For Fresh Air, Invite Some Plants Inside

March 28, 2016 01:00 PM

It’s Spring! We open our windows to get some fresh air and then close them again as summer’s heat begins to simmer. In New Jersey, our air conditioners run day and night. Under these conditions, indoor air pollution can build up and join with chemicals from carpets, engineered woods, and many plastics to make our household air as dirty as that on a crowded city street. However, cleaner air inside our homes could be as close as the nearest garden center.

Consider growing a few houseplants to lessen the unpleasant effects of indoor air pollution. Lucky for us, green plants take in carbon dioxide to use in their metabolism and then exhale oxygen. Research shows that plants can filter contaminants such as those from plastics, detergents, foam, and formaldehyde. Even NASA has been getting on the green team by growing plants on the International Space Station. They learned that some of the easiest and most tolerant plants are the most effective in cleaning the air. At the garden store, look for lady palms, philodendron, Boston fern, and spider plants. Put a different one in each room. Many are very forgiving and don’t mind if you forget to water every now and then. Cleaner air and a lovelier home will soon be yours.


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