Use Live Plants to Improve Indoor Air Quality

Published on February 19th, 2014 | by

Use Live Plants to Improve Indoor Air QualityIn our quest for buildings that can provide an environment that’s fairly constant for the people that live in them, we’ve inadvertently created situations where the indoor air quality can be much poorer than outside, and the lack of fresh air and increase in the off-gassing of man-made materials can make people much less productive, or even sick.

The somewhat sterile atmosphere found inside offices and homes, especially those that are sealed off from the outside in the attempt to make them more energy efficient, is an effect of those spaces being virtually cut off from the natural world, which leads to poor indoor air quality, lower productivity, health issues, and lower morale. Many modern buildings don’t give people the option for opening windows to get fresh air inside, which can exacerbate the effects of volatile organic compounds that can accumulate from the off-gassing of synthetic furnishings.

This isn’t just anecdotal evidence, either, as experiments from NASA have shown the effects of the so-called “Sick Building Syndrome”:

“The BioHome, a tightly sealed building constructed entirely of synthetic materials, was designed as suitable for one person to live in, with a great deal of the interior occupied by houseplants. Before the houseplants were added, though, anyone entering the newly constructed facility would experience burning eyes and respiratory difficulties, two of the most common symptoms of Sick Building Syndrome.

Once the plants were introduced to the environment, analysis of the air quality indicated that most of the VOCs had been removed, and the symptoms disappeared.” – Plants Clean Air and Water for Indoor Environments

The simple and straightforward way to better indoor air quality can be as simple as adding some houseplants to the home or office, which not only help to clean the air, but also add humidity and the element of beauty to the spaces where we spend a lot of time. In addition to better indoor air quality, adding plants to offices has been shown to also improve productivity and morale, which goes a long way toward a healthier and happier lifestyle.

One method of adding indoor plants to a space without having to figure out which plants will grow best in the light conditions in your location is by renting them from a company that specializes in that, such as through Gaddy’s indoor plant rentals and maintenance. By using an expert to source and maintain your home or office plants, improving the indoor air quality can be much simpler and effective than trying to grow your own green thumb.

[This post is supported by Gaddy’s. Image]


About the Author

lives in southwestern New Mexico and digs bicycles, simple living, organic gardening, sustainable lifestyle design, slacklining, bouldering, and permaculture. He loves good food, with fresh roasted chiles at the top of his list of favorites. Catch up with Derek on Twitter, RebelMouse, Google+, or at his natural parenting site, Natural Papa!