The first Earth Day was celebrated on April 22, 1970. It was created to bring awareness to a growing concern about air quality and water pollution. While there are many resources on how you can help protect the earth, thereâ€™s something super simple you can do in your own home to protect your family’s healthâ€“ simply own a few air-purifying house plants.
Multiple studies have shown that particular house plants are really great for cleansing the toxins out of a room, helping to purify the air you and your family breathe every day. According to NASA’s Clean Air Study, the air-purifying plants listed below (plus a few others) are common and easy to find and care for. Breathe a little easier and know that you are having a positive impact on the environment.
Plants absorb gases through pores in their leaves. Microbes in their roots help convert the gasses to the nutrients they need to grow. This is also how plants convert the carbon dioxide humans breathe out into glucose and oxygen. Plants can absorb a variety of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are released from building materials, fabrics, cigarette smoke, paints, plastics, and more. These VOCs, including benzene, toluene, formaldehyde, and octane, have been shown to cause eye irritation, headaches, and nausea when levels get too high.
Since different plants, according to research, excel at removing different VOCs, you should fill your home with a mix of these plants:
This easy-to-care-for beautiful plant helps remove a wide range of toxins from the air in your home. While it has many air-purifying benefits, it is toxic to animals and children if they somehow consume it. Itâ€™s a perfect addition to the bathroom as it doesnâ€™t need a ton of light. It excels at removing mold spores from the air and also filters out chemicals like alcohol and acetone (common in hairsprays and nail polish removers).
The pink, red, yellow, and orange flowers add a feminine and fun element to your room. But are also one of the top performers in NASA’s experiments with air-cleaning plants. It thrives in moderate indoor light, so try to find a spot that gets sunshine in the morning and shade in the afternoon.
This tall, sturdy specimen with thick, shiny leaves is especially talented at removing formaldehyde (common in cleaning and grooming products) from the air. Theyâ€™re toxic to animals, but they remove pollutants from your indoor air.
AKA “mother-in-law’s tongue,” this plant has leaves that resemble tall, green flames. Itâ€™s great at filtering out formaldehyde from the air and getting rid of allergens.
This succulent is good for your health in several ways. Itâ€™s best known for the skin-soothing effects of the gelatinous aloe that can be harvested from its leaves. But aloe vera is also great at eliminating airborne benzene, a chemical found in household cleaners and paint.
The spider plant is super easy to care for and hard to kill. It can banish formaldehyde, benzene, and xylene (found in cleaners, paints, and pesticides) from the air in your home.