Diggin’ the dirt: 2015 is International Year of Soil Email
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 08:00 AM

Soils Support Urban LivingThe two most critical elements to sustaining life as we know it are water and soil. But when it comes to which one gets the spotlight, water always seems to win. It keeps the upper hand if for no other reason than it washes us off when we get dirty. Yet, as the soil nerds are quick to point out, there are more living organisms in a single teaspoon of soil than there are people on earth.

Those who dig the dirt and all it brings to life will be glad to know 2015 has been designated by the United Nations as the International Year of Soil, which has in turn been endorsed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA).

This year of showcasing soil also brings an opportunity for the green industry to promote the value of good soil and why it is important to the landscape.

“Most people don’t realize that just beneath their feet lies a diverse, complex, life-giving ecosystem that sustains our entire existence. Our soils are alive. We talk about soil health—not soil quality—on purpose. It’s an important distinction,” says Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack with the USDA’s National Resources Conservation Service. “Anything can have a ‘quality,’ but only living things can have health.”

Healthy soils are a critical piece of mitigating weather extremes. They have a greater water-holding and nutrient-cycling capacity. In drought, this can help ensure plant production continues—and during heavy rainfall, healthy soils can help keep water and nutrients in the soil where they belong.

These facts can be important sustainable messages to share with clients and customers so they, too, can appreciate how soil is the underpinning of a healthy, vibrant landscape. “Soils Support Urban Life” is the theme of SSSA for the month of February. Take advantage of their online promotional resources, such as the video Soils Support Urban Life, by sharing them with your customers. See this video and the other videos featured monthly at https://www.soils.org/iys/monthly-videos.

Tip: The Soils Support Urban Life video is less than 3 minutes long and can be shared from your website, social media, or email. It promotes the value of composting, rain gardens and other sustainable landscape practices in plain English and good graphics.

Read more in this issue of Colorado Green NOW:
How to recruit US military veterans
How does your company measure up?
What’s new in 2015 for ALCC’s Job Fair?
Recruiting 2015: Get outside the box

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