Plants that Rock the Toxins…

Before making an investment in expensive air purifying systems, it’s a good idea to look at the most natural ways to clean the air around us.  Over the past 20 years, NASA has conducted extensive research on how plants affect air quality.  Their studies have concluded that many common houseplants act as natural air purifiers.  It turns out that gathering intelligence on orbiting in outer space has brought great value to us earthlings stuck in toxin-laden environments.

Here are the top picks to pot around the house and the toxins they absorb for us.  Depending on the size of your home, you’re likely to benefit the most from having around 20 of these throughout different rooms.

Bamboo Palm

  • Benzene, Trichloroethylene and Formaldehyde

Chinese Evergreen

  • Formaldehyde

Elephant Ear Philodendron (and other Philodendrons)

  • Formaldehyde

English Ivy

  • Benzene and Formaldehyde

Ficus

  • Formaldehyde

Gerbera Daisy

  • All Indoor Toxins

Golden Pothos

  • Carbon Monoxide, Benzene and Formaldehyde

Janet Craig

  • Benzene and cigarette smoke

Peace Lily

  • Acetone, Trichloroehtylene, Benzene and Formaldehyde

Pot Mum

  • Formaldehyde, Benzene and Ammonia

Spider Plant

  • Carbon Monoxide

Now that you know which plants to get to cut down on toxins in the home, it might be worthwhile to consider the potting of the plants.  Not to get too nutty here, but the choice in potting can make an even greater impact on your household’s well being and generally reduce environmental hazards.  As NOW columnist Adria Vasil puts it in her awesome book entitled Ecoholic, “think outside the pot”.  Try to get away from plastic pots and look for funky retro solutions – wooden boxes, recycled cardboard, bamboo, ceramic or wicker.

Oh yeah, don’t forget to water them 😉

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