My Latest Obsession

A while back, I came across a reference to a 1989 NASA supported study on houseplants and their ability to filter air. NASA had conducted the study to determine ways of purifying air for extended stay on say, an International Space Station ; ) The results showed that houseplants are indeed a way to filter air (and that the results hold for offices and houses which all experience "indoor pollution") with certain plants being more effective than others.

I decided to look up the report on my own and found it posted here. An interesting fact I picked up: the amount of soil exposed to the air actually makes a difference in the chemicals filtered from the air. I just assumed that since the leaves are where the actual photosynthesis and oxygen release occur, those would be the only thing to consider. In the study, however, soil that was covered with leaves was less effective in filtering. The report suggests clipping leaves that are close to the soil to maximize exposure.

Also suggested is a number for a typical 2,000 square foot house: fifteen. Yes, fifteen houseplants. Which might be doable except that our house is 4,000 square feet which would require 30 houseplants to make the cut. Enter my newest obsession. Every time we're out and about, I just can't help picking up a new little addition to the house. Especially if they're on the "most effective" list like these Peace Lilies:

Or this Corn Plant:

And my little ZZ plants weren't on the list, but they're so green and shiny they won me over (plus they're advertised as being foolproof with little care needed - they can even go for months without being watered thanks to their below-soil tubers that store water):

So including our coconut palm we're up to six, which is nowhere close to the 30 we need. And the obsession continues.

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