Something we need to get real about, and fast, is peat-moss.

For years, the garden and landscape industry has been selling us peat moss as “compost.” In reality, this is an inaccurate use of the term “compost.”

Peat moss and compost are very different. Peat is produced over thousands of years in a waterlogged bog without air. On the other hand, compost is made in less than a year from the decomposition of plant material in the presence of oxygen.

Holding as much as 10 times the carbon per hectare than other ecosystems, peatlands can become devastating greenhouse gas emitters when disturbed.

Once drained and exposed to air, the carbon contained in peatlands gets oxidised and is converted into carbon dioxide which contributes to climate change.

Although drained and disturbed peatlands make up 0.3% of the world’s land mass, they produce 5% of all carbon dioxide emissions caused by humans.

This is twice the amount emitted by the world’s entire aviation fleet of 20,000 aircraft.

Take Action

It's time to talk to gardening retailers and suppliers. Steps need to be taken to remove peat from horticulture and gardening products.

Even Monty Don agrees! Check out his go peat-free campaign

Can you talk to your local garden centre or supplier about peat-moss?

Many supply "compost" with peat-moss, and have peat in their potted plants. Ask to speak to the manager or email them to ask what they're doing to transition away from using peat-moss.

They need to hear from customers who want to go peat-free.

This blog contains extracts from our Compost for Nature guide written by CompostingIreland. Read more here. The guide is FREE. You can support this work by becoming a member of An Taisce.

Now more than ever we need to act to protect nature and create a better future for us all.

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