The soil is not just a brown mass of material; it creates most of the food we consume, and our homes are built on it. We do not realise the real value of the land and how important it is to us. We take it for granted that the soil is eternally available. However, the reality is completely different: we are slowly destroying and polluting the soil.
The project O hmotě, kterou máme pod nohama a netušíme, jak je důležitá [About the matter under our feet and that we have no idea how important it is] deals with this topic, whose author is Oskar Koutný. In this publication, Koutný reveals the research and points out the problem. It was produced last year in the graphic design and visual communication studio at UMPRUM in Prague.
There are three chapters in the book. In the first part, Koutný deals with why we should be interested in the soil and also points out several problems, before finishing by giving us some solutions that can help. The publication deals mainly with the agricultural situation in the Czech Republic, which also correlates with that of other countries. Koutný writes in the introduction that with this book he is trying to change the readers’ point of view on soil itself, which has been on Earth for more than three million years.
The book contains a lot of information about agriculture in the Czech Republic, several author’s notes and research, facts and data about chemicals and pesticides that are used and are destroying living microorganisms and bacteria in the soil. One of the key details that fascinates me is that “one centimetre of land is created about every 100 years. During one heavy rain, as much as 10 cm of arable land can be washed away from the fields.” The fact is that we have a shortage of land for the increasing population of the world. If we destroy and deplete it, we will also destroy ourselves.
The publication is freely available in the form of an e-book for all those who are interested in this topic. At the end, the author supplies a few tips, recommending how each of us can help with soil issues. These are a few of those: to buy our food from local and trusted sources created by environmentally-friendly companies, to try to grow our own food by ourselves, to not waste food, to choose politicians who are interested in the environment, and to support environment organisations.
Maybe it’s time to get back to nature, because our environment is not a renewable resource and we must realise this as soon as possible. Let’s start individually supporting environmental policies and organisations and maybe trying to grow food on our own to see that it’s not an easy job. It is also necessary to realise that land is cultural heritage and does not deserve to be destroyed.