Recent studies have shown us that failed first attempts are a significant barrier to continued home gardening. The lesson? If we want people to grow their own and create a happier, healthier environment, we must make it easy for them. With this in mind, we at Vegepod believe sustainability is a question of the product’s overall effect on the environment – not just on the initial footprint. So, are our plastic pods user-friendly, durable AND eco-friendly? You bet they are.
With the focus of many gardeners shifting further and further to more sustainable options, we’re constantly asked about the sustainability of the Vegepod’s polypropylene plastic, eco-climate covers and containers. Are they necessary? Are they sustainable? What about timber or iron raised beds, how do they compare?
User Friendly Gardening
Our containers are resistant to rot, insect damage, UV and moisture. Similarly, our eco-covers manage the climate of plants by allowing water and air to penetrate but not insects, encouraging plant growth. The compost required is half that typically needed for a raised timber bed of the same dimensions. This makes our beds transportable and inexpensive to set up and maintain. Lastly, our containers are self-watering. The container uses wicking and nutrient recycling systems so plants can last weeks without water. Compared to standard timber and iron raised beds, they reduce water use by up to 80%.
Recycled plastic is unable to be certified as ‘foodsafe’ as it contains many different grades of plastic. Vegepod will not allow such material to be used for organic food growing despite the appeal of the tagline “Made from recycled plastics”. However, our eco-covers and containers are completely recyclable and do not just become landfill or breaking down into harmful elements. This makes them an ideal gardening tool with a reduced carbon footprint.
Because our containers are durable and designed for optimal plant growth, an individual Vegepod has a minimum 10 year lifespan! Most untreated timbers are lucky to last longer than 2 years before rotting and breaking down. The impact of such timber production, the repeated timber growing, harvesting and rebuilds would make an interesting study when compared to a one-off plastic container that lasts up to 10 years.
Are Natural Materials Sustainable?
When it comes to garden materials, there’s nothing more beautiful than timber. Unfortunately, termites agree. Untreated wood also has very little resistance to the elements - moisture, mould, fungi, heat and pests. This significantly shortens the lifespan of such beds. Corrugated iron beds also eventually rust and breakdown and can leech harmful elements into the surrounding soils and plants.
In our opinion, when you look at all the factors (initial production, durability, potential harmful elements, recyclability etc) polypropylene pods are safer, more productive and a more sustainable way to garden. They’re durable, long-lasting, affordable, water efficient, and when all is said and done, 100% recyclable. What are your opinions on the issue? We’d love to hear from you.