Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Grow Fresh Air

One more reason to toss that fake ficus:

I remember reading an article forever ago about houseplants that reduce indoor air pollution. There is a book that was referenced in the article, listing the top air cleaning houseplants. NASA even did a bunch of research on this subject!

Who knew pothos were actually useful (and not just indestructible)?

Here's some more info from National Geographic's The Green Guide:

Formaldehyde: The Boston fern (Nephrolepi exalta "Bostoniensis"), Florist's mums (Chrysanthemum morifolium), the Gerbera daisy (Gerbera jamesonii) and the Dwarf date palm (Phoenix roebelenii) are all highly effective at reducing indoor levels of formaldehyde, a contaminant present in many household items (including particleboard, carpet backings, some grocery bags, facial tissues, paper towels and permanent-press clothing) and released by gas stoves.

Toluene/Xylene: Add an Areca palm (Chrysalidocarpus lutescens), the Moth orchid (Phalenopsis) and the Dwarf date palm to your indoor greenery, all of which are effective at removing xylene and toluene, harmful volatile organic chemicals which can be emitted from gasoline, adhesives, ceiling tiles, computer screens, paints, inks used in photocopiers, stains and varnishes, and upholstery among other common household products and materials.

It's not just our material things, but our breath contains bioeffluents--such as ethyl alcohol, acetone, methyl alcohol and ethyl acetate--that also contribute to poor indoor air quality, particularly in a crowded classroom. The beautiful peace lily is remarkably effective at addressing these problems.

Other hardworking and beautiful indoor plants include bamboo palm (Chamaedorea), Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema), English Ivy (Hedera helix), the indoor dracaenas (Dracaena "Janet Craig," D. marginata, D. massangeana and D. warnekii), and the snake plant or mother-in-law's tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata laurentii).

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