Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A little greenery goes a long way

Is your house or office making you sick? Over the past 3 decades, outdoor air quality has improved. However, as it’s becoming safer to breathe outside air, it’s becoming more hazardous to breathe indoors.

In our homes and workplaces we are assaulted with indoor air pollutants including:

Cleaning solvents
Paint strippers
Tobacco smoke
Air fresheners
Oil, gas, kerosene, coal, and or wood
Chemicals in building materials and furniture
and more…

The bottom line is you cannot escape exposure to some type of indoor air pollution. However, there is one way, a green way, to help counteract the effects of poor air quality in our homes and businesses. Not only is this an easy solution, it’s also environmentally-friendly and attractive at that!

The solution? Plants. Lots of green plants.

Houseplants act as neutralizers of harmful ozone. By filling a room with certain types of live plants, you can have 60% less airborne molds and bacteria than if you opted to skip the plants.

Houseplants not only help to rid the air of pollutants and toxins, but they also contribute to the humidity level indoors. One word of advice here – keep your plants away from drafts as they are less effective if they are located in a drafty location.

The general rule of thumb for effective ‘pollution-control’ is one houseplant per every 10 square yards. This means you’ll want to have 2-3 plants in an average-sized living room. Calculate how many you’ll need for your office, bedroom, kitchen, etc.

Popular houseplants to buy for the purpose of ridding your indoor space of pollutants include: spider plants, rubber plants, weeping figs, English ivy, Boston ferns, and peace lilies. If you have pets in your home, however, avoid ivy, Indian rubber plants, and weeping figs, as these plants are toxic to animals.

Beautify the look of your home or office while providing green sources of cleaner air. Loading up with houseplants is a win-win situation. Of course, you’ll also want to limit the introduction of pollutants by making healthier choices when it comes to cleaning products, carpeting and furnishings. If it’s advertised as good for the environment, chances are it’s good for you and your family as well.

Keeping it green and healthy,


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