Given that trees, plants, and flowers play such a vital role in our planet’s ecosystem, garden centres have been helping the world become a greener place for decades. Gardening is one of the nation’s favourite hobbies, and garden centres are there to feed people’s green-fingered habits. Many garden centres are now taking steps to ensure their products are as green as possible.
In this blog, we’re going to look at some of the best examples of garden centres helping to make the world a greener place.
Peatlands are extremely efficient at carbon storage - they store three times as much as forests do. However, even though it is now a well-known fact that digging up peatlands causes ecological damage, peat is still being sold as a compost. Peat-free alternatives have been on the market for years, but they have not been as good as peat-rich compost, which is why garden centres are, overall, still selling it. Some garden centres, such as the Dobbies chain, are producing and promoting high-quality peat-free composts to help reduce peat usage.
Other garden centres are also taking steps to move to 100% peat-free compost. The Hillier chain has been growing its own trees in peat-free compost for several years and will soon be using 100% peat-free growing mediums for all its other plants.
And last year, the government announced it will be banning sales of peat compost to gardeners from 2024, with £50 million being made available for the restoration of 35,000 hectares of UK peatland.
The kind of black plastic that is used for garden compost bags is difficult to recycle, and many council-run recycling centres will not take them. Dobbies has just launched a scheme to collect and recycle compost bags at its main garden centres. The chain has also launched a scheme to collect and recycle plastic plant pots - the pots will be made into garden furniture which will then be donated to charity.
Garden centres are the perfect places for grey water recycling. Webbs garden centre in Wychbold collects rainwater from the gutters as well as run-off water from the car park, and then filters it before using it to irrigate the plants.
The number of UK garden centres that are embracing organic gardening and sustainable practices is growing, well, organically! Organic garden centres around the UK are leading the way with sustainability, showing it is possible to create an eco-friendly business.
There is an expectation among customers that the garden centre is where they will get expert help and advice about the plants on sale and gardening tips in general. And this is where garden centres can help to make a difference. Many garden centres, such as Squires in the south-east of England, are implementing policies to help educate customers on sustainable gardening, at the same time as increasing their range of sustainable gardening products.
Whatever the size of your garden centre, there are always steps you can take to cut down on your water usage. This is not only a more sustainable way to operate, it will also save you money. Download our free Water Efficiency Guide which will give you lots of information about the many different ways you can save water for your business.
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