Archive for Environmental health

by Joelle Steele

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Professor Margaret Burchett, University of Technology Sydney Australia talks about the latest research on plants removing VOCs from office environments; Robin Mellon, Green Star Executive Director, Green Building Council Australia talks about the indoor environment and how plants can improve the air quality; Ray Borg, Ambius talks about the benefits of plants in the workplace.

There is a traditional view that a few plants add much needed color to a room. It was pretty much the same view that people had of plants in the office, bringing a little taste of home to a place of work. However, office plants offer much more than just a homely feel or a little color, with research showing that there are distinct advantages to any business that chooses to invest in them.

The two most recognized benefits of indoor plants are: the improvements that they make to the environment in health terms, as well as the resulting positive psychological effects they have on occupants and the consequential drop in absenteeism. A third less recognized, but from a business standpoint perhaps the most important, is the positive impression that they can have on clients, helping to build a company image that is will lead to increased business and revenue. Just how these are accomplished is not very difficult to explain. Read More→

by Virginia Pena

One of the more recent and much loved aspects of interior decor is lighting up a room with the help of different types of indoor plants. Just as flowering trees and plants are intrinsic parts of every landscaped garden, similarly, a few of these flowering plants and other types of indoor plants have made the transition from outdoor gardens to indoor gardens and have entered the pride of place in living rooms or office lobbies.

Indoor plants of different colors, textures, heights, shapes, sizes and species, sitting resplendently in living rooms or bedrooms or kitchens or in office spaces are a common sight nowadays. Not only do they beautify a room, they also bring in the freshness, cheer and bright color of outdoors as well as impart a sense of openness in an otherwise dull, dreary, suffocating, closed room or office environment. Read More→

Having potted plants in the office is good for your health, a new study has discovered. Research found that the presence of potted plants in offices reduced fatigue, stress, dry throats, headaches, coughs and dry skin among workers. The study was led by environmental psychology expert Dr Tina Bringslimark and her team at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, and Uppsala University, Sweden.

In a second study, based on 385 office workers, the researchers looked at sick-leave rates and the number of plants individuals could see from their desks. Results showed that the more plants they could see, the less sick leave they took, they also noticed that workers had better productivity when they have stand up desk uk.

One explanation is that plants and the microbes in their soil are good at removing volatile, organic compounds that can affect health. ‘There could also be a psychological explanation in that people believe plants are healthier and are likely to evaluate their own health more optimistically,’ adds Dr Bringslimark.

The presence of pot plants in offices reduces fatigue and stressThe presence of potted plants in offices reduces fatigue and stress. They are particularly beneficial for offices where workers do not have a window, according to a report from Washington State University. Read More→
Growing Expectations planted its first organic garden this summer using seeds from heirloom plants. As the tomatoes ripened into yellow, green, purple, and veined, we served them to various guests. When asked why they were not red and strange looking, we responded that they were heirloom varieties. Heirloom vegetables are know for their nutrition, flavor and varieties. Many people had never heard the term “heirloom”. I decided to include this article from ScienceDaily defining heirloom plants so that those of my readers who had never seen or heard of them would become more knowledgeable.  Read More→

Can Plants Think?

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I spend a great deal of time researching articles dealing with plants for my Twitter and LinkedIn accounts. It is amazing the things I learn and I am thankful for this professional development. As interesting as the articles have been, this one by Rebecca Boyle really opened my eyes. I know a great deal about plants but I never considered the possibility that they could actually think. I know that some of my readers will say it all depends on how you define “think” but it is interesting nonetheless.
In a new study, scientists have found a cabbage relative capable of remembering and responding to information

The Persistence Of Memory A Polish study showed plants send electrochemical signals in a way that can be likened to an animal nervous system. This image shows chemical reactions in leaves that were not exposed to light; they are reacting to a chemical signal from a leaf that was exposed. via BBC. Read More→

From Pychology & Sociology

Feeling sluggish? The solution may require getting outside the box – that big brick-and-mortar box called a building. Being outside in nature makes people feel more alive, finds a series of studies published in the June 2010 issue of the Journal of Environmental Psychology. And that sense of increased vitality exists above and beyond the energizing effects of physical activity and social interaction that are often associated with our forays into the natural world, the studies show.

“Nature is fuel for the soul, ” says Richard Ryan, lead author and a professor of psychology at the University of Rochester. “Often when we feel depleted we reach for a cup of coffee, but research suggests a better way to get energized is to connect with nature,” he says.

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