Sustainable Gardening Australia (SGA) is a not-for-profit social enterprise dedicated to achieving a healthy biodiverse planet and vibrant, sustainable communities.
Its principal purposes are to:
1. encourage, educate and enable home and professional gardeners to adopt sustainable gardening practices to protect or enhance the natural environment or a significant aspect of it; and
2. provide information or education, or carry on research about, the natural environment or a significant aspect of it.
Origins of SGA
In the late 1990s, Environs Australia, a Local Government Environment Network wanted to establish partnerships between the horticultural industry and local government. At the same time, members of the garden retail industry in Victoria were trying to set up systems that would enable it to understand and quantify its environmental impacts and then seek to improve them. This led to development of the Garden Product Guide – Safe for You ‘n’ Nature in collaboration with Burnley Horticultural College, University of Melbourne. Another goal was to provide environmental education and learning opportunities for customers of garden centres.
Representatives of both Environs Australia and the garden retail industry then came together to form a project within Environs Australia. Eventually, on 27 February 2003, Environs Australia and Sustainable Gardening Australia signed a Memorandum of Understanding outlining the relationship between the two parties. On 12 June 2003, Sustainable Gardening Australia became an incorporated not-for-profit association (SGA Inc.)
In August, 2004, the Sustainable Gardening Australia Foundation with a Public Fund to receive donations was established. SGA Inc. was to act as its Trustee. In October 2005, the Foundation was entered on the Register of Environmental Organisations giving it Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status.
Actions to achieve our Principal Purpose
- Developing and promoting a Garden Product Guide – Safe for You ‘n’ Nature to rate gardening products for their impacts on the natural environment and human safety.
- Training programs and associated certification for gardening retailers so that they could ensure that the products they sold had minimal impacts on the natural environment. This includes ceasing to sell invasive plants which are environmental weeds.
- Training and certification for landscapers and other gardening professionals in knowledge and skills to minimize the impacts of their activities on the natural environment.
- Production of booklets in partnership with local government on sustainable gardening practice.
- Education and training of home gardeners in how to minimise environmental impacts and enhance biodiversity.
- Development of a website and Facebook page to provide information and education on how to minimize environmental impacts, enhance biodiversity, conserve water, protect waterways and produce food locally.
- Facilitation of establishment of neighbourhood gardening groups which use and promote sustainable gardening practice