A shopping centre in Poole, Dorset is setting out to be a sustainable hub for shoppers with its sustainable rooftop garden, Eco Hub events space, and zero-waste policy.
Dolphin Shopping Centre’s rooftop garden was created with recyclable materials, including pallets and seven large wooden trugs, all of which are eco-friendly.
The sustainable rooftop garden, which is the home to two beehives, also houses thousands of bees and produces its own top quality honey. The rooftop garden was established in 2016 to encourage the growth of vegetables and herbs and the fully-developed beehives have enabled the centre to create its very own ‘Rooftop Honey.’
The beehives were added to the rooftop garden to increase biodiversity in the area and to give bees a safe and environmentally friendly place to live. The honey has been harvested straight from the hives to produce a fresher taste and is rated 10+, which means it is higher quality than the typical “breakfast honey”.
Since the addition of the beehives, the bees have developed in their hundreds and will help with the pollination of the local parks and surrounding pockets of floras and gardens.
The Dolphin Shopping Centre also sells its own honey – for £5 per jar – to local shoppers at the shopping centre, with all money raised going towards Chestnut Nursery, a project which aims to use horticulture to restore well-being for adults with severe and enduring mental illnesses.
As well as creating honey, the rooftop garden is home to a selection of vegetables and herbs, including beetroot, cabbage and lettuce. The crops are tended to by shopping centre staff and the fresh produce is donated to Chestnut Nursery so they can sell this to local shoppers.
Dolphin Shopping Centre is committed to sustainability, and some of its efforts include only purchasing green energy, ensuring that no waste from the shopping centre goes to landfill, and recycling 75% of waste.
Earlier this year, Dolphin Shopping Centre launched The Eco Hub, which transformed an empty unit into a creative space with eco-inspired décor. The Eco Hub is where shoppers can participate in talks about sustainability, upcyling projects, workshops and activities.
The Eco Hub is the shopping centre’s latest project, With living wall installations, grow potting tables and a dedicated learning area, the space is free for the community to use. The Eco Hub also has recycling bins for shoppers and the seating area is made from recycled materials to support environment
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief @rosamedea