Climate change is real and presents a danger to our planet. As global temperatures increase, we experience severe environmental alterations, which calls for the need to have more plants that can help combat its effects.
But what if you don’t have space for a garden? Or what if you live in an apartment and don’t want to deal with watering plants?
Fake plants are the solution! They’re easy to maintain and can be kept indoors, so they’re perfect for those who don’t have space for traditional greenery.
But how do artificial plants impact climate change positively? Well, they save water by requiring than live plants do.
But fake plants aren’t perfect. They don’t filter carbon dioxide like live plants and contribute to global plastic use, which means we produce more plastic waste than ever before.
As our climate shifts, more and more people are wondering what impact the manufacturing of artificial plants has on the environment. Here are a few things to consider.
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The Pros of Fake Plants Even In Light of Climate Change
Fake plants are a great way to add some greenery to your home without taking up valuable floor space or requiring you to water them. They’re also a good option for those who can’t keep natural plants alive but still want the look of living plants.
But are my fake plants ecofriendly? Well, they are and they aren’t! While fake plants hurt the environment, they also have some benefits, even in light of climate change. Some of the pros of fake plants include:
- They require very little maintenance
Fake plants don’t need watering as often as real plants. This will help save you money on your water bill and keep your flooring and carpets safe from getting wet.
- Fake plants are reusable and use minimal packaging
This means you don’t have to buy new plants every time the old ones die or are damaged. You can reuse the old ones and repair damaged fake plants.
It saves you money, protects the environment, and reduces pollution by decreasing greenhouse emissions while transporting goods.
But can fake plants be recycled? While fake plants are reusable, they are usually made from plastics and non-renewable resources like oil, making them hard to recycle.
Once you’ve purchased an artificial plant, chances are you won’t be able to recycle it because most recycling centers don’t accept them. If you find a place that will take them, there’s still no guarantee that they won’t end up in a landfill somewhere down the road.
In addition to being reusable, fake plants have minimal packaging. Fake flowers are usually delivered flat with no box or wrapping around them. This makes them much easier to recycle than real flowers, which often come packed with plastic wrapping and cardboard boxes that need to be disposed of after use.
The fewer materials used, the less waste we generate, leading to less pollution!
- They don’t require harmful chemicals or pesticides
Fake plants don’t use harmful chemicals during the growing process, unlike natural plants, which must be grown outside and sprayed with chemicals to keep pests away. These chemicals can contaminate groundwater sources or pollute waterways.
You may be asking yourself how do artificial plants impact climate change. Artificial plants are not as environmentally friendly as their natural counterparts. They use a lot of energy and resources to make, thus adding to climate change through energy use.
Maintenance? Fake Plants Can Have a Longer Lifespan and Require Fewer Resources Than Live Plants
Many people are not aware of how much maintenance live plants require. If you have ever tried to keep a cactus alive for more than a couple of months, you know how difficult that is. For many people, when plants die, they purchase another one.
Fake plants can have a longer lifespan and require fewer resources than live plants. As temperatures become more extreme and unpredictable, understanding how to keep plants alive through the summer and winter requires extensive knowledge and continuous purchases.
The average U.S. household spent over $155 on lawn and garden supplies in 2020. As costs continue to rise, finding ways to purchase decorations and items that do not require more materials to survive and look pretty is a must.
Quality and convincing fake plants carry a steep initial cost, but after the initial purchase, only UV protection is necessary to maintain the look of fake plants.
Fake plants are made from high-quality plastics that imitate real plants through texture, color, weight, and even scent. The most common types of fake flowers include silk flowers, plastic flowers, silk ficus trees, and artificial bonsai trees, which all share similar qualities to real plants.
These replicas are great options when you want your home decor to look fresh without having to keep up with the maintenance of a live plant.
Water: A Precious Resource That Artificial Plants Require Almost None Of
Nearly every living organism in our world needs water to survive. Fake plants carry the visual benefits of plants without using this vital resource.
Nearly 96 gallons of water are devoted to outdoor use by the average family daily. Cutting usage lowers your personal water bill and preserves the supply of fresh water.
All artificial plants require is the occasional cleaning to keep them looking good for years!
Plastic, Plastic, Plastic: The Drawbacks of Fake Plants
When you picture fake plants, you probably think of a few things: plastic, tacky and cheap. But that’s not always the case.
Fake plants are used in many ways to help make your home look beautiful. They can add color and texture to any room or act as a focal point.
However, plastic plants are made mainly from plastic, meaning they don’t offer the main benefits of live plants, such as filtering airborne particles and converting carbon dioxide. Artificial plants come with a few more drawbacks, as well — both environmental and aesthetic.
Plastic plants aren’t biodegradable, so when you throw them away, they sit in landfills for years before breaking down into smaller pieces. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), plastics make up about 10 percent of all landfill waste — that’s more than 5 pounds per person per day!
In addition, artificial flowers are manufactured in large factories in China, Thailand, and Honduras, which generally do not follow strict emission guidelines or allow for basic human rights.
In addition to being bad for the environment, plastic plants can also look tacky and cheap if they’re not cared for properly.
Some types of plastic don’t allow water to drain properly through them, which can cause mold growth inside the plant’s potting soil over time if they regularly get wet. The result? A smelly mess that could potentially ruin your entire house!
So what’s the verdict? Are fake plants bad for the environment?
It depends. Their expanded lifespan and need for fewer natural resources like water make weigh on the pro-environment side, but their plastic composition contributes to waste in landfills and requires energy and petroleum to produce.
Can fake plants be recycled?
Fake plants are not biodegradable, and because of the mixture of materials used to make them, they are often not recyclable.
The Bottom Line
In the end, there are pros and cons to both real and fake plants. The best option will depend on your needs while keeping your budget in mind.
Hopefully, this article has helped you decide which option is right for you. Can you think of more pros and cons for owning fake plants in light of the changing climate? Let us know in the comments!