“Plants give us oxygen for the lungs and soul”- Linda Solegato
I can’t think of a more important time in our history to focus on reducing stress and to clean toxins out of the air in our homes. While it is true it will not solve the pandemic or stop the virus, cleaning the air will create a healthier home overall. Plants have the ability to add oxygen to revitalize air quality. It’s also a good idea every so often to open a few windows to let in some fresh air in.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other agencies recognize indoor air pollution as a huge problem. Sometimes construction materials like particle board, foam insulation and plastics contain harmful chemicals. However, more concerning are the paints, varnishes, household cleaners and adhesives that are found in our homes. They contain a mixture of harmful chemicals, and these chemicals can cause or even exacerbate a number of health issues. Air filters do help in particulate matter, like dust and pollen but they don’t catch harmful compounds. The good news is we can adapt our environment simply by adding some greenery to our homes.
A German study on air purification found Sansevieria (Snake plant) “clears the air of household cleaner smells …can detoxify a 100- cubic-foot room laden with formaldehyde in six hours. In the bathroom, it will thrive on low light and humidity while filtering the air.”
In addition to Sansevieria there are many other houseplants that are easy to grow. There are plants for a warm and sunny areas, low light situations as well as ones that require very little watering. Dracaena, Philodendron, Schefflera, and Peace lily are good selections of low maintenance plants. A well-lit location for succulents and Aloe Vera will also improve your air conditions. The greenery soaks up the chemicals so the next time you’re thinking about healthy living think plants, plants and more plants!
It is not recommended to give your pet any house plants, so try to keep them out of reach. There are many creative options you can try, like using netting on shelving or floating wall shelves. Likewise, a few hanging plants will add a little flair to your living room. A few pet friendly non-toxic plants are American Violet, Spider Hanging Plant, Christmas Cactus, Boston Fern, Tradescantia Zebrina and Bamboo but there are many more. Additionally, if you grow the plants organically, you’ll be keeping away from the pesticides which could lead to harmful toxins to the air or harm your furry friends.
Written by Karen Smith, Lane Forest Products Plant Specialist