Take Earth Day to Work

April 18, 2003
Top managers across the country are charged with a very do-able Earth Day challenge: Make your workplace healthier, calmer and more productive simply by bringing plants to work to celebrate Earth Day on April 22.

The organization Plants at Work is appealing to employees who work indoors to bring plants to work the week of April 21 through April 25. According to Plants at Work, research shows that plant-filled offices contain 50 percent to 60 percent fewer airborne molds and bacteria than those without plants. For almost 20 years, Dr. Billy C. Wolverton and associates at the Environmental Research Laboratory of John C. Stennis Space Center in Picayune, Miss., spearheaded innovative research employing natural biological processes for air purification that included plants in the workplace.

In his book, "How to Grow Fresh Air: 50 Houseplants That Purify Your Home or Office" (Penguin, 1997), Wolverton urges everyone to have a plant within what he calls the "personal breathing zone," which is an area of six to eight cubic feet where you spend most of your working day. Jon Naar, author of, "Design for a Livable Planet: How You Can Help Clean up the Environment" (Harper & Row, 1990), suggests that 15 to 20 plants are enough to clean the air in a 1,500 square foot area.

Plants at Work is encouraging participating managers and workers to submit "Earth Day at Work" photos, testimonies or stories which illustrate the benefits you or your company experienced through the greening of your office.

For details regarding where to send your photos or stories for the Plants at Work Earth Day Challenge, write to [email protected]. For more information, visit www.plantsatwork.org.

About the Author

Sandy Smith

Sandy Smith is the former content director of EHS Today, and is currently the EHSQ content & community lead at Intelex Technologies Inc. She has written about occupational safety and health and environmental issues since 1990.

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