We can all agree, the beginning of 2020 saw some shocking global weather events. Regardless of politics or even your stance on climate change, we think it’s safe to say we have some cleaning up to do.
It’s for that reason here, at Vegepod HQ, we can no longer stay silent on the issue of greener initiatives! It’s time for us to start shouting out from the (edible) rooftops about how Vegepods are helping to save the planet. We write this newsletter with the hope that it inspires people everywhere to begin or continue green initiatives and to realise our enviro creds, which we use as a mindset for all future manufacturing aims.
Are we perfect? No. We're still working on getting our Carbon Neutral Certification and Smart Water Mark (due this year) for which the University of Western Sydney is currently quantifying our water saving creds. Do our products have a great net positive effect on the environment though regardless? Absolutely! Here are the reasons why.
Making It Easy to #GrowYourFood
“Of all individual human efforts to help the environment, it is unbeatable to grow food in your own backyard, through your cities, on your roofs. It is the ABSOLUTE gold standard of emissions control.”
~ Eric Toensmeir, author of ‘The Carbon Farming Solution’ and Senior Researcher of ‘Project DrawDown’.
First and foremost Vegepod has always been about helping people grow their own food, organic and uncontaminated, in the soil, at home. We’re about no transport miles and no superfluous food packaging. We ARE exactly the solution Eric is referring to above.
That in itself should be enough, but apart from our user-friendly #growyourfood beds, we also think Vegepod as a product has a great enviro score. Now some of you may be looking at the Vegepod and thinking 'Really? Ain’t the plastic components bad?’
In fact, no. And the reasons are as follows:-
Our beds are UV stabilised, extremely strong and durable, and last up to ten years and counting - this means a much lower carbon footprint than most other timber and iron beds.
By contrast, timber beds often rot and deteriorate beyond effective use within their first two years and then need replacing (if they don’t break down, then it’s often because the timber is treated, which makes them a bad choice anyway).
Let’s drill down to the processes that have to be repeated e.g. every two years, to replace rotting beds:
firstly, there’s energy required in feeding quick-growth timber plantation trees
someone has to chainsaw down the trees, then cranes must then be used to place the timber in fossil-fuel burning trucks to transport to the mill
there’s processing the timber at the mill
packaging again into saleable products
putting them on to trucks again (often putting on to fossil-fuel burning cargo ships for shipment overseas)
putting them into stores where customers then transport the package back home and rebuild etc.
The carbon footprint of all transport miles, let alone all the processing footprints, for ongoing replacements is truly huge.
Following on from the above, some have expressed concern that indeed perhaps our plastic bases last too long and could be bad for the environment since they do not break down. We are pleased to note here that our Vegepods do not use single-use plastic and every part of the Pod is 100% recyclable. It can be put back into the system via the normal recycling avenues available to all households today.
Our plastic bed materials are all certifiably food safe. They are BPA free, Grade 5 and non-leaching. This cannot be said for many treated timbers, iron beds or even upcycled materials such as foam boxes, tyres and other plastic containers. In fact, this is also the reason we don’t manufacture our Vegepods from recycled plastic. Many often assume recycled plastic is the best option, but due to the myriad of unknown plastics that go into each and every batch, one cannot certify food-safety. Recycled plastics are great for making decks and furniture but not for food growing containers.
Due to our Vegepod wicking bed bases, we recorded up to 80% less water usage compared to standard gardens. Indeed, the University of Western Sydney, as an academic and unbiased third party, are now conducting similar tests throughout 2020 and are working to provide quantifiable evidence to Australia’s very own “Smart Watermark” agency for further public backing and approvals of such.
Less Need for Herbicides or Pesticides
Our Vegepods utilise a super fine mesh cover - this means our plants are protected from weeds and pests meaning there’s less need for harmful herbicides and pesticides. The mesh canopy does all the protection work in an organic manner.
The super-fine, tightly fitted mesh holes also mean there is no danger to the wellbeing of larger pests such as birds, bats or mammals that often get caught up in the typical loose-draped exclusion netting (and with larger clumsy holes)
So, is the Vegepod A 'Sustainable Product'?
Yes, most definitely. In today’s complicated world, sustainability is not so simple as ‘it uses natural materials’. It’s about looking at the net-positive effect a product has on the world and the people in it. How many times will people use the product? Does the product encourage positive outcomes? Are the materials recyclable? Importantly for businesses, are they building towards greener contributions to society? As we stated in the beginning, we are by no means perfect but we’re also taking real action towards long-term solutions for reducing our own carbon footprint as well as our customers’.
We recognise outcomes must be measured and managed to reach their final goals. We’re proud of where we’ve come from and where we’re going. We’re excited to see the #growyourfood movement thrive and continue to be a part of that.
Vegepod and you are saving the planet. Be proud!