The crisp mountain air’s rejuvenating properties aren’t all in your head. Greenery clears toxic particles from the air, including carbon dioxide, and other Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). Through a process called phytoremediation, plants and trees help make the air you breathe cleaner and help your body run better.
“Toxins” is a broad term. Many are just pet dander, the air we breathe out, small amounts of exhaust an appliance kicks out, etcetera. Luckily, there are ways we can minimize the number of pollutants in our home with a little decorative flair.
In the 1980s, NASA’s John C. Stennis Space Center in Hancock, Mississippi found houseplants contributed to airborne toxin removal in the home, by substantial measures.
Decades later, technological advancements allow consumers to purchase other air-cleaning products, too. While these have received acclaim for their efficiency and sustainability, the naturalist in us may prefer the less expensive and longer-standing alternative: the houseplant.
Snake plants are a staple of the houseplant repertoire, particularly for those looking to purify the air. Long called the “Mother-In-Law’s Tongue” for its sharply pointed, oblong leaves, the snake plant is outstanding at filtering out toxins.
Snake plants also are one of the few plants that can convert CO2 into oxygen at night, making them ideal for the bedroom or sleeping quarters.
This EnergyStar Certified Air Purifier
Air purifiers are on the rise this year, but they do more than just filter out viruses. They are fantastic for removing pollen from your indoor air (hello, springtime!) as well as pet dander and all the dust that comes along with spring cleaning.
This air purifier has a washable pre-filter and is EnergyStar certified, so you can keep your air and the environment a bit cleaner.
Aloe plants are filled with benefits, literally. On top of aloe vera juice’s exceptional healing properties, the plant itself is easily attainable, low maintenance, and outstanding at air purification. Aloe plants filter out formaldehyde, a common ingredient in household cleaners, to leave your air just as clean as those newly-wiped countertops.
Air plants have been studied extensively for their impact on air filtration. New studies have shown the easy-going houseplant filters out more particulate matter from the air than almost any other houseplant.
On top of their ability to up your air game, they are excellent for decorating. They require no soil and are small, making them ideal for smaller spaces where the air needs to be cleansed.
Tea Tree Oil Spray
This essential oil has been proven to be antibacterial when used topically, and anecdotal evidence suggests its aerosol properties have similar benefits. Long story short: it smells nice and kills germs. Tea tree oil is relatively inexpensive and can be purchased online or at major grocery stores. Put about a 1:10 ratio of oil to water in a spray bottle and spritz your home for an instant pick-me-up.
Much like the aloe vera, rubber plants have been shown to remove formaldehyde from the air–a chemical compound found in homes mainly from cleaning products. Unlike the aloe plant though, the rubber plant is much more of a statement piece, making it ideal for the design-conscious dweller.
This leafy majesty has long been touted as one of the best and least expensive plants to help clean the air. With talents including filtering out VOCs like xylene and toluene, you can’t help but love these gentle giants.
Bamboo palms are large, so they are best suited for more open spaces where they can occupy an unobstructed corner or stand boldly alongside a mantel or table.
Keeping your home clean is important, but keeping the air inside the home clean is just as important.