Antony Turner, founder of CarbonSense, an organisation that aims to put low-carbon thinking as a top priority, said not only was the atmosphere changing at an alarming rate but the planet's ecosystems enabling it to cope were being swamped.
The issue was invisible but that did not mean the planet could ignore it, he said. Turner used his talk to outline the challenges faced and to urge garden centres to become low-carbon emitters.
He encouraged operators to consider how garden centres could create a lower-carbon world, how they could reconnect people with food and nature, and what the right products for low-carbon gardening were and whether they were being stocked.
Attendees were given the chance to explore ideas to take advantage of the situation. Solutions offered included: getting trade organisations to drive changes; introducing energy-management systems; reducing packing; developing labelling systems showing carbon used in production; and seeking alternatives to plastic pots.