Helen Chambers, Director Eco Communities
I have been learning more about organic farming this week and have to say I didn’t realise what a positive impact is has on so many areas. With a massive 72% of land in the UK (excluding woodland) being agricultural it feels so important we have more of it for organic farming.
Top 3 benefits:
- Increased biodiversity – organic farms have on average 50% more plants, insects and wildlife
- Reduces climate change – the improved soil quality means that it has more nutrients and stores more carbon
- Protects the waterways – too much fertiliser used in traditional farming leads to run off which can create ‘dead zones’ in rivers and estuaries.
I started looking into organic farming whilst researching what we can do about the increased droughts and floods we are currently experiencing. I was looking on Giki around Organic cotton and how switching from regular to organic cotton can make a big impact. This is because Organic farmers use natural methods like composting to create healthy soil. The healthy soil then acts like a sponge, soaking up water during floods and holding it for longer during droughts!
Cotton takes a massive amount of water resource, with the average cotton t-shirt needing 3,000 litres to produce. The clothing industry was blamed in 2014 for the Aral Sea drying up, once the worlds forth largest lake, due to the amount of water diverted to produce cotton. A lot of organic cotton farmers rely on rain to water their cotton, instead of having to extract water from the ground and so protecting our much needed water resources.
With the current cost of living crisis it may not be front of peoples minds to start switching to organic but if you do have the option to start looking at switching one or two of your common items for organic it could have a big impact. Here are some suggestions to take a look at: