The carbon footprint of the 2012 Chelsea Flower Show is being challenged by its members according to this article on the Guardian Environmental Pages.
“RHS member and visitor Tania Thorne said: “Having seen the level of environmental waste, I would not have guessed the RHS had even heard of climate change“.
So is it an ecological monster or a fantastic show promoting the wonders of nature? The evidence sadly indicates it is more of the former. This was neatly summarised in Bob Sweet’s response to the huge waste of lighting on the traders’ stands: “I have no objection to it if it adds to the shopping experience. We are a consumer show”.
This is simply not good enough. The RHS as the nation’s leading horticultural institution, should be leading from the front. Britain’s gardens are already suffering the damaging effects of the climate crisis. Let’s hope next year’s show will positively demonstrate the actual level of urgency required and begin the process of turning Chelsea from an environmentally-damaging consumerist monster into the leading eco-angel that our gardens desperately need.
One excellent advance for this years Show has been the inclusion of a new section just for environmental gardens -http://press.rhs.org.uk/RHS/files/32/32104d17-ec64-4289-80d9-53adf95ee7af.pdf
In 2013 the RHS should think about making The Chelsea Flower Show even greener to reflect the fact that UK gardeners continue to struggle with the effects of climate change.