An annual global celebration, World Earth Day on Thursday 22nd April 2021 encourages people to reflect on environmental issues and to assess the small changes they could make to help protect the planet.
In this blog post, we reveal some of the ways in which we’re helping to reduce our environmental impact, as well as how you can get involved with the movement and make a real difference.
To find out more about our sustainable growing methods, contact us on 01386 41436. Visit the Earth Day website here.
Sustainable Growing at Westlands UK
1. Harvesting Rainwater
We harvest as much rainwater as we can, only using mains water as a ‘top up’ when we need it. Collecting it from the roofs of our glasshouses, we store the rainwater in our open reservoir. It then goes through a thorough filtering and cleaning process using both UV and ozone before being used to irrigate our plants. Adding a final sanitising element to our water at the point of use helps to keep pipework clean and ensures our water is as clean as possible when it meets our crops.
We also take regular water samples to understand the nutrient profile at all stages of the system. Monitoring the waters’ microbiological content ensures we are keeping potential pathogens at bay and that our system is delivering the level of cleanliness we want.
We also capture the irrigation run-off from our Micro Leaf growing systems, which goes through the same cleaning process before being reused. Not only is this more efficient, but it also reduces the waste of added fertilisers.
To make sure we don’t build up unhelpful elements like chlorides and sulphates, we blend freshwater (rainwater and/or mains water) with our irrigation water to ensure the plants get the right balance of nutrients for optimal growth.
2. Making Investments
Water is a precious resource and we need to be as efficient as we can be with it. That’s why we’re making investments in our water resources and are working towards storing all water in covered tanks. We’ll also further develop and refine our filtering process to drive efficiencies in our sanitisation of water.
3. Recycled Fabric Offcuts
Did you know that we grow our Micro Leaves in recycled fabric offcuts instead of soil? Not only does this save on waste, but the offcuts also provide a fantastic home for the Micro Leaves as they grow.
4. Using Minimal Pesticides in our Sustainable Growing Methods
We use a minimal amount of pesticides in our growing processes. As members of LEAF Marque (Linking the Environment and Farming), we use an Integrated Crop Management strategy throughout our growing sites, which involves introducing beneficial predatory insects and mites to help control pests.
How to Get Involved with World Earth Day
You could also introduce more plant-based meals into your diet. We have some delicious vegetarian and vegan recipes on our website – check them out here!
If you’d like to find out more, visit the Earth Day website here.