Indoor Plants May Be Working Overtime

Given the winter weather forecast, I had to bring my potted plants inside. If it were up to me, I would have more plants everywhere in the house all year long. Unfortunately, I don’t have a green thumb, but when buying indoor plants, I look for those that will survive “my tender care.”

In researching hardy indoor plants that required minimal care, I came across an interesting NASA study  which highlights how some plants can actually improve indoor air quality. Although EPA does not endorse the NASA study on these alleged natural cleaning machines, I’ve found quite a few articles in the media and universities on the issue hailing the benefits of key indoor plants for indoor environments. Absorbing carbon dioxide, removing formaldehyde and VOCs are some of the positive effects from the plants’ presence, according to these studies. It was good to see that these beneficial plants should easily be found in local nurseries. Some of those plants highlighted for improving air quality are: English ivy, spider plant, Chinese evergreen, snake plant, philodendron, weeping fig, among others.

While I would like to extol the virtues of indoor plants, there are some that are not completely sold on the efficacy of plants as indoor air cleaners. Regardless, I believe the green foliage definitely contribute to a comfortable sensation and can have additional quality of live benefits be it in the home or the office.

About the author: Lina Younes has been working for EPA since 2002 and chairs EPA’s Multilingual Communications Task Force. Prior to joining EPA, she was the Washington bureau chief for two Puerto Rican newspapers and she has worked for several government agencies.

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