Vermiculite (gray to brown glossy flakes) and perlite (little styrofoam-looking balls) are commonly added to planting mixes. Both are non-renewable mined products. After they are mined, they are heated to extreme temperatures in industrial furnaces. The mining and heating are both environmentally harmful processes.
Peat is formed from partially decayed plant matter in wetlands. Peat grows at a rate of a sixteenth of an inch per year. Peatlands are unique ecosystems with many rare and specialized organisms. Peat bogs capture and store carbon dioxide (a major greenhouse gas driving climate change), preventing it from entering the atmosphere. To mine peat, the wetland is drained, and the ground is dug several feet deep. Peatlands store a third of the earth's soil carbon, so when they are drained and dug up, enormous amounts of carbon are released. In addition to destroying wildlife habitat and releasing large amounts of carbon dioxide, there is also the risk of peat fires, which can smolder underground undetected.
Our soilless potting mix is composed of compost from an organic mushroom farm, wood fiber, coconut coir, and rice hulls. These items are a much more sustainable option than traditional potting mix and are filled with nutrients.