Surround yourself with air-purifying plants

This Sansevieria trifasciata, or mother-in-law’s tongue, sits on my desk and purifies the air. Photo by Bethany Fehlinger

It is now the middle of winter and we are stuck indoors more than we are frolicking outside. In order to winterize my apartment, I sealed the windows so there is no chance of opening them up to air out my apartment on one of our warmer winter days.

I can see the dust and dirt building up much more quickly, and I can only imagine what it is doing for my lungs. There also are many chemicals and toxins in everyday products, such as plastic bags, wood, cubicle walls and tables, inks and pharmaceuticals.

I would love a large air purifier, but they cost anywhere from $41 to $750-plus, in addition to the cost of changing the filters and the electricity used to run the item.

Well, NASA gives us a low-cost, natural way to filter air with a boost of color — Plants!

In addition to the study, NASA compiled a list of plants that not only absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen, but also eliminate significant amounts of benzene, formaldehyde and/or trichloroethylene. Certain plants also attack other chemicals and toxins.

Head to your local home improvement store or market to see if they have some of these plants:

  • English Ivy
  • Spider plant
  • Golden pothos or Devil’s ivy
  • Peace lily
  • Chinese evergreen
  • Bamboo palm or reed palm
  • Snake plant or mother-in-law’s tongue
  • Heartleaf philodendron
  • Selloum philodendron
  • Elephant ear philodendron
  • Red-edged dracaena
  • Cornstalk dracaena
  • Janet Craig dracaena
  • Warneck dracaena
  • Weeping Fig
  • Gerbera Daisy or Barberton daisy
  • Pot Mum or Florist’s Chrysanthemum
  • Rubber Plant

These are just some of the plants, so read the list to pick which one fits your needs. Here is another list by Colorado Master Gardeners.

Make your apartment or house literally green this winter while cleaning the air you breath.

Which one listed above is your favorite plant? Will you be greening your house with these plants?

Bethany Fehlinger

Bethany Fehlinger is a journalist in the Design Center at the York Daily Record. She is a graduate of Penn State University, is a York City dweller and has been vegetarian and geek for more than five years. Twitter: @Wonder_veggie

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2 Responses

  1. February 16, 2013

    [...] Air-purifying plants can be a great idea if you’re stuck inside and concerned about air quality. While nothing beats a blast of fresh air, adding a little greenery to your desk or living room is a step in the right direction. [...]

  2. April 18, 2013

    [...] are other ways you can go green, such as buying air purifying plants and creating treasure from trash. Check out all the Smart green living [...]

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