Why should one grow plants indoors? Did you know that indoor air is more polluted than outdoor air? So stop thinking and start growing your own oxygen!
Many a time at home or at my workplace, I feel suffocated and confined within the “unnatural” walls around me. Read more to learn about this. Like many urban dwellers, I too, don’t have access to a garden or a terrace to relax and de-stress. Since I can’t go outside to the greenery, I decided to bring the greenery inside. Caring and nurturing a “natural friend” gives a pleasant feeling, besides them bestowing several health benefits upon us.
“Indoor air is two to five times more polluted than the air outdoors.”
– EPA (Environment Protection Agency).
Shocking, isn’t it? Enclosed areas cause pollutants to concentrate in the air. Also, indoor air contains several toxins released from paints, synthetics, gas stoves, cigarette smoke, cleaners, etc. Indoor air pollution is a serious health hazard since the urban population spends 90% of their time indoors.
Did you know that patients in hospitals with houseplants in their room recover faster than patients without it? Patients with plants feel rejuvenated and take lesser pain medication. Moreover, it’s exciting to know that NASA uses plants on the International Space Station to enhance the indoor air quality, hundreds of kilometres above the earth! Scientists at NASA recommend at least one plant per 100 square feet (15-18 plants for an 1800 sq. feet area) in our home and workplace for a healthier life.
Myth: At night, indoor plants release carbon dioxide which may cause suffocation while sleeping.
Fact: The amount of carbon dioxide released by plants at night is incredibly small – 1000 times less than the amount released by a human being. So, an extra roommate is a bigger concern for suffocation than an extra plant! Think about it – if plants caused suffocation at night, then all the animals in dense forests would have died in their sleep, right? Nonetheless, there are some indoor plants which release oxygen at night and are preferred for bedrooms; such as:
- Gerbera daisy
- Snake plant
- Aloe Vera
Benefits of Indoor Houseplants: Health + Happiness
Plants are a powerhouse of wellness in our homes and workplaces. With a little maintenance, the rewards are endless.
- Releases life-sustaining oxygen
Oxygen is our lifeline. Without adequate oxygen in the air, our brain and heart would instantly collapse. Unfortunately, its levels are continuously depleting in metropolitan areas. Houseplants are oxygen-producing “green wonders” which revitalise the air we breathe, thus, increasing our longevity.
- Absorbs carbon dioxide
Concentration of carbon dioxide is higher indoors than outdoors due to human breathing, which causes headache, fatigue and drowsiness. Indoor plants reduce carbon dioxide by 25% and carbon monoxide by 90%, thus, purifying the air.
- Decrease indoor air pollutants
Plants absorb indoor pollutants such as:
- Nitrogen and sulphur oxides
- Particulate matter
- Airborne microbes
- VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds)
Household pollutants cause headache, nausea, itchy eyes, asthma, and loss of concentration, among many other health problems.
Plants remove up to 80% of those pollutants in just 24 hours. They pull toxins into the soil, where root-zone microorganisms convert it into food for the plant.
- Balances humidity
Low humidity levels cause viral infections such as common cold, sore throat, dry coughs and dry skin. Indoor plants reduce respiratory diseases by more than 30% by maintaining essential humidity levels.
- Lowers blood pressure
Plants lower blood pressure due to their stress-relieving nature. They reduce negative feelings of anxiety, anger and sadness. Caring for them helps to overcome loneliness and depression.
Let’s care for nature in the same way it cares for us.
- Healing effect
The natural colour green has a soothing, healing and therapeutic effect in human beings. The presence of plants relieves patients as it enables faster recovery, improves well-being and helps feel optimistic.
- Increases concentration
A study found that students show 70% greater alertness and higher attendance when taught in a classroom with plants. Thus, plants help in improving productivity and performance at work.
- Absorbs noise
Plants are effective at reducing background noise.
- Prevents allergies
Exposure to plants, which are natural allergens, at an early age, develops immunity and resistance in children.
10. Aesthetic Pleasure
Houseplants emanate a feeling of warmth and solace. They make interiors look spacious and clean.