If you consider yourself a proud plant parent, you’re not alone. The latest research shows 66% of US households have a factory in their home, but could all that indoor gardening harm the environment?
This article explains how to make sure your houseplants are helping and not harming the planet with a few simple tips.
1. Choose peat-free plants
Many people don’t realize that the plants that line the aisles of their favorite garden stores need peat to grow. Peat is decomposed organic material that traps carbon dioxide more effectively than trees, naturally removing it from the atmosphere.
The problem is also peat grows 1/32 inch each year, so it doesn’t replenish as quickly as people take it out for production. Look for brands that avoid using peat to care for their potted plants and you won’t be participating in unsustainable use.
2. Avoid plastic containers
Anyone who wants to make sure their houseplants are helping and not harming the planet should keep an eye out for plastic. Businesses often use plastic containers as temporary storage until customers take them home, but the material can take 10 to 600 years decompose in a landfill or in the ocean.
If you want to choose something like a spider plant for remove airborne toxins from your home, you just have to look for a container that does not use plastic. This way, you’ll get the greenest product possible to support your health and the planet.
3. Buy local plant products
Your favorite garden store probably has many items on shelves and in boxes. These plants, seedlings, seed packets, and soil all need to be shipped to reach your city.
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 garden center, you can always carpool with your friends or family as they head to the nearest town. Your journey will still require fossil fuels, but you’ll be eliminating singular travel for yourself and continuing to support local businesses.
4. Find plants that need less water
Water is a limited natural resource. You will reduce the amount in the environment even if you water plants that need it. Indoor gardeners can always choose plants that require less water to combat this use.
Succulent varieties requires very little water, like all other desert plants. Growing something that grows naturally in desert environments will minimize the amount of water you need to keep it alive. Just search for your plants before bringing them home. The temptation to overwater in line with a watering schedule you’re used to could lead to plants rotting or decomposing.
5. Use biological treatment options
You may feel comfortable using pesticides or chemical fertilizers to help your houseplants because everything stays in the pot. However, you will end up replacing the dirt.
Whether it ends up in a landfill or in your garden, the chemicals that linger in the soil will affect local agriculture and waterways. Chemical runoff causes many health problems such as reproductive disorders and diabetes in addition to polluting the environment by supporting local wildlife.
Always opt for organic plant treatment products when you need to take care of indoor pests or help your plants grow. The planet will be better off when this ground finally reaches the outside world.
Support the planet with your indoor plants
Now that you know how to make sure your houseplants are helping and not harming the planet, try these tips at home. You’ll make greener choices for your indoor garden and transform your hobby into alignment with your sustainable values.