Biophilic Design

Biophilic design uses the human connection to nature (“biophilia”) to connect people more closely to nature in buildings including homes, workplaces, businesses, public facilities, schools, hospitals, and more. Biophilic-designed buildings incorporate indoor plants, interior landscaping, natural lighting, fresh air ventilation, and other elements to create a healthier environment to support human health and wellbeing.

There are 24 individual qualities of biophilic design. They include:

  • Direct experience: contact with green elements such as plants, views of nature, water, and natural airflow.
  • Indirect experience: the use of natural materials such as wood or natural fabrics like cotton and wool; exposure to images of nature in artwork; and the use of natural shapes and forms.
  • Experience of space and place: How is your own cultural and ecological attachment to a particular indoor area affected?

Multiple studies show a positive relationship between the presence of nature in the workplace and employee wellness and productivity. The design think tank Human Spaces reports employees working in environments with natural elements like plants and sunlight have a 15 percent higher level of well-being. This translates into a six percent increase in productivity and a 15 percent increase in creativity.

Think about what a six percent efficiency increase would mean in your business. Imagine one creative idea that turns into the next Tesla, Bitcoin, or even Scrub Daddy (look it up). What would you be willing to invest in getting there?

There are several simple design changes easily made in workspaces. The easiest and most cost-efficient way is the addition of plants into your environment. This action also gets building owners and facilities managers thinking big picture about the amount of space people have to work in or the best way to make buildings safer and healthier. Safety, health, and worker productivity all go together.

Natural light, plants and vegetation, living walls, natural textures and materials, and views of nature will all provide the positive impact employers need to hire and keep their employees. And it can all be done for less than the cost of a cup of coffee per employee daily.

Plant Trends from the 2023 TPIE

TPIE bring nature inside sign with Jim Mumford
Welcome to The Tropical Plant International Expo (TPIE) 2023! Jim Mumford, founder of Good Earth Plants, went trendspotting at this year’s event in Tampa, FL. At 89% humidity, with showers and temps in the 70s, it felt very tropical. The TPIE is the CES for plant people: interior plantscapers, designers, retailers, media, and really anyone whose job involves plants. And just like a new tech launch at CES, new varieties of plants are shown here first. Jim started Good Earth Plant Co. 45 years ago, and his years of dedication to biophilic design earned him a place in the Hall of Fame at this year’s TPIE.… Read More

Sustainable Design Ideas for San Diego Stormwater

Green Roof Salesforce Park in San Francisco. Photo: Greenroofs.com
  Amid the megadrought, the worst drought to hit California in 1200+ years, we are now experiencing a Pacific storm with the terrifying name of a bomb cyclone. And while the atmospheric river it’s bringing with it sounds poetic, it’s anything but. This brutal storm is bringing heavy rains, damaging winds and subsequent flooding to parts of California. In San Diego County, we’re experiencing rains and winds that may lead to major flood events in some areas. Over the last decade, flooding has caused millions of dollars in property damage, even in times of average seasonal rainstorms. (source: San Diego Co Public Works) San Diego is a coastal desert.… Read More

Viva Magenta is Pantone 2023 Color of the Year

Cordyline fruticosa, known as the Hawaiian Ti Plant, is a stunning example of the 2023 Pantone Color of the Year - Viva Magenta. Photo: Erin Lindley, Good Earth Plant Company
Good Earth Plant Company first started writing about the Pantone Color of the Year in 2017. Design trends matter to our clients, but it was mainly something fun to do. The big surprise: how much it matters to you, too! After a few years of peaceful, soothing colors to get us through the pandemic, Pantone is ready for a party. The 2023 choice is a bold deep pink, “Viva Magenta.” Magenta is equal parts cool and warm, a pink with a hint of purple. It’s a color Pantone’s executives say represents an optimistic future. Pantone Vice President Laurie Pressman is quoted saying Viva Magenta represents a prevailing desire for optimism, resilience, outside-the-box thinking and technological innovation to create a better world.… Read More

Let’s Talk About Biophilic Design

There is only one thing I enjoy more than enriching peoples’ lives with plants at Good Earth Plant Company. It’s talking to people about enriching their lives with plants – especially when I get to speak to a big audience.  This week, I made my third appearance on the daily talk show “It’s Your Life.” It is a podcast, livestream, and live YouTube show. Hosted by Dr. James Cooley and co-hosted and produced by his wife, Michelle Cooley. The Cooleys invite people from all walks of life with different professions and areas of expertise. Dr. Cooley is a motivational speaker and a retired Navy Officer with 23 years of service.… Read More

Here’s To Your Health From Fix Medical Group and Good Earth Plant Company

Fix Medical Group case manager Jesika Casey greets clients and visitors along with our moss wall and orchids. Photo: Jim Mumford
Good Earth Plant Company blog readers know our mission is to enrich peoples’ lives with plants. Those lives include our clients, guests, employees, suppliers, and everyone who interacts with them. What does “enrich” mean, exactly? The formal definition, according to Merriam-Webster, is “to make rich or richer, especially by the addition or increase of some desirable quality, attribute, or ingredient.” Money is the first thing that comes to your mind when talking about being “rich.” Who wouldn’t find life a lot easier if you had a lot of money? We didn’t win the Powerball this week, so we can’t help you there.… Read More

Use the Fall Time Change To Follow the Light

When we ignore our need for connection to the environment, we suffer - including during the annual fall time change. Photo: Image by Julita
You may want to blame any blues next week on the coming election, but our relationship with Mother Nature is more likely to blame. The weekend before Election Day, we go through our annual change back from Daylight Time to Standard Time in the U.S. and Canada (unless you’re reading this in Arizona, Hawaii, or a few small spots). Turn your clocks back that still need human adjustments on Saturday night before going to bed. You’re welcome. Our public service announcement for the week is concluded. The 60 minutes we adjusted our clocks suddenly makes us aware we are slowly losing daylight.… Read More

Good Earth Plant Company Turns 45 and We’re Thriving  

Who knew how big Good Earth Plant Company would grow 45 years ago?
At this time of year, most people focus on Halloween. At Good Earth Plant Company, we celebrate something surprising instead of frightening: our anniversary! November 1 is the day I founded Good Earth Plant Company, which first opened on November 1, 1977, as a flower bucket stand. It gets harder for me every year to believe the entire 45-year trip. Explaining it is a challenge too, but I’ll give it my best try. Over the few years, hitting this milestone was far from a sure thing. How many recessions have I weathered? Each decade and then the big one in 2009.… Read More

Get Dirty, Get Healthier With Horticultural Therapy

I do a lot of thinking on my quiet canyon bench. It's much nicer than a traditional therapist's office. Photo: Jim Mumford horticultural therapy
Many people develop a love of gardening and nature as they grow up through older relatives as they care for their flowers, plants, or fruit and vegetable gardens. I spent many family summers enjoying the outdoors and learning about nature in a way that seems a little old-fashioned today. So many of my relatives have a love for nature. My father, Bob, became a much admired – and published! – nature photographer after retiring from the United States Navy. Mom Sandy is an avid backyard gardener and refuses to throw a struggling plant away, and rarely prunes. My daughter, Allie, loves nature – for her, it’s all about animals.… Read More

Good Earth Plant Co Brings Nature to The Brick Boutique Hotel in Oceanside

The Coco Cabana lounge high above downtown Oceanside, California. Photo: Jim Mumford
Plants + Creativity Make For Stunning Hospitality Biophilic Design Oceanside, CA has evolved into a gorgeous destination for food, drinks and ocean views. Once known mostly for rowdy fun, with the addition of luxury boutique hotels and shopping, it’s stepping up its game. Good Earth Plant Co. was thrilled for the opportunity to partner with creative architectural design firm GTC Creative on biophilic design for one of these gorgeous new Oceanside boutique hotels – The Brick Hotel, including the Q&A Oyster Bay and rooftop bar and lounge Coco Cabana. Hospitality design incorporating plants, or biophilic design, has been a growing trend for the last 5 years.… Read More

The One Return To Work Incentive Bringing Employees Back

return to work incentives
Labor Day 2022 is now behind us, the unofficial end of summer. Back to school and back to work for many Americans. I’m back from a late summer trip to Minneapolis to meet with my workplace greenery colleagues of the Silverado Roundtable, and I snuck in a family visit in Denver. I’m glad to be back at Good Earth Plant Company with many exciting new projects ahead this fall. Public service announcement: Need us to enrich people’ lives with plants at work or home? Contact us now! But back to work means something different after the coronavirus pandemic. It doesn’t necessarily mean going back to the office environment.… Read More