Many people appreciate green and window sills full of wonderful flowers in their home. It gives a cozy feeling and plants also clean the indoor air! Cut flowers are also a way to fix the mood and coziness of the home. Buying everything new in a store can, however, be a bit problematic. It is important to be aware of the major environmental problems that both pot plants, but mainly cut flowers, entail. The crops, which often take place in heated greenhouses, are in many cases sprayed with pesticides and are both energy and water demanding. The production that takes place in many different places around the world means that the transports are long and with a lot of carbon dioxide emissions. Below is a series of advice on how to make sustainable choices when it comes to houseplants and cut flowers.
Advice for sustainable choices of houseplants and cut flowers
- The best thing for the environment and the wallet is to exchange plants with a friend.
- Do you not have anything to exchange with? Maybe your neighbor, aunt or someone else near you already has many plants and wants to share? Many potted plants need to be divided and renewed to be healthy – win win.
- In some places, plant exchange days are arranged, the perfect place to find sustainable plants! However, be sure to check that snails, their eggs or other vermin / invasive weeds are not included.
- Buy pot plants grown in Sweden from, for example, local market gardens.
- Buy cut flowers when they are in season! Swedish tulips in the spring are much more sustainable to procure than tulips in December from Holland.
- Wildly picked bouquets from your own garden or roadside can be at least as beautiful as purchased cut flowers from a shop.
- For advice on how to make your houseplants last longer check here (in Swedish).
Roses – A not so great option?
Roses can be nice to both give and receive, for example to show appreciation. Did you know that most of the roses we buy here in Sweden come from East Africa? This is because cut flowers need a lot of sun and heat to grow well. This can lead to long transport distances, which consequently cause emissions. But the problems with rose cultivation and trade are above all the working conditions of the employees on the plantations. The work is tiring and the employees can come into contact with harmful pesticides. To buy roses grown under ethical working conditions, you can look for a Fairtrade certificate. However, this does not take into account the environmental impact of the cultivation. A more climate-sustainable alternative can, for example, be Swedish-grown tulips, especially when they are in season. You can read more about the rose trade here (in Swedish).
Page updated 2022.