The indoor air quality in our homes can be compromised by building materials, furnishings, carpet, paint, TV/phone/Wi-Fi electromagnetic radiation, mould, sprays and cooking fumes. This off-gassing can be extremely harmful to our health, especially in the long-term.
The CSIRO estimates that poor indoor air quality in Australia may cost around $12 billion per year, and for over 30 years, indoor air pollution has been considered among the top five environmental risks to public health.
But there’s good news – research by NASA has revealed that indoor plants can remove up to 87 per cent of toxic air in the home in a 24 hour period.
So, make some space in your home for some new friends – living, breathing, beautiful plants.
Indoor plants, or any plants for that matter, can be good for your health. Plants freshen up the air by releasing oxygen and absorbing carbon dioxide, eliminating harmful toxins. Placing a few plants strategically around your home, in your office, study areas, kitchen, living spaces and even in your bedrooms, can improve concentration, productivity and sleep, reduce stress levels, and boost your mood. Nurturing and watching your plants grow can also give you a great sense of achievement and satisfaction.
Have a good chat to your local plant expert about which indoor plants are easy to maintain, and where they like to be placed, eg in a semi-sunny position. To get you started, we’ve put together just a few suggestions on which plants should go where:
Living Areas: Fiddle Leaf Fig – Known for its attractive large, glossy leaves, this beauty is a great way to add greenery to your living room. Just looking at it will make you feel good, and it will happily work at soaking up some toxic air too.
Office / Study Areas: Lucky Bamboo – Horticulturalists have long recommended lucky bamboo for office spaces – they say that students who keep lucky bamboo in their study nooks come up with better results as compared to those who don’t. Worth a try!
Bedrooms: Snake plant – Also called ‘mother-in-law’s tongue’, this plant has been supported by NASA to be very effective at removing toxins such as formaldehyde, trichloroethylene and benzene from the air you breathe. And, while most plants emit oxygen only during the day, the snake plant continues to do so at night, helping to clean the air in your home around the clock. It is also known to reduce headaches and respiratory problems.
Your home is your refuge from the outside world but unfortunately it can harbour many toxins in the air. By introducing indoor plants to your living spaces, your home will not only look and feel more peaceful and welcoming, but you could notice improvements to your health, and they can provide a lot of enjoyment too.
 Indoor Air, Dept of Agriculture, Water & the Environment, Australian Government. Published online https://www.environment.gov.au/protection/air-quality/indoor-air 2021.