As we combat climate change and deforestation, gardening and planting play a crucial role in creating a sustainable world. Plant Easy, an online business, encourages city dwellers to nurture and grow plants from the comfort of their homes.
Sisters Syeda Ashfah Toaha Duti and Syeda Abrar Toaha Draha, along with their mother Syeda Azizun Nahar, started Plant Easy in 2019. Syeda Azizun Nahar, Headteacher at Shishu Kallyan Primary School, had a large collection of various home-grown plants and when someone from their neighbourhood wanted to buy a plant, the idea of an online business emerged.
"My mother and sister invested time in planting and eventually, the three of us co-founded Plant Easy," shares Duti, an undergraduate aspirant. "I was never into gardening, but after I started helping out my mother with the plants, I ended up falling in love with them," says Draha, an HSC candidate.
Founded on June 14, 2019, Plant Easy started like any other local nursery, but soon evolved into an engaging community, encouraging more conversations on planting and gardening. "We want to create a national movement, inspiring climate conservation through planting," shares Duti. "We want to explain to people how rewarding growing a plant can be," adds Draha.
Growing a plant from seeds can be tiring and time consuming. Access to soil and fertilisers are also important aspects to consider. To help out with this problem, Plant Easy provides ready- to-grow plants, along with the right soil-mix, fertilisers, pots, water plates and other gardening tools. They also provide a personalised guideline with each plant they deliver, to help out new plant caretakers with specific instructions.
In 2018, after traveling to different parts of the country, Duti realised that the potter communities in Bangladesh are slowly moving towards extinction. As people tended to use plastic pots for more durability, the lost art of terracotta or clay pots is in a dire state.
"Terracotta pots can absorb water from the environment which keeps the plants healthy, while ceramic and other pots lack this distinct quality," expresses Duti, as she talks about promoting local potteries. "I always wanted to make our business more inclusive and uplifting. Thus, I made sure we worked with our potter communities."
Plant Easy Care Club, an online group, highlights discussions on various topics from suggesting new ways to start gardening to providing expert opinions on specific plants, insecticides and other issues. "We want to grow a community, where members can provide suggestions, helpful tips and tricks that can help anyone start their own garden," shares Duti.
There are several agriculture based sites, but unfortunately, none of them are about house plants or home gardening and so, Plant Easy Care Club provides an experience based learning platform. "We are currently working on our website and blog, where we want to create a dynamic space for everyone to share their ideas and experiences," adds Duti.
"The transition of Plant Easy from a small online business to a growing community was possible for our excellent teammates and well-wishers," says Duti. Supan Chakma, Amatul Hayi Tamanna, Faria Tasnim, and Mehnaz Anwar are important members of the Plant Easy family, as each of them contribute largely to the business.
"I believe if we can teach kids from an early age about nurturing plants, they would grow up to be caring and an environmentally conscious citizens," shares Duti. "It is amazing to see a baby plant grow stronger everyday right before your eyes as you get emotionally attached to the plant," expresses Draha.
"We want to be technologically self-reliant and aim to modernise our business, as we believe customers will be able to adapt to the changing environment if we can do so," adds Duti. "Women in business are looked down upon, especially in e-commerce and we intend to change that."
Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, more people were encouraged to start gardening. To that end, Plant Easy started their deliveries through ride-sharing communities. They have successfully organised two events so far, Soulfullment at Jatra Biroti in collaboration with Delta Tribe, and 'Youngest of The Young Awake to Fight', at BUET.