By Milvian Prieto
Are you ever feeling a bit stuffy at home or at the office? Does this stuffiness cause you to have adverse reactions such as sneezing, dizziness or fatigue? Well if you’re feeling this way, it may be due to poor air quality. The cause for this poor indoor air quality may be inadequate air circulation, causing toxins or chemicals to be trapped indoors. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, some sources of indoor air pollution include:
- Household Products used for cleaning
- Dirty Central heating and cooling systems
- Excess moisture
- Certain materials used in furniture
- Fuel-burning appliances
Although we may use the above products and appliances on a daily basis, there are some simple steps we can take to reduce pollutants from entering our home eco-system. To start, switch to “green” cleaning products that do not have strong smelling, irritating ingredients like ammonia and artificial perfumes. Limit the use of products off-gas and leave behind odors and pollutants that linger in the air. Above all, introduce beautiful plants that will naturally purify the air. House plants have the ability to brighten up your indoor space while helping to clean and filter the air around you. Here are a few of the best air-cleaning plants to bring into your home or office:
Boston Fern — Said to act like a natural humidifier, this plant removes pollutants such as xylene and formaldehyde, a colorless yet strong smelling chemical compound that is commonly used in building materials. The Boston fern is one of the top air purifiers among plants so it is important to provide it with the best care. Not sure how to tell if the boston fern needs more water? If the leaves start to turn yellow, then the plant is not receiving enough water. This plant prefers to be in indirect sunlight and must stay hydrated.
Peace Lily — This perennial plant is easy to grow, can live for years and will flower for much of the summer. The peace lily has the ability to remove benzene, a common carcinogen and household chemical. This plant is best kept in a shady area and is ideally placed in bathrooms, laundry rooms or kitchens due to its ability to remove mold spores in the air. The peace lily also removes airborne chemicals found in household cleaning products such as trichloroethylene, removing acetone and alcohols.
Bamboo Palm — Similar to the Boston fern and peace lily, the bamboo palm is proven to filter formaldehyde and remove pollutants such as benzene and trichloroethylene from the air. This plant thrives when it is away from direct sunlight and when its soil is moist but not entirely drenched in water. In addition to filtering your home’s air, the bamboo palm serves as a spider mite repellent. This plant is pet-friendly and can grow up to 12-feet high, making it as stunning to look at as it is beneficial to air quality.
Aloe Vera — Aloe vera is one of the easiest plants to care for. Place the plant on a window that is exposed to a lot of sunlight and keep it well hydrated. Not only does aloe vera filter formaldehyde from the air, this plant’s leaves are great for your skin and digestive system. Containing a liquid gel filled with vitamins and amino acids, aloe vera serves as an alternative medicine for skin conditions such as eczema, dry skin, psoriasis, inflammations and sunburn.
If you’re looking to add some functional decor in your home or office, look no further. The plants mentioned above can be found in your local nursery or garden center.
Milvian Prieto is a contributing writer for YourSitch.com