Who knew? You can turn those leftover soda bottles into a vertical garden with some supplies and a bit of crafting skills. This is Do-It-Yourself (DIY) vertical gardening.
This concept come to us from Brazilian design firm Rosenbaum, as part of their partnership with TV producer Luciano Huck. According to This Is Colossal, this is part of a series where “teams went through dozens of Brazilian homes” in an attempt to execute “dramatic makeovers of interior and exterior spaces.”
This urban garden, which was featured in their 48th home in the series, was such a hit that Rosenbaum released these instructions so anyone create their own. The instructions are in Portuguese, so here is a version translated into English:
• 2-liter plastic bottle, empty and clean
• Clothesline rope, twine, or wire
• Washers (two per bottle if rope or wire is chosen)
• Seedlings (herbs, vegetables, or other plants are all OK)
To secure the bottles, you must make two holes at the bottom of the cylinder and two at the top of the bottle. See the pictures for an example.
In addition to the holes to pass the rope, you need a small hole in the bottom of the bottle. The water used to irrigate the seedling needs to drain.
After that, thread the string through a hole and pull out through the other.
Note: Many people have asked how to make sure the bottles do not “slip” on the rope (or string or cordage). Either tie a large knot in the rope or tie the knot around a washer.
Then simply stretch and attach the rope to the wall.
This guest post is by Phil Stamper, ASLA PR and Communications Coordinator, American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA)
A recent study by urban forestry guru David Nowak and other researchers at U.S. Forest Service and The Davey Institute found that urban trees save at least one life per year in most cities and up to 8 people per year in large metropolises like New York City.
“Trees growing in cities help clean the air of fine particulate air pollution — soot, smoke, dust, dirt — that can lodge in human lungs and cause health problems,” Grist explains. As an example, “trees clear 71 tons” of air particulate matter 2.5 micrometers in diameter (PM2.5) from Atlanta’s air each year.
As explained in a recent post on outdoor air pollution, urban particulate air pollution kills as many as 2.5 million people each year. PM 2.5 has a drastic effect on human health, including premature mortality.
Researchers noted that larger particles between particulates 2.5 to 10 micrometers in diameter—also called coarse dust particles or PM10—are removed by trees at a substantially higher rate. However, the health benefits of PM2.5 removal is 30 to 350 times more valuable.
What happens to our health when those trees die from natural causes en masse? Apparently, as another recent study claims, people die, too. This study study showed that the “loss of trees to the emerald ash borer increased mortality related to cardiovascular and lower-respiratory-tract illness. This finding adds to the growing evidence that the natural environment provides major public health benefits.” Untrammeled development would then also have the same negative health impacts at the ash borer.
Of course, the health benefits are not restricted to our lungs and heart, but also our minds. As can be seen in a new UK-wide study, parks, gardens, and even street trees in urban areas improve the mood and mental well-being of the surrounding residents.
The value of trees goes well beyond their immediate air quality-reducing properties, too. According to one recent U.S. Forest Service study, “urban forests are responsible for storing 708 million tons of carbon—a service valued at $50 billion.”
Not to ignore the financial side of better health, the Nowak study also claims that “the average health benefits value per hectare of tree cover was about $1,600, but varied [from city to city].”
The study concludes that “trees can produce substantial health improvements and values in cities.” Although more research is needed to improve these estimates, this study also leaves room for new research that explores the local effects of tree-filled landscapes in cities.