Many of the things we’re told to do to deal with environmental issues are negative – stop driving so much, turn off lights and use less power, buy less, etc. Here at Natural Life Magazine, we like to focus on the positives. And in terms of improving both our indoor and outdoor environment, greening (the real kind, using plants) works well.
In a study published in Environmental Science and Technology, British researchers recommended more plants at street level to improve air quality in cities. In fact, they found that the creation of “green walls” or vertical gardens in urban areas could cut pollution by up to thirty percent.
I wrote about this in Natural Life Magazine in 2006, noting that vertical gardens save space, create privacy, reduce dust, remove air pollutants, insulate against temperature extremes and noise, and enhance biodiversity. Not bad for a style of planting that’s been popular for centuries!
And the issue is gaining traction. National Geographic recently published a spread of photos of green walls around the world.
But there’s more. As I have also written, vertical farming in the urban environment is also a way to obtain an abundant local food supply without converting any more fragile ecosystems into farmland. As author and social critic James Howard Kunstler has said, “The age of the 3,000 mile Caesar salad is coming to an end.”
So whether it’s to purify the air, grow some food, or just decorate your surroundings, try planting a wall!