Thursday, 28 February 2013

Ecosystem Turns Indoor Vertical Garden into Office Rainforest Paradise

What are the benefits of an indoor garden ecosystem your office could enjoy?

PeapodLife's Interview at the Twain Fine Jewellers

When you listen to Adi Twena of Twain speak about his boutique showroom / office ecosystem, you quickly realize he’s not talking about any old indoor vertical garden. He’s talking about Advanced Human Habitat.

As a high-end jewellery wholesaler, Twain appreciates beauty, quality and substance. Adi tells Peapod Life Project Director, Attila Lendvai, how he enjoys the many advantages of our ecosystem (Powered by Peapod Life Partner Genetron Systems) over conventional hydroponic living walls. 

"People come in and ask us if we’ve renovated the place." Mr. Twena adds, "when what they’re experiencing is the difference the ecosystem makes to our commercial space." There’s no question he’s a believer in Peapod Life Advanced Human Habitat.

Shot on location, Twain, Toronto Ontario, January 21, 2013.

Photos: Ecosystem Turns Indoor Vertical Garden into Office Rainforest Paradise
2013 @ peapodLife


Photos:Ecosystem Indoor Vertical Garden and Umbilical System 
Turns an Office from an Indoor Garden into an Indoor Rainforest
2013 @ peapodLife

Adi recently added a series of "Mini-Umbilical Systems" which extend the reach his ecosystem into his office.

All the plants and mini moss living-wall (you can see the moss just beginning to grow) in Adi’s office use the same living water generated by the ecosystem.

It will take the umbilical systems some time to fill-out, but that’s half the fun of an indoor garden ecosystem! The more it grows, the more you feel like a part of you is growing with it.

We will post another update when Adi’s ecosystem indoor vertical garden and umbilical system turns his office from an indoor garden into an indoor rainforest! 

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Ecosystem Gives New Life to Living Wall PeapodLife Gladstone Hotel Interview 
Published on Feb 4, 2013 by PeapodLife

Why did the Gladstone choose a basic ecosystem living wall to replace its previous soil-based vertical garden?

PeapodLife's Interview at the Gladstone Hotel

When the Gladstone Hotel first decided to install a living wall in the staircase of the famous Queen St. West landmark, they made the mistake many do: they fell for the allure of a soil-based indoor garden.

After a litany of problems, from the dripping muddy mass all over their historic hardwoord floors (in a stairwell…not the safest) to plants looking sickly and dying off, General Manager Alec Badley decided to turn to Peapod Life Strategic Partner Genetron Systems and a basic ecosystem living wall instead.

In this interview with Peapod Life, Project Director Attila Lendvai finds out first-hand why the Gladstone chose a basic ecosystem to replace its previous soil-based living wall.  The new wall, only a few months old, is already starting to flourish and grow moss, with none of the problems of the previous vertical garden.

Video shot on location at the Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen Street West, Toronto, January 21, 2013.

Photos: Ecosystem Gives New Life to Living Wall
2013 @ peapodLife

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Advanced Human Habitats will ease Stressed-Out Infrastructure in wake of Urban Intensification

Image: Peapod Life Advanced Human Habitat
From the “big machine” of crumbling infrastructure, a new, smarter way of doing things emerges: the BEST tools for the future modelled after the genius of nature: Peapod Life Advanced Human Habitat.

“Canada needs to be investing not only the right amount in infrastructure, but investing in the right infrastructure, in the right places, in the right way doing the right things,”

The right way of doing things. Now there’s a novel approach for government.

Toronto is all about urban intensification these days. The jungle of high-rise condos yanked skyward in the downtown core over the last few years is cause for concern where the city’s crumbling centennial infrastructure is concerned.

More than one voice has suggested the city’s aging infrastructure cannot handle the extra stress on our urban centre. The recent flooding of Union Station was evidence enough.

So what about the power grid? Water supply? Forget about traffic: it’s already hopeless. Work on the Spadina streetcar south of King St. have rendered the crumbling Gardiner Expressway West of Spadina functionally useless, with back-ups from the Spadina off-ramp stretching to Dufferin and beyond.

In his interview with Global News, Casey Vander Ploeg, Senior Policy Analyst at the Canada West Foundation emphasized more funding is not enough. Not that Jim Flaherty is enthusiastic about what he called “dangerous and risky new spending schemes” in a recent speech to the Economic Club. (Read more on Global News: Global Toronto | Infrastructure strains need long-term remedies: report ).

There is an underlying “wrong way of doing things” at play here. It may have been “right for the times” in eras past, but the realities of life in the 21st century demand a fresh new look at the way things are.

Peapod Life is all about the right way, a better way, an advanced approach to human habitats. 

Urban intensification using an Advanced Human Habitat results in an alleviation of stress on existing infrastructure. AHH is the end result of Building EcoSystems and Technology: PeapodLife’s integrated platform for resilience, autonomy, sustainability and community.

Whenever an Advanced Human Habitat is designed and planned, it takes into account not only the triple-bottom-line of People, Planet and Profits defined today, it anticipates and incorporates broader and future value propositions. BEST integrates solutions which will deliver AHHs are adaptable, resilient, sustainable and self-sufficient.

Solar and geo-thermal power. Unique heating and cooling management. Integrated indoor and outdoor ecosystems for best quality air and carbon sequestering. Onsite water management. Health and wellness. Organic zero-input indoor and outdoor urban gardens. More.

Advanced Human Habitat makes good sense for government today, because present cost-prevention and risk-mitigation are paramount. AHH will literally come as a sigh of relief to future local policy makers, should any catastrophic effects of climate change, economic collapse, environmental hazard, or some other circumstance make centralized distribution of necessities of life impossible.

Advanced Human Habitats are designed to will always serve occupants as islands of tranquility and peace, even amidst the most stressful of situations.

From the “big machine” of crumbling infrastructure, a new, smarter way of doing things emerges: the BEST tools for the future modelled after the genius of nature: Peapod Life Advanced Human Habitat.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Toxic Workplace Environments Need Advanced Human Habitat Approach

Image: Avoid Toxicity! Give Your People More “AH-HA!” Moments
Toxic Workplace Environments, normally attributed to poor leadership, are not helped by the physical and psychological stresses posed by Sick Building Syndrome (SBS), Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Nature Deficit Syndrome (NDS), Seasonal Anxiety Disorder (SAD), Greenhouse Gasses (GHGs), and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). An Advanced Human Habitat Approach (“AH-HA!”) mitigates such stresses and supports organizations to work at peak potential. Sick Building Syndrome (SBS), Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Nature Deficit Syndrome (NDS), Seasonal Anxiety Disorder (SAD), Greenhouse Gasses (GHGs), Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)… the problems associated with indoor space as-is (non-habitat) are numerous and toxic: physically and psychologically. The Antidote is Advanced Human Habitat (“AHH…”).
Image Credits: MS Office ClipArt: Metaphor of upset stick-person: wrapped up in red tape,, Unhappy stick-person: in front of a sad frowning computer, under a raincloud; Happy stick-person: waving a flag on top of a mountain peak, viewing a star through a telescope, with a giant light bulb overhead, scores a bull's eye with a bow and arrow

“You are a product of your environment. So choose the environment that will best develop you toward your objective. Analyze your life in terms of its environment. Are the things around you helping you toward success - or are they holding you back?”

As a member or a leader of an organization (even if your organization is a household), how often do you think about your workplace as a habitat? Countless books and articles have been written about workplace toxicity, but how many of these books on human behaviour and team dynamics have made the connection between a healthy workplace and a healthy work environment?  

Workplace wellness has begun to make a connection between healthy people and peak performance in teams…to a degree. And yet, it is surprising to note that many workplace wellness initiatives focus on activities outside of the workspace itself: gyms, healthy food choices in the cafeteria, smoking cessation programs, weight-loss programs. It’s all good, just one-step removed from where the action is: where most of the problems actually arise.

Doesn’t it make more sense to look to all the ways people are affected—mostly unconsciously—by the workplace environment itself? Sadly, people don’t consider the places they work, rest, play, learn or even heal as a habitat. Consider how the modern approach to human non-habitats adversely affects us:

Human Non-Habitat contributions to Toxic Workplaces, Homes, Schools, and other “living space”:
  • Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) – From respiratory problems to central nervous system symptoms. 
  • Attention Deficit Disorder & Attention Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder (ADD & ADHD) – Stress-inducing deadlines, meetings, computers, cellphones, background noise, jarring scents, audial / visual distractions, and more.
  • Nature Deficit Disorder (NDD) – A broad range of behavioural problems resulting from spending too much time indoors, with little or no exposure to nature.
  • Seasonal Anxiety Disorder (SAD) – Those living in northern climes know “the winter blues” and the “January blah’s.”
  • Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) – Offices and workplaces are rife with high-levels of airborn contaminants, whose sources include commercial-grade cleaners, toners, and an endless variety of potentially hazardous materials and chemicals.
  • Greenhouse Gasses (GHGs) – The ongoing stress and anxiety caused by Climate Change should not be discounted. Oxygen is a natural relaxant and necessary for peak performance. Then there’s the lingering threat of droughts, catastrophic weather events, and the feelings of guilt and helplessness that go along with “not being able to do anything about it.”

Advanced Human Habitat: Surround Your People with “AHH…” Benefit from their “AH-HA!” Moments

PeapodLife is profoundly aware of the many hidden causes of stress, anxiety and illness in the workplace. Obviously, non-habitats are not conducive to human productivity, but it is completely impractical to move offices outdoors or hold board meetings in a tropical paradise. What’s the answer?

Advanced Human Habitat (AHH) literally provides a breath of fresh air for toxic workplace environments. Whereas contemporary non-habitats (so-called “productive workspace”) treat people more or less as machines, PeapodLife’s AHH is in line with contemporary business experts who agree people are much less rational, much more emotional, far less predictable and much more sensitive than once assumed.

We are beginning to understand just how much unconscious cues and subconscious reactions influence behaviour, group dynamics and decision-making, even in business. As for creativity, while a certain degree of “healthy pressure” can prompt breakthroughs, toxicity is tantamount to creative genocide.

Human beings are not machines. To operate with peak performance, people should have what all other living creatures get from nature: a habitat, complete with living, breathing ecosystem.

Human beings are not animals, either. To function at peak efficiency, people must have all the modern capabilities and conveniences they need to succeed in the socio-economic landscape.  

PeapodLife’s Advanced Human Habitat Approach (AH-HA!) balances the realities of modern life with the basic needs of human nature. Workspaces harmonize technology and ecology; improve health, productivity and overall feelings of wellness, vitality and happiness.

The result? Less toxicity in the workplace; more “AH-HA!” moments for your people and your organization.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Ode to Mother Nature on Valentine’s Day

Image: “Mother Nature” by Rafal Tomal 
Image Source: Owen Roberts: urban cowboy: a city view on agri-food

O’ Divine Mother Nature

How do you love me? This one day at least, let me count the ways...

I toss my trash on your perfect body; you turn the other cheek.

Our cigarette-butt smokestacks spew into your lungs; you give us a smile.

I pour toxic soup down your throat; you give me fresh water to drink.

We drill and blast and scar and frack you; you give us your riches.

I leave the lights on, idle the car, sleep sweat-soaked naked on the coldest night in January; you sing me a lullaby and send me sweet dreams.

We take, hoard and sell fresh water; you offer us another draught.

I eat industrial monoculture and factory farmed fast-food ‘cause I’m so important; you give me beautiful sunsets reminding me that I’m special.

We rake the land, troll the oceans, and rack up the species-count; you say there are plenty o’ fish in the sea.

I hunt for kicks; watch nature shows for the bloodsport; you say to each his own.

We tear out your forests, pave your meadows, stretch your deserts, level your mountains, melt your ice-caps, damn your rivers, drink up your lakes; you say nothing lasts forever.

I damn your rules, your natural laws, and I call myself intellectual, righteous, technocrat; you say death is a part of life.

We ravage you day in and day out, proclaiming ourselves lords of nature, your master and your ruler; with words like Katrina and Sandy you gently remind us what real power is.

I forget you; you never forget me.

This one day at least, let us remember you, O’ Divine Mother Nature:

Your infinite loving compassion,
Your timeless loving embrace,
Your incomprehensible patience and forgiveness,
For me; for us.
You, Kali;
We, your very naughty children,
In loving memory, this one day at least,

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Live Green Toronto Awards - Are you the Greenest?

Image: Live Green Toronto Awards 2013
Credit: Live Green Toronto Awards

Cash, prizes & bragging rights awaits the greenest youth, individual, group and corporation in Toronto!

"Nominations in the 2013 Live Green Toronto Awards are now open.

With video entries and the chance to vote for your favourites online, the City's Live Green Toronto Awards make it easy for you to participate in the search for Toronto's greenest youth, individual, group, small business and corporation.

Winners of a 2013 Live Green Toronto Award will receive $2,500, courtesy of award sponsors, and a chance to tell their story on CP24.

Nominations and voting open January 21. Enter early, vote often and share!"

Source & More Details: Live Green Toronto Awards
Do you fancy yourself as one of the greenest people in Toronto? Perhaps you should checkout the Livegreen Toronto Awards.

Maybe you or your organization will submit a video. Maybe you just want to check out others' submissions and vote for the finalists and winners? In any case, this is The City of Toronto's way of giving some "green" & some much-deserved recognition to those who make the city greener.

Image: Live Green Toronto Awards - win yourself some "green" & some recognition
Image Credit: Livegreen Toronto

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Nature-Deficit Disorder - Books by Richard Louv

"The future will belong to the nature-smart—those individuals, families, businesses, and political leaders who develop a deeper understanding of the transformative power of the natural world and who balance the virtual with the real. The more high-tech we become, the more nature we need."
- Richard Louv

You can only imagine the excitement we felt when we came across this quotation from Richard Louv, the visionary activist and author of such books as Last Child in the Woods and The Nature Principle.

We've recently posted an a feature article on which covers some of the principle themes discussed in these books, including the concept known as nature-deficit disorder. 

As you might expect, we at PeapodLife feel Mr. Lauv is a kindred spirit. Find out why we think so, avoid nature-deficit disorder and Reconnect with the Power of Nature