James Wong offers simple tips to help us feel the benefits of organic soil

Friday 3rd November 2023

Yeo Valley Organic has teamed up with esteemed ethnobotanist, James Wong, to help us reconnect with soil and enjoy its moo-d enhancing benefits.

Soil is proven to have fantastic benefits for both planet and people

With over two-thirds (76%) of Brits wishing they could improve their mood and almost half (46%) agreeing that they don’t do enough about it, new research reveals that the role of organic soil goes beyond food and milk production and has the power to positively impact our emotional wellbeing. ​

Often overlooked, less than a quarter (17%) of Brits* are aware that simply touching or smelling soil can have a positive impact on wellbeing, with almost half (48%) admitting that they do not spend enough time outdoors.

James Wong visits the Yeo Valley Organic herd

James Wong says: “For many, soil is seen as ‘dirt’ or ‘mud’ but there is so much more to it as it’s brimming with microbial life which could hold so much promise, potentially solving many of our problems – everything from how to tackle pollution through to the way that we feel. Anyone who has their hands in the soil knows it makes them feel better and being around green spaces with soil can decrease stress, improve feelings of self-worth and even athletic performance.”

With many stating they don’t have the time (31%), money (41%) or resources (26%) to improve their mood, James Wong offers 10 simple tips to feel the benefits of organic soil:

  1. Grow houseplants to bring the benefits of green space indoors, improving air quality and enhancing your indoor living environment, which is especially important as we spend a significant amount of time indoors.
  2. Practice mindfulness or meditation in natural settings to enhance your mental well-being and use all your senses to fully experience the sights, sounds, smells, and textures of nature.
  3. Create your own compost heap at home and keep nature thriving

    Practice composting, learn about soil conservation techniques, and participate in tree planting events to improve soil health and prevent erosion.

  4. Teach children about the importance of soil and how they can help protect it to foster a sense of responsibility and connection to the earth from a young age.
  5. Support local farmers and businesses that use sustainable practices, advocate for policies that protect green spaces, and educate others about the benefits of spending time in nature.
  6. Keep a journal to document your experiences in nature, reflecting on how these experiences contribute to your well-being.
  7. Volunteer for local conservation projects, participate in clean-up events, and offer your time to help maintain community gardens or green spaces.
  8. Use natural materials to create art or crafts and share your nature-inspired creations with others to spread awareness about the beauty of the natural world.
  9. Visit sensory gardens or create a sensory garden at home to engage all five senses and use these spaces as a tool for relaxation and stress reduction.
  10. Explore ecotherapy practices, seek the guidance of a trained ecotherapist, and use ecotherapy techniques to address specific mental health concerns or as a general well-being practice.

*Soil Survey conducted by Focaldata and commissioned by Yeo Valley Organic, October 2023

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