Andy Hamilton, co-author of The Selfsuffient-ish Bible, shares his ethical perspective on, and gardening results from, abandoning peat-enhanced compost in a new article from The Ecologist. Hamilton also presents a tidy reminder why using peat products taxes our resources:
There are many reasons for not using peat; firstly, peat renews at approximately 1mm per year, therefore it is considered a non-renewable resource. Secondly, peat bogs store carbon, a lot of carbon. In fact the equivalent of 20 years of industrial carbon is stored in British peat bogs alone. The more that this erodes, the more carbon is released into the atmosphere. What’s more, exposed areas can dry out, thus releasing carbon even when not harvested.
Thirdly, peat bogs are home to a huge array of flora and fauna that thrive in such conditions. This includes birds, such as snipe and the skylark, which breed on peat bogs, as do many butterflies and dragonflies.
Although some peat is used as fuel, the vast majority of it is used by gardeners. It seems in our attempt to create our own little wilderness that we are selfishly robbing another.
Read more here.