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I recently watched a short video in which a little girl narrated and detailed how we have become the “indoor generation”.  The video touched on the fact that we spend less time outdoors than any other generation, having created environments for ourselves where we hardly need to step outside. As a result we are seeing an increase in illnesses, both mental and physical, such as depression, anxiety, allergies, and asthma.

The problems with this new enclosed lifestyle are multiple. Not only do we end up disconnecting from nature and other people, but we find ourselves  living in homes and working in offices that are veritable fishbowls of toxic air. 

The household cleaners, paint, flame retardants, candles, air fresheners, laundry products, mold, and mildew found indoors create a chemical soup that is being breathed in and overloading our bodies on a daily basis. Sometimes the side effects are immediate and sometimes they take a while to develop…but studies have shown that chronic inflammation, headaches, sinus issues, allergies, bronchial weakness, sleep problems, and a lowered immune system can develop or worsen due to the poor air quality in our indoor spaces.

Leaving a window open round the clock is one way of ensuring some of the toxins don’t remain stagnant, but if you live in a large city, the air coming into your home could just add to the problem. Substituting candles by diffusing high quality essential oils cuts down on more toxins, as does replacing all of your chemical laundry and housecleaning supplies with healthier alternatives….but is that enough? 

Only kind of.

I know, I know.…I’m sounding pretty doom and gloom here…but, luckily, there is something all of us can do to breathe a little easier. Filter our air.

If you live or work in an indoor space that has an air filtration system installed, then consider yourself lucky.  Unfortunately, these filtration systems are normally very cost prohibitive, and not all buildings can support their installation.  The smaller stand alone models are also somewhat effective, but  can be expensive as you need one for every room of the house in order to make a difference in the air quality. 

This is when Mother Nature steps in and, once again, provides exactly what we need in a cost effective, and eye pleasing way…..with plants!

While changing our lifestyles and spending a lot more time outdoors would be the optimal solution for a lot of what ails us….the reality is, that we are headed deeper into a cloistered existence. So, if we aren’t going to spend as much time outside as we should, then we need to bring a little of the outdoors in. 

A quick trip to your local nursery or home improvement center can completely change the quality of the air in your home, or workplace.  One plant in each room et voila….cleaner air! The trick is knowing which plants work best as air filters….and here are the ones that, according to NASA scientists, are gonna help you breathe easy, baby!

Pothos: Not only does this plant effectively rid the air of several different types of toxins, it is almost impossible to kill making it the perfect plant for anyone not gifted with a green thumb. Low maintenance and hard working. Qualities I like in people and plants, ha!

Peace Lily: If you like flowering plants, this is one of the only flowering indoor plants that filters the air and rids it of chemicals such as benzene and VOCs.  This is one pretty little badass.

English Ivy: This decorative plant removes formaldehyde and other toxins from the air. Warning though….it can be toxic to pets, so it’s best kept out of reach or used in animal free homes.

Rubber Plant: If you live or work in an environment that doesn’t get much sunlight, this is the perfect plant. It doesn’t require much light or maintenance but will work hard to keep your air clean.  Basements and office cubicles need this!

Boston Fern: This plant is one of the most effective at removing benzene, formaldehyde, and xylene from the air. This does tend to be a higher maintenance plant but a very good one to have if you live near high traffic zones or have an attached garage.

Dwarf Date Palm: While most palm trees are great air purifiers, the Dwarf Date Palm is the perfect size for indoor use as well as is the best at removing formaldehyde from the air…..plus it’ll make you feel like you’re in the tropics even if you live in Minnesota.

Now go take this shopping list of vegetation and get yourself some clean air!  We may be the indoor generation, but  that doesn’t mean we have to relegate our lungs, and ourselves to to breathing poorly….and that’s it for now…..I need to go water my plants.

For more stories like this please visit my blog at: https://adulthoodrewired.com

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