Plants are the perfect roommates. They are quiet, pretty to look at, absorb sound and provide us with fresh, clean air. You probably learned in school that plants turn carbon dioxide into oxygen but did you know that they are also capable of filtering harmful pollutants out of the air? In fact, a NASA study proved that pot mums can filter up to 41% of the cancer causing gas Trichloroethylene from the air. The pot mum is not alone, other houseplants also proved to be excellent natural air purifiers!
What are VOCs?
Volatile organic compounds are harmful gases that are emitted into the air by toxins and chemicals. While most VOCs are naturally produced in small amounts by humans and animals, overexposure can be detrimental to your health. The following VOCs are among the most common ones that we are exposed to in our daily lives:
- Trichloroethylene (TCE) can be found in: cleaners, paint removers and adhesives
- Formaldehyde can be found in: manufactured wood, cosmetics, cigarette smoke and permanent press fabric (drapes and curtains)
- Ammonia can be found in: fertilizers, window and industrial cleaners
- Xylene can be found in: cigarette smoke, automobile exhaust, paint and varnish
- Benzene can be found in: gasoline, glues, detergents and furniture wax
The good news is that it’s fairly easy to reduce the amount of VOCs in your home. Opening your windows once or twice a day, switching to VOC free cleaners (or cleaners with the label “low VOC”) and vacuuming as well as dusting on a regular basis can already make a big difference. The easiest and probably most rewarding way to improve the air quality in your home is to add indoor plants!
How To Give Your Home A Makeover With Plants
Spending more time inside is the perfect opportunity to bring life into our homes. By adding indoor plants, whether they’re big or small, you can spruce up any living area and turn it into a happier space. In fact, being a compassionate plant parent can reduce your stress level so the next time you prune or water your green friends, give them a little pep talk! It may seem silly but you’ll both benefit from it — plus, who’s going to judge you? Snake plants or weeping figs are the perfect indoor plants to add to a living room and spruce up an empty corner but you can also place a couple of spider plants on a book shelf to liven up the design.
A study revealed that employers don’t just prefer buildings with larger windows but also felt better in an office environment with indoor plants. While you’re working from home, make sure to apply this to your home office space. If available to you, choose a room with plenty of natural lighting and place your desk near a window. Incorporate at least two indoor plants to boost your productivity and reap the full benefits of your plants ability to provide you with fresh, clean air. Place a large areca palm near your desk to feel more connected to nature or get a ZZ plant that fits near your workstation to add a touch of green.
And finally, did you know that decorating your bedroom with indoor plants won’t just allow you to rest in a space with fresh air but since being surrounded by greenery eases your anxiety, they will also improve your night’s rest. You can decorate your bedroom with air plants hanging from the ceiling in cute macrame hangers or add a few succulents to the window sill. These plants are easy to maintain and will give you all the tranquility you seek when turning in at night.
If you want to improve the air quality in your home by adding (more) air purifying plants, check out this cute flowchart FTD created. It helps you decide which houseplant fits your lifestyle and level of green thumb best so your plant parent journey is a success from the very start.