RHS in bid to mobilise biggest gardening army since Dig for Victory for climate

A climate campaign to mobilize the largest army of gardeners since “Dig for Victory” in World War II was launched by the Royal Horticultural Society.

The charity aims to help 30 million UK gardeners take action in their own garden to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote wildlife to help tackle climate and natural crises.

Gardeners are encouraged to take environmentally friendly measures such as planting trees, using rainwater to water plants, going peat free, planting flowers for pollinators, and pulling up a paving slab to make more room for perennials to grow.

The RHS said his research shows that if any gardener planted a medium-sized tree and tended it to maturity, it would store the carbon equivalent that is the equivalent of an 11 million orbital trip around the planet.

Composting at home can save CO2 emissions compared to buying compost bags (Tim Sandall / RHS / PA)

And if all green-fingered households made an average of 190 kg of compost per year – the amount that gardeners who make compost produce on average – that would save the equivalent of heating half a million households compared to making and moving stores . Bought compost, said the RHS.

However, a YouGov survey for the charity found that less than a fifth (19%) of UK gardeners say they have specifically chosen sustainable horticultural principles, such as: B. Save water, make your own compost or reduce fossil fuels.

Separate research found that nearly 40% of gardeners still use fossil fuel gardening tools such as lawn mowers.

And while pledges for the RHS water-saving mains2rains campaign will save 6.6 million liters or 82,385 baths of tap water, the charity says more needs to be done.

It is developing an environmentally friendly sustainability calculator, an online tool that gardeners can use to make the best sustainable planting and gardening decisions.

A garden hose.

Gardeners are encouraged to switch from using tap water to rainwater to water their garden (Martin Keene / PA)

And it has compiled a list of 10 achievable actions gardeners can take to help the outdoors and the climate.

The RHS also calls for government support for research and development in horticultural science, as well as financial support for community gardens in schools, NHS trusts, and public spaces to aid gardening.

The story goes on

The RHS is starting the campaign for environmentally friendly gardening as part of its own sustainability strategy, which includes measures to be climate-positive by 2030 – to record more emissions than they emit.

It also aims to eliminate all single-use plastic by 2030, ensure that all packaging is 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable, and is water neutral in RHS gardens, shows and locations by 2030.

RHS Director General Sue Biggs said: “The RHS is keen to use its own outreach to help 30 million UK gardeners make a positive contribution to the climate and biodiversity crisis.

Bee on flower

People are encouraged to plant for wildlife (Peter Byrne / PA)

“But we cannot use this potential alone.

“If we want to mobilize the largest garden army in the whole country since Dig for Victory, we need government support for planet-friendly gardens.

“This includes funding for all research and development in horticultural science, as well as financial support for community gardens in schools, NHS trusts, and public spaces.”

RHS Director of Science and Collections, Professor Alistair Griffiths, added, “Together, the actions of each and every one of our country’s 30 million gardeners can create positive change and help us adapt to and mitigate the climate and biodiversity crisis.”

The 10 Measures Gardeners Can Take To Combat Climate Change And Loss Of Nature Are:

– Plant a tree in your community, school, workplace, or garden to pull carbon out of the air.

– Promise to switch from tap water to rainwater for garden irrigation.

– Make peat-free to protect valuable moorland habitats that store carbon, provide a home for nature and reduce the risk of flooding.

– Make your own compost to save carbon.

– Pull up a paving slab and let perennial plants such as grass, shrubs or trees grow to maturity to suck in carbon from the air.

– Use plants for pollinators to slow and reverse the decline of bees, butterflies, moths, hoverflies and other insects.

– Grow your own bouquet as growing or buying cut flowers from the UK can save carbon compared to buying imported bouquets.

– Electrify your garden to use electrically powered garden tools, not fossil fuel ones.

– Help map the biodiversity of UK garden plants by adding your garden plants online to RHS My Garden to help the RHS conserve this important biodiversity.

– Eat more native, British, local and seasonal fruits and vegetables.

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