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Plant Swaps and Air Miles

Plant Swap events are a great way to grow your plant collection and meet like minded people, but what other benefits might they have?

^ I have been propagating spider plants in preparation for the upcoming giveaway at our Plant Swap event on the 5th of December.

I first found out about Plant Swap events from Jane Perrone's On the Ledge Podcast in an interview with the two founders of the Sheffield PlantSwap, Fay and Sarah. After hearing about their successes, I was inspired to run my own Plant Swap event! It also got me thinking about the benefits of swapping plants locally vs. importing plants.

When you buy plants, do you consider where they come from?

The Horticultural Development Company reported that in 2012-2013 ornamental plants worth of £324 million were imported into the UK. More recently, Defra reported that "ornamental imports" cost us £1.3 billion in 2018, a figure that includes the cost of flowers and bulbs.

Importing all these plants must have an environmental cost, both from the greenhouse gasses produced in transport and the plastics used for packaging. Importing plants also poses biosecurity risks such as introducing new diseases and pests.

Does this mean that we should all stop importing plants? No! But I think we should be more conscious of our houseplant's carbon footprint.

Plant Swap events could help with this: sourcing plants locally will intrinsically have a smaller environmental impact compared to importing a plant. Recycling old plant pots is also a great way of reducing waste associated with houseplants.

On December 5th we will be running our own Plant Swap, giveaway and clinic in RUSU on Whitenights campus, Reading:

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