Whoever said life is becoming plastic was right.

Photo by Nancy Hoang (Flickr)
Photo by Nancy Hoang (Flickr)

If you are like me, the moment you touch a plant, its days are counted. I am just one of those people incapable of keeping anything alive. However, I love how plants look as house décor. I think they liven up space in a way that only a living thing can, but the plants I have in my room right now are fake.

A few issues back, The Phoenix put up an article on the benefits of having real succulents nearby. Living things have a particular energy that can help increase creativity and reduce stress. Artificial plants, of course, do not have this energy. But also, artificial plants are much more convenient because they do not require any attention.

Before, it was a sin to have an artificial plant as decoration, but now they are everywhere. Fake plants are trending. The change may occur because a lot of us should simply not be allowed near living organisms. However, it feels as though fake plants are simply catering to human laziness and willingness to make life easier in any possible way.

Artificial plants are just another example of our commodification of nature in order to capitalize from its abundant benefits. Furthermore, most faux plants are made of plastic. I love the knack humans have to make everything ironic—we are polluting with plants. Fake plants might be more durable than living ones, but once you decide to throw them out like any other house décor item that has gone out of trend or is looking a bit ragged, it will be contributing to environmental pollution.

A study shows that artificial plants have the same effects as living ones when it comes to lifting up your mood and increasing your concentration; after all, these effects are just based on aesthetics. What fake plants cannot do is filter the air like real plants can. The removal of CO2, dust, bacteria, and mold from our work or living environment truly enhances our productivity, not to mention the role of natural plants in improving a room’s humidity for better breathing.

Compare all these downfalls of fake plants against their benefits and it becomes easy to understand the surge in popularity they have had over the last few years. Faux plants are hypoallergenic, they are non-toxic to pets or small children, they do not attract insects, they can be placed anywhere in the house with no consideration of light or temperature conditions, and they are really flexible in terms of decoration.

For a busy student, faux plants seem like the way to go because who has time to care for a plant when we can barely take care of ourselves? But maybe, just maybe, if we learned how to take care of a little succulent, we could learn a bit about self-compassion and taking care of living things—a category in which we fall under. Do not forget that.