cities of the future

In Business, Green is Good

  When did you last spend time outdoors? You might think everyone is outside enjoying summer weather and school vacations.  In San Diego, there’s hardly a day all year when you can’t be outside in short sleeves (or less). Buried in a report by the Environmental Protection Agency from 1989 is this shocking statistic: people in industrialized countries include the U.S. and Europe  spend more than 90 percent of their time indoors. Specifically, people spend 93 percent of their time indoors, with anther five percent in transit in a car or public transportation, and just two percent outside. I’d like to think this number is lower in San Diego, but even if it’s 80 percent, it’s still a sobering reality.… Read More

Good Earth Plants Says ‘Be Nice To Your Mother (Earth)’!

We can't function well mentally or physically when we are breathing oxygen depleted air. Adding plants to your indoor environment can help a lot. Good Earth Plants can help!
It’s hard to believe Earth Day was a brand new idea well within my lifetime. The first Earth Day took place in 1970. It is now an annual event celebrated on or near April 22, coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network. It reaches more than 192 countries each year including hundreds of communities in the United States. Every day is Earth Day at Good Earth Plant Company! We love it when the rest of the world pauses to focus on environment issues and finding good solutions we can adopt on the official Earth Day, which is April 22. San Diego can brag about its Earth Day Fair, which is the largest free, all-volunteer Earth Day event in the world.… Read More

Go Green on the Deep Blue Sea with Royal Caribbean’s New Ships

This new living wall aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship will really get around. Courtesy Royal Caribbean
Royal Caribbean is known for its extravagant cruises and for keeping its guests happy with the latest shipboard innovations. Its ships “Oasis of the Seas” (what a great name!) and “Allure of the Seas” feature the perfect balance of activities and relaxation. Where better to relax in the middle of the deep blue sea than in the green of the Royal Caribbean Central Park? This version of Central Park is an onboard neighborhood garden covered with 12,000 beautiful living plants. Good Earth Plant Company was thrilled to learn about this, and we are so glad to see ships growing real plants instead of displaying all replicas as many have done in the past.… Read More

Good Earth Plants has the Prescription for Sick Building Syndrome

It's not rocket science, really: humble plants like this Pothos can improve worker productivity. Photo: Julien Gong Min
Many of us know what it’s like to work in an office in a city like San Diego. According to a study by global architecture firm HOK as reported in The Guardian newspaper, people in cities spend 90 percent of their time in artificial environments. A newly defined phenomenon in these work environments is referred to as Sick Building Syndrome.  The National Safety Council describes Sick Building Syndrome as a situation where individuals experience acute health effects linked to being inside a building. These symptoms include headaches; eye, nose, and throat irritation; a dry cough; dry or itchy skin; dizziness and nausea; difficulty in concentrating; fatigue; and sensitivity to odors.… Read More

Cleaning the polluted air: as easy as planting a tree

If we don't address our pollution issues and clean our air NOW, we could all end up living under a dome.
Life provides too many distractions: phone calls, emails and everything on Facebook. When time allows my thoughts to wander beyond my little world, many times it rests upon how we can improve the environment or at the least, reduces our negative impact on it. Almost always, plants find their way into my ideas for helping the situation in one way or another. The recent wildfires in San Diego County brought clouds of black smoke, ash and the loss of primarily native vegetation in undeveloped areas. Our first responders are working hard to contain the danger, but not without the loss of trees and habitat.… Read More

See Jim Mumford and Good Earth Plant Company tonight on KPBS-TV

Jim Mumford and Nan Sterman, KPBS TV
See Jim Mumford of Good Earth Plants on “A Growing Passion” tonight on KPBS  Thursday, February 6, 8:30 p.m. KPBS Channel 15 Cox Cable 1011 HD Time Warner Cable 711 HD Green roofs were once a novelty.  No more! Today, they are gaining popularity thanks to their ability to capture runoff and keep it from polluting beaches and bays, to moderate temperatures inside the buildings they top, reduce atmospheric heating, and offer a beautiful, interesting, even healing alternative to an expanse of glaring, bare rooftop. Nan Sterman, host of “A Growing Passion” on KPBS-TV, visits green roofs large and small across San Diego County including a few of Jim Mumford’s favorites created by Good Earth Plant Company and GreenScaped Buildings for our clients.… Read More

Recharging and Growing in Florida to Start 2014 Fresh

January means it’s time to recharge. Holiday decorations need to be put away, tax forms start arriving and invariably a resolution or two gets made and then broken. With all the stuff going on that a new year brings, I will count on recharging during a trip down to Florida for the TPIE event in Ft. Lauderdale. Sun, fun and endless displays of orchids and ginger plants greet me at TPIE, which stands for the Tropical Plant Industry Exhibition. It is a wonderful gathering of tropical (and other) plant professionals from 33 countries and 44 states, all geared up to show off the latest things growing and the things that help make them grow.… Read More

Good Earth Plants Wishes You A Green And Happy New Year

Time to break out the bubbly and party hats. 2013 is in the rear view mirror and 2014 is in front of us. What a year it has been! From Boston to Seattle, the Good Earth Plants and GreenScaped Buildings teams have had their hands full with amazing projects and renewed enthusiasm. We wrapped up 2013 with a big, green bow and a nod of satisfaction. For the Good Earth Plants team, it was our time to shine with plantscaping the Old Police Headquarters and adding new life to our existing office building clients.  Debbie Hopkins and her talented crew brought new clients into the mix with cutting edge designs for lobbies and offices, including Illumina who added a new building to its office park, Encore in Mission Valley, and Co-Merge in downtown.… Read More

Boston Strong and Green at American Society of Landscape Architects meeting

Jim Mumford at ASLA meeting
I am in Boston representing Good Earth Plant Company and GreenScaped Buildings at one of my favorite events, the annual American Society of Landscape Architects Conference. Such a great group of people: friends, colleagues and some of the smartest landscape professionals you will ever meet. Friday I presented a talk on “Obstacles and Pitfalls to Successful Living Wall Maintenance,” and while it sounds like a mouthful, it brings up important issues. To design, install and maintain a living wall isn’t inexpensive. No one wants to get a living wall up and ready to grow only to see it wither under a poor maintenance program.… Read More

Bioinspiration: Letting Nature Inspire Your Work

This week wasn’t about the usual business of green roofs and living walls. I jumped outside the box, exited my silo and spent time at events that remind me of what else is out there. I attended a Downtown San Diego Partnership workshop featuring Fred Kent of Project for Public Spaces. I first heard Fred speak at the Greening the City symposium in March 2006 at Liberty Station. It was there that I was exposed to the idea of green roofs. My passion was ignited. I went on to take a course in New York and studied Fred’s concepts about energizing, engaging and programming public places to build communities.… Read More