Soil is a nonrenewable resource that provides the basis for healthy food production and resilience in the face of climate change. Unfortunately, one-third of land worldwide is degraded due to the erosion, salinization, compaction, acidification and chemical pollution of soils, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). This loss is not recoverable within a human lifespan, but many organizations are working to restore soil fertility and implement better management practices across the globe. And in celebration of the 2015 International Year of Soils, the Lexicon of Sustainability and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) are hosting a Voices of Soil Essay and Video Contest.
Residents of the United States between the ages of 18 and 28 are encouraged to submit original essays and videos to the contest, which will offer US$5,000 in prizes. Submissions from young farmers and agricultural students are especially encouraged. Three contest categories are open to submissions:
- Why is soil health important to you and your community?
- What is the important relationship between soil carbon sequestration and a healthy climate?
- Why is the relationship between soil and water important?
The contest deadline is August 31, 2015. The Lexicon of Sustainability, NRDC, and other media partners will publicize prize-winning videos and essays. A judging period will begin September 1, 2015, and winners will be announced on September 30, 2015.
The Lexicon of Sustainability works to translate compelling ideas and sustainable solutions into short films, information artworks, books, and curricula designed to harness real change in the environmental movement. The NRDC is an international nonprofit environmental organization working to protect the world’s natural resources and public health worldwide.
“The soil is the great connector of lives, the source and destination of all. It is the healer and restorer and resurrector, by which disease passes into health, age into youth, death into life,” writes Wendell Berry in The Unsettling of America. “Without proper care for it we can have no community, because without proper care for it we can have no life.”
Enter original content to the Voices of Soil contest HERE!