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G.Y.O. Fresh Air (grow your own), 3 common houseplants that clean your air..

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#1 Ras Asad

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 08:00 AM

Hey humans..
I thought some of you gardeners might like this...
These are all pretty common plants, and all pretty easy to grow,
with a little upkeep on them, like any of our plant and fungi friends..
they can be amazing little machines...

with all 3 of these together,...
it is said that one could;
theoretically live within a glass bottle with the lid on it,
with no need for fresh air or to take the lid off.

Researcher Kamal Meattle shows how an arrangement of three common houseplants, used in specific spots in a home or office building, can result in measurably cleaner indoor air.


It's no surprise that indoor plants help to reduce carbon dioxide and increase oxygen in the buildings they inhabit, but this TED presentation discusses a particular indoor planting strategy that is being used by a business park in New Delhi specifically to improve air quality above industry standards, while also sealing all external fresh air and exhaust.
We have tried and tested these plants for 15 years at Paharpur Business Centre and Software Technology Incubator Park (PBC™ - STIP) in New Delhi, India. It is a 20 year old, 50,000 ft2 building, with over 1,200 plants for 300 building occupants.

PBC™ - STIP is rated the healthiest building in Delhi by the Government of India.* Their study found that there is a 42% probability of increasing blood oxygen by 1% if one is inside the building for 10 hours.
Also, compared to other buildings in Delhi, the incidence of eye irritation reduced by 52%, lower respiratory symptoms by 34%, headaches by 24%, upper respiratory symptoms by 20%, lung impairment by 10-12% and Asthma by 9%. As a result of fewer sick days -- employee productivity also increased.

They suggest that a typical living environment needs only three plants for this purpose. The Areca Palm is used for the general purpose of increasing O2 during the day in most living areas. Mother-in-law's Tongue serves a similar purpose but for the bedroom, as it converts CO2 to O2 in the evening. Finally, the Money Plant can be used to scrub Formaldehyde and other volatile organic compounds from the air.
The recommended number of plants per person in a living space varies from 4-8 depending on the size of the plant. It's not a huge amount, but it's definitely more than I have in my own home (and I have a lot of plants), and grossly different from most offices I've worked in. Imagine everyone in your office bringing in 4 shoulder high palms on Monday!

NASA did some research into air cleaning plants, which is summarized here with pictures:

And you can find out which plants are toxic to cats, dogs, etc here:
The Areca Palm is not toxic to cats, while the Mother-in-law's Tongue is. A search for Money Plant hasn't turned up anything yet.
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#2 Theodore Blass

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 08:04 AM

very interesting ras
thanks for the info!

im going to go try the whole seal yourself up in a bottle thing once i acquire those plants ;p
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#3 buteo



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Posted 16 April 2009 - 08:43 AM

Hmm i always thought those plants would be more useful than for decoration. I dont know about sealing my face off from society, but i sure would like to increase the quality of air in my home.Thanks for the post ras. On a side note...where have ya been man?

yours truly

the original


#4 roc


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Posted 16 April 2009 - 10:48 AM


Nice info to know...

#5 mrmyc



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Posted 17 April 2009 - 04:55 AM

NASA has done some interesting work using common houseplants to purify air. as well as the Univ. of Mississippi and the American Landscapers Assoc.

Wikipedia has a good list of houseplants that filter n purify air. Most of em are really easy to grow and can handle inside lighting. Check out the page here...

#6 JohnDoe



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Posted 17 April 2009 - 05:20 AM

i have a shitload of money plant in my room, actually it grows from only 2 pot but it's almost goes around the whole room and it grows like hell...from january one of this plant has grown 1-1.5meter.

#7 JohnDoe



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Posted 17 April 2009 - 12:36 PM

i forgot to mention how friendly can they be while dosed, slowly squirming on my wall:D

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