How to Improve Your Plant/Life Balance

A human being’s innate connection with nature is an important aspect to consider when creating spaces where people spend the majority of their lives. When assessing your own city in which you live and work you may want to use what Ambius calls a “Plant Life Balance”. Essentially this is the plant-to-person ratio in your home, office, or city. When you’re out around town you may begin to notice either the great amount, or lack of greenery you interact with.

A good plant life balance provides many direct and indirect benefits.

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Urban green spaces improve mental health. Photo by Nicholas Erwin via Smithsonian.com

Direct Benefits of a Positive Plant Life Balance

Plants are known to be natural air purifiers. In homes, offices, and cities this is important because of the Volatile Organic Compounds that are emitted from synthetic materials. High-density urban areas battle air pollution constantly due to emissions and particulate matter becoming trapped at street level. Plants generate clean oxygen for us to refresh our minds and bodies and fight of chronic health problems.

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An interior living wall purifies indoor air. Image via Concordia.

Indirect Benefits of a Positive Plant Life Balance

Research has shown that the presence of plants and natural elements can elevate the human sense of happiness, the level of productivity, and spark creativity and innovation. This is due to the theory of Biophilia which is a human’s intrinsic connection with nature that is needed in order to function properly. Especially in a city, the presence of a larger amount of greenery and park space can provide these benefits to a larger number of people in turn creating a healthier, more productive place to live and work. This is especially concerning to families with young children.

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Office plants boost mental well-being and productivity at work. Image via FMJ, UK.

What You Can Do to Improve Your Plant Life Balance

At Home

  • Start a countertop herb garden. This will allow you to cook with fresher ingredients and will still offer the same direct and indirect benefits of other plants
  • Install a living wall. It doesn’t have to be big, but it will make a difference
  • Aloe is a great plant to have in any home because it’s easy to maintain and has medicinal properties

At the Office

  • Assess the plant to person ratio. Ideally every desk in the office should have a plant.
  • Add lots of greenery at the reception or front entrance. This is inviting to both staff and customers and will set a better tone and mood.
  • Install an automated hydroponic gardening system that grows fresh herbs and produce for staff to enjoy at lunch.

In the City

  • Be proactive. Check out your city’s website to see what their vision is for protecting green space.
  • Use the space that’s already there. The more people who are making use of the existing space, the more likely the city will make long-term decisions to add more public spaces.
  • Get your kids out in nature. The more they are exposed to environmental education at an early age, the more likely they will be to develop lifelong habits of appreciation for biodiversity.

Have something to add? Send it to us – we’d love to hear from you!

Feature Image: Plants have positive impact on the work environment. Image via Floradania.dk

About The Author

PowerHouse Growers
PowerHouse Growers teaches you how to sustainably integrate urban agriculture into your cities, businesses, and homes. We provide clear solutions and benefits for better health, increased productivity, and lower environmental impact. By connecting you with experts, we bring awareness to solutions that may not be top of mind.