Growing Beyond Gardens: The Global Impact of Native Plants with Garden for Wildlife
The NatureBacked PodcastApril 15, 2024x

Growing Beyond Gardens: The Global Impact of Native Plants with Garden for Wildlife

Garden for Wildlife is an e-commerce business that simplifies the process of learning about and purchasing native plants for customers' yards.

Founder Shubber Ali shares his personal journey from a career in management consulting to becoming passionate about gardening and the environment after reading a book called "Nature's Best Hope." This book highlighted the issue of native plants being replaced by invasive species, leading to a decline in pollinators and birds. Shubber's mission with Garden for Wildlife is to educate people and make native plants accessible, aiming to restore natural habitats and support wildlife.

Shubber emphasizes the importance of native plants and compares the growing interest in them to the rise of organic and non-dairy products in mainstream stores. He encourages people to start small in their own yards to see the positive impact on local wildlife.

Shubber Ali highlights the benefits of exposure to nature for mental and physical health, referencing the book "The Nature Fix" and the concept of forest bathing. Shubber also addresses the critical role of insects, particularly pollinators like bees, in our environment and food production, emphasizing the alarming decline of native bee species. Garden for Wildlife, his company, aims to address these issues by making native plants accessible, creating habitats, and educating the public. They've expanded to 41 states and are working on localizing plant production to reduce carbon footprint and support local growers.

Shubber's passion for the environment is evident as he discusses the interconnectedness of various environmental issues and the simple, actionable steps individuals can take to make a difference.

We discussed the business and environmental strategies of Garden for Wildlife. Shubber Ali emphasizes the importance of applying business acumen to environmental issues and describes the company's innovative crowdfunding campaign, which allows customers to become investors.

The campaign also encourages the distribution of native plants through gift cards, aiming to increase biodiversity and support wildlife.

Additionally, Shubber outlines the company's new platform for not-for-profits, which helps them raise funds through an affiliate program. Garden for Wildlife is expanding its reach through partnerships with retail chains and aims to sign up growers on the West Coast to cover all 48 states. The overarching goal is to promote the planting of native plants globally, starting with a focus on the U.S. and Canada.

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