Welcome to our latest SHiFT blog where we show you how to combine your love of gardening with your passion for planet-friendly practices!

In the ever-evolving landscape of environmental consciousness, individuals are increasingly recognising the profound impact of their choices on the planet. As gardening enthusiasts, we hold the power to transform our green spaces into more than just picturesque landscapes – we can cultivate them as sanctuaries of sustainability.

From our grassy lawns to windowsill flower beds, in this blog we’re diving deep into the ways in which you can explore and embrace some practical changes to your gardening routine – a journey where your green thumb can make a big impact on the planet. 

So let’s dig in and cultivate a garden that not only blooms beautifully but also leaves a positive imprint on our environment!


Most gardeners will know that the key to a healthy garden comes from having high quality, nutrient dense soil. Giving your garden the best chance of thriving with a healthy place to put down roots can make a huge difference; but rather than buying bags of compost from a garden centre – why not utilise what everyone has at home! 

Around 30% of household waste is food scraps and organic waste. Instead of throwing it away, home composting is the most environmentally-friendly, low-cost way of dealing with kitchen and garden waste. And the biggest benefit is that it produces nutrient-rich compost that can be used to fertilise your garden in the summer. 

Better still, every 1kg of homemade compost typically saves over 0.1kg fossil CO2 emissions, which could save more than 5.1 kg carbon, per gardener, every year.

You can learn more about how to turn your waste into compost here!


Did you know that there are about 500 million plastic pots in circulation right now? And each one of those will take more than 400 years to break down?

Pretty daunting right? It almost seems satirical that gardeners, individuals who evidently love nature and being outdoors, have somehow ended up being surrounded by plastic. Nearly every item we use when growing our own, whether it be seed trays, plant pots, compost bags, plastic labels, plastic cloches, propagators (and so on) seem to be made of plastic!⁠

With Summer upon us, what better time to start making some changes with seeds! Typically, seed trays and modules are often made of flimsy single-use plastic; that is rarely recycled. Why not try switching them to newspaper pots, toilet roll inners or even pulp moulds? These alternatives are not only better for the environment but will save you time and money as you can plant them directly into the soil and the natural fibres will break down into the soil.

Read more here for some great tips to help you get started!⁠


The surest way to avoid food packaging is growing some, if not all, of your own food in a sustainable way. Not only can it eliminate up to 100% post-production food packaging, if you have the space and time to do so, it’s also a great way to connect to your natural environment, and can be a perfect family or community activity!

If this isn’t feasible or you don’t have access to a green space, then buying locally sourced and home-grown produce can support others doing so and can even save significant amounts of greenhouse gas emissions.

Learn more here!


What’s the one thing all plants need to thrive? 

As the climate becomes more unpredictable and we are experiencing longer hotter months, water scarcity is becoming a more prominent issue. So much so that many areas experience restrictions such as hose pipe bans to help preserve water sources.

However, during those rainy months, why not use a water butt or rain barrel to make the most of those dreary days and collect water that falls onto your roof? This simple alternative to mains supply can help reduce the cost of maintaining your garden and reduce your carbon footprint too.

The RHS have even set up a pledge campaign , ‘Mains to Rains’ to encourage people to make the most of our natural resources and even offer guidance on the different ways you can save water. So far they have helped save 6.6 million litres of water which is the equivalent to taking 82,385 baths – saving enough carbon equivalent to charge 1.3 million smartphones!

Check it out here!


When the time of year comes around to start planting your seeds, don’t forget that even the little things can make a big difference!

Plastic plant labels, though easy to use, often break quickly as they degrade quickly in sunlight and if left for an extended period can leak toxic chemicals into the soil. Whereas a simple switch to bamboo or wooden plant labels can be composted at the end of their usefulness – you can even repurpose lollipop sticks from those hot summer days!



Pollinators need our help. Loss of habitat is one of the main reasons why we see fewer bees, butterflies and other insects visiting our gardens.

But you can help slow and reverse the decline in bees, butterflies, moths, hoverflies and other pollinators by growing a wide variety of plants including a mixture of native, near-native and exotic plants to support pollinator diversity!

The RHS have put together an amazing list of different plants for pollinators for you to choose from and help you get started!


Plant pots are often made from lightweight, cheap plastic and difficult to recycle. However there are now lots of alternatives widely available including terracotta, coir, fibre, bamboo and waste cardboard. 

Another alternative is an option that gives single-use plastic a second lease of life. Ocean Plastic Pots was founded by Ally Mitchells. Driven by his passion and determination to help turn the tide on the large volume of plastic found in our seas. 

As a commercial deep sea diver having worked across the world from the Ivory Coast to Singapore and Europe, Ally has experienced first hand the detrimental impact plastic waste is having on our oceans and marine life. 

After experiencing the impact of plastic in our oceans, Ally taught himself some basic manufacturing techniques and started making plant pots from plastic he picked off the beach as well as discarded ropes and fishing nets. 

The pots themselves, although durable and built to last, can be recycled again, creating a circular economy. And are of course helping to increase the growing awareness of plastic pollution!

** What to do with existing plastic in the garden **

For those of you wanting to make a positive SHiFT in your gardening routine, it’s still important to make the most out of the plastic you have accumulated rather than throwing it away. 

Continue to reuse plastic pots, trays and other equipment until they reach the end of their useful life to keep them out of the waste system as long as possible. 

You can reuse and repurpose lots of items such as compost bags and pots. Once they need replacing you can gradually integrate and substitute for more sustainable alternatives.

Top Tip: Check out your local garden centre for pot recycling schemes or join a community group to swap and trade with other gardeners to help keep the plastic in circulation rather than landfill! 


These are just a few examples of the many ways you can make changes in your garden. We hope that we’ve inspired you to try something new, shift your perspective and hopefully inspire others to do the same!

Help us have a bigger impact and share this article with your friends too.

On the SHiFT platform, there are now hundreds of solutions available at just the click of your mouse and filters that help you refine the options down to the ones that are most appropriate for you.

We don’t need everyone to do everything, but we do need everyone to do something. What will your next SHiFT be?

We encourage you to share your actions across social media to inspire others to join you in making a difference in their own lives, communities, businesses and wider world.


by eXXpedition Team