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World Soil Day, celebrated on December 5th, is just around the corner. We invite you to be inspired by this year’s theme, ‘Caring for the planet starts from the ground.’ Let’s celebrate soils!

You may wonder why soil is so important and why it should be celebrated. The UN officially declared December 5, 2014 as the first annual World Soil Day with the aim to raise awareness about the critical importance of soil in our lives.

To secure food for our future, we need to guarantee healthy and productive soils – the healthier the soil, the more nutrients a plant can soak up. Let’s remember that soils are the foundation of vegetation which provides us with healthy food, animal feed, fuel, fibre, household goods and other essentials. To ensure that everyone around the world can have access to these essentials, it is important to be respectful to the environment wherever you travel. Soil, a non-renewable resource, is also important for providing an adequate water supply and maintaining its quality since the water absorption properties of soil play a role in reducing pollution from chemicals in pesticides and other compounds. You can find more reasons why healthy soil is vital to human life on earth here.

Start with educating yourself and others about the need and benefits of protecting and learn about the different types of soil and their nature. Why not spread the word on the importance of maintaining healthy soils using one of FAO’s infographics to support your message.

There are many ways to celebrate soil. FAO shares some ideas that can help you create some buzz around the World Soil Day:

  • Set up a meeting with local farmers in a field for an interesting discussion
  • Get people moving and active by organising a 5k run or (half-) marathon
  • Plan an exhibition or cultural performance that celebrates local agricutlure
  • Launch a poem or song-writing contest
  • Invite a guest-lecturer or speaker (be inspired by PATA’s example of teaching staff how to produce their very own healthy soil through composting)
  • Organise a field trip to plant trees that reduce soil erosion
  • Share a slice of a tasty World Soil Day (mud!) cake with your colleagues
  • Choose from FAO’s video material and display it at your World Soil Day event

You can also check for local events near you, browsing FAO’s worldwide events map.

No matter of the kind of activity you chose in the end, share your views and celebration photos on social media platforms using the hashtag #WorldSoilDay. Let’s care for our planet and celebrate this year’s World Soil Day together!

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New Sustainable Habits for World Food Day 2016

Categories: Green Tips, Planet
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World Food wfd2016_webbanner_en

Every year, countries come together on 16 October for World Food Day to increase awareness of the global campaign to end hunger. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) shines a light on the effects of climate change on food security with this year’s theme ‘Climate is changing. Food and agriculture must too’.

The FAO is urging countries to adopt sustainable farming practices, decrease food losses, and to invest in rural development by strengthening smallholding farmers and fisherfolk whose livelihoods are most affected by climate change. In September 2015, 193 countries pledged to end hunger by 2030.

The FAO is challenging all of us to contribute to this goal by simply changing our daily habits and making better decisions. Here’s a three-step guide on joining the movement:

Step 1. Go to FAO’s World Food Day Climate Actions website and pick four actions that interest you.

There are three categories to choose from:

  • Preserve the earth’s precious natural resources (e.g. taking shorter showers)
  • Waste less (e.g. use refillable water bottles and coffee cups)
  • Being climate smart by reducing your carbon footprint. Walk, ride a bicycle and consider using public transport

Step 2. Share your actions on social networks using the hashtag #WFD2016

Take selfies, shoot videos or simply write about your commitment to take action to end hunger. Be an advocate – and let your friends know that they can be one too!

Step 3. Make these four actions into a habit!

It’s extremely easy to start something – but the challenge is to always maintain that commitment. Here are some tips on how to make these actions into life habits:

  • Choose an action that interests you and is easy to start. For example, bringing your own reusable water bottle is something that everyone can (and should) immediately do. It not only saves you money but it is also better for the environment and for your health. Invest in a sturdy bottle that is easy to carry  so that you’ll always want it with you.

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Illustration from JamesClear.com

  • Remind yourself to always carry your water bottle by setting an alarm on your tablet or phone or a daily note on your online calendar. Check out Goals in Google Calendar and 10 other apps to help you form sustainable habits.
  • Give yourself a reward. Having your own water bottle means that you don’t have to spend money on bottled water ever again when eating out. Imagine how much money you would save! Instead of contributing to the world’s plastic waste, you can use the money for something else – such as a delicious dessert.

Forming a new habit can take from two to eight months. In those months, there will be times when you’ll forget to bring that water bottle. That’s okay. Start again and just keep on going.

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Top 10 Things You Should Know About Food Security and Climate Change

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Food : Stop Hunger Now logoWorld Food Day is just around the corner: October 16 will be a global day of action against hunger. This year’s World Food Day theme, “Climate is changing. Food and agriculture must too,” draws focus to the effects of climate change on global food security. As the world endures changes in temperature and precipitation, the projected state of global food security is concerning. According to the World Food Programme, food producers will need intensive labor support, including technological improvements, to avoid massive crop loss or even complete unavailability of cultivation. Key regions in Africa, China, the United States Great Plains and others are projected to experience extreme climate changes that will minimize the accessibility of food to distributors around the world. By Aly Mashek. Read more.

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22 March 2015 – Water is at the core of sustainable development. Water resources, and the range of services they provide, underpin poverty reduction, economic growth and environmental sustainability. From food and energy security to human and environmental health, water contributes to improvements in social well-being and inclusive growth, affecting the livelihoods of billions. Read more.

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