Plants are marvelous things. They liven up a space, bring us joy, and have been a grounding force of connection for many of us over the last two years. With more people than ever catching the plant bug, it’s important to understand the environmental impact of the plant industry. It’s easy to trick ourselves into believing that our love of plants translates to a ‘green’ hobby, but there are a lot of hidden factors. From hard-to-recycle plastics and the unsustainable use of peat moss as a primary soil ingredient, to the use of propane to heat greenhouses during colder months (essential in addition to the solar gain of our greenhouses), and the concept of plant miles (how far a fully grown plant travels before it arrives at the greenhouse), we at Painters want to shed some light on the ecological footprint of our industry and share some ways you as a consumer can make earth friendly choices when shopping for plants.
As a small family-owned business we strive to put the environment first, but struggle to balance many of these things. One thing that sets us apart is the fact that we grow the majority of our plants on site. That means we can reuse plastic pots, we control everything that touches our plants, hand water, and most importantly we cut out the need to transport fully grown product, meaning your plant’s miles are much less and therefore it has a smaller carbon footprint. This is a topic we will continue to discuss and would love to hear your input on.