Eighty percent of us live in cities, and we spend about 90% of our time indoors. Most of us think that staying indoors is healthier than breathing smog or high allergen level outdoor air. Not so fast- a number of studies have shown that indoor air usually contains higher levels of contaminants than outdoor air - often several times higher levels of pollution! Over 350 VOCs have been identified in indoor air, and are now recognized as the cause of ‘sick-building syndrome’.
Symptoms related to indoor air pollution include headaches, sore eyes or throat, loss of concentration, nausea & breathing problems. Of course, not all indoor environments are hazardous, but, the latest research shows out that potted-plants can improve indoor air quality substantially whenever it is needed – a very clever trick!
The good news is that you don't have to spend a fortune installing expensive air filters or ventilation systems. Adding just a few potted plants to your home's interior will not only add to the beauty, it will also help to clean the air you breathe - naturally and effortlessly.
These 7 commonly used house plant varieties, from five species have been studied and shown to be very effective at improving air quality:
However, it seems likely that any and all indoor plants will help to remove toxins from the air. They use their biological metabolic process to take in the air and light from the environment, and change it into energy and release clean oxygen as a by-product. The micro-organisms in the soil also act as rapid response agents, going to work immediately to remove VOC’s from the environment. The microcosm created by potted plants is an effective, self-regulating indoor-air-cleansing system.
The interesting thing is that using indoor plants works equally well in air-conditioned and non-air-conditioned spaces, and both day and night. You don’t need to create a jungle in your home, either. Just one 6” plant will effectively improve the air quality of an average sized room. They are self-regulating ‘bio-filters’ and kick into operation whenever VOC’s rise above negligible levels.
People who participated in the study reported feeling better, and noticing a difference in the freshness of the room when returning on Monday morning after a weekend out. They also felt plants improved the ambience of the room, and lifted their mood.
Planted arrangements can be designed to beautifully fit any space. A variety of sizes, colors, and species create a feeling of natural beauty that brings the outdoors in. Potted plants are portable and flexible – they can be moved as desired or needed to provide inexpensive air filtering throughout your home. Arrangements that are designed to be low-maintenance as well as beautiful will improve the appeal and overall sense of well-being in every room.
Working with a creative and qualified interior plant designer assures that appropriate selections are made to minimize the work and maximize the enjoyment of your greenery.