A recent report estimated that in the twelve thousand years since humanity first developed agriculture about a hundred and thirty three billion tons of carbon has been lost to the soil. Much of that is due to a number of factors: poor grazing practices that result in desertification; excessive ploughing which causes losses of carbon in land turned over by the plough, loss of peat lands, which are a great carbon bank, and soil erosion caused by loss of tree cover,particularly on slopes. This carbon is going into the atmosphere as CO2. Maybe it is dwarfed by the 450 billion tons emitted by industry, but the smaller amount adds to the greater to worsen the problem.
Yes, it is for governments to sort out the problem, but ordinary citizens can do their bit, lessening the amount emitted and using up. We are all told to plant trees, but using wooden rather than plastic products will create a store of CO2 in the wood that we use, and long lasting trees will create a temporary bank of CO2 that lasts for as long as the tree does. Supporting the creation of woods and peat bogs is also a help,for the latter constitute a vast carbon storage bank.
But what we do in our gardens matters. We need to be dedicated composters. To do this we should ensure that every piece of vegetable waste we make is recycled through the compost bin, if it is not eaten. I have a garden compost system that takes up the weeds from the allotment and a bin for kitchen compost [uncooked] which is richer than mere garden compost. I am getting a wormery to use up cooked food, for worms make a rich compost. I have also created a leaf mould bin to store up leaves to be used as mulch. The principle by which I live is to recycle as much as possible and convert to compost rather than waste.
Individuals alone will not solve the world's problems, but they can play their part.
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