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Environment and Sustainability

We recognise that even businesses like ours, that appear outwardly to be green, have an impact on our environment. 

Sunshine Garden Centre has a social and moral responsibility in acting to limit our impact through good management of our resources to ensure that we identify, eliminate, reduce, re-use and recycle what we consume.

We understand that by our actions and through our roles as educators to the general gardening community and by what we promote we can have a positive influence on environmental awareness in our community. We will address these issues with staff, suppliers, customers, and the wider community.

Peat Policy

•  We are committed to reducing our own usage of peat-based products by using peat free and reduced peat alternatives in our planters and planting schemes around the garden centre

•  We are increasing our range of peat free alternatives and reduced peat ranges.  By 2024 all peat ranges will have been phased out of our supply chain.

•  We absorb the higher production costs of peat free alternatives so that the retail price paid by our customers is comparable to peat based lines

•  We are working with our plant suppliers to encourage their use of peat free alternatives.

•  We are actively promoting the use of reduced peat/peat free by making it more prominent to our customer.  Most of our compost range comes with a peat content indicator on the back of the bag and this is to demonstrate and educate the peat content of the product.

•  We will not sell peat-based products harvested from areas of SSI (Special Scientific Interest)

•  We are actively encouraging our customers to move away from peat-based products


We stock an ever-increasing variety of eco-friendly products throughout the garden centre where staff are trained to educate the public on using products which reduce their impact on the environment. Here are just some of eco-friendly businesses we are proud stockists of:

- Dalefoot Composts – One of the only completely UK produced Peat Free alternatives on the market.  Based in the Lake District combining sheep’s wool, bracken and comfrey grown on their farm to produce the UK’s best compost range as voted for by Which Best Buy Magazine.

- Shared Earth – This is the leading wholesale supplier of fair trade, eco, recycled and ethical gifts.

- Hip Chocolate – Hip Oak Milk Chocolate is a new sustainable, plant-based, vegan friendly chocolate brand, producing delicious, creamy chocolate from a slave-free supply chain. 

- The Plant Pot Company – These guys grow a fabulous range of eco friendly, sustainable and ethically produced cottage garden plants and herbs in hairy coir pots in peat free compost.  We are proud stockists as you can imagine!

- Franchi Seeds - A family run company since 1783, that supply us with a great range of organic and endangered vegetable seeds, that will grow to produce veg bursting with extraordinary flavours.

Supporting Made in Britain 

If there is one thing that problems with the Global supply chain teaches you is that we are as a nation ridiculously over-dependent on foreign manufacturing and goods. So now more than ever we are going to be celebrating local and made in Britain, which supports our local economy and reduces our carbon footprint.  You’ll be glad to know that 90% of plants are grown right here in the UK. Below is a representation some of the best Made in Britain business we are proud to be stockists of:

- Naylors Pots – The tradition of making clay pots is still alive and well in Sheffield and we are proud stockist of Naylor Pots. 

- Plantbox – This a cleverly simple vertical garden system with a unique watering system that makes looking after plants so easy! Made in Norfolk from 100% recycled materials

- Hug @ Home – A British manufacturer stepped in the traditions of the Yorkshire textile industry that produce a wonderful array of rugs made from fully recycled material.

- St Eval Candles – A family run business that produce beautifully hand crafted candles in their beautiful surroundings in Cornwall.

- Byrants Nursey – Our seasonal bedding plant supplier based in Hemel Hamstead.  A family run business that has recently moved over to growing completely peat free. 

There is always room for improvement when it comes to recycling. We actively recycle cardboard, plastic, glass, metal, and wood.  In 2022 we have introduced new shopping baskets into our plant department make from recycled Ocean plastics, the old baskets are being reused by our online business to help pick smaller orders – we are so proud of these new baskets!!
With an increasing interest and awareness in Organically grown food and products, we will source organically grown produce and organic food ranges as our preferred choice. Support will be given to any supplier which promotes 'Organic' or “Free From” such as our vegetable plant suppliers 
The Use of Chemicals
We actively seek to minimise use of chemical pesticides in the Garden Centre, and this is done by keeping our plants strong and healthy by giving them optimum levels of food and water, which builds up a very high level of natural defences against pest and diseases. 
We encourage our customers to adopt a similar approach and recommend the use of biological or organic controls, where applicable.
Wood Policy 
We endeavour to promote and stock either wood sourced from sustainable forests or Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) accredited products.  FSC is a non-governmental, non-profit organisation promoting responsible management of the world’s forests.  To find out more about the amazing work carried out by the FSC please visit their website:
Water Usage
Conserving water is an important part of our business for both environmental and economic reasons. We concentrate mainly on hand watering in the majority of the Plant Area, where it is possible to channel the water directly into the pot and to avoid wastage due to drifting of water in windy conditions, with overhead irrigation.
We also promote the use of grey water, where and when appropriate, as well as the use of rainwater in areas such as our Houseplants department