Caring for Planet Earth in 2018

Sunday, 31 December 2017  |  Alison

Although not totally garden related, some thought provoking issues, that relate to all of us on planet earth, have made my blood boil and I want to share my thoughts with you dear gardeners, as you are a sensible lot.

Having been brought directly into our sitting rooms via the series ‘Blue Planet 2’ with Sir David Attenborough, showcasing real concerns about the levels of man-made plastic pollution in our oceans and the subsequent threat to the lives of those whose homes are in these oceans, the other direct social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter with individual comments and concerns have made me think that we can all do our bit to help.

Gardeners, on the whole, are a caring and concerned lot and already do our bit in the recycling world, partly being thrifty, partly using common sense.  Many of us re-use plastic pots & plastic plant labels, plastic & metal ties, as well as re-using broken bits of terracotta pots, bamboo poles & sow our sweet peas into empty loo rolls. You probably have your own gardening waste-saving ideas too which I would love to hear about.

At Brookside Nursery we are trying to do our bit too. We sell recyclable plastic pots and growing trays that are sourced from suppliers that have a good record in producing recyclable goods.  Any used pots and trays that we cannot re-use ourselves are returned to the supplier to be recycled.

Our larger plug plant orders are packed into cardboard boxes and padded with brown paper, both recyclable. The plug plants themselves are placed in plastic blister packs which can be used as a water reservoir upon receiving your order to give your plants a drink before being potted up. I often use mine in the summer months as water containers for plants when I am away.  The pack can then be placed into the recycling bin if not needed again.  We are constantly looking into ways to be ‘carbon footprint friendly’ and this year we will be sending letter box friendly pack sizes where possible to alleviate the use of extra packaging.

 ** Our largest supplier of plastic blister packs actually makes most of their blister packs out of 100% recycled material.

I know I am getting on my high horse but one of the most important ‘buzzwords’ for me in 2018 is recycling and, since the Blue Planet 2 series, I have made sure my carbon footprint is decreasing day by day. I have been noticing that my local supermarket has many items packed with three different materials, some of which are not recyclable.  I am being extra vigilant on what I buy and what can and cannot be recycled. I have the choice of where to shop and what to buy and that is the important thing.

Supermarkets have a huge role to play and as consumers we have the right to question what their stance is on recycling and how they are reducing the impact they have on waste products, whether they be food or plastic wrapping.  When you next buy goods at your local supermarket, note all the plastic wrappings that are not recyclable and question why they are not.  On plastic bottles and containers you will see a triangle with a number inside from 1 to 7.  This offers an indication of what the plastic is made from and was designed to help promote plastic recycling.  It is worth knowing the meanings of those numbers, you may be unpleasantly surprised.

Gardening is one of the great pleasures of life and there is never a better time than NOW to Grow Your Own.  Vegetables whether they are grown from seed or plug plants taste so much better than shop bought and by growing your own will decrease the size of our own carbon footprint but increase our levels of satisfaction, health and well-being. It’s a no-brainer in my mind and a ‘win win’ situation for all.

Little things make a big difference to saving on waste and making an effort in reducing the appalling stockpile of unrecyclable plastics scattered around and under the ground polluting our landfill sites, as well as our oceans, must be on top of everyone’s list for 2018.  It is the only way forward for all of us, in business and at home and for future generations living on planet earth. 

Joined up thinking is required by individuals, businesses, communities, local councils and the government here in the UK and globally to combat the dreadful pollution in the seas and on our precious land and we can and must all do our bit to help.

If you wish to comment on any issues relating to this topic please contact me. I would love to hear from you with your views and how you are helping the planet.

Brookside Nursery