Soil Fertility: It’s Impact on the Environment & Economy
With the ever-changing landscape of sustainability, soil fertility plays a crucial role in the environment and economy. According to a study by Environmental Research Letters 2020, the world’s growing municipal solid waste impacts us environmentally with greenhouse gas emissions, ocean plastic accumulation, and nitrogen pollution.
One of the main causes of huge losses in the economy is soil erosion. The same study estimates that we are making economic losses at around $8 billion globally- all due to reduced soil fertility, decreased crop yields and increased water usage. The Plate to Plant Programme by the Group addresses these challenges, turning food waste into compost. It is a way for us to avoid food waste from ending up in landfills, through a progressive circular economy approach. Rotting organic waste produces methane gas which is very dangerous if it is left untreated and will increase the risk of climate change.
Today, the global share of waste in landfill has declined because of the increase in sustainable recycling, composting and energy recovery treatment. With the Plate to Plant Programme in place, we are choosing to contribute to the decline of waste ending up in landfills and at the same time, using this process as an avenue to contribute to soil fertility.
“We want to avoid that process so that it goes back into this cycle of sustainability,” says Suzane M. Samy, Sustainability Manager at Gamuda Parks. When compost is added to our land, it increases the soil nutrition and the microorganisms causing the conservation of energy in the soil which creates a tiny microhabitat. Moreover, according to a study conducted by Washington State University this year, these bacteria, fungi, insects, and worms provide much needed support for healthy plant growth.
“It is a gateway to develop a culture of mindfulness regarding source separation for all forms of recycling and sustainability,” remarked Lee Pooi Yee, the Owner and Founder of Le Moon’s Eatery.Bakery.Zakka, located in Jade Hills, Kajang.
She participates in the Group’s Plate to Plant Programme to ensure that waste, especially the often overlooked food waste, is put to better use. Hence, helping in the decline of greenhouse gases produced in landfills. Furthermore, healthy soil aids in the protection of our waters as it increases the soil’s ability to retain water and decreases runoff.
By composting, we create a circular economy where even waste doesn’t go to ‘waste’ but instead be used to nurture soil fertility to provide a healthy boost to our environment and economy.