As a local New York living wall installer we have known for years that New Yorkers are starved for nature and when they get it they are calmer, happier, more focused people. This is why we think every New York office should have a living wall. Every school should have a living wall. Every hospital should have living walls.
Studies have shown that a living wall in an office improves productivity, overall employee happiness and retention. Same goes for schools: grades go up, problem behavior goes down, attendance goes up. In hospitals people exposed to living walls recuperate faster, need less pain medication and overall have a better experience. We’re living wall installers so to us this has been obvious for years.
What is cool is to watch this knowledge go mainstream. You can see it with the cutting edge tech companies, as Wired Magazine points out:
Maybe it’s all the screen time or mounting evidence that employees excel when surrounded by nature, but tech companies suddenly love plants. Airbnb installed a living wall in the lobby of its San Francisco headquarters. Apple wants a small forest of 8,000 trees at its new campus in Cupertino. Adobe incorporated biophilic design into its offices in San Jose, California. Yet they all pale compared to Amazon and its three conjoined spheres, which are both meeting rooms and conservatories that will house more than 400 species of rare (and non-rare) plants.
Amazon’s Biodome is by far the most impressive of these “back to nature” movements. They took exposing their workers to nature to a whole new level. If you are ever in Seattle definitely check it out. Very cool.
We see this growing awareness in New York too. Our business is picking up. Right now it is mostly health minded companies like spas, chiropractors, and yoga studios. But our business is expanding to pretty much every kind of business and private client as everyone increasingly understands that humans need nature. Not just on the weekends, but every day where they live and work.
We get a lot of private clients who build these beautiful modern renovations with clean lines and white walls and then they call us to install living walls, because, as one client put it, “I love my renovation but I feel I’m in a sterile hospital. I crave nature.”
And the results are clear. People feel more relaxed, more grounded, happier and overall they just feel better. Maybe this sounds like a sales pitch, and it is, we install living walls after all. But we got into the living wall business for the same reason people hire us to install them: we love being around nature. We love scattering living walls across Manhattan and Brooklyn.
Like Johnny Appleseed, we leave a trail of greenery behind us in the form of beautiful living walls. It’s really good Karma and seeing all these big companies do the same is really a great confirmation that the world is going in the right direction.
We don’t do work on the scale of Amazon’s Biodome. That’s truly epic stuff. Most of us won’t get to experience that. But a smaller living wall, no matter how humble, still has benefits on the mind and soul. It’s just great to see Amazon doing the same on such a huge level. Very inspiring.