Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Air Purification and Houseplants

Did you know the pollution in your home probably exceeds the pollution outside? In fact, the EPA states that indoor air pollution is among the top 5 environmental health risks. I'm not making this up! Formaldehyde is a big player in this; it is found in everything from insulation to furniture and cabinetry. This pollution can create all kind of negative health issues, like asthma, colds and headaches.

So what can we do? There are many different electronic air cleaners out there that are efficient but can be quite costly. Assuming that you aren't in the market for a couple hundred dollar machine, we're going to take a look at a much more affordable option for most of us: houseplants.

This inspiration for this post came from a great little info piece on air filtration using house plants I read recently. Research by NASA has shown that some plants are particularly adept at cleaning the air inside. (Who knew these guys did stuff like this?) Heart Leaf Philodendron, Golden Pothos, Ficus, Mums, etc. all are excellent at the removal of formaldehyde. Some can even remove the carcinogen Benzene.

I've been hanging on to a couple gift cards to Home Depot and after reading this, knew exactly how I wanted to use them. So tonight we picked up 2 air-cleaning plants and some pretty pink flowery thing for a splash of winter pick-me-up color. They state it is good to have on average 1 plant per 100 square feet, but we are going to get into this gradually. The philodendron is for the living room/play room, the golden pothos is for our bedroom and the pink flower sits on my window sill in the kitchen. (Please kitty, don't eat my pretty!) I'd like to get a plant in the nursery and the dining room, too.

Now I know some of you are going, 'But I kill everything green in my home!' Take heart, some of these plants are pretty forgiving. This coming from the woman who's been known to kill cacti. Just start small with a plant or two- and smaller plants at that- at worst you'll be out $10 or $20 if they die. It'll be a learning experience and you might just be successful!

If you have any greenery in your home, feel free to share tips on keeping it alive and healthy in the comments!


Blog designed by PIP Designs