At the Office

Photo © Henry Zbyszynski

Making Green Work

Good landscaping connects your business with the local environment and gives something back to the community that supports it. Every year, businesses spend a great deal of money on watering, mowing, and maintaining lawns that offer little to the local wildlife or the human inhabitants of the building. Here are some things your company can do to enhance the services provided to workers and visitors (including birds):

Commercial districts need color, too

Photo © Fellowship of the Rich

  • Replacing your office lawn with a small native-plant meadow can actually reduce your maintenance costs once established.
  • Adding a water feature, like a pond or a rain garden, will provide habitat for many interesting animals.
  • Installing a white roof could lower energy costs, and adding a living component to your roof would also attract insects and birds.
  • Put up nest boxes and allow employees to monitor them for citizen science.
Carolina Wren in flowers

Gazing upon a natural scene, even if you can't interact with it, can support more productive restorative breaks at work. Feeling more relaxed already, aren't you?

Photo © Burline Pullin

Taking Care of Business AND People

A mounting body of evidence has shown that a view of nature from the work place has been linked to improved attention, mental alertness, performance, and job satisfaction, as well as fewer ailments 1 2 3 4 5 6. In one survey, 40% of respondents agreed with the statement, “Being around plants makes me feel calmer and more relaxed” 7 (after all, don’t you agree with that statement, having come to a site called YardMap?). Views onto wild and pristine scenes were not necessary to achieve these benefits; in most cases, just being able to see a few trees and flowers gives the mind a rest from mental fatigue 8. Furthermore, workers who are able to see a few natural elements tend to report a higher enthusiasm for their work, which they also perceive as more challenging 9. Adding a wildflower garden or a sprinkling of trees, even in a parking lot, could boost productivity and lower stress and absenteeism among staff.

Good Business

Does your business offer any “green” products or services? Customers are looking for authentic ways to engage the new green economy, so what better way to promote your green business potential than with a third-party certification as an environmentally-friendly business? The Wildlife Habitat Council offers one such opportunity: they help corporate lands become certified as managed wildlife habitat. An outside assessment can show you where to improve, how to create a management plan, and how to get the community involved alongside employees and management. LEED certification provides independent, third-party verification that a building was designed and built using strategies aimed at achieving high performance in sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

Tip: Get your corporate campus certified as wildlife habitat and put a sign to that effect in a prominent place!
Brighten up your commute

Photo © Joshua Davis