Monday, November 19, 2007

Plants - The Natural Air Filter

Add a plant to your bathroom to help filter the air of harmful VOC's (volatile organic compounds) such as benzene and other pollutants like formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and carbon monoxide that cause eye and throat irritation, headaches and nausea (a.k.a. sick building syndrome) and are suspected of causing cancer. VOC's are emitted by many household products including carpets, furniture, printers, paints, and cleaning products. Many years ago NASA conducted a 2-year study on indoor air quality and found that plants are incredibly effective at absorbing these contaminants from the air. Check out NASA's list of recommended air-purifying house plants.

As for choosing a plant to put in your bathroom, you need a plant that can handle moisture and survive with little light. I talked to my plant expert friend, Eric Klein, and he recommends buying a bromeliad for your bathroom. Bromeliads are native to tropical rain forests and needless to say thrive in humidity and dark spaces. According to Eric philodendrons, orchids, and some varieties of the fern could also work well in the bathroom. If you're looking for a specific plant recommendation check out apartment therapy's list of top ten bathroom plants.

In addition to their health benefits, plants also make bathrooms more aesthetically pleasing and help connect us back to nature. With nature on your mind, you'll be more mindful of the resources you're using - at least while you're in the bathroom!

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