Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Plants Bring Joy

11 Ways Plants Bring Joy and Control to Our Brain 
During Chaos

Illustration by Brittany England

During these crazy times, we all need something to keep us grounded and happy. Fortunately, for us, we work around beautiful, life giving plants. 

I found this article on the website Greatist. It is actually a really good website and they have a few other indoor plant related articles. In any case, here is a link to the article and a few sections that I liked. 

As modern accessories go, houseplants are not only beloved because of the way they can spruce up a room but also for the way they benefit our mental health. They can brighten our spaces, freshen the air, and provide a mirror into how we're doing on the inside. In fact, they're a great reminder of when, and how, to take care of ourselves.

When the daily grind has us often feeling cut off from the natural world, houseplants can help fill the void. We spoke to folks in different plant communities about the personal wellness benefits they've reaped from plant parenting.

"There's something really zen about potting plants or gardening in general. Forces you to be present in the moment and not being anxious about five million other things." - Mary Marcella

Houseplant ownership doesn't just beautify your space, tending to them can have an immensely calming effect as you get lost in the moments of providing them care. This is an example of mindfulness, a very helpful practice for coping with stress and anxiety.

A study published in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology found that participants who took part in a planting task felt calmer, more comfortable, and more relaxed than those who completed a tech-related task.

"When I get in a funk, I use the plants to help me out of it. I'll check on them if there's any dead leaves, dryness, need of watering, and move around to get some sun, etc. This little bit of caring for something else (and who isn't talking back to me) helps me clear my head and restart my day." - Rachel Able

Different plants have different needs, and caring for them means learning their little peculiarities. This means that you may find yourself puttering around, fixating on how to give them light so they grow evenly (as you should do with Pilea Peperomioides), misting them (as you may do with some palms), and dusting their leaves.

"When my oldest went off to college, I bought myself a new plant. Within 6 months, I had 75. When they die I feel quite sad, tell them I'm sorry I couldn't save them and thank them for the joy they brought my family." - Teresa Bond
Not all plants survive, this can be for a variety of reasons. Maybe it was human error, or maybe they just didn't have the right conditions to thrive. Having houseplants can teach us to let go, and realize that sometimes things just don't pull together for success as nicely as we wish they would. And that's okay.

"When people come over to my house, they almost always comment on my plants. I'm a super awkward conversationalist with people I'm not yet close to, so it's really helpful to have the plants to chitchat about to get us going." - Kristen Mae

Although we are more connected than ever with the internet and social media, for some of us, truly connecting in person can be a challenge. One thing about plant people is that they absolutely love finding one of their own in the wild, and plants can be a simple default conversation starter that feels safe and secure.

"I could never keep house plants alive. When I finally confronted some past trauma and really dealt with some mental health issues, suddenly I could keep a dozen house plants alive and thriving!" - Cameron Chapman

We're all a part of nature, and although many of us live in cities and can feel cut off from it, plants show us just how connected we all are. Consider it coincidental or strangely but often in houseplant-loving groups (such as Houseplant Hobbyist on Facebook), plant people tend to notice how their plants mimic their internal nature


Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Keep Lake Tahoe Blue

 Researchers Blast Algae, Invasive Plants with UV Rays to Keep Lake Tahoe Blue.

RENO (AP) — Encouraged by three years of experimentation, scientists at Lake Tahoe plan to expand the use of ultraviolet light to kill algae and other invasive plants that eat away at the clarity of the mountain water.

Researchers at the University of Nevada, Reno are monitoring the project and collecting data to study the effects of the ultraviolet-C light treatments. It’s the newest tool in a two-decade effort to restore the once-pristine waters in the lake straddling the California-Nevada line.


 The pilot project on the south shore showed that applying the light treatment caused invasive plants to deteriorate or completely collapse within seven to 14 days of treatment.

“This exciting, innovative approach is one of the main methods being considered in combination with other technologies to control weeds in the Tahoe Keys, which comprise the biggest aquatic weed infestation in Lake Tahoe,” said Dennis Zabaglo, manager of the Aquatic Resources Program at the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.

The new tool is a light fixture called an array mounted under a working barge, which trolls the marina dousing the plants on the bottom with UV-C light, a short-wave electromagnetic radiation light that damages the DNA and cellular structure of aquatic plants.

The technology developed by John J. Paoluccio, president of Inventive Resources Inc., is being used at Tahoe to kill Eurasian watermilfoil and curlyleaf pondweed. In addition to reducing clarity, invasive plants can clog waterways and provide cover for other non-native species, including bass and blue gill.


Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Work from Home Survey Results

There was a very interesting survey that was conducted by Gensler with some 2300 participants. In the study they asked participants questions regarding their interest in working from home or an office, what they missed most about working from an office, how productive they felt working from home, their level of concentration. Clearly, there is a strong interest, especially among the Millennial and Gen Z workforce, in returning to an office setting. 

Plants make great office partitions!  The containers above are also available with casters.

Here is a link to the study results and a few excerpts that we thought were quite telling.

Survey Results

The lessons learned from the experience of working from home during COVID-19 offer an unprecedented opportunity to rethink the future of the physical workplace. Only one in ten U.S. office workers had worked from home regularly before this experience, and less than a third had the choice to work from home. While many of the effects of COVID-19 on the workplace are still unfolding, some points are emerging clearly from our data:

1) Most workers want to come back to the office.
2) Workers expect crucial changes to the workplace before they're comfortable returning.

The changes that will make people comfortable coming back to the office also offer an opportunity to address problems that already existed in the physical workplace, from issues with noise and density, to challenges related to mobility and unassigned seating.

The preference for working in the office is consistent with Gensler's workplace research data collected regularly since 2005. Workers with choice in where to work prior to COVID-19 spent 72% of their average work week in the office compared to only 12% working from home, overwhelmingly choosing the office as their preferred place to work.

When employees do come to the office, they expect it to be for collaboration and social connection. Nearly all workers list people focused reasons as most important for coming into the workplace, with little variation across industries. Des
pite the rapid adoption of virtual collaboration technologies, people still clearly value face-to-face interactions over virtual ones, in many cases, and miss the company of their coworkers.

When asked what they miss most about working from the office, three out of four survey respondents said "the people". Workers also report that certain activities, such as collaborating and staying informed about what others are working on, are harder to do at home, underscoring the value of physical presence.

The top reason employees want to come to the office: the people. Respondents were asked to rank what they believe to be the most important reason(s) for coming into the office.

1) Scheduled meetings with colleagues 54%
2) Socializing with colleagues 54%
3) Impromptu face-to-face interaction 54%
4) To be part of the community 45%
5) Access to technology 44%
6) To focus on my work 40%
7) Scheduled meetings with clients 40%  
8) Professional development/coaching 33%
9) Access to amenities 29%

Millennial and Gen Z workers should have had a leg-up in the transition to working from home, as they tend to have more experience working and socializing virtually and are often associated with the work-anywhere lifestyle already on the rise prior to COVID-19. However, younger generations came into this experience having worked from home less often in the past and, overall, with less optimal work-from-home environments.

Despite their technological preparedness for mobile work, younger workers report a far more challenging experience working from home than their older peers. They are less likely to feel accomplished at the end of a typical day. They are less aware of what's expected of them and how their work contributes to organizational goals. And they report struggling most to maintain work-life balance and avoid distractions at home.

Do you want to make sure your office space is ready and inviting for the return of your employees?  Contact Everything Grows today for a complementary proposal for beautiful green plants to beautify your workspace.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Plants Can Feel

Plants Respond to The Way We Touch Them, Scientist Reveal.

It's something that plant lovers have long suspected, but now Australian Scientists have found evidence that plants really can feel when we're touching them.

Not only that, but different sensations trigger a cascade of physiological and genetic changes, depending on the stimulation the plants are receiving, whether it's a few drops of rain, or a little soft pat.

"Unlike animals, plants are unable to run away from harmful conditions. Instead, plants appear to have developed intricate stress defense systems to sense their environment and help them detect danger and respond appropriately," says Van Aken.

Importantly, the study also identified two proteins that could switch off the plant's touch response. In the future, this could help plants in controlled environments, such as greenhouses, from changing their genes and responding to 'false alarm' stimuli.

To see full article in Science Alert.