By Alexa Erickson, Collective Evolution
With people spending more than 90 percent of their time indoors, it makes sense that air quality matters. There are various factors in many people’s homes working against this, however. From furnishings and upholstery to synthetic building materials and cleaning products, toxic compounds are being emitted all around you.
There’s also the concern of pollen, bacteria, and molds that need to be considered. And all of this, combined with poorly-ventilated spaces, such as a windows that have been painted shut in your apartment, it’s incredibly important that you become aware of ways to combat all that junk being inhaled.
Enter houseplants. Though you may only have them to better your green thumb, or decorate your home with a sense of nature — which are both great reasons — they’re also extremely beneficial for improving air quality. According to NASA, plants’ ability to purify air makes them “nature’s life support system.”
Plants clean the air in your home by absorbing some of the particles from the air while also taking in carbon dioxide, which is then processed into oxygen through photosynthesis. Additionally, microbes in the potting soil of the plants also provide a cleaning effect.
Plants may even be more beneficial in the evening. Because they are void of sunlight to carry out photosynthesis during this time, their carbon dioxide output increases, therefore providing you with an abundance of oxygen. If you have anxiety, insomnia, or are just looking for a calming effect, the following five plants will aid you in a healthier home and better quality sleep.
Aloe vera is a great plant for someone new to the plant game, since it’s very easy to care for. This plant gives off plenty of oxygen at night, and, according to NASA, is capable of removing the pollutant formaldehyde.
Orchids are stunning to look at, but they’re a whole lot more than just eye candy. Even when you can’t see them, they’re benefitting you by giving off lots of oxygen at night. Another plant that can withstand a bit of neglect, orchids are able to banish the pollutant found in paint called xylene from the environment.
The areca palm is a tropical air cleanser that’s one of the easier palm trees to grow indoors. Growing anywhere from 6 to 7 feet, it’s definitely going to stand out in your home. The areca palm is not only great at giving off oxygen at night, but also very efficient at absorbing various kinds of harmful gases, as well as humidifying the air.
While a Christmas tree may put you in the holiday spirit come the winter months, you shouldn’t overlook the Christmas cactus. While it may only bloom in December, its succulent leaves stay vibrant year-round. The cactus gives off oxygen throughout the night. Even better? it actually thrives in dark rooms!
Also referred to as the tulsi plant, holy basil isn’t your average supermarket basil. It’s slightly more peppery in flavor than Italian basil, and offers some incredible health benefits to boot, including emitting a scent known to soothe nerves and reduce anxiety.