Here at Hardy’s we’re always looking at ways to reduce our carbon footprint, promote sustainability and be more planet friendly. Since January 2023, we’ve made a few more changes to the way we do things.
- 2023 saw us go completely peat free in terms of the plants that we propagate here on the nursery. We’ve been making this transition over the past 15 years, so we were delighted to finally achieve this with our own stock this year. Any plants which come to us in plugs are all grown on peat free. Peat acts as a natural carbon sink and store. Depleting peat bogs for growing material adds to the world’s global carbon emissions and prevents our planet from absorbing and storing carbon emissions. The extraction of peat seriously and permanently damages the local environment and ecology. See Rosy’s video here about why we’re going peat free. And look out for our 1100% peat free icon which clearly tells you which plants are 100% peat free.
- We’ve been trialling the use of cork instead of vermiculite in our propagation house to help prevent weeds and mould growing in our pots of seed and cuttings. Cork is a sustainable resource, which also plays an important part in absorbing harmful carbon. The manufacture and transportation of cork from the EU to the UK is significantly less damaging to the environment than that of vermiculite. To find out more see: The trouble with vermiculite
- We’ve changed our packing methods so we no longer have to use green canes. Previously we’d used green canes to support plants which were being posted out via our mail order team. These were dyed green and often came to us from manufacturers based in China. Dying often involves the use of chemicals, significant amounts of water and transportation to the UK has a large carbon footprint. We now use corrugated cardboard which is manufactured in the UK, meaning our materials have less chemicals, this packaging is fully compostable or recyclable and we’ve reduced our carbon emissions involved in transportation.
- We reused and repurposed our coccolith for RHS Hampton Palace Court Garden Festival. Used in 2016 as part of Rosy’s ‘Forever Freefolk Garden’ the Coccolith went to be a feature in a Horatios Garden in Scotland, returning to us in 2021. We were delighted to be able to use the structure in our Hampton Court display this year to highlight the importance of chalk streams to our natural world. The coccolith now lives in our nursery shop.
We continue to take little steps to being more planet friendly in the belief that small steps can lead to big change.