When you woke up today, chances are you didn't know that December 5, 2014, is designated as World Soil Day. So now you know!
There are so many "Days" set aside to remember all sorts of things. Everyone (in the United States) knows about President's Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Veterans Day, and Thanksgiving Day -- if for no other reason than they are holidays. Rhode Island is the only place in the world that celebrates Victory Day. The Providential Gardener also must note Earth Day and Arbor Day.
Who bothers to dream this up? And WHY? World Soil Day is brought to us by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations to remind everyone that without soil, we wouldn't be eating today. It's that simple.
"Soil is the basis for food, feed, fuel and fibre production and for services to ecosystems and human well-being. It is the reservoir for at least a quarter of global biodiversity, and therefore requires the same attention as above-ground biodiversity. Soils play a key role in the supply of clean water and resilience to floods and droughts. The largest store of terrestrial carbon is in the soil so that its preservation may contribute to climate change adaptation and mitigation. The maintenance or enhancement of global soil resources is essential if humanity’s need for food, water, and energy security is to be met." [Source: World Soil Day homepage]
The World Soil Day announcement, which I received through Natural Resources Conservation Service (RI)Twitter feed, courtesy of the SoilsSNE Twitter feed (from the Society of Soil Scientists of Southern New England, another group most of us never think about), reminded me of another Day that most of us would not think about: World Toilet Day. I missed this one, and you probably did also. But we might as well add this in and complete the alimentary canal tour. We are SO LUCKY to have functional bathrooms. What would it be like not to have toilets? From the World Toilet Day homepage:
"Of the world’s seven billion people, 2.5 billion people do not have improved sanitation. 1 billion people still defecate in the open. Women and girls risk rape and abuse because they have no toilet that offers privacy. "
I am rebuilding this website in the Drupal content management system so that it will be integrated with other websites I maintain (What Grows On in RI, RI Feeds, and Where the Gardens Used to Be). I am now inspired to add a new list of Days relevant to the environment. There are many more than we would imagine!