In today’s world, as we know, sustainability is becoming increasingly important and finding ways to make eco-friendly choices in our daily lives is essential. I have been looking around my own home and realise I need to add a few houseplants, which got me thinking about the plants we nurture in our homes. Sustainable houseplants not only add beauty and freshness to our indoor spaces but also contribute positively to the environment by helping to purify the air.
But how environmentally sustainable are the plants we buy? How many of us even consider this when we see a pretty plant at our local nursery? In this guide, we’ll explore the importance of eco-friendly indoor gardening and look at practical tips and plant recommendations to create a greener and more sustainable home.
The Importance of Sustainable House Plants
House plants have been a popular addition to homes for many years, particularly with the more ‘green thumbed’ of us. Now I don’t exactly come into that category of having green thumbs but I do like the look of healthy plants in the home. House plants not only enhance the aesthetic appeal of our home but also offer a variety of physical and mental health benefits. However, sustainability is an important consideration in today’s world so choosing sustainable houseplants can make a significant difference to our ecological footprint.
So what is a sustainable houseplant? It is a plant species that has a lower environmental impact compared to some choices of houseplant. They are often native to a region which means they are naturally adapted to local climates so they need less water and maintenance. Choosing sustainable indoor plants which align with your values and complement your style is a win-win situation. Here are some steps to help you design your eco-friendly indoor oasis.
1. Choose Native Plant Species
Begin your sustainable indoor garden by choosing plants that are native to your region. Native plants are better suited to the local climate which reduces the need for excessive watering and artificial interventions. They are usually low maintenance and require minimal care. This makes them easier to nurture and they contribute to water conservation and a reduced carbon footprint.
2. Embrace Sustainable Plant-Care Practices
Caring for your sustainable houseplants in an eco-friendly manner is crucial to their well-being and the overall sustainability of your indoor garden. Try adopting these sustainable plant care practices;
- Water wisely: Only water your plants when necessary and use collected rainwater or filtered water to minimise waste.
- Use peat-free potting compost. Peat releases huge amounts of carbon dioxide when harvested so we need reduce its use.
- Natural fertilisers: Use organic and natural fertilisers such as compost or homemade plant food to nourish your plants without using harmful chemicals.
- Avoid harsh pesticides: Embrace natural pest control methods such as using neem oil and avoid using harmful chemical pesticides.
3. Encourage Propagation and Plant Sharing
This is an excellent way to ensure you continue to have sustainable houseplants in your home. Learning how to propagate your houseplants and sharing cuttings or seeds with friends and family will promote sustainable gardening practices for everyone.
Plants bought in a nursery will usually be in mass-produced plastic pots and some recycling sites won’t recycle these pots so it is the best practice to try to avoid having the plastic pot in the first place. So sharing your beloved plants with family and friends reduces the need for plastic pots and you can always gift the plant in an upcycled container too.
4. Repurpose Plant Containers
Get creative with your plant containers. Repurpose some household items such as mason jars, tin cans, old tea pots or wooden boxes as unique and eco-friendly planters. Upcycling household containers not only reduces waste but adds a unique touch to your indoor garden. Not buying plant pots in stores and upcycling containers you have around the home will also mean you save money too.
5. Mindful Placement of Plants
Strategically place your sustainable houseplants to maximize their benefits. Grouping plants with similar care needs together, allows you to provide targeted attention and avoid wasting resources. Consider placing plants near windows to take advantage of natural sunlight and reduce the need for artificial lighting.
6. Sustainable House plant Recommendations
If you are just starting out on creating your eco-friendly indoor garden, here are some suggestion for sustainable houseplants;
Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum): A low-maintenance plant that purifies the air by removing pollutants like formaldehyde and benzene.
Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum): An air-purifying plant that adapts well to various light conditions and is easy to propagate.
Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata): A hardy plant that thrives in low light and efficiently removes toxins from the air.
ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia): A resilient plant that requires minimal water and tolerates neglect.
Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis miller): This plant acts as a natural air purifier and reduces toxic chemicals including formaldehyde and benzene – two chemicals that are present in cleaning products.
In conclusion, introducing sustainable houseplants into our home is a powerful way to cultivate a greener and more environmentally conscious environment. By choosing native and non-invasive species, embracing eco-friendly plant care practices, and repurposing plant containers, we can create a thriving indoor garden that positively impacts the planet. Mindful placement of plants and supporting sustainable brands further enhance the eco-friendliness of your indoor spaces. A sustainable indoor garden reflects our commitment to nurturing nature and living in an eco-friendly environment.
By taking small, intentional steps towards eco-friendly indoor gardening, we can make a significant contribution to environmental conservation and create a more sustainable future for generations to come. Our sustainable houseplants are a reminder that every individual action matters in building a healthier and more sustainable world.
I hope this guide has inspired you to create a wonderful green oasis in your home by carrying out further research into the sustainable houseplants suitable in your area. Happy gardening everyone!
If you have any comments or would like to share some of your gardening experiences and preferences with us, please leave a comment below.