Environmental awareness is to understand the fragility of our environment and the importance of its protection.
Over the years, Blue Diamond has taken many positive steps to reduce our impact on the environment and implemented measures to help reduce our carbon footprint. We also support our local communities in their efforts by helping local schools in creating more green space and free talks and advice about all aspects of gardening.
By gardening, we can truly "go green" to benefit the earth. Plants act as highly effective air cleaners, absorbing carbon dioxide, plus many air pollutants while releasing clean oxygen and fragrance. Insects such as bees and butterflies depend on our gardens which are an integral part of the ecosystem. Without insects, our lives would be vastly different. Insects pollinate many of our fruits, flowers, and vegetables. We would not have much of the produce that we enjoy and rely on without the pollinating services of insects, not to mention honey, beeswax, silk, and other useful products that insects provide. Read more...
At Blue Diamond, we are aware that we are part of a greener, cleaner future and this page sets out some of the steps we are taking to reduce our carbon footprint and promote a greener, cleaner way of working within our garden centre and restaurant environments.
In our Restaurants...
We have banned the use of single-use plastic straws in all of our restaurants. Paper straws or bio-degradable straws are now in use across all of our dining areas.
Alongside this, we have also removed plastic sauce sachets and replaced them with glass jars which can be recycled.
We no longer serve cold drinks in plastic bottles. Glass bottles, which can be recycled are also now in use across Blue Diamond.
Finally, our children's meals are offered in a recyclable cardboard box which itself is made from recyclable materials.
In our compost...
For decades, peat-based potting composts have been used to raise and grow-on plants. Due to the concerns about the damage done to the environment, some gardeners are now reaching for peat-free or reduced-peat products as an alternative.
Progress is continuous, and significant progress has been made in developing peat-free and peat-reduced alternative products for plants to grow and thrive, new products are coming onto the market all the time. Alternative materials such as composted bark, coir, wood fibre, and green waste can all play a role in developing growing media that replicates the properties of peat, an adequate supply of these is key.
In our plant areas...
Although most of the pots that our plants are grown in are already made from recycled plastic and are fully recyclable, most council recycling units in the UK are unable to take these pots in your weekly recycling collections.
So, this year you will see our plants being grown in a different coloured pot. The different colours will allow councils to recognise these as recyclable pots and will enable you to begin to put pots out with your weekly recycling secure in the knowledge that they can be recycled properly.
In our centres...
Cardboard compacting machines are installed in many of our larger garden centres that produce more waste. This cardboard is then sent on for recycling and reusing through the supply chain.
Amongst others, we also recycle plastic, food waste, paper and card, glass and lightbulbs where possible.
Battery recycling collection points are available in all locations. A number of our centres also use solar panels to produce the majority of the electricity they use which in turn power the lights throughout the group which have been converted to low energy LED lighting.
Many of our centres have waterless urinals or use rainwater to flush toilets. The majority of the water we use in our plant areas is abstracted straight from the ground rather than using precious drinking water.
A number of our larger centres also have energy management systems to help ensure our energy usage is optimised.
At Bridgemere Nursery we are committed to the removal of peat from the production process. Crops are already grown in reduced peat and we have been growing like this for many years.
We are undergoing production trials in growing plants completely peat-free, and will start to move over to peat-free lines from this Autumn, Roses being one of the first crops with more to follow.
As part of our Nature-Friendly approach, we are working with reduced chemical applications, using natural predators and water recycling in production. Electric vehicles are used in the Nursery instead of diesel-powered.
Weedkillers and Pesticides
Non-chemical means of control are always the first choice for gardeners. But when other means fail, pesticides may be appropriate in tackling some pests, diseases and weed problems.
Weedkillers and Pesticides are substances designed to kill or control the growth and behaviour of living organisms and therefore their use carries a degree of risk. The sale of harmful products in our garden centres over the years has been significantly reduced.
With our suppliers...
Blue Diamond will encourage customers, employees and suppliers to reduce the use of plant pot plastic and to use only kerbside recyclable plant pot plastics. Blue Diamond will provide recycling opportunities at each of its garden centres for the plant pot plastic waste.
We also undertake regular audits of our suppliers to ensure they are doing all they can to eliminate the use of non-recyclable plant pot plastics and expanded polystyrene to ensure these materials are eradicated from Blue Diamond’s plant products.
Checking our plant suppliers to encourage the use of recycled water in the production of their plant products and to use Biomass fuels and/or other renewable energy sources for the heating of glass houses is another step we are taking. The majority of plant suppliers have been doing this already for a number of years.