Welcome back to the Ecopotter series. This month our Ecopotter is Sarah, the creator of Troque ta Plante – Trade your Plant in English. She has built an incredible platform for plant fans across France and neighbouring countries, allowing members to swap plants and accessories with minimal hassle.
Here at Ecopots, we know how important community is. Through the simple act of storytelling, we aim to create an online space where like-minded individuals can connect and inspire one another.
There are a million ways to live in a greener way, and this is just one story.
Welcome Sarah. For those that don't already know, explain a little bit about who Troque ta plante are?
Troque ta plante is a community for people donating and bartering plants, cuttings, seeds and plant accessories on social media. We have more than 120 local Facebook groups in France and Europe (Belgium, Switzerland and Luxembourg), where more than 150,000 members swap their plants every day!
We also have a blog under the same name, where you can find tips on how best to care for and propagate your plants, creative DIY ideas, and other recommendations all related to the plant universe…
Can you pinpoint when your passion for plants first began?
I think it started roughly ten years ago, when I moved into my first apartment. I started with buying one plant, which turned into another, and another... And I just never stopped!
To be honest, my mother and grandmother planted the seeds of this passion far earlier in my childhood. They are amazing gardeners, and I have gardened with them since I was a small child - they taught me everything I know. And now, I teach them things too from time to time aha!
How did you come up with the idea for the community?
I was already bartering a lot of cuttings with my family, friends, and neighbours, and I wanted to expand the circle of people I could plantswap with. I initially wanted to build a local community, something that anyone in the area could get involved in. I started by creating the first group in Bordeaux in 2018, and soon there were people requesting groups in other cities. I had no idea how much the idea would take off, but it’s been amazing so far.
You have an active community all over France and are expanding all the time further into Europe. How do people find out about you and get involved themselves locally?
You can discover our community at @Troquetaplante on Instagram or our facebook page. Or to find the closest Troque ta plante group to you, you can consult our directory here.
When you have joined your local group, you can comment on the plantswap propositions that have already been published, or you can publish your own post explaining what you’d like to swap or what you are searching for! Once you have found what you are looking for, you can arrange to meet up to swap plants – simple!
Which plant is your favourite at the moment?
My favourite of my plants at the moment is my tradescantia blushing bride. She was on my wishlist for a while, and I recently made a plantswap with a swapper named Violaine to get it - I was thrilled. She's so beautiful with her pink and green leaves, and she's so easy to take care of too!
What are the advantages of swapping plants over buying new ones?
There are many advantages to swapping plants over buying new ones – firstly, it allows you to start or expand your plant collection without spending money. Plants are expensive but giving away or swapping cuttings makes gardening accessible to everyone.
Secondly, it reduces your ecological footprint; the mass production and exportation of plants have a significant ecological cost. Swapping plants is an opportunity to adopt a slower approach. With a little patience, you can still manage to find the plants on your wishlist and any accessories you may need.
Also, the social aspect is brilliant! Swapping plants is all about human connection and sharing knowledge. You will meet new people and maybe even make new friends! People can share advice on how to take good care of each plant, based on their own first-hand experience of looking after it. Behind every plant is a little story, and that is what makes them all the more precious!
Are there any cool companies for plant lovers you have discovered that you would like to give a shout out to?
There are so many... I can hardly cite one. There are some really cool initiatives for urban composting and gardening like @lestransfarmers or @ceercle.eu – both are doing an amazing job recycling our organic waste and transforming it into fertiliser and compost for plants.
What is next for Troque ta plante in the future?
I don't know what the future will bring, but... I hope more Troque ta plante groups will sprout up in France and Europe! I hope this community will continue to be a fertile ground for sharing and learning. I will be working on creating more plant-related video tutorials on our Instagram, and writing plenty more articles for our blog Troque ta plante!
What a brilliant idea Troque ta plante is! Make sure to support Sarah on her mission by checking out: