How Soil Donation Helps Conservation Efforts
By: Tom Harries
Jul 09, 2022 | Green Funeral Practice4 min read
Soil impacts everything around us. The health of our soil affects the health of our land, air and water, as well as the health of our plants and animals.
This is because the functions of soil include filtering water, providing wildlife with nutrients, capturing carbon dioxide, and regulating temperatures.
Healthy soil performs all of these functions well, thereby maintaining or transforming the condition of the surrounding environment. At a global level, soil is a critically important factor in fighting climate change and keeping our planet protected for future generations.
The importance of soil, previously a niche area of environmental focus, has become much more apparent in recent years. There are a number of organizations and advocacy groups raising awareness of the huge benefits of improving the condition of our soil, as well as the risks of letting our soil degrade.
Along with regenerative agriculture and land management, composting is seen as one of the key practices foundational to restoring and improving soil health. The process can be used to create new healthy soil and to act as a conditioner for poor soil.
Soil transformation, also known as natural organic reduction or human composting, is a natural, environmentally-friendly alternative to burial and cremation. The process gently transforms a body into nutrient-rich soil. Portions of the soil from this process are returned to the family, and the rest can be donated for use on conservation projects.
This article explains how soil helps the environment, looking at some of the different conservation projects to which healthy soil is instrumental. It also looks in more detail at how soil transformation can provide a direct and effective contribution to such projects.
Healthy Soil’s Conservation Impact
It’s possible to improve the health of existing soil with land management practices. It’s also possible to create new soil through processes specifically designed to optimize its health. This new soil can then be used for conservation purposes, including reforestation, revitalization of challenged ecosystems, and soil erosion control.
The past century has seen a huge reduction in the portion of the earth’s surface that is covered by forests. Such deforestation has significant negative consequences for the environment, including destruction of habitats and species extinction, as well as a reduction in the natural world’s capacity to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Reforestation efforts seek to replace lost trees, and to reverse ecological and environmental damage. Healthy soil helps filter water, detoxifies polluting substances, and provides nutrients to plants and trees. It can therefore play an important role in reforestation.
As biodiverse forests in turn improve and maintain the health of soil, a self-perpetuating cycle can be started through the careful introduction of healthy soil.
Revitalization of Challenged Ecosystems
Ecosystems can face a variety of threats, such as deforestation and the introduction of non-native species, which disrupt proper functioning. Poor soil health can both cause challenges itself and also exacerbate or fail to reduce external challenges. The addition of healthy soil, with its nutritional, water filtration and detoxification roles, can play a part in tackling such challenges.
Soil erosion involves the loss of the upper layers of soil. Causes include water and wind erosion, human activity and general physical degradation. Erosion is a problem as it can negatively impact water quality and biodiversity, as well as the potential for the land to foster wildlife growth.
Healthy soil can better withstand some of the causes of soil erosion, and the introduction of new, healthy soil to an affected area can help to restore some of the damage.
How Earth Supports Conservation Through Soil Transformation
Soil health is simply how well soil performs its functions, including filtering water, providing nutrients and sequestering carbon. This performance is measured by examining the organic matter in the soil along with biological, chemical and physical properties.
At Earth, our soil transformation technology and process were specially designed to create soil that is healthy and optimal for use in conservation projects. We purchase land that requires conservation attention, so that this soil can be put to the best use.
At the end of the soil transformation process, our families choose how much soil they would like returned - to scatter or plant - and they can donate the rest to our conservation efforts. Families can do this in the knowledge that the soil is perfect for this purpose, and that it will be used on a dedicated project that maximizes the soil’s conservation potential.
Our conservation sites are also areas of natural beauty, making for a beautiful and fitting final resting place.
We believe that soil transformation is the most environmentally-friendly choice anyone can make for their end-of-life plans. Not only does our healthy soil bring about positive change to the environment, the process that produces the soil also avoids the emissions and other negative environmental impacts of traditional alternatives.
If you found this article interesting, you can read more about Earth’s soil transformation service. You can find out more about sustainable funeral practices and the wider industry on our resources page.