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Sustainable Houseplant Ownership with @aconsideredlife

If you follow Sophie of @aconsideredlife you'll be struck by the beautiful simplicity of her Instagram feed and the stunning plants in her collection. But at its core Sophie's feed is a guide to a more sustainable life that we all need to explore. In this blog, Sophie offers tips to making your houseplant habit more sustainable and care tips to ensure your plants are happy at no detriment to planet.

There's been a lot of talk about sustainability within the gardening and house plant community recently, and I really welcome it.  Ensuring the activities and hobbies we participate in are as eco-friendly as possible is as important as ensuring the clothes we wear and the food we eat are both sustainable and ethical.  Here is a little bit about the environmental impact of your house plant hobby and how you can make it more sustainable.


Buy From Eco-Conscious Plant Shops

Growing house plants sustainably begins with where we choose to shop.  Whenever possible it's important to seek out local independent shops run by environmentally-conscious owners who source their plants locally since most plants in the UK are imported.  Jungle House Plants have a range of plants locally grown in the West Midlands without the use of pesticides, which are potted up in either coir or reused plastic pots using peat-free soil.  All their plants are delivered in eco-friendly, recyclable packaging with the option free local delivery.


Choose Earth-Friendly Pots and Soil

When potting on your plants, try to reuse any plastic pots you already have or ask plant shops if they have any spare.  Jungle House Plants have plastic and coco-coir pots in a range of sizes that are free for customers to have for repotting plants.  By reusing instead of buying pots, you're helping to reduce waste.  If you really must buy new pots, choose eco-friendly alternatives made from Earth-friendly fibres.  These pots are made from sustainable materials that will biodegrade over time, unlike plastic pots that cannot be recycled.  A compost that is completely peat-free is the most sustainable option for our house plants.  There's lots of options to choose from from general all-purpose compost to mixing different growing mediums.  You can even make your own from composting your food scraps.  Jungle sells their own eco-friendly Premium Potting Mix.


Collect Rainwater For Watering

Rainwater is purer than tap water as it contains fewer salts, minerals, or treatment chemicals or pharmaceuticals and a higher level of acidity.  When you water your plants using tap water, salts, chemicals, and minerals may build up in the soil.  So the best option for your plants, and the environment, is to collect rainwater.  Collected rainwater is slightly acidic, which helps flush away the build up of accumulated substances from tap water and the nitrogen in the soil if often beneficial to certain plants.  If you have a garden, consider installing a water butt to collect rainwater.  If you live in an apartment, it's easy enough to collect rainwater without a butt.  Place a bucket or vessel in whatever available outdoor space you have access to and store it in reused containers once full.

 

Use Eco-Friendly Pest Control

Almost all pest solutions you can buy aren't very kind to you, your plants, or the planet.  They not only contain deleterious chemicals but can be hazardous to your health too.  It's easy enough to make your own eco-friendly spray that will tackle most pest problems.   In a spray bottle, mix 1 tbsp of natural eco-friendly liquid soap with 1 litre of water.  Use as pest prevention and treatment by spraying down your plants, leaving for a few minutes, and then washing off.  You may find a couple of treatments are needed to rid your plants completely of pests like thrips, mealy bugs, and spider mites, but it won't harm you, your plants, or the planet unlike store-bought insecticides and pesticides.

If you'd like to see more of Sophie and learn more about sustainable living, give her a follow @aconsideredlife