The phrase “Plants Are Not Optional” first came to my attention when a co-worker showed up in the office one Monday morning with the phrase on a bright green button affixed to his messenger bag. It was love at first sight (with the button, not the messenger) and I wanted to know everything about it. Unfortunately, all I could get from him was that he had received the button at the US Botanic Garden that weekend.

I took to the internet and Google lead me to a blog with the following quotation attributed to Douglas Tallamy.

“Plants are not optional on this planet … . Nearly every creature … owes its existence to plants, the only organism capable of capturing the sun’s energy and, through photosynthesis, turning that energy into food for the rest of us.”

Apparently Tallamy has written a book on the subject titled Bringing Nature Home and you can find out more about him and his book here.

I was so taken with the phrase, and the button, that at Christmas time I had a batch made and I gave them out to co-workers, friends, and family. I’m looking at mine as I write this.