Words by Tess Becker
The pandemic affected nearly every aspect of how we live, including our relationship to work. When the world shut down and people were stuck in their homes, the gears had to keep turning and as a result, people adapted and started working from home. As the world opened up again, many people decided decided to continue working from home as they preferred it.
As a result, office buildings that used to be packed full of employees sit empty. Today, office usage is at about 50% compared to pre-pandemic levels, and instead of just leaving them vacant, some people are getting creative.
Area 2 Farms is a vertical farm testing the new space available in these vacant office buildings, utilizing it to bring fresh produce to communities that may be far from it otherwise.
“It’s moving agriculture in a whole new direction. Vertical farming is the agricultural technique that grows crops on top of each other, rather than in traditional, horizontal rows,” they write on their website. “Our vertical farm is also indoors. That lets us eliminate pesticides and herbicides and to control the environment to produce the most nutritious plants.”
Ideas such as this also help landlords and owners who have found their properties empty post-pandemic.
“Cities are changing every day,” Jackie Potter, co-founder of Area 2 Farms. “There’s a really great economic opportunity as well. Our farms create new green jobs, they beautify spaces and provide fresh food to local communities. That’s something that’s really precious.”
At Smiley Movement, we like to elevate the work of charities across the world. Here are three charities whose causes align with the themes in this article.
The Women Invested to Save Earth Fund. This organization helps support underrepresented and underfunded Black, indigenous, and women of color-led organizations across the world. Find out more and support them here.
Collective Sun. They help nonprofits get outfitted with solar power capabilities. Check them out here.
Florida Bicycle Association. An organization that helps mobilize people and promote greener living and safer biking. Find out more.