Plants in your home and workplace can reduce stress and make the air you breath cleaner. If I had my way then every wall would be a bio wall. Since that’s not possible I’m happy to advocate for some plants that are easy to care for. Even if you don’t have a green thumb then these plants are for you.
- ZZ plant
- Asparagus fern
- Rubber plant
- Lucky bamboo
- Snake plant
You’ve probably seen the super popular snake plant on Instagram or at your local coffee shops and restaurants. Their vertical, spear-like leaves make them stand out in a sea of green. Not to be confused with the spider plant, snake plants can come in a number of varietals: tall or short, with different leaf and color patterns. This was the second plant I bought to sit on my floor, and boy, do I love the heck out of it. They add a very exciting, bold visual element to any living space—alone or among other plants.
Probably one of my favorite features is that they don’t attract many pests or at all, and according to NASA, they keep the air inside the home clean. But like the ZZ plant, don’t eat it.
Sitting in traffic is no fun and neither is being hit by a car. To solve both of these problems cities around the world are changing their intersections using colourful and bright paints. The idea is to help traffic flow better while providing safer spaces for pedestrian. The spin-off benefit is that the city looks cooler!
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – Sebategna Intersection
The intersection update in November 2017 was the first under the city’s Safe Intersections Program, a multi-year initiative to improve pedestrian safety through street design
The Rational Dress Society’s recent project called JUMPSUIT aims to make it so you never need to think about your clothing again. They propose that all you need is a single jumpsuit that you can wear everyday. It’s a revolutionary approach to the modern fast-fashion industry (which is horrible for you wallet, the environment, and labour conditions). You can download the pattern of the jumpsuit and make your own or order one made to your measurements.
The Rational Dress Society makes jumpsuits in two hundred forty-eight sizes culled from NASA data to fit almost any body type. Anyone can print the pattern for free from their website or, for a hundred and fifty dollars, order one that will arrive ready-made out of sustainable fabric and hand sewn by well-paid seamstresses. The design was inspired by patterns for work wear, and the finished garment looks like painters’ coveralls. But on the bodies of Maura and Abigail, both hip art-school grads with fashionable glasses and haircuts, the jumpsuits look simply chic, as though there is nothing more sensible or cool a person could wear.
Thanks to Greg!
Spending time outside in nature is good for your physical and mental health, so why not do something while you’re out there? Bird watching could be the thing for you! Take your phone with you to catalog nature and help discover birds, that way you’re improving science while also improving yourself. If you’re wondering about what bird watching (or just birding) is all about you can check out this in-depth beginners guide.
Bird enthusiast and author Jack Connor published an essay back in 1984 highlighting the pastime’s appeal, and his reasons still hold true today.
Connor shared that birding gives folks something interesting to talk about, a reason to explore the world, and the chance to meet likeminded people and make lifelong friends.
Unlike many hobbies that have the equivalent of a shelf life, bird watching is a pastime that can continue into old age.
Thanks to Jonny!
Many western cities have laneways that originally were used for deliveries via horses and cart; today those laneways are under utilized. These laneways cannot always be used for housing or other normal city needs due to their limited size. They can, however, be converted to enjoyable public space. Today there’s a trend amongst some cities like Montreal, Melbourne, and now Toronto to make their laneways into enjoyable little environments.
In this context, laneways can play a role both environmentally and socially. The Laneway Project has produced a guide to greening laneways, which outlines several strategies to introduce plants of all shapes and sizes between garages or behind stores.
From an environmental perspective, small changes to laneways can enhance biodiversity and reduce the urban heat island effect. Representing approximately 200,000 square metres of paved surfaces, laneways can also be adapted to improve storm water management. Senayah describes the Laneway Project’s puncture demonstration as “a meter-wide ribbon of green.” The permeable pavers not only reduce runoff but also add playful patterns to areas that are often overlooked.