Give It A Grow
Growing and greening our towns and cities is good for our health, our mood, wildlife and it can mitigate the effects of climate change. Give It A Grow aimed to inspire Londoners to make it easier for them to create green and wild spaces at home, to help London become a National Park City.
Why do we need to green our cities?
More and more of us are moving into urban areas and 60% of the world’s population is expected to live in cities by 2050 (UN). The UK is seeing a similar trend, and London’s population is expected to keep increasing (GLA). This puts a lot of pressure on green areas in cities that improve physical and mental health, provide food and habitats for pollinators like bees and help provide shade and cool cities down and prevent against flooding. While London already has 3,000 green spaces, it aims to become the world’s first National Park City and be 50% green space by 2050 (GLA). Who wouldn’t want that?
So what did we learn from Londoners about growing?
We did some polling of 2,000 Londoners in 2019, that revealed Londoner’s attitudes and habits when it comes to greening their homes and the city:
There’s strong appetite for growing
82% had planted something in the past 12 months, motivated by making their space look nice but also improving their mood.
But a lack of skills and confidence
Particularly to grow from scratch, with 60% of Londoners wanting to learn more about growing at home and which plants would suit their space.
Londoner’s want a greener city
74% think more green spaces and growing would make London a nicer place to live and work.
And believe it’s good for the environment
74% also thought creating green spaces is important for the city’s pollinators like bees and butterflies and 68% think growing helps protect the environment.
How did we get people growing?
Knowing there was such a thirst for Londoners to get growing if they were given the right conditions, we dug right in. Collaborating with the Mayor of London in 2019, we wanted to make growing easier and more accessible to all Londoners, wherever they live. We designed a #GiveItAGrow planting kit perfect for new growers and for a variety of spaces, containing everything needed to get growing, to help build skills and confidence to grow from scratch. We gave away 10,000 planting kits at 18 collection points across London including selected B&Q and Starbucks stores, and IKEA Greenwich.
The kit contained bulbs and seeds to grow flowers that attract pollinators, herbs for some edible, fast-growing fun, organic growing matter made from coconuts, and a recycled ‘pulp tray’ to grow in. We even had a specially designed box, which made it feel like a present, and an instruction booklet made from recycled coffee cups.
We also created a #GiveItAGrow website for people who wanted to dig a little deeper for more simple tips and ideas including tips on growing plants from seeds, herbs indoors and attracting wildlife to your garden.
What difference did it make?
Londoners certainly decided to Give It a Grow! 5,800 people signed up to the #GiveItAGrow newsletter to be the first to hear about the kit giveaway. As well as the 10,000 kits we gave out across London, we started a conversation about how easy it can be to get going with growing at home and the campaign had a reach of almost 3 million on social media.
Get growing at home, visit the #GiveItAGrow website for loads of tips on growing, from low-maintenance gardens to attracting wildlife.