So many of us spend much of our day indoors, breathing indoor air. Including plants in our indoor environments, is an effective way to ensure that the air is clean and fresh. Plants help remove toxins from the air we breathe, which creates a healthier, cleaner workplace and home!
The definitive list that can be found in Google, is from NASA’s research for cleaning the air in the space station. All plants remove Carbon Dioxide from air, and release oxygen through photosynthesis, but many plants also eliminate benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene and ammonia. These chemicals primarily enter our air through off-gassing from our wood furniture, paints, floor finishes and cigarette smoke.
NASA’s list is longer than this, but we have selected these 5 as our particular favorites from their list.
Spider plants are among the easiest houseplants to grow, making them a great choice for beginners or forgetful owners. A fan of bright, indirect sunlight, spider plants will send out shoots with flowers that eventually grow into baby spider plants.
Pollutants removed: formaldehyde and xylene
Ficus are a low-maintenance houseplant, grown best in bright, indirect light. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings. Although this plant has some serious air-cleaning abilities, it can also be taken outside in late spring and brought back indoors when temperatures are warm and well above freezing.
Pollutants removed: benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene
Peace lily pack some major air-cleaning abilities. Easy to grow, these plants will flower for much of the summer. Put peace lilies in a shady spot and keep the soil moist without overwatering.
Pollutants removed: ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene
A superstar of filtering formaldehyde, these palms thrive in full sun or bright light. Part of the reason they can filter so much air is that they can grow to be pretty big—as tall as four to 12 feet high, making them exciting indoor additions.
Pollutants removed: benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene
Beyond air quality, plants just make people feel better. Hospital patients with plants in their rooms tend to be more positive and have lower blood pressure and stress levels . Similarly, indoor plants may make people smarter by allowing them to stay alert and reducing mental fatigue.
NASA’s study suggests that for optimal air cleaning, there should be at least one plant per 100 square feet. Consider this your permission to treat yourself to at least that many! After all, it is for your health!!