While completing my TED profile, I came across a very interesting presentation by environmentalist Kamal Meattle who talks about how you can grow your fresh air at home and office using some commonly available indoor plants.
Best Indoor Plants for “Cleaning” Air
The three indoor plants that Kamal mentioned in his TED talk include:
1. Areca Palm - You need at least four shoulder-height plants per person in the building and, if you are living in a polluted city, make sure you wipe the Palm leaves every single day for the plant to effectively convert Carbon dioxide into Oxygen.
You should in fact grow two sets of Areca Palm’s -- keep the other set outdoors and rotate that set with the indoor one every 3-4 months.
2. Snake Plant -- Unlike most plants which release Carbon-dioxide at night, Snake Plant (also known as Mother-in-law’s Tongue) does the reverse as it converts CO2 into Oxygen at night so you can safely keep it inside the bedroom.
You need at least 6 to 8 waist height plants per person to improve the indoor air quality to a healthy level.
3. Money Plant -- Other than releasing oxygen in the air, money plant can also eliminate formaldehyde from the air that is commonly released by cigarette smoke and adhesives (used with wood furnishings).
Money Plant is therefore especially useful in office buildings as they generally have lot of wooden furniture.
NASA Study on Indoor Plants
If you have some space in your home or office premises, it probably makes lots of sense to grow these plants because research says that there is a 42% probability of increasing blood oxygen by 1% if one stays inside a building housing these plants for 10 hours.
And Kamal isn’t the only person saying this. Earlier, a study conducted by NASA also suggested that certain houseplants (including Bamboo Palm and Snake Plant) can remove as much as 87% of indoor air pollutants within 24 hours.