Going green, literally, to combat indoor air pollution!
I was amazed to discover the wealth of information on the effects of houseplants on indoor living. Apart from the proven psychological benefits of having green plants and colorful flowers around us, especially while we work, the benefits of having extra oxygen is hard to deny. But even more than this, some species of plant have been shown to be adept at filtering our air as efficiently as any commericial air filter system!
The number of gases that have been tested with various houseplants is large and varied, but nevertheless includes some top criminals in the indoor pollution case, such as benzene and formaldehyde. It turns out that although toxic to us, species of plant such as the peace lily, bamboo palm, English ivy, Boston fern and even various orchids can efficiently remove these potentially carcinogenic chemicals from the air, thus reducing our levels of air pollution within the home. These species have the added advantage of being natural shade-tolerant and easily procured at garden centres and nurseries around the country.
Or, instead of buying, why not try taking a cutting from a friend or neighbour and potting it yourself? With gentle watering, a decent sized pot (over 6 inches in diameter is recommended) and moderate levels of indirect sunlight, the value of a collection of houseplants can be more than decorative; it can be an integral tool in battling indoor air pollution. For a more complete list of plants to choose from, click here.