Plants are the lungs of our earth – they produce Oxygen and remove Carbon Dioxide – the opposite process to human and animal lungs. They also control the moisture levels and are capable of filtering various toxins from the air. Growing plants can clean the environment, add beauty to a space, and relieve stress by having a calming effect on people.
As we have become more energy conscious and started hermetically sealing our living spaces, our indoor environments may be as much as 10 times more polluted than the outdoors. And most people today spend as much as 90% of their time indoors. This has led to a phenomenon known as “sick building syndrome” (SBS) and other illnesses that can be directly attributed to the built environment – “building-related illness” (BRI).
Proper management of the indoor air quality (IAQ) in the built environment can reduce instances of SBS and BRI. And natural plants can act as a part of this management strategy.
Numerous research, including research from NASA has shown that houseplants can remove formaldehyde, toluene, xylene, ammonia, and other toxic chemicals from the surrounding air. The key factors one must look at when choosing their indoor plants should be:
- Indigenous – should be local and easily available. Local plants thrive better in climatic conditions where they are supposed to grow versus exotic imported species.
- Cost – indigenous varieties are typically lower cost as compared to the imported varieties.
- Ease of maintenance – the easier it is to maintain the plants, the better they will thrive and work for our health.
- Need for direct sunlight – if a plant needs more sunlight, and needs to be taken out frequently, it will become difficult over a period of time to maintain.