Today I came across a TEDTalk by researcher Kamal Meattle. He says that certain common houseplants can help clean the air inside a building, significantly. The three are:
Areca Palm (“The Living Room Plant”); Chrysalidocarpus lutescens. It removes CO2 and converts it into oxygen. The suggestion is having four shoulder-high plants per person, wipe the leaves daily or weekly, and take it outdoors every 3-4 months for a short time.
Mother-in-law’s Tongue (“The Bedroom Plant”); Sansevieria trifasciata. It converts CO2 into oxygen at night. The suggestion is having 6-8 waist-high plants per person.
Money Plant (“The Specialist Plant”); Epipremnum aureum. It removes formaldehyde and other volatile chemicals.
Additionally, they found that headaches decreased by 24%; there was a 20% increase in human productivity; and a 15% reduction in energy requirements in buildings.
Pretty impressive. Yes, it’s a lot of plants, but I wonder if even half that many would make an impact? Probably, to some extent. One of our plans is to bring plants into the apartment to help cool down and be more energy efficient (read: cut down on our A/C usage in the summer). We are going to look into this and hopefully implement it this spring.
Here is the talk, for a more comprehensive look into what Meattle is talking about: