Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Clean Your Air With House Plants

With the cooler weather upon us, most of us will be putting on our storm windows and battening down the hatches at home.  While that may bring nostalgic ideas of chestnuts roasting on an open fire and spending more time indoors,  it also brings up a far more unpleasant topic: Indoor Air Pollution.  Yuck!
On average, we spend 80-90% of our time inside buildings.  And the air we breathe inside is often more polluted than the air outside!  According to the American Lung Association, the air in our homes can contain molds, dust mites, pet dander, VOCs (volatile organic compounds) from carpets and glues used in furniture and paints, viruses and bacteria.  

What to do about it, you ask?  Plug in an air freshener?  NO!  Most commercial air fresheners and wax-based candles only cover up the smell-- and they actually ADD to the VOCs and bad nasties that you're breathing in.  Don't cover it up, clean it up-- with house plants.

Luckily for us, the smarties at NASA were way ahead of the game on this and they have provided a listing of the best plants to clean your air.  These plants eat up all of the CO2 and other ugly things like benzene, formaldehyde and/or trichloroethylene.  Plus, they give off fresh oxygen into the air.  Here is the list that NASA came up with:

 (These links will take you to the Wikipedia page where you can learn more about them and get pictures).
There is also a very good book about house plants called "How to Grow Fresh Air: 50 House Plants that Purify Your Home or Office," by B.C. Wolverton.  You can check it out on here:

So ditch those air fresheners, get yourself some house plants and breathe better air this season!

Disclaimer:  Some plants are poisonous to pets and kids, so do your homework before bringing them home-- the plants, that is. 


  1. Nice post - pictures of house plants ..Keep Posting

    pictures of house plants

  2. Haha, I gotta find some of these plants to put inside our toilet!

  3. Plants versus air pollution! Systematically it does! Plants play an important role for us. It gives provides us with oxygen which they convert from carbon dioxide. However, in some scenarios, plants alone are not enough to purify the air, requiring us to hire the services of an expert.