Nowadays many people spend 80% or more of their time indoors, which begs the question – what are we breathing inside our homes and offices? Some estimates place the air inside your home or office at 25%-62% more polluted than the air right outside your window. Chemicals such as benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene can be mixed with tobacco smoke, paint fumes and other cleaning solutions making a very unhealthy concoction in your air. Don’t run out and purchase the latest and greatest HEPA filter that will run on electricity, increasing your carbon footprint, before you evaluate what Mother Nature has already provided. The eco-friendly houseplant has been found to help scrub the air inside your home, not to mention they look great as well.
Leafy houseplants are Mother Nature’s HEPA filter, according to a NASA study that found that common houseplants can scrub the air around them removing harmful pollutants and providing fresh oxygen. During the normal photosynthesis process we all learn that carbon dioxide is absorbed, and oxygen is produced but it can also absorb the carcinogenic chemicals noted above. An article in Reader’s Digest also claims recent studies have found plants in offices reduced stress levels, dry throats, headaches and fatigue among workers. A good rule of thumb is to have houseplants spread around your home or office for roughly every 100 square feet, this provided an optimal level scrubbing.
The great news is that the best houseplants for the job are also the most common houseplants, which are also easy on the wallet. English ivy, spider plants, weeping figs, bamboo, Boston ferns, rubber trees and peace lilies are tops when it comes to indoor air quality control. Now you need to do a little homework before you buy your plants and bring them home. If you have cats, a spider plant is poisonous to them and do you have the right light for the plant you want? Anyone in the garden center should be able to help you get matched to the right plant. Check into water bulbs as well so you don’t have to water every day. Clean, fresh air is just a plant away – an eco-friendly solution to a nasty little problem.