Green Room

What?

The goal of our project is to create “indoor green space” at Brandeis where students and staff can connect with the natural world and access plants and natural light year-round. We are working to transform an underutilized room on campus into a blooming, growing study space furnished with a variety of plants. The final product will be a multi-purpose, greenhouse-inspired GreenRoom accommodating quiet study, volunteer gardening, and occasional events (for example, gardening workshops and yoga/meditation). We also intend the space to serve as a platform for the many environmental organizations at Brandeis to interact and spread information to the greater student body.

In its early stages, the GreenRoom will only house a few low-maintenance plants; however, with time, training, and support, we expect the space to evolve. Eventually, we’d like to introduce greater plant variety and hydroponic window farms. While the GreenRoom is just one small space, we hope that it will be a catalyst for greater campus greening.

Why?

A big aspect of this initiative is promoting student health and wellness. Recent research suggests that adding plants to offices and classrooms can:

  • Alleviate symptoms of anxiety, depression, SAD, and general stress

  • Improve air quality and mitigate associated health conditions (coughs, headaches, etc.)

  • Reduce student/worker sick days

  • Boost productivity and reduce fatigue

Check out our sources and resources below!

Additionally, we see our GreenRoom as a:

  • Community-building opportunity

  • Hands-on educational tool

  • Tangible symbol of Brandeis’s commitment to sustainability

In many ways, the GreenRoom was inspired by our personal experiences with nature; whenever we feel stressed, time spent outside puts things into perspective. We feel calm, joyful, and more inspired when we’re around nature, and we want to bring this to the Brandeis community. Since Boston winters and piles of homework often force Brandesians inside, we thought an indoor green space would be a great place to start. We hope that through involvement in the GreenRoom, students will be happier, healthier, and more aware of their role as stewards of the natural world. Everyone, regardless of their background, can share in these benefits, and so we expect the GreenRoom will provide a safe space for Brandeis’ diversity to come together and bond through shared experience of nature.

How?

We are working closely with (insert business name here) to design, build, and eventually maintain the GreenRoom. (insert business name) is (insert brief info blurb about company). In designing this space, we are working with a variety of groups and services - including Disability Services and the BCC - to ensure that the area is accessible and welcoming to all students. Once established, the GreenRoom will be maintained by the Farmers’ Club. Over breaks, additional services or interns may be necessary.

Who?

Everyone could benefit from a GreenRoom on campus! All students would be encouraged to use the space to relax and focus. Additionally, the Art department could take advantage of the space as a place to engage in botanical illustration and draw “from life” year-round, the Biology and Environmental Studies departments could use the room as an educational tool, the counselling center could use the calming environment to hold meditation and support groups, and so much more.

Some of the many groups we foresee getting involved in & benefitting from the space are:

  • Farmers’ Club

  • Students for Environmental Action (SEA)

  • Climate Justice

  • NetImpact

  • Mountain Club

  • Senate Sustainability Committee

  • Lights Out

  • Psychology Club

  • Waltham Group

  • Kindness Day

Sources & Resources:

There is a large body of research backing the positive effects of plants and green space on human health; here we have included a quick sample of literature on the subject. We also highly encourage you to seek out Richard Louv’s Last Child in the Woods and explore the subject on your own.

  • A quick, non-academic summary of indoor plant benefits here.

  • The impact of office plantshere.

  • The impact of classroom plants here.

  • The health benefits of indoor and outdoor greenery here and here, respectively.

  • NASA’s recommendations for air-filtering plants here (then go green your own space!).

  

  

Betsy Hochman ‘17, Rebecca Weiss ‘18, Kate Shyne ‘16