Indoor green spaces are known to improve air quality and mental health and wellness of students. By having indoor gardens placed in commonly accessed areas, such as the residence cafeterias, more students would be able to enjoy its health benefits, as well as participate in an educational initiative by learning more about locally grown food.
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The project idea is to place hydroponic gardening systems sold by Nutritower in three of McGill's busiest cafeterias (BMH, New Rez and RVC). By doing so, over a quarter of McGill's undergraduate student body would have access to them for their benefits of improved wellbeing. Not only is indoor gardening proven to provide mental health benefits, which is especially important in an academic setting, it would also promote accessible healthy eating option, as it can demonstrate how easy it is to grow plants indoors and eat green.
While the three indoor gardens would not provide a significant amount of produce to be used by McGill's food and dining services (other than for special occasions such as using herbs on local food days), they would still be a great opportunity to simultaneously provide green spaces and to educate students on the ease of local, indoor gardening. Additionally, all produce grown will be donated to Midnight Kitchen, who will benefit from the tower’s easy access and fast growing patterns.
By having these towers installed in an accessible space, students’ knowledge on sustainable activities would increase, as they could learn about how to manage sustainable food systems, as well as learn more about where their food comes from. This educational initiative can be further promoted by having signage accompanying the towers that detail which produce is currently growing and general facts about locally grown food.
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