Did you know that most people spend about 90% of their time indoors? Between time spent at home, in the office, in school or in stores, we’re not getting a whole lot of fresh air these days – especially in the winter when it’s too cold to crack open the windows for a little ventilation. I know what you’re thinking, “So what, Shelly?” Right? Well, it wouldn’t be a problem except for the fact that most homes are two to five times (some even up to 100 times) more polluted than the worst outdoor air – I’m talking big city pollution right in your living room! And just as with outdoor air pollution, exposure to indoor air pollution can have really negative effects on your health. Asthma, allergies, lung cancer and even heart disease have all been linked to poor air quality!
What’s causing all this pollution in your home?
- Combustion sources: gas, oil, kerosene and wood stoves or fireplaces as well as tobacco smoke
- Building materials: insulation, carpet, cabinetry and pressed wood products
- Chemical products: cleaning products, personal care products, glues
- Outdoor sources: radon, pesticides, pollen, outdoor air pollution
- Other: pet dander, dust mites, mold, viruses
That’s right. All that can be found floating around your home at any given time! You can improve your air quality by staying on top of changing out the filters in your HVAC system or even installing UV lighting in your HVAC and keeping things nice and clean. But another great way to improve your indoor air quality and add a touch of nature to any room is to decorate with plants!
There are several plants that are natural air purifiers that would also look lovely in any room. Let’s take a look at a few of them.
This perennial vine is an easy one to grow and it’s great at purifying air by combating mold in your home and removing airborne toxins. It’s a great plant for your bathroom – you can hang it on the wall and let it grow naturally or put it in a pot and let it climb a small lattice. Here’s a stylish potted English Ivy that would look perfect on a bathroom shelf!
Care Tips: English Ivy needs about 4 hours of direct sunlight per day and generous watering.
This plant is also sometimes called “Mother-in-Law’s Tongue” but that might not go over so well in your house, so let’s just stick to calling it a Snake Plant! 😉 This yellow-tipped succulent is one of the best plants for filtering the air of formaldehyde, xylene, benzene, toluene, and trichloroethylene. It also releases oxygen at night making it a great plant for your bedroom to help you breathe better and get a great night’s sleep. I love this gold pot and snake plant combo for a bedroom nightstand!
Care Tips: This is one of those plants that doesn’t need much to be happy! Be careful not to overwater as the roots can start to rot in moist soil.
First snakes, now spiders? Ick. But this plant is anything but icky – it’s super resilient and is one of very few plants that is non-toxic to animals. So it’s perfect for all you animal lovers! And while you’re enjoying its effortless beauty, it will quietly clear traces of carbon monoxide and xylene from your home! Look at this sweet little curly spider plant – it would look cute on a bookshelf in your study or living room!
Care Tips: Spider plants don’t need much of your attention, making them great for those without the green thumb! Spider plants like to dry out between waterings, so don’t water too frequently. They thrive in bright, indirect light but will also survive in low light.
BROAD LADY PALM
If you’re looking for something a little bigger like a floor plant, the Broad Lady Palm is a great choice. It’s beautiful and is one of few plants that is effective in filtering ammonia – often found in cleaning products – out of your air. Just keep in mind that a fully grown Broad Lady Palm is pretty expensive – see if you can find a little one or grow from seeds.Because of its ability to filter ammonia, it’s a great choice for your bathroom. I love the look of this woven planter for bathroom decor!
Care Tips: This plant loves humidity – another reason it’s perfect for your bathroom. The moisture from your shower will provide the perfect environment to keep this plant happy.
This is another plant that is low maintenance but is a powerful air purifier proven to be effective in cleansing the air of formaldehyde and benzene – found in detergents and cosmetics. I especially love the look of it in this basket planter, which would look great in just about any room!
Care Tips: Chinese Evergreens love humidity and low-light, making them a great addition to your bathroom. But, because they are so low-maintenance, they could thrive in any room.
These are only a few options for plants that can purify your air and remove harmful toxins, viruses, molds and pollen from your home. So, I say, why not decorate in a way that’s also good for your health, too?