Ever heard of peat?
Peat is sourced from the decaying of bog plants and moss. It's an important component of most indoor potting soils or mixtures, because it holds several times its weight in moisture (which in turn is slowly released to our plants roots) and can also provide nutrients to our houseplants.
So why is it bad?
Because peat is so popular with indoor and outdoor gardeners, the bog areas which are normally rich with plants and wildlife are destroyed.
Not only that. When the plants within the blogs decay, they create and store carbon dioxide (a greenhouse gas) for thousands of years. As soon as we start to drain the blogs and expose the peat, these gases are released into our environment.
The UK government, environmentalists and gardening organisations have all agreed that the use of peat should gradually be phased out and replaced by sustainable alternatives.
What you can do
When repotting plants, look out for "peat-free" soils. Some are going to be better than others at aerating your soil and allowing drainage (which most houseplants need!)
The simple solution is to add a drainage material to your soil such as sand, perlite or vermiculite. Coming soon to the Hedira app, we will be telling you exactly which mixture your plant needs. Download it here!
Note: We would not recommend using peat-free soil for certain plants that are naturally found in bog areas such as Venus flytraps.