Giving Back

Sustainability & Community Outreach in Springfield, Illinois

Every year large amounts of plastic and cardboard are found in garden centers contributing to a significant environmental concern. At New City Greenhouse, we acknowledge the extent of plastic pollution and are committed to actively reducing waste within our operations. We have implemented various strategies to minimize the amount of packaging waste associated with the shipment of our plants and have also discovered opportunities that have allowed us to give back to our community. Our dedicated staff members have generously invested their time and effort into reducing waste and giving back. 

Additionally, we have explored multiple avenues for recycling and reusing waste materials, allowing us to make a positive impact on the environment. Through these collective efforts, we strive to reduce pollution and work towards a sustainable future.

Reducing Our Carbon Footprint

We recognize the importance of minimizing our carbon footprint and its positive impact on both the community and the planet. In our efforts to reduce plastic pollution and foster cleaner air, water, and food, we have explored the different ways that we can lend our support. We acknowledge the excessive use of plastic packaging in the plant industry, which prompted us to introduce a sustainable solution.

All our herb plants now come carefully packaged in CowPots, which are biodegradable pots crafted from cornstarch and recycled cow manure. These containers allow you to plant the entire pot directly into the soil, allowing the roots to grow through the pot and permitting the CowPot to decompose naturally over time, ultimately becoming part of the soil ecosystem.

Working With Local Farmers

Every year, we receive our small plants packaged in multiple boxes to keep them safe during shipping. Instead of discarding these boxes, we have started working with local farmers in the Springfield, IL area to repurpose them for their farming needs.We break down each box that our plants arrive in and donate them to vegetable farmers who utilize them between their rows during planting season, and then the farmers till the boxes into the ground as they naturally decompose. These cardboard materials serve as an effective weed barrier and aid in retaining moisture within the soil. We are committed to finding sustainable alternatives and reusing all the packaging we receive rather than simply disposing of it in a landfill. By repurposing these boxes, we contribute to minimizing waste and supporting local agricultural practices.

Reusing Plastic Waste

Not only do we receive a significant number of boxes during the shipment of our small plants, but many of our plants come in plastic pots, resulting in a significant amount of plastic waste. Rather than allowing this plastic to accumulate in landfills, we are dedicated to finding innovative ways to reuse it. At New City Greenhouse, our team collaboratively invested 160 hours in meticulously sorting through the plastic materials. We identified reusable plastic items and took them to the Missouri Botanical Garden, where they were ground into chips to be incorporated into other recyclable products. In the past year alone, we have successfully repurposed 2.1 tons of plastic through this process. We strive to find effective recycling solutions for the substantial volume of plastic packaging we receive with our plants, ensuring they are not simply discarded but given a new purpose in sustainable efforts.

Giving Back to The Community

Our family-owned business holds a deep appreciation for the Springfield, IL community, so it is important to us to give back to our local area. One project we assisted with was partnering with the Springfield Urban Forestry Commission to plant trees around the city. Over the past year, our dedicated team assisted in planting over 300 trees around the area. Our collective efforts have brought numerous benefits to our city. The newly planted trees act as natural filters, improving air quality. They provide essential shade and relief, moderating neighborhood temperatures. In addition, these trees minimize stormwater runoff, preventing flooding and enhancing the city’s appearance, creating a more pleasant environment for all. We prioritize the well-being of our community and strive to create a clean and healthy living space. We have worked hand in hand with the Springfield Boys and Girls Club, Harvard Park Elementary School, and Harvard Park Neighborhood Association to plant hundreds of trees.  Our staff works with tree seedling from the Living Lands and Waters Consortium to wrap and package 2,500 trees to be given away for Earth Day Celebrations over past three years

The Future of New City Greenhouse

At New City Greenhouse, we are committed to the reuse, recycle, and reduce concepts. With a strong commitment to minimizing plastic usage, we are actively working towards transitioning to a plastic-free approach and only utilizing plastic trays. By doing so, we aim to reduce the volume of plastic that accumulates in landfills each year. We understand the negative effects plastic pollution has on the environment and are dedicated to contributing to the well-being of the planet.

Creating a sustainable environment is something we are very dedicated to and has become a top priority for us.