Implementation of vertical gardens with native plants of Ecuador for the reduction of particulated matter in indoor environments.

Reduce indoor air pollution by promoting the use of native plants in vertical gardens.

Photo of Amanda Mendoza
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Eligibility Criteria

  • I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria and terms of the Act for Biodiversity Challenge and that I am eligible to apply.
  • I am 18 years old or older.

Initiative's representative name

Amanda Mendoza Cardona

Initiative's representative date of birth

August 22, 1997

Initiative's representative gender

  • Woman

Headquarters location: country

  • Ecuador

Headquarters location: city


Where are you making a difference?


Website or social media url(s)

Date Started


Project Stage

  • Start-up (first few activities have happened)

Organization Type

  • Educational institution

1. Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the founder(s) to get started or the story of how you saw the potential for this project to succeed.

It all started when our air pollution teacher asked us as a final project to present a solution to some problem related to air. she asked us to be creative and propose practical solutions that can be viable over time. It was there that we tried to solve a common problem with an eco-friendly solution that could be accessible to other people.

2. The problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

Air pollution is an issue that has been under investigation at the exterior level for a long time and the pollution we generate inside our homes, jobs, etc. has not been given much importance. For this reason, our project is born, to be faced with a very common problem but nobody talks about and nobody does anything about it. In addition to potentiating the use of endemic plants to preserve our native flora while purifying the air we breathe in closed places.

3. Your solution: How are you working to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

We have conducted our research in a kitchen of a restaurant in Colta-Chimborazo-Ecuador, where the air was analyzed with a particulate sampler before and during the vertical garden implementation. It could be seen how the vertical garden helped reduce the PM 2.5 present in the air. It is, therefore, the departure of our initiative to be able to share our idea taking advantage of the potentialization of native species of our country and to be able to improve our research by implementing better technology for greater data precision.

4. Innovation: How are you innovating or using unique approaches to solve the problem?

We have innovated by applying a landscaping technique as a practical solution to purify the air we breathe incorporating species of plants typical of the area with particular characteristics that allow retaining particulated matter from the air. In addition, costs were minimized when designing the garden with accessible materials. These characteristics are what make our project feasible compared to other projects, it is made so that it can be applied by everyone, since the plants will be found in the same place and the construction materials are easy to obtain.

5. Collaboration: How does your initiative seek to bring key players together to preserve biodiversity?

Collaboration in society as a whole is necessary to be able to carry it out, because, first, it is necessary to improve and implement equipment that helps us analyze how plants, especially their leaves, capture the particulated matter to share information more truthfully, once this is done, there is the support of the provincial council of Chimborazo for the necessary socialization so the people, starting with this province, can implement this technique in their homes in a fast, simple and economical way.

6. Impact: how has your project made a difference so far — in terms of both business outputs and social impact? How do you plan on measuring progress?

Our project is young, so it has only been implemented in our case study, because the veracity of efficiency was being analyzed. This was done in Colta, a canton located in Riobamba, in the province of Chimborazo, Ecuador. The implementation was carried out in a restaurant. It is intended to measure the scope of our project with the number of people involved in the installation of a vertical garden in their homes and jobs using native plants to mitigate the impact of the introduction of foreign species which generate greater contamination by the adaptation process.

7. Growth strategies: what are your main strategies for scaling your impact?

The main growth strategy is, first of all, to improve the analysis technology that allows us to study the role of endemic plants in the mitigation of air pollution, in this way, to have a more accurate idea of ​​which plants we can use and potentiate. Once this is done, it is necessary to reach as many people as possible informing about the advantages of using our own plants as purifiers of our air. and finally train people so they can build their own vertical gardens through an approved practical guide.

8. Creating shared value: How does your initiative create value for society? Or different stakeholders?

From the environmental valuation of resources we are giving a contribution in the quality of the air, diminishing the concentrations of particulated matter. On the other hand, the owners of vipers, that in Chimborazo, the majority are indigenous, will be the suppliers of the plants and will also benefit. By working together with sectional governments, forums and training will be created.

9. Financial sustainability plan: can you tell us about your plan to fund your project and how that plan will be sustainable in the short, medium, and long term?

The monetary income will be generated at the time of implementing the vertical gardens, creating training courses and conducting air quality analysis in demand areas.

10. Team: what is the current composition of your current team (types of roles, qualifications, full-time vs. part-time, board members, etc.), and how do you plan to evolve the team’s composition as the project grows?

ur team is headed by the MSc Rafaela Viteri, who is president of the ESPOCH bioethics committee and a teacher in the Environmental Biotechnology degree, the Director of the Environment of the provincial council of Chimborazo Edison Campos and the UNACH lecturer Marcel Paredes. The research was carried out by the students of the eighth semester of the Environmental Biotechnology career Amanda Mendoza, Janina Goyes and Yanira Rojas.

11. How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Social media
  • Recommended by others

Evaluation results

4 evaluations so far


Yes, absolutely! - 25%

Yes/maybe - 50%

Maybe - 0%

Maybe/no - 25%

No - 0%


5 —Absolutely! It’s crystal clear how the solution is directly contributing to preserving and/or restoring biodiversity. - 0%

4—Yes, it establishes a clear connection to biodiversity. - 75%

3—Somewhat, the entry speaks to biodiversity but the direct impact is not well established and/or it is focused on a single species without considering its impact on the broader ecosystem - 25%

2—Not really, the connection to biodiversity is weak - 0%

1—No. The entry does not reference the solution’s impact on biodiversity. - 0%

3. 3) Is this entry IMPACTFUL?

5 -Yes, absolutely! - 0%

4- Yes, I think so. - 75%

3- Maybe. - 25%

2- Probably not. - 0%

1- No. - 0%

4. 4) Is this entry INNOVATIVE?

5 -Yes, absolutely! - 50%

4- Yes, I think so. - 50%

3- Maybe. - 0%

2- Probably not. - 0%

1- No. - 0%

5. 5) Is this entry VIABLE financially and operationally?

5 -Yes, absolutely! - 0%

4- Yes, I think so. - 50%

3- Maybe. - 25%

2- Probably not. - 25%

1- No. - 0%


5 -Yes, absolutely! - 0%

4- Yes, I think so. - 25%

3- Maybe. - 25%

2- Probably not. - 25%

1- No. - 25%

7. 7) Does this entry value COLLABORATION WITH OTHER STAKEHOLDERS in its approach?

5- Yes, absolutely! - 25%

4- Yes, I think ko. - 50%

3- Maybe. - 25%

2- Probably not. - 0%

1- No. - 0%

8. 8) FEEDBACK – Highlights

INNOVATION: You have a great understanding of the problem, have researched existing solutions, and have developed unique, thoughtful new solutions - 100%

IMPACT: You use specific numbers and evidence to describe what your project has achieved so far (or plan to achieve in the future) and you have a plan for measuring impact - 33.3%

GROWTH & LEADERSHIP POTENTIAL: You have a thoughtful plan for growth and your founding team has a strong combination of leadership and knowledge-based skills - 0%

VIABIBLITY: You have given a great deal of thought to not just the idea itself but how to make it work from a financial perspective in the present and future - 0%

CHANGEMAKING ACTIVATION: You value thinking around how to activate changemakers and empower them to innovate through your product or programming - 33.3%

POTENTIAL TO CREATE SHARED VALUE: You have a clearly defined plan on how to maximize shared value across multiple sectors and stakeholders - 0%

WRITING STYLE: Your writing style is concise, descriptive, clear, and specific - 0%

Other option - 0%

9. 9) FEEDBACK - Areas for Improvement

INNOVATION: Be more specific in your description of the research you have done into the past solutions to this problem and focus on how your solution is unique and innovative - 0%

IMPACT: Provide specific instances of your social impact and how you plan to measure impact – it may be helpful to describe the beneficiaries, products and programming, and provide evidence of (or plan for) how to measure impact - 0%

GROWTH & LEADERSHIP POTENTIAL: Your plan for growing the organization can benefit from more specifics. How can you round out the various skills of your current leadership team to make the project a long-term success? - 66.7%

VIABILITY: Make sure you have provided descriptive information about your financial sustainability plan. Where do the funds come from now and do you have a concrete plan for future sustainability? - 66.7%

POTENTIAL TO CREATE SHARED VALUE: your plan can benefit from more thought on how to create value for all stakeholders, not just immediate beneficiaries - 33.3%

WRITING STYLE: Try to be more concise, descriptive, clear, and specific. Avoid jargon. - 0%

Nothing – I thought everything was great! - 0%

CHANGEMAKING ACTIVATION: Try to provide more insights into how you are activating changemakers and empowering them to innovate through your product or programming - 100%

Other option - 0%

Attachments (1)


This article presents the research that was done on the implementation of a vertical garden in the kitchen of a restaurant, which after checking its efficiency, indicates the importance of studying the potential of native plants for the retention of particulated matter.


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