Updated on October 25, 2012
Improve Your Indoor Air Quality
I assume it’s common knowledge that plants and trees remove impurities from the air and release oxygen, automatically improving our air quality.
I did find this interesting though:
“The NASA studies generated the recommendation that you use 15 to 18 good-sized houseplants in 6 to 8-inch diameter containers to improve air quality in an average 1,800 square foot house. The more vigorously they grow, the better job they’ll do for you.”
That is really a small amount of plants for such a large area. My apartment is maybe 600 sq. ft. and I have 8 plants, all about that size or bigger.
Here is some more information explaining how the plants do this. Wolverton is the NASA scientist who explained this concept many years ago.
“The amount of leaf surface area influences the rate of air purification by plants. Generally, the larger the plant leaf surface area, the higher the transpiration rate and the greater the surface area to absorb airborne chemicals.”
So the point is, plants and trees are beneficial to us humans. They help us breathe clean air, which positively impacts our health. Plus, they are cheap to purchase, easy to care for, and in my opinion really good for mental health as well.
Corporate environments can benefit also. Plants can make employees feel like they are in a less sterile place, in addition to enjoying improved indoor air quality. These positive feelings can lead to greater employee satisfaction at work, increased productivity, beneficial interactions with clients/customers/colleagues/ etc. and so on and so forth.
And perhaps the biggest impact plants have on air quality, is the fact that they can remove CO2 from the air. So before you buy the beef that was raised on deforested land, or print that 20 page report that you can simply read online, think about how we are exacerbating our own issues (excess CO2) by our sometimes unnecessary demands.
A good argument for building more “green roofs” is this fact. Imagine if all or most of the buildings in NYC (or any other big city) had trees and plants and veggies on their roofs. Our air quality would be better! Lower rates of asthma, clearer skies, and better health for all. Plus, green roofs are awesome to hang out on and have a party/BBQ/drink/get fresh food that is as locally grown as you can get.
Buy plants! Plants need a home too! Just make sure you double check about the toxicity of your plants in regards to your pets! Also, to maximize the vapor transpiration of the plants’ leaves, occasionally give them a nice shower, or clean off their leaves from any dust or dirt with a soft towel.
**The picture to the right is one of my plants taking over the TV. Luckily, I don’t have a subscription to a TV service ;)