Invite the Outdoors Indoors
As I sit drinking my hot tea on this bitter cold January day, I become painfully aware of my houseplants. It’s usually this time of the year when I depend on my houseplants to inspire and awaken me; however, this year my plants seem to be suffering; whether it’s from spiders or just a general lack of attention. People are spending less time outdoors breathing fresh air and thus, houseplants have come to serve a vital function in our quality of air indoors. Houseplants do more than add a touch of greenery to our homes and offices – they also reduce common indoor air pollutants. Experts have found that people who work or live near plants have reduced depression, a lower stress level, decreased blood pressure and an improved sense of well-being. Here are ten plants to consider adding to our home or office:
- Boston Fern Nephrolepsis exaltata: this is an effective plant in reducing the amount of formaldehyde while adding humidity to the environment.
- Chinese Evergreen Aglaonema commutatum: is known to filter benzene which can be found in certain glues, paint varnish and/or paint strippers.
- Dracena Dracaena deremensis ‘Janet Craig’ and ‘Warneckii’: is known to filter trichloroethylene, another additive to paint, varnish and adhesives.
- English Ivy Hedera helix: has proved to absorb benzene (sources include cigarette smoke and car exhaust) and formaldehyde.
- Palm many different varieties are effective at removing most indoor air pollutants.
- Peace Lily Spathiphyllum wallisii: is a great choice for absorbing harmful air pollutants such as trichloroethylene.
- Pothos Epipremnum: is an easy to grow, hard to kill choice, which ranks high in removing formaldehyde from the air. (Note: these are very poisonous to cats and dogs, so keep them around, but keep them up high!)
- Snake Plant Sansevieria trifasciata: is an overall great air purifier for your home.
- Spider Plant: a NASA study showed that a single Chlorophytum comosum in an enclosed chamber filled with formaldehyde removed 85% of the pollutant in one day!!
- Weeping Fig Ficus benjamina: is an effective air filter for ammonia.
There have been studies that suggest that as few as 15 houseplants can reduce pollutants in an average home! Choose one or two to get you started.