We aim to cut our carbon footprint by reducing, reusing and recycling as much as we can. The composting area is the heart of the garden where green garden waste and paper waste is recycled by composting rapidly at 60oC using hot boxes. This creates rich crumbly sweet-smelling material which is used as mulch for soft fruit and fruit trees and to feed and condition the soil in the borders and raised beds.
Members are all encouraged to compost at home to reduce food waste going to landfill. However not everyone can do this as they may live in a flat. In the garden we have a large wormery and any member can bring their kitchen waste to put in the wormery. Wormcast is a very good soil conditioner. When ready it is equally divided between the 62 raised beds.
The garden has a policy of trying to have zero waste. As a result we don’t have a refuse collection. Rainwater from the potting shelter roof is collected and stored in seven water butts which can hold up to 6,100 litres. This is used by members to water their raised beds as required.Recycled materials are used in the garden whenever possible. Local tree surgeons bring shredded tree waste which is used on paths and around the raised beds, reducing CO2 emissions.
Recycled scaffold boards have been used to build the raised beds in the polytunnel. The furniture in the garden is mainly recycled from companies refurbishing their offices which reduces waste going to landfill.
Solar panels have been installed along with an LED display panel so that members can view the kilowatt hours of electricity being generated alongside the kilograms of CO2 which have been saved. Photovoltaic learning packs available from the garden are used by local schools to extend the technology and environmental curricula.