Updated: Dec 29, 2020
Houseplants may seem like an inherently sustainable and low waste hobby or even lifestyle, however, there are some ways to ensure that your houseplants are actually sustainable and eco-friendly. For starters, our blog Sleep Easy with the Help of Plants talks about how plants act as a natural air purifier by cleaning air and improving air quality. So, instead of buying an air purifier, you can just decorate your home with the different houseplants that are best for cleaning air like snake plants, areca palms, boston ferns, dracaenas, peace lilies, pothos, and so many more! Buying plants instead of an air purifier can be more sustainable since after a plant’s life you can compost or recycle the plant in some way and plants come with less packaging then air purifiers as well. This is just one example of using houseplants to make your lifestyle more sustainable.
Here are some other tips to remember to make your plant lifestyle even more sustainable:
Buy local: this is an obvious one, but by buying from local plant shops, you are supporting smaller businesses that are typically more sustainable than bigger companies. So, skip Home Depot and look up some of the best local plant shops in your town! In Bend, Or, where I live, some of my favorites include: Somewhere That's Green and Figleaf Plant Shop, and in Miami, some great places include: Midtown Garden Center and Galloway Farm Nursery. By buying local you can also choose to support both local plant shops and local nurseries that practice sustainable techniques, while decreasing packaging and waste.
Do a plant swap: Host a plant swap in your community or with your friends, and have everyone bring one of their plants. You can have everyone bring a 4” plant and then you put all the plants in an area and you get to go home with a new plant baby!
Propagate your plants for new plant babies. This way you can buy less plants and use the plants you already have to make more! Save money and grow your collection at the same time. Check out our blog on propagating plants, The Dirt on Propagating Plants, to learn more.
Use organic fertilizers and fertilizer that doesn’t come in plastic containers. Also, stay away from synthetic fertilizers. There are ‘healthier’ fertilizer options that do not come in plastic containers, such as JoyDirt, which is what I use. This will also help your plants thrive and stay healthy, so you will be less likely to kill them and won’t have to replace your plants or buy new plants.
Get the right containers and pots for your plants. This can mean a few things, firstly, repurpose thrifted or old pots. You can buy thrifted pots and use them as is, or you can upgrade them with some paint and other decorations. You can also upcycle stuff like tins, beer cans, baskets, and other containers to make them into pots and plant holders. You can also give your plastic containers that plants are typically purchased in to a local garden center, plant shop, or nursery for them to reuse.
There are many ways to switch to even more sustainable techniques when it comes to having a plant addiction. These are just a few of our fav tips that help to reduce our waste and create an even more sustainable hobby. Places like Facebook MarketPlace is also a great place to find new houseplants.