Soil is the backbone of life. Therefore without soil on the surface, many things would have been impossible. Humans and other living creatures depend on soil for food, shelter, and many more. This article will let you know some of the uses of soils. We have rounded up the uses of soils in homes, farms, institutions, and other places. Soil has a lot of benefits, and you might be aware of some. In other words, we couldn’t survive without soil in the ecosystem. Soil is everywhere and plays different roles in living things. To have a healthy ecosystem, we must have different types of soil. The common types of soils include clay soil, loam soil, sand soil, and many others. We have rounded up the uses of all those soil types as follows.
1. Plant growth
This is one primary use of soil, and it deserves to open up this list. Soils provide plants with water, nutrients, and more. The ground supports almost every plant on the earth’s surface. Plants can’t survive without soil. The plants that are supported by soils help to balance the ecosystem. Those plants act as food for living things and help form rain. No doubt that soils play an essential role in the survival of plants and other living things.
2. Habitat for living things
This is another excellent benefit of soil. We have many living things that depend on the soil as shelter. Several insects like Ants, termites, and more live inside the earth. Those living things have either indirect or direct benefits to humans. For example, a termite is an excellent source of protein for human beings. Without soil, the life of such living things wouldn’t be the same.
3. Habitat for beneficial microbes
According to research, millions of microbes live in the soil. Those living microbes are beneficial to the environment. They are hidden helpers to the natural environment. We recently discussed several uses of bacteria. We mentioned how bacteria help to clean up waste products and decompose materials. Soil helps those beneficial microbes to survive and help the environment.
This is another primary use of soils. Many houses have been built with soil. Soils make the foundation of buildings, roads, schools, and more. Moreover, some houses are made of mud soils. People can also make bricks using soil and then use them to build houses.
5. Pottery and ceramics
Some soils, like Clay soil, are used in pottery and ceramics. For instance, water is added to the clay soil, creating different shapes. An individual can create pots and then dry the soil as it maintains the required shape. Those ceramics can then be mixed with pigments or painted to create different colors. They will form not only pots but also some more objects like cups, plates, and more.
6. Making some beauty products
Clay soil can cleanse pores in your face when used as a face mask. Some other beauty products are derived from soils, including blush, foundations, and more.
7. Contain minerals
Minerals are important to the lives of human beings. Soils contain various valuable minerals mined from the soil and then used for different purposes. Some valuable minerals found in soils include diamonds, gold, and more.
8. Medicinal value
Several medicines like antidepressants, antifungals, antibiotics, and more were obtained from fungi and bacteria found in the soil. Scientists have discovered millions of fungi and bacteria that can be used in developing medicines are found in soils.
9. Used in education
Some fossils studied in history were found in soil. Moreover, students study soils in schools and some of the soil components. Young students also use specific types of soils to model in classes like art and craft.
10. Regulates earth’s temperature
This is another important benefit of soil in the environment. Soils regulate the temperature on the earth’s surface. It moderates the heat on top of the earth, which is crucial.
11. Nitrogen cycle
The nitrogen cycle is essential in our environment. Without the nitrogen cycle, the earth will be occupied with excess nitrogen, which is dangerous to living things. The nitrogen cycle depends on several things, including plants, soils, etc. The process of the nitrogen cycle itself takes place inside the soil. Moreover, the soils contain bacteria that help convert nitrites into nitrates.
12. Filter underground water
Surface water is filtered from waste, chemicals, dust, and other contaminants. The surface water is absorbed to form underground water. The underground water is one of the cleanest sources of water since it’s filtered by soil. Humans can then use the underground water in their homes to drink, cook, wash, and more.
13. Source of food
Soils also act as a source of food for many living things. You won’t imagine how some animals may eat soil for food. Some of the animals are domesticated; if you observe keenly, you’ll notice. We have animals like chickens, which take small amounts of sand. If you have prepared one, you’ll notice some sand in their wizard. We also have pigs which normally enjoy the mud.
14. Create energy
This is another use of soil that many people are not aware of. Just like wind and water, soil can also be used to create energy. Scientists have discovered that soil can produce energy using a microbial fuel cell. This uses microbes to produce energy from organic materials, including soils.
15. Gas exchange
Soil allows gas exchange between the air and land. Soil also contributes indirectly by supporting plants, which help the environment in gas exchange. Plants depend on soil for nutrients, water, and more used in gas exchange. Gas is exchanged during the photosynthesis process taking place in green plants.
16. Religious purposes
Some religions depend on soil to perform different religious purposes and rituals. Some also use soil to illustrate something in their religion. Some religions have also created images using soils to represent different people in their religion.
17. Control erosion
We have particular types of soils that are water resistant. Some of the soils help in reducing erosion in several ways. Some soils will reduce surface runoff as some quickly infiltrate water into the ground.