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Steps to Reduce Soil Pollution

By Andrew Kline
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Due to the overwhelming chemicals we use in our environment (whether they are agricultural, industrial or even residential), soil pollution is a huge problem in our domesticated environments. Overdevelopment has led to many soil pollution issues, including nutrient imbalance, reduced vegetation, instability and the introduction of chemicals. Soil pollution is not good because it can lead to problems such as a decreased crop yield in farms, tainted drinking water and even an ecological imbalance among living species. However, just because soil pollution exists does not mean we are powerless to stop it.

Increase the Amount of Permeable Surface Area in Your Yard/Garden

Add more natural, open spaces where rainwater can enter the soil, which helps to flush out toxins. One of the biggest contributors to soil pollution is excessive concrete within developments. Since concrete is impermeable, when it rains, it prevents the much needed water from reaching the soil. Humans divide up the land into cities and tracts, but the ecosystem knows no boundaries.

Recycle, Recycle, Recycle

Even though this has been emphasized a lot over the last couple of decades, it still cannot be emphasized enough. By recycling your trash, you are curbing the amount of excessive trash found on the soil. Much of the plastic found in our trash is known to introduce toxic chemicals to the soil if left there. Even the trash can won't reduce soil pollution; everything in this bin ends up in the soil anyway (at the landfill)--as a matter of fact, many trash dumps are eventually covered over and converted into venues such as golf courses, thus putting the chemicals in closer contact with the soil. This was tragically demonstrated in the Love Canal Incident in Niagara Falls, New York. Here, a school and a housing development were built over a former chemical waste dump in the 1950s, leading to later health problems such as birth defects and cancer for many of the residents.

Reduce Pesticide Use on Your Farm

Even though chemical pesticides will keep the bugs away from your lawn or crops, they can prevent future crops from growing. However, all hope is not lost, as there are many safer ecological alternatives to all of the pesticides available, according to the Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides.

Cloth Grocery Bags

Not only do cloth grocery bags save you the hassle of all of those fragile paper and plastic bags when you go shopping, they can reduce the number of paper and plastic bags flowing around in the trash dumps. Since they are sturdy, they can be used over and over again. Using cloth bags instead of paper and plastic bags will help reduce the supply and demand of paper and plastic. This is good, because most paper and plastic bags end up in the trash dump, increasing soil pollution.


About the Author


Based in San Diego, Andrew Kline writes articles based on his own perspective on life. His portfolio is quite diverse, including many different types of articles for various websites. Before receiving his B.A. in urban studies and planning from the University of California, San Diego, one of Kline's articles was featured in his department's class reader.