These 5 indoor plants will improve the air quality in your home by absorbing dangerous chemicals from the air.
Chemicals like benzene and formaldehyde are lurking in the air of your home. Yikes! Where do they come from? Pest control products, cleaning products, naturally occurring mold and fungus and home furnishings. Wait, home furnishings? Yep. In North America, furniture and carpets are built from materials that are laden with chemicals that can be harmful to your health. Seriously, what kind of chemicals? Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). VOCs are a nasty group of chemicals used when building coffee tables, kitchen cabinets and that cute area rug you got from Target. There are over 400 harmful compounds in the VOC family which are prevalent in North American homes (over 200 of which are found in carpeting alone!). According to the EPA, VOCs tend to be two to five times higher in indoor air than outdoor air because of their prevalence in so so so many household products.
So why are all these VOC’s allowed to be in our products? Unfortunately, lack of regulation in North America and large corporation profits often override health concerns associated with the ethical production of these products.
So apart from buying all new furniture, what can we do? Buy antique (yep, no VOCs in the good old fashioned furnishings) and look for “Low-VOC” and “Zero-VOC” when buying new and… you guesses it – house plants! There are a number of different houseplants that can act as a natural air filter, below are the top 5 we chose to explore.
1. Boston Fern
Boston ferns are relatively easy to care for and they’re fantastic at purifying the air in your home. These ferns are known for their ability to remove harmful compounds like formaldehyde and cigarette smoke from the air. These compounds are absorbed by the fern’s leaves and turned into materials that the plant can use. Magic.
2. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is best known for its amazing topical health benefits. On top of that, the Aloe plant is great for purifying air. It works hard to absorb the harmful airborne compounds from paint and cleaning agents. Pro-tip, you can apply Aloe to burns (sunburns included) for effective, homeopathic relief! You can even use aloe vera in food and drink recipes. Check out this great aloe martini recipe!
3. Gerbera Daisy
While most house plants are just greenery, this pretty Gerbera Daisy has beautiful flowers! It was found to be the most effective plant in removing benzene from the air. Gerbera Daisies are known for their ability to absorb toxic compounds and produce oxygen at night. It’s been proven to also help those who suffer from snoring and sleep apnea so a planter pot of these daisy’s is a dual purpose present!
4. Snake Plant
Snake plant or sansevieria, is a hardy indoor plant you can grow just about anywhere. It’s unkindly referred to as ‘Mother-In-Laws-Tongue’ in some places (like by my husband in front of my mother)! Its strong leaves can absorb large quantities of CO2 and convert it into oxygen. They’re a great plant to place in your bedroom because they’ll improve the air quality as you sleep. Snake plants also work to remove xylene, toluene, and trichloroethylene from the air in your home. Check out this cute plant stand for your new snake plant!
5. Golden Pothos
Golden Pothos are known for being exceptionally hardy. In truth, I like any plant that’s difficult to kill because I don’t always remember to water my plants. Like the other 4 plants we listed, Pothos has air-purifying qualities. While it’s not the most effective purifier, it’s so hard to kill that if you’re looking to get the benefits of houseplants but aren’t so good at keeping them alive, this one is a probably where you should start!
So while you may not be able to replace all of your furniture, you can get some cute house plants to help keep the chemicals in your home under control. Added benefit, its good for your home’s Feng Shui. Happy planting my friends!