Millions of people are making the interiors of their homes more environmentally friendly but are struggling to embrace green living in the garden.
A study of 2,000 garden owners found more than a quarter haven’t made any changes to their garden in the past five years to make it sustainable, while in comparison nine in 10 have done for the inside of their home. And 31% would like to see greener products for gardening more widely available. A fifth admitted they have no idea how to make their outdoor space more eco-friendly.
Sarah Dixon, from Hozelock which commissioned the study to launch the EasyMix 2-in-1 Composter, says: “Sustainability is becoming increasingly important and while we often hear about the different ways to make changes in the home, such as swapping appliances or fitting a smart meter, the outdoors is often overlooked.
“It’s interesting to see how people would like to be – and are trying to be – more sustainable in their garden. There are many different ways gardens can be made greener, such as composting, adding pollinating flowers and plants, such as crocuses or lavender, growing your own fruit and veg and reducing the use of chemicals. Each small change can make a big difference and with spring and summer upon us there’s no better time to take up new habits outside.”
The study also found almost a quarter are not aware if they are harming their garden with the products they use, but many admit to still using weed killer (36%), insect repellent (22%) and peat compost (20%).
One in 10 admitted to washing excess weed killer down the drain, while 16 % have been known to light a bonfire in their garden.
In the past five years, in order to be more sustainable, 31 % have planted pollinating flowers and 26% installed a guttering or water butt to collect rainwater.
Almost two thirds of people questioned agreed there isn’t enough information and tips on how to compost and only 30% currently do this as a way of getting rid of garden waste. A further one in eight feel ‘guilty’ about the amount of garden waste they send to landfill.
Those surveyed via OnePoll feel a sustainable garden would typically feature water butts (55%), veg and fruit patches (53%) and composters (52%).
When it comes to outdoor space, 62% admitted they prioritise how easy it is to maintain, while 42% care about how appealing it is for wildlife and 31% consider how environmentally friendly it is.
Changes garden owners would like to make which they are yet to include growing their own fruit and veg (29%), composting their own waste (23%) and plant more trees (21%).
TV shows are where 29% get the most information from about how to live sustainably, followed by social media (24%) and magazines (18%).
Sarah added: “Composting is an effective way to be more sustainable in the garden, but it is often considered to be complex and time consuming, however there are now products available which can simplify the process.
“A tumbling composter, for example, allows you to easily recycle kitchen and garden waste, helping to prevent food waste being sent to landfill, whilst also improving the quality of your soil.”