Houseplants: Good or bad? 在家裡養盆栽好不好?

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Vocabulary: plants 詞彙:植物

There’s no place like home. It’s the place where we’re surrounded by our possessions and creature comforts. We purchase things to give our homes a personal touch and create a certain ambience. And one thing we’re buying more of is houseplants. But are these 『living’ additions to our homes good for us and the environment?

Houseplants, also known as pot plants, have Instagram-friendly appeal; add a natural touch and they have the ability to brighten up a room on a budget. The Royal Horticultural Society found that nearly 72% of adults in the UK had a houseplant in their home, with this figure rising to 80% of 16-24 year olds. A fifth of owners also said they use plants in the home to boost their health and well-being. And average sales last year were up on the previous year.

It seems millennials are driving the growth in the sales of houseplants. According to research by The Economist, more young people are living in flats without a garden. 24 year-old Daisy Hale told the BBC “being able to care for something but not having too much commitment – I guess that’s a classic millennial line – is ideal for my lifestyle.”

From hanging baskets, to cacti and succulent ferns, the choice of vegetation is endless. They are easy to care for, and there have been unproven claims that they improve the air quality in our home.  But whatever their benefits, there are now concerns that they might not be so good for the environment.  Some are bought online and shipped from overseas. Fay Kenworthy, co-founder of PlantSwap, a community initiative that encourages people to trade plants locally, told the BBC “this could rack up 『plant miles'”.

But botanist and BBC presenter James Wong argues that home delivery has less of an environmental impact than multiple trips to the garden centre in a car. Although he’s not too concerned about the environmental impact, others are worried about the plastic pots they are in and the type of peat that some of them are grown in. However, a sustainable approach to buying them may be the best way forward if we want to introduce some natural greenery into our homes.

詞彙表

creature comforts 物質享受
personal touch 個性化色彩
ambience 氛圍,情調
houseplant 室內盆栽植物
pot plants 室內盆栽植物
natural touch 自然美
brighten up 使……亮起來
well-being 安康,幸福
hanging basket 植物吊籃
cacti 仙人掌
fern 蕨類植物
vegetation 植物,植被
air quality 空氣質量
botanist 植物學家
garden centre 園藝中心,花卉商店
peat 泥炭
sustainable 能長期維持的
greenery 綠色植物,青枝綠葉

測驗與練習

1.  閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. What is the benefit of a houseplant if you don’t have much money to decorate your home?

2. According to The Royal Horticultural Society, which generation seem to be buying the most houseplants?

3. How did the sales of houseplants change last year?

4. According to Daisy Hale, how easy is it to keep a houseplant at home?

5. True or false? Making many trips to the garden centre could be possibly worse for the environment than buying houseplants online and getting them delivered.

2. 選擇意思恰當的單詞或詞組來完成下列句子。

1. I like the _______ the airline offers, such as giving me a hot towel as soon as I board the aircraft.

personal touches           touches                        commitment      sustainable

2. I’ve made a _______ to helping the planet by reusing my coffee cup. 

commitments                committed                    commitment        committing

3. We’ve tried to _______ the office by painting the walls yellow and having fresh flowers on the desks every day. 

sustainable                    greenery                       brighten up         fern

4. With low lighting and romantic music playing, the restaurant had the right _______ for proposing to my girlfriend.

natural touches              ambience                      well-being           cacti

5. What a smart hotel! It has all the _______ I need – it’s just like being at home!

comfortable                   creature comforts           creatures            comforts creatures

答案

1.  閱讀課文並回答問題。  

1. What is the benefit of a houseplant if you don’t have much money to decorate your home?
A houseplant can brighten up a room on a budget.

2. According to The Royal Horticultural Society, which generation seems to be buying the most houseplants?
The Royal Horticultural Society found 80% of 16-24 year olds  – millennials – had a houseplant in their home.

3. How did the sales of houseplants change last year?
Average sales last year (in the UK) were up on the previous year – so they increased.

4. According to Daisy Hale, how easy is it to keep a houseplant at home?
Very easy. She said she is 「able to care for something but not having too much commitment.」

5. True or false? Making many trips to the garden centre could be possibly worse for the environment than buying houseplants online and getting them delivered.
True. Botanist and BBC presenter James Wong, argues that home delivery has less of an environmental impact than multiple trips to the garden centre in a car.

2. 選擇意思恰當的單詞或詞組來完成下列句子。

1. I like the personal touches the airline offers, such as giving me a hot towel as soon as I board the aircraft.

2. I’ve made a commitment to helping the planet by reusing my coffee cup.

3. We’ve tried to brighten up the office by painting the walls yellow and having fresh flowers on the desks every day.

4. With low lighting and romantic music playing, the restaurant had the right ambience for proposing to my girlfriend.

5. What a smart hotel! It has all the creature comforts I need – it’s just like being at home!