If you consider yourself a proud plant parent, you’re not alone. The latest research shows 66% of American households have one plant in their homes, but could all of that indoor gardening hurt the environment?
This article explains how to ensure your houseplants are helping and not hurting the planet with a few easy tips.
1. Choose Peat-Free Plants
Many people don’t realize the plants lining the aisles of their favorite gardening stores require peat to grow. Peat is decayed organic material that holds carbon dioxide more effectively than trees, naturally removing it from the atmosphere.
The problem is peat also grows 1/32 of an inch every year, so it doesn’t replenish nearly as fast as people remove it for production purposes. Research brands that avoid using peat to maintain their potted plants and you won’t participate in the unsustainable usage.
2. Avoid Plastic Containers
Anyone who wants to ensure their houseplants are helping and not hurting the planet should keep an eye out for plastic. Companies often use plastic containers as temporary storage until customers repot them at home, but the material can take 10 to 600 years to decompose in a landfill or ocean.
If you want to choose something like a spider plant to remove airborne toxins from your home, you’ll just have to look for a container that doesn’t use plastic. That way, you’ll get the greenest product possible to support your health and the planet.
3. Buy Local Plant Products
Your preferred gardening store likely has many goods on shelves and in boxes. Those plants, seedlings, seed packets and soil all require shipping to reach your town.
Fossil fuels are still a primary energy source for all forms of transportation, so buying locally made products will reduce the amount of fuel burned to get that product into your hands
If you don’t live near a gardening center, you can always carpool with your friends or family when they head to the nearest town. Your trip will still require fossil fuels, but you’ll eliminate a singular trip for yourself and still support local businesses.
4. Find Plants That Need Less Water
Water is a limited natural resource. You’ll reduce the amount in the environment even if you’re watering plants that need it. Indoor gardeners can always pick plants requiring less water to combat this usage.
Succulent varieties require very little water, like any other desert plants. Growing something that naturally thrives in desert environments will minimize how much water you need to keep it alive. Just research your plants before bringing them home. The temptation to overwater by aligning with a watering schedule you’re used to could lead to plant rot or decay.
5. Use Organic Treatment Options
You may feel comfortable using chemical-based pesticides or fertilizers to help your indoor plants because everything remains in the pot. However, you’ll eventually replace the dirt.
Whether it ends up in a landfill or your backyard, the chemicals lingering in the soil will affect local agriculture and waterways. Chemical runoff causes numerous health problems like reproductive disorders and diabetes in addition to tainting the environment supporting local wildlife.
Always opt for organic plant treatment products when you need to take care of pesky indoor bugs or help your plants grow. The planet will be better off when that soil eventually reaches the outdoor world.
Support the Planet With Your Houseplants
Now that you know how to ensure your houseplants are helping and not hurting the planet, try these tips at home. You’ll make greener choices for your indoor garden and transform your hobby into one aligning with your sustainable values.