“Just like a global phase-out of old, energy guzzling light bulbs or a switch to hybrid cars, protecting and restoring peat lands is perhaps another key ‘low hanging fruit’ and among the most cost-effective options for climate change mitigation,” says Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Director of UNEP.
Some Important Peat Bog Facts:
- Peat bogs store and filter 10% of the world’s fresh water.Â· A typical peat extractor will take up to 22cm of peat per year however it grows at approximately 1mm/year.
- Carbon dioxide emissions from peat land drainage, fires and exploitation are estimated at 3 billion tonnes per year, or 10% of total global fossil fuel emissions.
- The Royal Horticultural Society in the U.K. has mandated that 90% of its own growing media requirements be peat-free by 2010.
What is a viable alternative to using peat?
Coconut coir! PlantBest, an innovative Canadian company dedicated to producing a suite of high-performing, 100% sustainable gardening and outdoor products uses a material previously considered to be agricultural waste as the basis for their products.
Coir (pronounced “koi-er”), is the spent rind of a coconut and can be refined to various degrees to produce a highly effective peat-moss replacement. Farmers in the Netherlands have been raving about the use of coir as a growing medium for decades. Coir is brown, light and soil-like and can be used for the same applications peat moss is used for.
Among some of coir’s benefits are:
- Coir works like thousands of mini natural sponges to absorb water and release it to plants as needed.
- Coir retains more water than peat moss, significantly reducing watering requirements.
- Coir is 100% organic.
- Coir is pH neutral.
PlantBest also values a fair-trade business model, maintaining most purchasing and manufacturing activities in the Mekong Delta region of Vietnam where it operates. The goal is to keep the majority of the economic value of PlantBest‘s activities in the hands of subsistence coconut farmers and the company’s Vietnamese employees.
Ultimately, PlantBest is helping a developing region reap the economic benefits of a previously wasted byproduct of the local coconut harvest transforming into a line of award-winning, eco-friendly garden and outdoor products. The bottom line: Make your growing media peat-free and take another step towards environmental sustainability this growing season by using coconut coir-based products.
View the UN report here:
For more information and to view PlantBest‘s entire suite of products visit www.plantbest.com.
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