FEATURES OF GROWUP
To reduce CO2, improve air quality and create a calming environment – just add GrowUp.
If your students are looking sleepy, it might be because they are sitting in a CO2 swamp (they are surprisingly common in classrooms), not because they had a late night. GrowUp helps tackle CO2 while improving air quality and bringing the beneficial, calming effect of nature into the classroom.
As well as improving air quality and reducing CO2, having a GrowUp in the classroom creates a range of engaging learning opportunities. Each pupil can ‘adopt’ a plant, pot it and take responsibility for its care, watering it when dry and checking its health every day, and you can discuss the soporific effect of CO2 and why we want to reduce it in the classroom (and the planet). If you like you could install a Learnometer to help you track key data in your learning environment such as temperature, light, humidity and CO2, so you can see what effect your GrowUp is having and find out how your learning space is performing on other key environmental measures.
When researching which plants would be the most effective (and resilient!) for the GrowUp, our journey took us via NASA and Kew Gardens to Reading University. We ended up with a list of plants that are efficient air-cleaners while posing no threat to children other than the occasional spiky leaf. Most of these plants are relatively easy to get hold of at garden centres. Some schools choose to put in a mixture of all six plants, others just choose one or two types. Children can name them to personalise ‘their’ plant and take it home in the holidays.
The Living Wall Plant List
- Dwarf Areca palm (Dypsis lutescens)
- Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata)
- Devil’s Ivy (Epipremnum aureum)
- Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema commutatum)
- Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
- Aloe Vera
Benefits of GrowUp
Reduces CO2 and tackles air pollution
Excess CO2 in the classroom can make it very hard to concentrate because it makes you feel sleepy. Plants can help lower CO2 (opening windows also helps) while also improving air quality.
Children love having ‘their’ plant to nurture and take care of and GrowUp creates learning opportunities around plant care, their impact on our health and wellbeing and why reducing CO2 is important both inside and outside the classroom. One school that is trialling GrowUp reports that one child’s attendance has dramatically improved because he needs to come in and look after his plant.
Nature has a universally calming effect and cognitive performance improves when we’re in naturalistic environments so bringing greenery, plants and natural finishes into the classroom is a great idea.