We had a loft conversion and kitchen extension done during the last 12 months, new carpet fitted, rooms painted…..Due to 5 years of studies back in the uni on biology, I am fully aware of all the toxic agents that could be released into the air through the new carpet, new paint and the building materials. Sadly, indoor air quality in a lot of households is up to 5 times worse than the outdoor air quality. I have aired the rooms out on a daily basis, and I think they could do with a few indoor plants which remove some of the air toxins when doors and windows are shut at night.
Because I have a cat at home and also I tend to leave my plants to their own devices a lot of the time, I am looking for plants that can fit into the three criterias below:
1. easy to look after and pleasing to the eye
2. non poisonous to cats
3. remove as many kinds of toxic agents in the air as possible, such as benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene
I started my research by checking out NASA clean air study on Wikipedia, NASA carried out tests on a lot of indoor plants to study their effect on cleaning the air in the space stations.
Bamboo palm lived up to all my expectations, but I struggled to find a potted plant on the internet. Only seeds were available and I really didn’t have the time or patience to start the seeding process. Unfortunately, most of the plants on the NASA study list are poisonous to pets. In the end, I opted for Boston fern and spider plant, which ticked a lot of the boxes and were readily available in many garden centres at the price of appr £6 a pot. Neither plants needed direct sunlight, so they were perfect for my daughter’s north facing bedroom.
If you don’t have cats or dogs at home, snake plant ( also known as mother-in-law’s tongue, haha, what a great name) , chrysanthemum and red-edged dracaena will be great choices. If you check out the data from NASA, you can see that they do a better job at removing toxins than spider plant or Boston fern. Snake plants grows very fast and can almost tolerate complete neglect. I went to Homebase this afternoon and saw rows of rows of this plant, price at £10 a pot. They could be divided from the root and separated into different pots, too.
My spider plants and boston ferns looked absolutely stunning in my house, perfectly matched my light mango wood furniture and oak floor. They are good for my soul 🙂 Just the sight of them is therapeutic and brings me joy.
If you have done one of the following recently, please consider purchasing some indoor plants to help with the indoor air pollution problem.
1 .had some building works done recently
2. fitted a new bathroom, kitchen, carpet, laminated floor, vinyl floor
3. bought MDF furniture, memory foam mattresses, which would both release toxic agents into the air
4. painted the house
5. use artificial airsprays, refreshers a lot
Babies and children are especially vulnerable to the nasty chemicals released into the air. I have heard of cases of children developing leukemia after living in a newly furbished house for 6 months.
One plant for each room is a good start! Obviously, don’t feel limited to the list of plants on NASA air study. At the end of day, most of the indoor plants contribute towards better air quality in the house anyway. I fell in love with the extremely elegant Kentia palm and put two in my bedroom.
A word of caution, though, buying indoor plants is highly addictive. Four weeks after my initial purchase, I found my house filled with plants in every corner and on every window sill. I just simply couldn’t resist the urge to buy more!
Let’s go for a greener living, use less man-made stuff. Instead of buying laminate floor, vinyl floor, MDF or chipboard furniture and artificial airsprays etc, let’s go for the stuff that are made by mother nature, go for wooden furniture and wooden floor, buy eco friendly building materials, buy soy wax candles, let’s fill our home with these lovely plants that are good for our lungs and also our soul. And mostly importantly, remember to air the rooms out on a daily basis!
Happy planting! Love Scape xxx