The fact that air quality is very bad, particularly in schools, is luckily becoming a more well known fact. After all, this means something is now being done about it in a growing number of places! We have brought together a number of inspiring projects here.
Plants in the classroom
Fytagoras, TNO and the Air so Pure growers combination conducted the Plants in the Classroom research back in 2011. This was one of the first times real research was conducted at all levels into the exact improvements generated by plants. And these improvements were impressive: a reduction of CO2 in the air by up to 20%, an average of 20% better learning performances, a 7% reduction in health complaints and bad odours and waste materials were completely broken down within 45 minutes.
The Dutch Flower Group was elected as the Aalsmeer Company of the Year in October 2011, which doubled the prize fund linked to this election and donated it to the “Plants in the Classroom” project for a local initiative in Aalsmeer Council.
Primary School De Wegwijzer in Aalsmeer was given an abundance of air purifying plants in January 2012.
The research project also resulted in lesson materials and a general leaflet about how schools can get plants into their classrooms themselves. You can download them on the right hand side of this page. (Dutch)
A green oasis for Brede School Het Zand
Another initiative is a green oasis for the Brede School Het Zand in Leidsche Rijn. This complex is home to two schools, plus a childcare care and an after school care facility. The aim is to jointly offer education, training, a meeting place and relaxation. This striking building also had a botanical garden, but this was a large bare empty space.
So what is a botanical garden without any green? The children from the school’s children’s council didn’t think this was a good situation. They produced a green plan and managed to realise this with support provided from, for example, Doenja Services and the Leidsche Rijn district office. Okra landscape architects subsequently designed the plan and asked a number of green companies to work the plan out in more detail. Donkergroen Interieurbeplanting was chosen to actually execute the plan.
The nice thing about this case is that it also includes the educational aspect of plants. Children receive lessons in this botanical garden, they learn how to look after flowers and plants themselves, as well as how to grow vegetables and fruit. It’s biology in practice!