According to WHO, of the 20 most polluted cities in the world, 14 are in India and indoor pollution is as bad as outdoor pollution. Stagnant indoor environments allow pollutants to build up and stick around in greater amounts than we should be breathing in. Staying in places rife with air contaminants and lacking decent ventilation can cause what is known as “sick building syndrome” – that causes headaches, dizziness, nausea, and eye, ear, and nose irritation. Given that people spend a lot of their time indoors, air quality matters. Furnishings, upholstery, synthetic building materials, and cleaning products in homes and offices can give out a variety of toxic compounds – formaldehyde being one.
But there’s good news – there’s an easy and affordable way to combat indoor pollution – houseplants. Plants purify the air and adding potted plants to a room is known to reduce the number of air particulates. Houseplants absorb some of the particulates from the air at the same time that they take in carbon dioxide, which is then processed into oxygen through photosynthesis.
Given it may come across as a challenging solution for people with a black thumb, we bring a list of houseplants that are easy to maintain and pretty difficult to kill.
They do not need direct sunlight and are relatively easy to grow, but they do need to stay moist. If you feel like keeping a fern, go with a Boston fern – it adds beauty to the house as it cleans the air. It is known to remove formaldehyde and xylene.
The deep green foliage of bamboo plants add a wonderful depth to a shade garden, or warmth and colour to any room in the house. These palms thrive in full sun or bright light and are known to remove pollutants like benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene
Not only is it a plant that practically takes care of itself, it also has some serious benefits – the plant’s leaves contain a clear gel full of vitamins, enzymes, amino acids, and other compounds that have wound-healing, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. It also helps with skin conditions like psoriasis. Known to filter out formaldehyde, it is never a bad idea to grow it indoors.
Extremely effective at removing toxins, Areca palm also emits large amounts of water vapour which comes as a boon in locations with dry air. It is tolerant of most indoor environments even if it prefers a humid area to avoid tip damage. Be sure to greet it with some water every once in a while. It can wipe off toluene and xylene from your house.
They are small but packed with great power when it comes to their cleaning abilities. Easy to grow, these plants flower in the summers. Put them in a shady spot and keep the soil moist – do not overwater the plant. This power packed performer removes ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene.
While they clean your indoor air, maybe you can grow a green thumb in the process.