Vertical Gardening – An Inspiring Initiative by iLEAD
Green living has become an essential way of life in today’s world. But if you are in an urban city, the idea may seem difficult to materialize.
Vertical gardening is a solution to this problem. From high rise buildings to offices and institutions, vertical gardening has replaced traditional way of gardening in cities and is beneficial both economically and environmentally. Even flyover pillars are now adorning vertical gardens to fight pollution.
iLEAD is one institution that has taken the route of green living through vertical gardening and has brought changes in the lookout of the people studying and working in the campus.
Aditi Roy, a student of iLEAD, not only found inspiration from vertical gardening but also incorporated the same in her own home. “I have always loved gardening but never could indulge in it due to lack of space. When I came to iLEAD, I had no knowledge about vertical gardening. But the green campus of ours impressed me so much that I went on to Google to research more about living walls and green buildings. Now I have my own vertical garden in the balcony of my small apartment”, she said.
Another student, Neil Biswas had a different story to tell. He said, “I am asthmatic and the pollution of the city had reduced my lung capacity a lot. I always used to be very cautious about where I go, how the place is, whether it will trigger my attacks or not. But then, I got admission in iLEAD. The campus is absolutely clean because of its green interiors. This green building has improved my health too. And now my mother also plans to install a vertical garden in the balcony of our house to ensure I breathe in some clear air at home too”.
Speaking about the green terrace of the building, a student named Riya Dey spoke enthusiastically, “The terrace of our college is our favourite spot! Especially during winters it’s an amazing place to hangout. The plush green terrace is the place where we play, chat, read and spend some quality time with friends. The stairs that take you to the terrace is covered with vertical garden and we just love that spot of our campus!”
Mr. Pradip Chopra, Chairman of iLEAD, has been the pioneer behind the idea of coming up with a green building for the institution. Speaking about the same he said, “One of the prominent educationists whose ideas and endeavors have not only set examples in India but all over the world is Rabindranath Tagore. He believed that being close to nature is of utmost importance for students while learning. Even today, in Shantiniketan, all the classes are conducted in open air conditions amidst the nature. But the students in the city are increasingly cutting themselves away from nature. We thought why not create an environment that will take them a bit closer to nature while providing them with all the urban facilities and technology? iLEAD is a green campus that is built keeping in mind the requirements of a modern urban educational institution. It is modern yet attached to the rooted ideas of Indian classrooms. By going green, we also aimed at reducing some plastic garbage and went ahead to form vertical gardens with plastic containers for plants”.
iLEAD believes not only in creating green spaces but also in spreading awareness about the benefits of vertical gardening and today, Kolkata is in increasing need for the same due to the city’s deteriorating air quality. Vertical gardening has not one but a number of benefits. Some of them are the following -
Saves Space – If you are fond of gardening but worried about the limited space in your office or apartment, vertical gardening is the ideal way to fulfill your wishes.
It allows you to grow plants by arranging them vertically one above the other, without taking any extra space. Just keep a check that the space is bright or receiving adequate sunlight.
A Green Shield for Your Building – Plants absorb all kinds of harmful pollutants and volatile organic compounds. A living wall inside or outside a building cleans the air around us by absorbing all the hazardous toxic pollutants.
It also acts as a barrier to heat, ultra violet rays, sound and regulates the temperature to cool the environment around.
Easy Maintenance – It’s easy to water and harvest the plants in a vertical garden. Maintenance also includes plant trimming, irrigation, fertilization and pest control. Plants arranged vertically are not much difficult to reach to perform these activities.
Increases Productivity and Decreases Stress – The impact of living walls on human health is found to be tremendous, not only physically but also psychologically.
Studies have found that being closer to nature increases human productivity almost by 20%. Biophilia, an instinctive tendency of human being to connect with the nature is fulfilled through vertical gardening.
Experiments prove that biophilic environment in a building reduces stress and also changes the mood of the interiors. It gives out a healing effect to the ones living, working or studying inside the building.
Great Visual Appeal – Needless to say that a green wall also adds up to the beauty of a building from inside and outside. It provides an aesthetic visual to the space.
Low Quality Soil Doesn’t Matter – Gardening can be immensely difficult if the ground soil quality is not good. That problem too can be avoided with vertical gardening.
It just requires good potting soil to grow the plants. If the hydroponics way is taken, soil is not required at all.
Make Better Use of Plastic – The world is struggling hard to recycle the hugely existing plastic debris. As plastic is indestructible, it is all the more difficult to get rid of them.
Vertical gardening provides an ideal way to reuse plastic. Plastic bottles are used as containers to grow plants in vertical gardening structure.