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March 24, 2014 | by  | in Features |
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Plotting Plants

I have recently come to accept that as much as I would like to think that I am an ‘environmentalist’, in reality, I can barely keep a household pot plant alive.

I populate my living space with leafy companions in a feeble attempt to display to my friends and flatmates my allegiance to the natural world.  However, it is what my greenwashed peers do not see that is the ultimate summary of my true apathy towards the state of the planet. The average lifespan of a plant unfortunate enough to find itself rooted in my room is somewhere between two days and two weeks. I call myself a friend to tree, leaf and loping critter, yet I cannot even keep a novelty-sized succulent from shrivelling into a miserable husk.

Like planet Earth, I believe my indoor plants are meeting their demise through a dreadful mix of neglect and general misunderstanding. I try to give my them special fertiliser to help them grow, yet proceed to thoroughly overdose the soil, thereby leaving it uninhabitable. Some are inundated with fresh water, while others, accidentally forgotten, are left parched in the corner. Unintentionally inadequate drainage condemn some to a slow rotting death. I want to keep them alive, I truly do, but sometimes it is easier to check Facebook than to whisper sweet nothings to your Peace Lily and give it the repotting it so desperately needs.

Although, when considering the fate of these leafy genteel, I cannot help but consider putting some of the blame onto the previous owner. Is it Bunnings’ fault that this one did not make it? Did California Home & Garden put something strange in the potting mix? Is this all a farce to make me come back and buy more? Such is the case when I consider many of the overwhelming issues facing our planet today, and the generations prior that allowed things to get so out of hand.

Past aside, my pot plants are dead and the environment is fucked. Having confronted the reality of my apathetic nature, I have resolved to turn over a new leaf. No more will I call myself an ‘environmentalist’ or think myself ‘greener’ than people who forget to bring their reusable shopping bags to Countdown. Truly helping the environment begins with the realisation that, in spite of your new compost bin, you are probably doing jack-all to save the planet. In light of this epiphany, I can only hope that my true motivation to take meaningful action will come back to life and bloom like that geranium I owned in 2012.

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