Planning the retail offer for an exhibition is an exciting challenge. Whilst preparing the shop shelves for the current For Peatlands’ Sake exhibition at the Wardlaw Museum the Visitor Services team have been sourcing products that give our visitors the opportunity to continue the message of the exhibition. Many visitors love to take away something – a memento of their visit so when we can combine that with something that also helps continue the message of sustainability that makes us very happy! It also helps us to contribute to the University of St Andrews strategic aim of sustainability.
Whist planning the retail offer for the exhibition we were finding out more about how using peat free compost can help to protect and preserve peatland areas.
One of our new suppliers George Davies runs a business called For Peat’s Sake™. George is passionate when it comes to preserving peat and earlier this year he gave us an insight into his business.
“For peat’s sake!™ was founded by 21 year old George, following his study of Environmental Geography at Cardiff University, where he first learnt about peatlands and their vital role in our natural world. Disappointed by the continual destruction of peat bogs for the purpose of compost manufacturing, George was spurred on to find an alternative and spread awareness about the importance of peatlands as well as teaching people about the benefits of growing your own plants.
For peat’s sake!™ offers a growing medium made from a waste product of the coconut industry, the husk. This growing medium, called coir, also happens to be a favourite of the professional growing industry. For peat’s sake!’s coir is sustainably and ethically sourced, and is made to a professional-grade standard through a buffering and grading process which turns the coconut husk into the optimum soil structure. Following production, the coir is dehydrated and compressed to make it more efficient to transport and store, and also means no plastic packaging is needed. A world away from the traditional big, wet, plastic bag of peat-based compost most people are used to. All the user needs to do is add water, watch the compressed coir expand and start planting!” (George Davies Founder of For Peat’s Sake™)
A bit of an activist when it comes to preserving peatlands and how essential this is globally to the environment George has supplied us with packs of compost which we are selling in the museum shop as well as some T Shirts sporting the slogan “Love Peat, Don’t Dig It!”. Cathy our Retail and Operations Officer decided to give the peat free compost a try when repotting a spider plant at home. The compost pack was really easy to transport (no heavy bags to carry!) and really easy to recycle as the packaging is entirely made from paper. The process was really straightforward – just adding water to the cube of compost, waiting for it to expand and then planting. You can watch a video of the whole process here! Cathy said “the coir feels quite different from the compost I’d probably be using and it’s much less messy!”
We love the Peat free option and recommend that you try it! You can even help by asking your local garden centre about stocking it.
Whilst we’re at it – palm trees grow in the Peatlands of Peru and the overuse of these areas along with a demand for palm oil for a great variety of products is threatening these areas. You can find out more about how communities in Peru are working together to make these areas more sustainable by visiting the exhibition. In the Wardlaw Museum Shop we’ve stocked some palm oil free products that you might like to try. A variety of toiletries, washing up bars and even some chocolate are on offer so give them a try!
We can’t wait to see you and remember Love Peat, Don’t Dig It!
The For Peatland’s Sake Exhibition is running at the Wardlaw Museum until 7 May 2023.