It is no secret how much MML’s Project Support Administrator, Ellie, loves a plant or two. In fact, lately, the office is looking more like Monty Don’s conservatory! In support of Clean Air Day this month (June 16th, 2022), we thought we would share with you how houseplants can clean the air, making them the perfect choice for the home or office!
The science bit: Cast your minds back to science class. Does the term photosynthesis a ring bell? It is the fancy name given to the process by which plants use sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide to create oxygen and energy (i.e. it’s the way a plant makes its food).
While plants create oxygen, us humans inhale it, before exhaling carbon dioxide. In short, plants make what we need, and we exhale what they need…it is why plants and humans live so harmoniously together.
Scientists also believe that on top of converting carbon dioxide into oxygen, plants can also remove toxins from the air. According to time.com, one famous NASA experiment, published back in in 1989, found that indoor plants can clean the air of cancer-causing volatile organic compounds like benzene. Later research has found that soil microorganisms in potted plants also play a part in cleaning indoor air. Based on this research, some scientists think that houseplants are effective air purifiers, and the bigger and leafier the plant the better.
Here are our three top pick air-purifying plants that are perfect for the office:
Ficus benjamina, commonly known as weeping fig, is slow growing with tons of glossy green leaves, these trees are ideal for making a statement in an empty corner, as well as cleaning the air too. Filtering harmful organic compounds and replacing them with oxygen.
Lucy with our new ficus!
Commonly known as a snake plant or ‘Mother in law’s tongue’ for its dagger like leaves and spikey demeanour! It is one of the few plants that continues to produce oxygen in near dark conditions, so its perfect for a dark office corner. It is also great at banishing chemicals such as airborne formaldehyde, nitrogen oxide, benzene, xylene and trichloroethylene, all nasties that can be found in glues, paints, and other fittings. They are tough and extremely drought tolerant, perfect for an office that is closed at weekends or an office full of watering resistant staff!
- Spider plant
Easy to grow and cope with artificial light well. Great for planting in pots and hanging up high in baskets out of the way. Perfect for decorating office shelves or windowsills. They are not toxic for pets either, so if you have an office dog or cat, there is no need to worry. Most importantly, they will remove formaldehyde, toluene, and xylene all chemicals found in many synthetic fabric, paints, and glues. They have also been proved to lower carbon monoxide levels too. The only downfall? Regular watering is necessary in the spring and summer.
Why not add some extra oxygen to the air you breath at home and in work? You will soon see your productivity and focus go through the roof!