Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Nature's Air Freshener

As a continuation to my post on "Greener Cleaners", my first post is about the earth's natural air cleaner -- PLANTS!

In the 1960's, NASA started research into the environment's ability to clean itself. The research was inspired by the observation that some swamp plants were cleaning their environment of chemicals leaked into the waterway near a biological warfare testing facility.

In addition to cleaning these chemical spills, they were also working to provide engineers with the information to design a sustainable living environment for long-term habitation in space. Check out NASA's article Plants Clean Air and Water for Indoor Environments.

What does this mean for my family? When we return from our Christmas visit with family, we will be adding some plants to our home: a few spider plants and a few Pothos and possibly a Cast Iron plant. These plants are well know to be effective in cleaning toxins from the air. Too bad I can't take plants on the airplane -- my mom has both spider plants and Pothos to spare.

For a great list of other air-filtering plants, visit Wikipedia's entry on this topic.

The University of Connecticut's College of Agriculture has a great list of safe and poisonous house plants, for those of you with kids and pets.

Find some great plants you can add to your home to help clean your indoor environment this winter!


  1. Great tip! After several unsuccessful tries, I've managed to keep 4 houseplants alive for an entire year. It's a huge accomplishment for me, but I did it for the very reason you wrote about.

    Hope you have a great Christmas with family!

  2. Thanks for your comment. What kind of plants did you keep alive? I'm looking for some that will survive a little neglect, two cats and two kids.


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