Use Plants to Clean Up Your House

bamboo palmEverybody
knows that being continuously exposed to air pollution can lead to
serious health issues, but we assume that the pollution stops at our
door. Indoor air pollution is, however, a major concern according to WHO
and can lead to severe respiratory diseases, trigger allergies and even
cause cancer. Most people think of installing air-purifiers as a
solution but why not go the natural way and use plants to clean up your

Pollutants and Plants

Windows are generally kept shut because of air conditioners and heaters,
thus restricting ventilation and making the process of cleaning up air
pollution that much tougher. This is where plants come in as natural
air-purifiers. Cigarettes are the most obvious source of pollution.
Limit yourself to smoking in only one room in the house, say a study,
and place a couple of potted plants in that room. This cuts back
pollution and protects the other family members. Non-smoking households
too, are exposed to toxic fumes from fireplaces as well as chemical
toxins from insecticides and paints. Spores and carpet mold trigger
allergies in those who are vulnerable to it. Introducing shrubs and
foliage in the living room will not only help in cleaning up air
pollution, but will also look decorative. Emissions from stoves and
grills contain toxic fumes and carcinogenic carbon particulates. Putting
indoor greenery in the kitchen to absorb these pollutants can be the
best thing you can do for your family.

Which Varieties Clean Up Your House Most Effectively?

NASA’s Clean Air Study, aimed at finding the best air-filtering foliage
for space stations, is useful for households too. NASA recommends the
Areca Palm as the most efficient for cleaning up air pollution since it
absorbs chemical toxins and keeps the air from getting too dry. The
hardy Lady palm, the Bamboo Palm and the Rubber Plant are great for
combating air toxicity too. The English Ivy sucks up gases like Benzene
and Formaldehyde and is a great anti-allergen as it gets rid of almost
60% of the mold in air. The Boston Fern is considered one of the best
plants to filter air pollution and looks very ornamental as well. The
beautiful Peace Lily, the functional Aloe Vera and the easy-to-maintain
Spider Plant are other recommended flora. About 15-18 average sized
shrubs kept in a house of 1800 square-feet will give optimum results.
One should however be careful if they have pets and small children as
the leaves of some shrubs can be poisonous when ingested. Plants thus,
are cheaper than expensive air-purifiers and do not create pollution
themselves. So by introducing them in your household, you can clean up
your house and do your bit to help combat air pollution.