A Green Cart is similar to the idea of a Green Corner, where you fill one area of a room with all things nature-related (plants, shells, books, artwork, etc…) to create an engaging and stress-relieving environment. However, in this case, the environment is mobile. Similar to the Touch Me cart found in the Buehler Enabling Garden, a Green Cart is a collection of sensory plants and natural items, displayed together to invite people to interact with nature, risk-free. When people engage with multiple textures, colors, and scents, they are stimulating their senses and activating their neural network, while simultaneously easing fatigued brain functioning, restoring their ability to focus.
A mobile unit like this is perfect for high stress/busy workplaces where nature-breaks are hard to schedule. Visiting a cart like this, or bringing it into a central place so it can be passively observed, allows you to have mini doses of nature throughout the day. Plus, it doesn’t take up much room and can be moved out of the way, or brought somewhere else for someone else to interact with it.
A cart like this also provides a shared environment for coworkers who do not have many opportunities to engage with each other on a regular basis. By sharing responsibility and enjoyment of a green space, no matter how small, a corporate culture of care and connection is born.
A Green Cart is also easy to create at home, and can bring small doses of nature in when exploring outdoors isn't feasible.
Suggestions for what to include on your Green Cart:
- Soft-leafed plant such as ivy, pothos, or ponytail palm
- Thick-leafed plant such as aloe, snake plant, or gasteria
- Fuzzy plant like kalanchoe (Panda plant) or African violet
- Bumpy plant like haworthia or ripsalis
- Herbs or culinary plants, like thyme, chives, and basil
- Mini bonsai tree
*All plants listed do well in low-light conditions
- Dried lavender bouquet or a sage bundle
- Tins of spices with images of their origins
- Potpourri sachet
- Rocks, gems, or fossils
- Acorns, sweetgum balls, or seashells
- A basket for found natural objects where people can contribute
- A guest book and pen, for people to share thoughts, quotes, and inspiring messages
- Spray bottle or small watering can
- Small pair of scissors
- Label with the name and day of the week each plant is watered
- Interpretive sign listing the core benefits of interacting with nature, some suggestions for how to engage with the materials, a list of simple chores, and maybe a quote or your company’s mission