Fun uses of soil

Did you know that some cosmetics and other personal care products are made with soil in them? Kaolin and bentonite are two clays commonly used by cosmetic manufacturers as a neutral base to which pigments and oils are added. Kaolin is for example often added to foundation for adding moisture. One thing that didn’t surprise me was how people have been using clay and mud for face masks and mud baths for centuries to clean and heal themselves. I don’t know if I could ever take a mud bath though..

Kaolin soil can also be used in body-painting. It is a white clay and various African groups used it for healing, for protecting a newborn and its mother; and to help a healer communicate with spirits in the “other world”.

Soil can also be used for solving crimes. By taking soil samples and comparing the soil from the suspect to the soil where the crime happened.

People around the world eat clay, dirt or other pieces of the lithosphere for a variety of reasons.  As we learned in class, some people in Africa make dirt cookies to solve the hunger. Commonly, it is a traditional cultural activity which takes place during pregnancy, religious ceremonies, or as a remedy for disease. Most people who eat dirt live in Central Africa and the Southern United States. While it is a cultural practice, it also fills a physiological need for nutrients. 

Soil is also used in many other things: agriculture, engineering, textiles, sports, industry etc. 

By the way, did you know this??

Five tons of topsoil spread over an acre is only as thick as a dime.

It takes 100 to 600 years to form an inch of topsoil.

There are more living organisms in a cubic foot of soil than there are people in China.

An 18-hole golf course supplies enough oxygen for 6,000 to 8,000 people. (Golf rules!!)

More than half of the trash a family throws away every year is organic. Each person in the U.S. tosses out about 1,200 pounds of organic garbage each year.

The average quarter acre lawn contains 50 to 250 earthworms.

Soil is a non-renewable natural resource. This should make us think of how much we value this resource. Damage to the soil can disturb nature’s balance and prove a threat to life!

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One Response to Fun uses of soil

  1. alexmckinzie says:

    This is crazy! You never would have thought that soil is used in cosmetics. I love the facts they are really informative and surprising. My favorite is: There are more living organisms in a cubic foot of soil than there are people in China. I wrote a similar blog tonight about how we need to acknowledge the impact that humans overall are doing to the soil and that we need to make a change before it is too late. I hope that are future generations will have the same luxuries as wee do today.

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