Stories of research, nutrition, and nature

Somewhere that’s green

This and next week are finals weeks at Cornell and it shows. I went to Mann Library on Tuesday to work (because weather was really warm outside, 18 degrees Celsius, but the basement office heaters didn’t get the memo) and I don’t think I’ve ever seen it so crowded. My student friends are also cramming for their exams and working day and night to finish their projects and papers. I’m not completely on the same boat, but I’m sailing on the side… trying to finish as much as I can and living in the present moment.

The environment isn’t entirely stressful, though. I was delighted to see this on Monday – fresh, green grass at the library lobby!

Indoor lawn

Later on I saw people lying on the grass, taking a break to relax. Similar green spot was also in the lobby of Olin Library. Picture might not tell, but it really changes the atmosphere in a small but meaningful way. The deed was done by students from the Department of Design and Environmental Analysis.

Perhaps the impact is big because there aren’t very many potted plants around usually. Outside it’s green (it still is, although now it’s finally snowed a little, the kind of snow that melts almost as soon as it hits the ground), but indoors it’s a bit bleak. Green, living, growing things (and I don’t mean slime mold) would lift moods and help people to feel more relaxed. Need more plants, and more skills to keep them alive.

On city level, vertical gardens and vertical forests are also splendid ideas. City planners, ahoy! Cooling the urban heat and absorbing air pollution will be neat benefits in addition to stress relief and provision of food.

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