A lot of people who buy our Vegepods ask us about our polypropylene plastic, eco-climate covers and containers. Are they necessary? Are they sustainable? What about timber or corrugated iron frames?
What is Sustainability?
A recent study from the Australian Institute found failed first attempts were a significant barrier to home gardening. The lesson? If we want people to grow veggies and create a happier, healthier Earth, we must make it easy.
With this in mind, we at Vegepod believe sustainability is a question of the product’s overall effect on the environment – not just an initial footprint. So, are our plastic pods user-friendly, durable AND eco-friendly? You bet they are.
Our containers are resistant to rot, insect damage, UV and moisture. Similarly, our eco-covers manage the climate of the plants by allowing water and air to penetrate but not insects, encouraging plant production.
The potting mix required is half the potting mix typically needed for a raised timber bed of the same dimensions. This makes our beds transportable and inexpensive to initiate 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%.
As one is unable to certify each and every batch of recycled plastic used in separate factory productions as “foodsafe”, 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 can have a 7 to 10 year lifespan! That’s 7 to 10 years of organic results. 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.
Does Natural = 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.
But what about treated wood? Again, treated wood, while more resilient to these threats, is not immune. More importantly, treated wood is, well, treated. By its nature, the chemical treatments used to treat timber can be toxic and detrimental to the environment and you. Plants absorb these toxic materials. This also makes treated wood a bad candidate for recycling.
Corrugated iron beds also eventually rust and breakdown and can leech harmful elements into the surrounding soils and plants.
So, there you have it. 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. Feel free to contact us today for further inquiries on our plastic pods!