Four Questions With Linda Reindl

1. Project Carbon…why is this research effort important, and what are you hoping will come out of it?
In 2009, the National Foliage Foundation (NFF) funded the project called Quantification of Carbon Assimilation in Interiorscape Plants. Tag-named Project Carbon: this project, being conducted by University of Georgia researchers, Drs. Bodie Pennisi and Marc van Iersel, seeks to provide supporting data to substantiate the argument for using indoor plants as part of sustainable certification programs such as LEED.

LEED is a third-party certification program and the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. Architects, landscape architects, facility managers, engineers, interior designers, construction managers, lenders and government officials all use LEED as a measure of a building’s green efficiency and, as you likely know, the LEED status is a prestigious and highly sought designation among green builders.

While plants are recognized as a green building element in relation to water efficiency, sustainable landscapes, shade generators and the like when used on the exterior of projects, it is the goal of research projects like Project Carbon to see that interior plants are officially recognized for their air-cleaning potential and the benefits plants bring to green building projects.

People have had plants in homes and offices over the years because of their aesthetic appeal, but the stronger the science, the stronger the message will be for the beneficial aspects of plants. Research has shown that while plants give-off a small amount of harmless volatile organic compounds (VOCs), they also remove significant amounts of toxic VOCs from the air, increasing the quality of the air we breathe. This is the positive message that NFF hopes to bring to the table.

2. How are you associated with this project?
The National Foliage Foundation (NFF) is the funding source for this project. NFF’s position with Project Carbon is to support science and with the additional knowledge reaffirm the need for an expansion of the point system to include indoor plants as an essential part of the equation for the Green Building communities.

NFF is a nonprofit corporation whose mission, since 1987, has been to organize and fund research for the foliage industry. A primary objective is to enhance the development of the foliage industry through increased production, distribution, marketing and utilization.

NFF recognizes the need to increase awareness of the healthy benefits of plants and provide funding for the solid science to back up these messages. NFF has and will continue to play a strong role in emphasizing the message of “Think Green, Live Green.”

3. Are you finding growers who produce these helpful indoor plants using this research to their advantage?
I know current Project Carbon results are in preliminary stages, but do you think growers will take advantage of the findings? How would you suggest they use them? It is still in the early stages of the research project and with every research project, it is hard to evaluate how we will totally use the end results but we hope the foliage industry will be able to use the science to support the use of plants in many different aspects and take advantage of the marketing opportunities that will results from the finished research. We are still a ways off from being able to totally utilize the information.

Right now, we only serve a narrow part of the USGBC LEED green building rating system’s market share with our plant materials. However, we have yet to demonstrate a leadership role in selling our plant materials within the USGBC LEED green building rating system parameters. This void clearly creates an opportunities for the green industry to play a role in educating the green building professionals on what plants work best in specific site conditions. We have a clear role to play and the science will give the industry the credibility to present its arguments.

4. From growers to retailers, is there a real opportunity for this and the promotion for the importance of indoor plants?
It is clearly an educational opportunity for growers to retailers and retailers to consumers. As we continue to research and learn more about the potential of plants to remove harmful volatile compounds we will generate knowledge that will enhance our ability to create exceptionally healthy indoor environments. This affects all aspects of the horticultural industry. “Green” is not going to become a fleeing trend but I believe it will be part of lifestyle changes. The Green Industry provides unique products that hold the key to reducing carbon footprints and will ultimately create a more sustainable and healthy lifestyle but we need to have the solid science that will support these kinds of marketing efforts.

The quest for more research continues, the message is clear…Plants naturally have a place and a purpose indoors.
 

Leave a Reply

More From Plant Culture...

May 22, 2015

Nexus Greenhouses Is Optimistic For Expansion Into New Markets

Cheryl Longtin and Mike Porter, who own Nexus Corporation, say they were excited to attend the grand opening of Gotham Greens’ new structure atop the new Whole Foods grocery store in the Gowanus neighborhood in Brooklyn, N.Y., when it opened in December 2013. The project is just one example of some of the new and expanding markets that Nexus Corporation has expanded into over the past few years. Jeff Warschauer, vice president of sales for Nexus, says the company has enjoyed getting to know and working with the founders of Gotham Greens, Viraj Puri and Eric Haley, and Jennifer Nelkin Frymark, the chief agriculture officer, on their innovative approach to business. “They are very excited and work hard internally – just great people,” he says. “From our perspective, it’s great to see that excitement and vision. The employees there are happy and there’s no turnover; they’re only adding new people […]

Read More
Farwest2015

May 20, 2015

2015 Farwest Show Announces Second Annual Equipment Innovation Day

The second annual Equipment Innovation Day will be Tuesday, Aug. 25, prior to the 2015 Farwest show, which will be August 27-29 in Portland, Ore. Equipment Innovation Day, which was enthusiastically received in 2014, offers a real-time opportunity to see new heavy and automated nursery equipment in action. The demonstrations take place in manufacturing and nursery settings, adding value to the showcase. Attendees will be able to talk with participating manufacturers and learn first-hand from innovative growers who use the equipment in daily operations. The day-long event will be held at the main manufacturing plant of GK Machines, Inc., Donald, Ore. Further demonstrations of field equipment will take place at the nearby nursery of A&R Spada Farms, LLC. Bus travel to and from the event is planned, starting at and returning to the Oregon Convention Center. Attendees are welcome to provide their own travel to and from the site. Preregistration is required. The cost […]

Read More
Bee On Flower

May 20, 2015

White House Task Force Releases Pollinator Health Strategy

An interagency Pollinator Health Task Force commissioned by President Obama released its “Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators” on May 19. The strategy, released in accordance with the Presidential Memorandum issued last June, is accompanied by a Pollinator Research Action Plan, which outlines needs and priority actions to better understand pollinator losses and improve pollinator health. The recommended actions will be supported by a coordination of existing federal research efforts and accompanied by a request to Congress for additional resources to respond to losses in pollinator populations. Pages 47 through 52 specifically address pesticides and pollinators. The report calls out plant production, native plants, mosquito control and all urban uses in its Pollinator Action Plan. RISE (Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment) says it supports the goals of improving pollinator health and habitat contained in the White House Pollinator Task Force’s release of its National […]

Read More
Latest Stories
Bee on a Sedum

March 17, 2015

4 Key Pollinator Research Projects To Be Funded By Hort…

The Horticultural Research Institute will grant $125,000 in financial support for four key projects as part of the Horticultural Industry Bee & Pollinator Stewardship Initiative. The Initiative has three primary goals. First, to convene a task force to develop a bee and pollinator stewardship program, including creation of best management practices for plant production. Second, to identify and fund research that will help answer key science questions and fill gaps needed to design and refine the stewardship program. Third, to seek to positively position the horticultural community and its customers by collaborating with other compatible groups interested in augmenting pollinator habitat and protection.

Read More

March 11, 2015

Pollinator Initiative Promotes Bee-Friendly Talking Poi…

AmericanHort and the Society of American Florists are working tirelessly with the ornamental industry's Pollinator Stewardship Initiative on a number of new projects.

Read More

February 11, 2015

Infusion Technology Boosts Seed Performance, Study Sugg…

Seven-year-old wheat seed germination can increase by as much as 83 percent, according to a Vital Force Technology Study that looks at the effects of energy infusion technology on plant vitality.

Read More

February 3, 2015

American Floral Endowment Accepting Research Pre-Propos…

If you are pursuing a floriculture research project, now is the time to apply for funding through the American Floral Endowment. Research pre-proposal applications for 2015-2016 funding are due to AFE by June 1, 2015.

Read More

January 27, 2015

Marijuana’s Trajectory And Ascent To Horticultural Cr…

Marijuana growing is poised for change as growers and researchers focus on improving production practices.

Read More

December 9, 2014

Greenhouse Production: Two Years Of Basics & Beyond…

Greenhouse Grower's Basics & Beyond articles cover some of the latest news and research going on in greenhouse production. Here are article links for the last two years.

Read More
GrowIt! App Wins Gold At Design100 2014 US Mobile & App Design Awards

November 24, 2014

GrowIt! App Wins Gold At Design100 2014 US Mobile &…

The social garden app GrowIt! takes the Gold Winner award at the design100 2014 Mobile & App Design Awards.

Read More

November 10, 2014

The Perennial Farm Joins HGTV HOME Plant Collection

The Perennial Farm joins the HGTV HOME Plant Collection growers' network for 2015.

Read More
AmericanHort

November 4, 2014

AmericanHort Publishes Revised American Standard For Nu…

AmericanHort announces the revised American Standard for Nursery Stock (ANSI Z60.1) is now available for industry use. The Standard reflects the consensus of the industry regarding how nursery stock — living plants other than annuals — should be specified and sold within the trade.

Read More

September 26, 2014

Master The Art Of Watering

Watering is elemental to healthy plants, but one of the hardest concepts for new employees to master in the greenhouse. Recommend these tips to start them off right.

Read More

September 16, 2014

Ball FloraPlant’s Las Limas Facility Provides Gro…

Ball FloraPlant’s Las Limas farm in Esteli, Nicaragua, is one year away from full production, but sales and quality from the two-year-old facility are right on track.

Read More
Erysimum 'Cheers' from Darwin Perennials

September 15, 2014

Darwin Perennials Takes Production Offshore In Bogota, …

With its recent purchase of a farm in Colombia, Darwin Perennials is ready to amp up supply of its perennial genetics, to provide growers with tried-and-true varieties and comprehensive production specifications.

Read More

July 23, 2014

Plan Now To Prevent Bract Edge Burn On Poinsettias

Reduce fertilizer and water, and allow your poinsettias to develop slowly during the final four weeks of production to avoid bract edge burn.

Read More

July 11, 2014

Growing Your Crops Above Their Base Temperature

Lowering temperature set points in the greenhouse may help you combat rising heating costs.

Read More

May 1, 2014

Growers Report Nutritional Problems On Geraniums

In recent weeks, several growers have contacted Michigan State University Specialists about leaf discoloration on geraniums, especially the purpling of lower leaves.

Read More

April 22, 2014

How Two Postharvest Care Products Worked On Potted Plan…

What your potted plants look like at retail translates to sales or fails. North Carolina State University researchers report on how two postharvest care products performed.

Read More
Dianthus 'Passion' from Emerald Coast Growers

March 27, 2014

Growing Dianthus Successfully

Here's some advice on transplanting and producing this classic perennial favorite.

Read More
Aquilegia canadensis

March 10, 2014

Tips For Producing Aquilegia

Advice on planting, temperature, vernalization, lighting and more on columbine from Emerald Coast Growers' head grower Josiah Raymer.

Read More