Why House Plants Are Good for the Inside Home Environment
It is known to many that the Environmental Protection Agency has determined that potentially hundreds of organic, damaging chemicals are at any given time taking up residence inside of homes and buildings. They make their way to us in the air we breathe, and take up space in our residence as they off-gas from walls, ceilings, clothing, carpet and even the furniture. Another cause for tremendous worry? Maybe not. Offsetting the damaging effects of these gases can be as simple as bringing a bit of live greenery into the home.
Having plants inside the home can benefit the inhabitants for a variety of reasons. But perhaps most importantly, house plants can assist in the removal of chemical vapors around the home, making live plants a major asset. Among the best house plants, determined not only for their positive aspects but also their low-maintenance schedules and easy growth rates as well as their resistance to insects and humidification rates, you’ll find a few that might already be familiar to you, and some others that are a bit more unusual.
Best Green Plants for the Home
Areca palm (Chrysalidocarpus lutescens)
Arrowhead vine (Syngonium podophyllum)
Bamboo palm (Chamaedorea seifritzii)
Dwarf Date palm (Phoenix roebelenii)
English ivy (Hedera helix)
Ficus alii (Ficus macleilandii)
Golden pothos (Epipremnun aureum)
Lady Palm (Rhapis excelsa)
Peace lily (Spathiphyllum sp.)
Rubber plant (Ficus robusta)
What Threatens Indoor Air Quality and How Plants Help
In recent years since the dawn of the energy crisis more than a decade ago, homeowners began to seal the home as much as possible to create a higher degree of energy efficiency — sealing up places like windows and doors in an effort to eliminate drafts in cold weather (thereby reducing dependence on heaters), and keep cool air in when the weather gets hot outside (thereby reducing the use of air conditioning and cooling systems). These solutions were helpful in some ways, but have led to new problems at the same time.
Much of the furniture and many home products (plastics, carpets, etc.) are made of synthetics, and many homes and offices are carpeted wall to wall. These synthetics give off gases, toxins, pollutants and particles. So how can simple house plants help with all that?
Plants Are Nature’s Air Filters
In nature’s business of marching life and progress onward, part of the duty of plants is to function as air filters — just ones that are actually alive. Bringing plants, or organic air filters, into the home also means bringing this functionality into the home with them. House plants absorb the pollutants given off by synthetic household materials, plastics, carpets and more, breaking them down within the internal structures of the plant. Because of this, they save us from dealing with the full onslaught of chemicals in the atmosphere of the home.
The Easiest and Most Beneficial House Plants
If you don’t have a green thumb, you may be nervous at this point — don’t worry. From the above list, consider the following to be extremely user-friendly. Water them occasionally, being careful not to over water — and get them some light at times if they are kept in rooms without consistent natural sunlight. The Golden pothos, Ficus alii and Lady palm are all terribly easy to keep alive without much concern. Additionally, the Peace lily and Areca palm are good specimens for house plants that are especially easy to maintain.
These plants are extremely successful at removing indoor air pollutants like formaldehyde. Further, they help to add moisture to the inside of the home, which is a good thing, as the air in many areas gets cold in winter, and cold air is dry air. So just how much is enough? For a ten by ten room (standard sized bedroom), consider bringing in a couple or three house plants to offset the negative indoor chemicals while simultaneously raising the air quality standard.
Copyright 2008 Easy Ways to Go Green