Green Walls Purify Air

comprehensive report on outdoor air quality globally has just been published by the World Health Organisation. The report claims there are 3 million deaths a year to air pollution.

This isn’t just indoors. We no longer build with natural materials and the added chemicals have lent to declining indoor air quality, too, especially from concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). This group of chemicals includes formaldehyde and toluene, two chemicals that greatly contribute to “sick building syndrome”.

If you wanted to get a good whiff of VOC’s, go visit a nail salon. The smell hits you like a wall. Dizziness, asthma, allergies, depression and “fuzzy brain” are all symptoms of “sick building sybdrome” and can be completely debilitating.

living wall instal

Living walls are especially useful in high VOC areas like nail salons, where a good air cleaner is needed.

Many people who study this field, including Dr Vadoud Niri, a US chemist and long time promoter for eliminating VOCs, feel one solution is indoor plants. His research found your normal house plant to be very effective at eliminating VOCs from air.

An interesting note, it turns out the 1970s macramé basket stalwart, the spider plant, to be especially effective at removing VOC’s from rooms.

In the 1980s, as  James Wong wrote, Nasa looked at 19 plants and found that a variety of plants work best because each species removes different pollutants – Costa Farms’ guide, o2foryou.org, has a detailed list of these plants and most of them are plants we regularly use in our green wall installations.

There are some things plants can’t remove, like tobacco smoke, and they won’t completely freshen your house. But a nice living wall will definitely help big time.

And the good thing is that as a living wall ages, it’s root and soil bacteria grows, and with that grows the wall’s ability to purify air.

As NY living wall installers we notice the difference in a room after installing a green wall. The air is definitely fresher. Our professional experience backs up what science has found.

So next time you visit your favorite nail salon tell them about us and how our green wall installation can help them and their clients create a healthier environment. They may give you a free mani for the tip.

Green Walls Increase Awe

There is something awe inspiring about staring up at a majestic green wall. The size and beauty of a living wall reminds us of our immortality and brings us back to what is important in life.

It turns out the benefits of awe inspiring nature is scientifically proven. Researchers at the University of California at Irvine had one group of people stare up at trees for sixty seconds. Another group stared at a building for the same time.

Guess who felt awe. The tree viewers of course. But what is really cool is that the people in the study group looking at trees were more likely to help a stranger than the group looking at a building. Nature made them more compassionate, cooperative and charitable

The researcher of the study, Paul Piff, had this to say:

Experiences of awe attune people to things larger than themselves. They cause individuals to feel less entitled, less selfish, and to behave in more generous and helping ways.

living wall

A living wall doesn’t have to be huge to inspire awe at it’s beauty.

2013-08-26-murvegetal

The researchers also found that regularly experiencing moments of awe lowers levels of inflammatory compounds in the body. The reasoning that nature chills us out and brings us back to a more centered, relaxed state.

It’s not often people experience awe in their very own work space, but a large living wall can do that. People rarely tire of a living wall. It is always growing, changing and being humbling in its beauty.

That feeling of awe and inspiration it turns out is good for our values, keeping us more grounded and with a more healthy perspective on life. Pretty cool. Who knew a living wall can make people better team players.

As a NY green wall installer I knew this intuitively based on my experience and client feedback. There’s a real sense of wonder at these plants that magically climb the wall. It’s just cool to have it scientifically verified.