Wednesday, November 4, 2009

For peat's sake!

Few things complement a home more than a beautiful landscape or garden. Those with a green thumb often find working in their own gardens as therapeutic and gratifying, yet could you be harvesting some carbon among those beautiful bulbs?
Could there be gasses contributing to global warming springing up between your flowers like weeds? If you are adding any peat moss to your soil, then the answer is yes. This moss is commonly added to many big brand soils and is widely used by farmers, landscapers, and recreational planters around the world. What's wrong with this seemingly benign moss and how can we be more ethical consumers, or shall I say ethical gardeners?

Well, the answer lies in the natural habitat of peat moss, or sphagnum moss. This very slow growing plant resides in peat bogs most commonly found in Finland, Canada, Ireland, and Sweden. The peat moss only grows about 1 millimeter in width every year, and it is only the new growth that is generally harvested and then sold. In it's natural state, the peat moss actually acts as a carbon collector and works well to negate some of these harmful emissions from being released into the atmosphere. When the carbon is kept within the moss, everything is great; yet it is during the mining process of the peat moss that all of the carbon it contained is subsequently released back into the environment. The result of the peat moss mining is two fold, and both as you may have guessed by now are negative. Not only are the peat moss bogs in limited reserve, existing only over 3 percent of the globe, but by continuing to mine them out and destroy this delicate habitat, we are further polluting the world. Many wildlife experts are persistently advocating for a halt to the continued mining of the peat bogs, as already findings have proved that they are following the suit of rain forests and are on their way to becoming nonexistent. This would be detrimental not only to global warming, but the surrounding areas and animals that reside in these precious conditions. Then we come back to the fact that instead of helping the state of the atmosphere and retaining carbon gases, the peat moss is instead now releasing it. This, coupled with our own carbon emissions from factories, vehicles, and all the many other sources is only making matters worse.

There has been a lot more awareness as to the obvious carbon emitting habits to focus on reducing, but I'm pretty confident that peat moss doesn't rank too high on the radar of the general public. In reaction, there are now plenty of organic soil options available that take care to not include peat moss in their ingredients, but they are usually more expensive and a good number of big company brands still include peat moss. The next time you are ready to spruce up the flower beds or add a few new crops to the land, before buying any soil, be a more ethical consumer and scan the list of ingredients and be sure that peat moss isn't on the list!

Share and Enjoy:
Digg Technorati Stumbleupon Blinklist Reddit Furl Yahoo Spurl Simpy

No comments:

Post a Comment