organism, as it’s home to 12.5 million species. The first 12–15 inches of soil are the basis for 87% of all life. Just a handful of soil contains more microbes than there are people on the earth. But it’s not just the microbes. All insects, trees, animals, and just about everything we know as life are from the soil, including humans.

A Conscious Planet

We live under the misconception that humans are independent entities. It’s not just the microorganisms that live within us. Every lifeform on earth is dependent on other organisms for their survival.

Pinch your nostrils shut for a few minutes, and you will realize you can’t live without air. Don’t drink water, and in a couple of days, you will see there is no life without water. Don’t eat for five days and you will understand that without being connected to the soil, you cannot exist.

Life functions at its best only in union with everything else. But we have become so individualistic about our bodies, minds, emotions, and opinions that we have separated ourselves from creation. Once this happens, it soon turns into ‘us’ against the ‘universe,’ a competition we are never going to win.

Think about it. We are 60% microorganisms, yet see ourselves as conscious human beings. If we scale it up logically, soil, forest, ocean, sky, and every living thing is a part of one giant conscious planet.

If we become conscious of this, we will treat soil as an extension of our own bodies. And we will never do anything harmful to soil as that will hurt ‘us.’ The question is will we get this sense of union with soil when we are alive? Or will we only get it when we die and unite with the soil?

Miracle of creating life from death

Microbes are what perform the miracle of transforming dead organic matter into the rich, dark, life-giving humus in soil. This rich soil is the fertile breeding ground of the majority of lifeforms on this planet. Though microbes make up only one-half of one percent of the total soil mass, their species number in millions. You may have heard of some of them like yeasts, algae, protozoa, bacteria, nematodes, and fungi but there are millions of other microbe species, many of which have not yet even been identified.

Soil is alive

A butcher doesn’t feel the pain of the animals he slaughters. That doesn’t mean the animals aren’t suffering. It’s just that the butcher is desensitized. He may hear the animal’s screams but it doesn’t touch him. Likewise, say when a field is plowed and exposed to the elements, it will kill millions of organisms. We may not see this happening, but it doesn’t mean they aren’t in pain.

So why should we care? 95% of our food comes from soil. Just like our own mother, Mother Earth has been feeding us selflessly, never asking for anything in return. But if we bite off the hand that feeds us, we will have no food to eat. Before it’s too late, we must become sensitive to life, feel Mother Earth’s pain and do whatever is needed to save her. Not for her sake, but for our survival.

Image from savesoil.org

Soil is rapidly going extinct; we need to act now

52% of our planet’s topsoil has already disappeared. Every second, one acre of soil becomes desert according to the UNCCD (United Nations Committee to Combat Desertification). In the last 25 years, 10% of land turned into deserts. At this rate, soil will become extinct in 60–80 years. UNFAO says 75% of all soil is degraded, and 90% will be degraded by 2050. By then, it may be too late to save soil. But if we act now, we might be able to reverse soil extinction.

40% less food to feed 2 billion more people by 2045

That will truly be the end of days. If people are hungry, they will not lie down and die. Just three days without food will turn civilized humans into desperate animals fighting to survive. There will be food riots, and they will destroy everything. Once the food is finished, there will be famines, which is a horrible way to die as you will just waste away over three months or so. That is not a fate we would wish for our enemies, let alone our own kids.

What’s alarming is very few of us realize this is the biggest existential crisis that our human species has faced to date. Soil is the source of life itself on earth. Everything else, be it food, water, pollution, or climate change, follows. Fortunately, it’s possible to reverse this doomsday scenario in a decade if we act right now. But first, we need to understand how this disaster slunk past our radar and almost sank the human race.

Seeing soil as inert is the root of the problem

The chief cause for soil degradation in our times is our misplaced belief that after a crop harvest, soil fertility can be restored by simply bunging in nitrogen and sulfates and phosphates and other such chemicals.

Can we give vitamin shots to a dead man and say he’s doing fine? What we need to do is first see how to make the soil become alive, and only then add whatever chemicals are deficient. Surprisingly, this belief that soil is an inert substance is still prevalent in many universities and even in government ministries. That’s a humungous mistake.

We got this completely wrong

Let’s expand on that human analogy. Say a young woman who has just given birth takes some calcium tablets and feels a lot better. What if she decides to go on a diet solely of calcium tablets. We would question her sanity, right? We know chemical-based food supplements cannot totally substitute naturally grown food.

Yet, that’s exactly what we have done with soil. Soil depleted after a harvest needs organic content to regain its fertility, just like a woman who has delivered a baby needs real food to regain her health. Like that vitamin shot, fertilizers can be used as supplements, but not as substitutes for the soil’s lost organic content.

Farming depletes the soil

Our current farming habits are a major factor in this catastrophic damage to our topsoil. Every time, we harvest a crop, the soil needs organic content to replenish what it has lost. In a way, it’s not surprising we missed this, as soil fertility has always been a mystery to our species. Degrading soil and the diminishing yields in every harvest caused food shortages that in turn led to the collapse of many great civilizations of the past, including the Roman Empire, Mesopotamia, ancient Egypt, the Mayans, and the Indus Valley.

Every scientist agrees regeneration of soil is critical

In hindsight, this is quite obvious. Every scientist accepts that soil degradation is a major threat to humanity. Every scientist also knows the solution. They are just waiting for someone else to fix it. Time to stop passing the buck.

I think we humans fell for the ‘fertilizer’ concept because we just got carried away by the idea that our science has all the answers. It didn’t help that fertilizers initially boosted crop production, much like those steroid shots that make broiler chicken grow unnaturally large. The reality is using fertilizers instead of organic waste degrades the soil with every crop. As a result, it’s estimated that the soil on the earth can only produce another 80–100 harvests. Besides, the quality of each harvest is rapidly deteriorating.

Food now has less than 10% of the nutrients it once used to have. To get the nutrients present in one orange grown a hundred years ago, we would need to consume at least eight oranges today.

Poor food is making people unhealthy

This drop in the nutrient value of food is making humans more susceptible to illnesses. One study says this 80–90% drop in average mineral in mineral content in vegetables and fruits has caused a micronutrient deficiency in the US population.

According to the CDC and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), 9 out of 10 Americans are deficient in potassium, 7 out of 10 are deficient in calcium, 8 out of 10 are deficient in vitamin E, 50 percent of Americans are deficient in vitamin A, vitamin C, and magnesium, and more 50 percent of the general population is vitamin D deficient.

These vitamin deficiencies are known to make people susceptible to upper respiratory tract infections. They are quite possibly a major contributing factor to why nearly 1 million of 350 million US citizens died of Covid.

The current way of farming is financially unviable

Over 50% of US farmers have not made a single dollar in the last 10 years. In India, using fertilizers is a double whammy. Their ever-rising prices are a huge burden on farmers. Secondly, fertilizers are reducing the soil’s organic content and farms using fertilizers exclusively will eventually turn into deserts.

The profession with the highest suicides

Few Americans realize that the profession with the highest suicide rate in the US is farming. In India, it’s worse. Over 300,000 farmers have committed suicide in the last two decades. The high cost of fertilizers wipes out most of the farmer’s profit and many of those farmers who killed themselves were severely in debt. But what probably pushed them over the edge is the poor quality of soil. This means those farmers probably could not even grow crops to feed their families. Not surprisingly, only 2% of India’s farmers want their children to take up farming as their profession. This will not change unless farming becomes consistently profitable.

Without trees or animals, there is no soil

Organic waste material in our farms is disappearing because farms no longer have trees or animals. Trees vanished when we cut them to grow more crops. Animals went out of fashion when machines took over their jobs on the farm. Organic content is food for the millions of microbes in the soil. All life exists only because of these microbes, and yet 27000 species go extinct every year. In the last 70 years, 67% of vertebrates, 92% of freshwater aquatic life, and 80% of biomass insects have gone extinct. If soil becomes extinct, so will humans and most other species.

The organic content of our soil is critically low

Soil in a rainforest has 70–75% organic content and you can grow almost anything in this rich soil. In normal agricultural soil, we expect 3–6% organic content. In temperate climates, the land is only farmed for 4–5 months in a year. So if organic content falls to 1% or less, it will result in desertification. Currently, in northern Europe, the organic content of soil is 1.48%, in southern Europe, it’s just above 1.1%, while it is around 1.25% in the US.

In tropical lands where crops are grown around the year, the minimum organic content required for farming is slightly lower. Even so, India, which is at 0.68%, is on the verge of desertification. Africa is 0.3%, and Google Maps images confirm deserts in Africa have gone up by 10% in the last 15 years.

Plowing is a death sentence for soil

Soil will die if it’s ripped open by plowing and left open to sunlight. See the image below. We wouldn’t leave that dog out on a blazing hot day. Yet we don’t think twice about tilling the land, exposing soil and the millions of lifeforms living in it, to the elements, which is a slow and painful death.

Image courtesy: Twitter

Soil Cover is the need of the hour

Assuming we ran out of food and water and were forced to leave the dog out there, what would be the least we would do? Find some cover or shade for it, right? That’s exactly what soil needs too. Any kind of cover, be it grasses, herbs, bushes, or trees, would help protect the soil and keep it alive.

Trees protect soil from the elements and provide organic waste to enrich it (Photo by niko photos on Unsplash)

In the video below, Dr. Andrea Basche, an agricultural scientist, demonstrates visually how organic content helps keep soil healthy and fertile.

Dr. Basche’s point is if organic content in soil is increased, it becomes more stable and won’t be easily washed off by the rain. Basically, two birds with one stone. You reduce soil erosion and also retain water in the soil.

Leave it to the leaves

About 1 billion years ago, an algae, or maybe it was a fungus had the bright idea of using the perpetual energy of the sun to cook its food. That process, which we call photosynthesis absorbed carbon from the air and gave out oxygen, increasing the oxygen level in the atmosphere from 1% to 21%. But during the last 1000 years, photosynthesis has reduced by 85%.

We are all bothered about carbon. We forget that photosynthesis sucks out carbon dioxide from the air, and pumps it into soil. So the volume of photosynthesis has to go up. Right now, 70% of the land is plowed and left barren for 5–6 months in a year, which means no photosynthesis happens.

Photosynthesis needs green leaves. When agricultural land is not in use, it must have cover crops, a bush, or a tree. Every farmer knew this. But science said to use fertilizers to double your crops, and sadly, we listened.

How to Save Soil

The good news is this issue can be fixed easily, but only if all the countries in the world agree on certain basic principles.

Regeneration of soil doesn't need huge budgets

We don’t need advanced technology or massive funds to save soil. 70% of the land is under agriculture. The problem is when that land is not being used for agriculture, it is plowed and left barren. That must stop. We must have a green cover crop at all times. This will greatly enhance the quality of the soil. The cover crop doesn’t have to give any yield. You just have to put it back into the soil, in effect adding 1.5–2 inches of humus every year. Within 6–7 years, even extremely degraded soil will recover and have 3% organic content.

Every nation can do this. It doesn’t cost much money. It doesn’t need any great science. All that’s needed is a commitment to do this year after year.

Tree cover is the next logical step

To start treating soil like the living organism that it is, we must outlaw the soil-killing practice of plowing the land and leaving it open to the elements. Then, we need to feed those trillions of microorganisms that live in soil in order for it to remain fertile. Organic waste is food for soil. It’s estimated that one hectare (2.25 acres) of land needs the waste material from at least 5 bovine animals and about 20–60 trees that grow naturally in that locality.

Individual actions won’t save soil

A farmer may be implementing healthy tree cover practices today. But there’s nothing to prevent his son from deciding to go back to plowing the land and turning that farm into a desert wasteland in ten years.

Making soil conservation a government policy is the only way

Right now, there are no laws on how soil can be used. What’s needed is something similar to the building laws in a city. Yes, individual actions to save soil may look good, but for real change to happen, soil conservation has to become government policy, and enforced by law.

The ozone hole crisis has already demonstrated the success of this approach. 197 countries signed the Montreal Protocol in the 1980s to stop using CFCs and other ozone-depleting chemicals. Today, the ozone layer is recovering, and the ozone hole is expected to close by the middle of this century.

The ‘Save Soil’ movement

‘Save Soil’ is a global movement to influence governments across the world to implement healthy soil policies. The movement is driven by Isha Yoga, led by their inspirational leader, Sadhguru. He is currently on a solo bike journey of 30,000 km across 27 countries in 100 days to get people to talk about the issue on social media.

The idea is that we live in an era where we have the power to make our voices heard, courtesy of our smartphones. If a few billion people start talking about saving soil on social media, democratic governments everywhere will act. Because they need to win the next election. And doing what people want is the best way to get their votes. The Save Soil campaign chose Europe as its starting point because the EU is forward-thinking in such global issues, and the rest of the world usually follows in Europe’s footsteps.

The power of using global platforms to save soil

In May 2022, two influential global platforms for public-private cooperation are convening, and Sadhguru is due to speak at both of them. The first is the 5th session of the Convention of Parties (COP15) to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) at Abidjan in Ivory Coast, Africa. The second is the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos. Sadhguru will be championing the cause of saving soil before this international community of business, political and social leaders of nearly 200 nations. Sadhguru will point out during his talk that millions of us are urgently clamoring for government policies to save soil. The thing is no democratic nation will dare ignore the voice of the people. So most of those nations will quickly create and implement government policies to save soil.

Governments listen when millions speak

The results are already showing. In the four months since the Save Soil movement began, Germany has committed to spending $4.5 billion on soil ecology. Several other governments in Europe, the Caribbean nations and UN organizations have also signed up to save soil in the last few weeks (see below). The US and UK governments have also started giving subsidies to farmers who grow cover crops. So far over 72 countries have given declarations that they will implement the policies. However, to prevent soil extinction, every nation needs to feel the urgency and take action.

Visit this site to learn more

How a mass movement got India to commit $2.3 billion

Isha Yoga’s ‘Rally for Rivers,’ the precursor to the ‘Save Soil’ movement, was a campaign to revive the many rivers of India which were drying up. This got the support of 162 million people in India in 2017. I was one of those millions. My contribution was just a simple missed call from my mobile to the ‘Rally for Rivers’ hotline to show my support.

But all those calls added up. That led to the recent announcement by the Indian government to implement the ‘Rally for Rivers’ proposal to rejuvenate 13 major rivers in India. The budget for the project is a massive $2.3 billion dollars.

It will take a decade or more for this project to show results. That’s why governments usually avoid such long-term projects because it won’t help them gain support in time for the next election. What convinced the Indian government to implement the project was the support of 162 million Indians for the ‘Rally for Rivers.’ That translates to 162 million votes. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved.

Incentivising farmers to grow trees

Cover crops usually have very little or no yield. Farmers everywhere are already struggling financially so they are highly unlikely to plant cover crops unless they are subsidized by the governments. Thankfully, many governments have recently agreed to start subsidizing cover crops for farmers. For instance, UK farmers will be paid between £20 and £58 per hectare in England for basic measures to protect and nurture their soils. That’s a good start but the goal needs to be 2–3% organic content in soil.

How an Indian state government got farmers to plant trees

Giving farmers incentives to grow trees has already been successfully implemented in India. In fact, getting the government on board was critical for the success of the ‘Cauvery Calling’ project (the on-ground project of the ‘Rally for Rivers’). It’s impractical to expect India’s poor farmers to finance the switch to tree farming. They have to plant saplings and care for them for many years, which costs time and money. To get them to do this, the state government gave them incentives to plant trees. There are also schemes to periodically pay part of the expected future value of the trees in advance.

The only condition was the farmers had to prove the trees had grown, and the organic content in their land was improving. Even this was simplified by using technology. The farmer has to get on a WhatsApp video call and measure his trees to show how much they had grown. On the same video call, the farmer also has to put a bit of his soil into a special solvent (created by India’s Institute of Technology), which would give a reading on the soil’s organic content. Once the government official verified these details, the incentives would be directly transferred to the farmer’s bank account.

For poor Indian farmers, such incentives are a really big deal. However, it’s a relatively small price compared to the benefits for humanity as a whole. See below an excerpt from an article on how a tree cover project was implemented in the state of Karnataka in south India. For reference, $1 is around ₹77 (Indian rupees).

Farmers are provided seedlings at subsidized rates from the nearest Departmental nurseries for planting in their lands. The farmers are paid an amount of ₹30 (39 cents) as an incentive for every surviving seedling at the end of the first year. A sum of ₹30 and ₹40 per seedling is provided for each surviving seedling after completion of second and third year respectively. The incentive is given to encourage the farmer to plant the seedling, and nurture it for at least for three years. The total amount of money provided (₹100/- per seedling or $1.30) more than compensates the cost incurred by the farmer in procuring and planting the seedling. The incentive is quite substantial when the farmer plants more number of seedlings. Needless to say that apart from getting the financial incentive, the farmers are entitled to get handsome returns from the grown-up trees in various forms such as fruits, seeds, fodder, firewood, pole, timber, etc.

Cauvery Calling: a success story in planting ‘tree cover’

‘Cauvery Calling’ had a goal of revitalizing the ‘Cauvery’ river, which is the lifeline of thousands of farmers in south India. The project, which enlisted 125,000 farmers to adopt tree-based farming on their farmlands in the Cauvery river basin, has been happening for nearly two decades.

62 million trees have been planted so far and led to the water in the Cauvery river basin increasing by 40%. Also, 200–300 million tonnes of carbon dioxide have been sequestered, which is about 8–12% of India’s Paris commitment.

Revitalizing the farming community

Farmers who were involved in the Cauvery Calling project have reported astounding income rises of 300–800% as well as significant improvement in soil health, groundwater levels, and nutritional value of crops. Here are some Indian farmers talking about their experience in tree-based farming.

Healthy food can push more farmers to improve their soil

Food grown in soil with high organic content is truly ‘organic’ food because of its higher nutrient content, which is a measurable quality. In contrast, food currently labeled as organic has only one claim to fame: it’s been grown without exposure to pesticides. This is hard to verify as no one is going to go to the farm and check if pesticides were used on it or not.

What’s intriguing is it is possible to quantify the benefits of such truly ‘organic’ foods. The extra nutrients they contain can be identified, along with their health benefits. People will be willing to pay higher prices for truly ‘organic’ food. This will motivate more farmers to improve their soil quality. That way, the market economics can influence farmers to switch to a soil-enriching form of agriculture, which is a win-win situation for all life on earth, including humans, plants, animals, insects, microbes, and the very soil itself.

Carbon credits can also encourage farmers to save soil

Carbon credits can quantify carbon sequestration in farms. A carbon credit is a certificate that can be traded for the right to emit one metric ton of carbon dioxide or the equivalent amount of other greenhouse gases like methane.

There are two types of carbon markets: government-regulated and voluntary. In a regulated market, if a company wants to pollute more than the allowed amount, it must purchase more permits. In a voluntary market, companies voluntarily purchase carbon credits to offset their emissions.

In India, farmers can be allowed to claim carbon credits for regenerative agricultural practices such as avoiding burning paddy straw, and soil conservation agriculture such as not plowing land. For each such practice undertaken, some credits that can be monitored will be generated. Farmers can then sell these carbon credits to industries that need them. They will thus serve as another incentive for farmers to improve the soil on their farms.

How Soil can save us

Healthy soil has immense potential to tackle many of the current global crises that we are facing.

Prevent catastrophic droughts

96% of water in India comes from monsoons. You need soil to retain that water, not dams. Healthy soil can hold 800 times more water than all the rivers on our planet. Without tree cover, the rains will actually erode and wash away our precious topsoil (see the soil health video embedded earlier in this post). But if we raise organic content in soil by 8–10%, it will retain moisture from the rains. A farm’s irrigation requirement will come down by 30%. Raise the organic content by 12–15%, and the farm’s water requirement will come down to just 10–15% of what the farmers use right now.

By renewing our soil’s organic content, we can prevent an impending massive worldwide water crisis. According to UNFAO, 2 billion people are currently water-stressed, and this will increase to 3.5 billion by 2032. If people don’t have water, they will migrate to countries with water. If a billion people crazed by thirst appear at a country’s border, there’s no way they are going to be kept out, and this migration will cause a lot of human strife and suffering.

In India, 87% of water is used by agriculture. If soil health is restored, this will in one stroke prevent the impending water crisis, and save us a lot of grief. In other words, water needs to go where people are, and not the other way around. Healthy soil can make this happen.

Reverse climate change

Soil is designed by nature to serve as a massive carbon sink. It can hold thrice as much carbon as living plants, and twice as much as the atmosphere. 200–300 million tonnes of carbon dioxide were sequestered by the Cauvery Calling program alone. If we can replicate that program across the world, we can not only prevent global warming but actually reverse it.

However, if soil degradation continues at the current rate, it could release 850 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The resulting increase in global temperature could have catastrophic effects.

A 2-degree temperature rise could see wind speed pick up by 15–30%, and blow millions of tons of sand from northern Africa into parts of Europe like Bulgaria, Romania, and Turkey, turning these places into a desert overnight. Is this an unlikely scenario? What comes to mind when you think of Saudi Arabia? Deserts, right? Well, the area used to be a rainforest some 10,000 years ago. What do you think is the basis of all their carbon-based oil?

Increase food quality and quantity

If we can rejuvenate the soil, it will prevent farms from going out of business, and lead to more food production in terms of quantity. Coconut farmers for instance have reported higher yields (see below).

Farmer Valluvan of Anamalai, near Pollachi in the Tamil Nadu state of India, said the tree-based cultivation had helped improve his coconut yield as well. From 100–110 nuts a tree there was an improvement to 150 nuts a tree in his farm after he switched over to the tree-based farming.The falling leaves from the trees in his farm reduced evaporation, reduced the quantity of water needed for irrigating the crops and also improved soil health, he added. (Excerpt from an article in the The Hindu newspaper)

The quality of food also improves when it’s grown in healthy soil. That’s critical as today’s food contains 90% fewer nutrients than a century ago.

Reduce massive population migrations and the ensuing suffering

Last year, food worth $9 billion was distributed. Many of the recipients were farmers whose land had become barren because of the deterioration of soil. (An inability to pay the high price of fertilizers to enrich the soil may also be a factor, but fertilizers were anyway only a short-term solution). The quantum of this food distribution is expected to touch $15 billion in 2022, and $22 billion dollars by 2023. This is simply unsustainable. By 2032, it’s expected that1.2 billion people will migrate because of food and water shortage. That will lead to conflicts, and cause immense suffering and exploitation of the vulnerable, especially women and children.

If soil is rich, no farmer will leave his home and migrate to unknown lands. Food has to grow where people are. Healthy soil will enable that to happen.

Make farming viable again

The Cauvery Calling project showed how healthy soil increased the income of the involved farmers by 300–800%. This is especially important in India’s current farming environment where just 2% of Indian farmers plan to have their children take up farming as their profession.

Increase biodiversity

Healthy soil will arrest the alarming rate of extinction of 27000 species every year. Biodiversity is essential for survival as all species are intrinsically linked. If there are no plants, there’s no oxygen. If there are no bees, there are no crops. Even animal poop plays a vital role. Like rainforest trees, our largest carbon sinks, are exponentially much more likely to germinate when the seeds of their fruits are pooped out by bats, monkeys, or elephants. And that’s just one of a million ways in which biodiversity plays a huge role in making the world a better place for all of us.

The Power to Heal

Most of the potent antibiotics of our times are based on microbes found in the soil. The first antibiotic, penicillin, comes from soil fungus. Streptomycin, which combats tuberculosis, is also from soil. Just these two antibiotics are estimated to have saved 400–500 million lives in a single generation.

All you need to do is post #savesoil on social media

The goal of the ‘Save Soil’ movement is to get 2–3 billion people to talk about saving soil.

Just talk about saving soil on whatever social media you are on, and use the words ‘save soil’ in your message. If not, then end your message with hashtags like #savesoil and #consciousplanet. That way, you will automatically be counted as one more voice supporting the ‘Save Soil’ movement.

If you are busy, just post #savesoil on social media. That’s not too hard, is it?

If you are internet savvy, go a step further, and create memes. Or search for ‘save soil’ on your social media, and forward something you relate to. For example, here’s what I retweeted yesterday.

If you want to do more, then use whatever skill you have. I’m a writer so I was intrigued by the challenge of writing this article to capture the immense breadth and scope of the ‘Save Soil’ movement, without losing the clarity and empathy of its vision.

For more resources and facts about soil, please go to the source. That would be the ‘Save Soil’ movement’s website. They have tons of interesting stuff that you can post, including social media posts and images (see a couple of hard-hitting facts below). Not to mention, tutorials on how to use different social media to maximize the impact of your message. Impressive!

(I admit to happily plagiarising a whole lot of lines from Sadhguru, aka Mr. Clarity. I’m sure he won’t mind as I intend to post links to it on all my social media. That’s what the ‘Save Soil’ movement needs right now. I deliberately downplayed Sadhguru because many people associate Indian gurus with mumbo-jumbo and might ignore this issue, and that wouldn’t be right as this is a vital issue that affects all of mankind.)

The current phase of the Save Soil campaign concludes on July 1, 2022. It would be ideal if you post once on social media, every day, till that day. Else post whatever you can. Every post counts, literally.

Let’s make it happen. So we are remembered as the generation that saved the world, and not the one that destroyed it. On second thought, if a disaster doesn’t happen, will anyone even realize it was prevented?

Never mind, who needs the recognition as long as the children keep smiling.

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