Comox Land Trust director Jan Gemmell is getting her drawers dirty for the trust’s Soil Your Undies campaign. Take part, have some fun, and learn the connections between healthy soil and holey underwear. Photo submitted

Comox Land Trust director Jan Gemmell is getting her drawers dirty for the trust’s Soil Your Undies campaign. Take part, have some fun, and learn the connections between healthy soil and holey underwear. Photo submitted

Comox Valley Land Trust launches ‘Soil Your Undies’ challenge

Test the health of your soil by burying cotton underwear

It is as dirty as it sounds, but it’s all clean fun.

The Comox Valley Land Trust (CVLT) is launching its inaugural Soil Your Undies campaign.

Valley residents are invited to take part by burying their cotton underwear in three- to six-inch- deep soil and then digging it up in 60 days. The more your underwear disintegrates, the healthier your soil. Healthy soil is key to capturing carbon and carbon storage is vital to natural climate solutions. Participants can share their results by posting photos and videos on CVLT’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CVConservation/

Instructions:

1. Choose a space in your yard and plant a pair of 100 per cent cotton underwear horizontally about three to six inches deep.

2. Wait at least 60 days. This gives soil microbes time to do their magic. Then dig the undies back up.

“We’re hoping this fun challenge will appeal to all the citizen scientists out there who are concerned about climate change,” said CVLT executive director Tim Ennis. “I’ve chosen two very different locations to bury underwear: a Perseverance Creek wetland where I expect great results and the other at Kus-Kus-Sum under recently paved-over dirt where the results will likely be dismal because the soil conditions are currently so poor. I’ll be sharing my results on our CVLT Facebook page and I hope others will too.”

Healthy soil holds billions of microscopic organisms. Just one teaspoon has more microbes than there are people on Earth. Soil microbes are constantly feeding on organic matter and store carbon. Half the carbon in natural growing areas is stored in roots, fungal filaments, creatures, microbes, and humus. Healthy soil nourishes the plant life that stores carbon. Carbon sequestration in our soil, forests, and wetlands can deliver up to a third of the global greenhouse gas reductions needed by 2030.

Through its conservation covenants and land purchases, CVLT is protecting hundreds of acres of forests and wetland areas, allowing them to absorb and store carbon above and below ground in perpetuity. Protecting our natural areas is an important action we can take to mitigate and adapt to the consequences of climate change. CVLT recently launched the Comox Valley Natural Climate Solutions Fund to support local conservation projects and programs.

The Comox Valley Land Trust works to protect and conserve the ecologically significant lands and wildlife habitat of the Comox Valley region. It addresses conservation through two programs: the Land Protection program and the Comox Valley Conservation Partnership program. The CVLT’s team of dedicated volunteers and staff collaborates with the community, local governments, landowners, and other stewardship organizations in the Comox Valley region. For more information, please visit cvlandtrust.ca