We may not think about it on a daily basis, but soil plays a key role in our survival as humans. Soil absorbs carbon and filters water, ultimately producing about 95 percent of our food. Unfortunately, more than one-third of the planet’s soil has been degraded, and we lose hundreds of square miles each day. This reality is particularly problematic because it takes 1,000 years to generate just three centimeters of topsoil, the outermost layer containing the organic matter needed for plant growth. Simply put, soil is being degraded faster than it can recover.
Maria-Helena Semedo of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) explains that at the current rate of soil degradation, the total amount of productive land on the planet in 2050 will be one-fourth of what it was in 1960.1 When soil is degraded, less atmospheric carbon is absorbed, leading to an increase in greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. This can make the planet hotter and cause even more soil degradation, along with other environmental impacts. This destructive cycle is provoked by several factors: the first is industrial farming techniques, which often involve the use of chemicals that are toxic to topsoil; second is deforestation, which causes soil erosion; and third is global warming.
Corporations involved in farming have a responsibility to produce their goods as sustainably as possible. This is something doTERRA takes very seriously. Instead of buying land and using industrial agriculture techniques to mass produce their oils, doTERRA has partnered with local growers from over 40 different countries so that each plant can be farmed in the environment where it grows best, by the people who have been growing these plants for generations. Through the Co-Impact Sourcing® model, doTERRA uses energy efficient and renewable energy solutions to minimize greenhouse gas emissions and reduce the impact of waste streams on the environment.
It is crucial for new approaches to be adopted by policymakers and corporations alike in order for us to sustain the soil and our planet overall. Organic farming and renewable energy are just a piece of the solution to this growing problem. Experts say that at the current rate, we only have 60 years of farming left before all of the world’s arable soil is gone, but doTERRA believes that it’s not too late to improve sustainability efforts within the industry and throughout our society.