Cleaning Your Air This Holiday Season
I just recently found this lovely arrangement of poinsettias on sale at my nearby Walmart and am using this arrangement to enjoy this holiday season. Little did I know that actually poinsettias (discovered by Joel Poinsett in 1830 in Southern Mexico) fall into a special category that works as a natural, mini air purifier providing an affordable defense by absorbing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as formaldehyde, benzene, and ammonia, from the air through the tiny openings in their leaves (stomata) and their root microbes.
Thinking about how much pleasure this arrangement has given me made me think about the benefits of plants…not only for their beauty but for the fact that many indoor plants can actually clean our indoor air, including for the holidays Norfolk Island Pine (which can be a mini Christmas tree) and of course the Christmas Cactus, a perfect bedroom plant as it removes CO2 and releases oxygen at night.
Sources state that about 3 plants per room (or basically one houseplant per 100 square feet) can actually purify and renew our stale indoor air simply by filtering out toxins, pollutants, and carbon dioxide we exhale and replacing them with pure oxygen.
According to Kamal Meattle, suffering from contamination in his household air, he discovered, through years of NASA studies as well as his own 15 years of testing, that three common houseplants, Areca Palm, Mother-Law’s Tongue, and Money Plant, used strategically throughout a home, can vastly improve indoor air quality.
Also discussed were five “super ornamentals” that also demonstrated high effectiveness of contaminant removal. They included the purple waffle plant (Hemigraphis alternataa), English Ivy (my favorite!) (Hedra Helix), variegated wax plant (Hoya cornosa), Asparagus fern (Asparagus densiflorus) and the Purple heart plant (Tradescantia pallida).
We are all being educated daily about the hazards of indoor air pollution. Unfortunately, formaldehyde is found in many particle boards or pressed wood products, particularly in the manufacturing of office furniture. With most of us having a home office, these products find a way into our homes. The adhesive binders in floor coverings and carpet backings add to our indoor pollution as well. Until our homes are literally built “green”, perhaps adding a few plants is a good option.
Keeping these plants free of dust and their foliage clean as well as keeping the soil clean and free of debris is also part of the plan of clean air. I also personally recommend using only safe non-toxic household cleaners as well so we are not adding to our polluted indoor air. I love my “anti-dust” product to not only clean my furniture but my plants as well.
Just one more way to create a healthier planet and healthier you! With all of us spending more time indoors in our home offices, it certainly can help to know we can improve our air quality as well with lovely plants. How about your home? Do you have any of these plants to help you breathe a little easier?