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5 Wonder Plants That Make Your Home Healthier

04.09.14 5 Wonder Plants That Make Your Home Healthier


Adding air purifying plants to your home is such a simple change yet it can have a huge impact to your health and well-being. Learn more, then pledge to try one. Your pledge will enter you in a monthly drawing for a $250 MightyNest gift card to shop for healthy gear for your mighty life. Your entry can also help your school win $1000 in our monthly MightyNest for Schools Challenge.


According to a study conducted by NASA (can you think of a place more in need of fresh air than a space station?), certain houseplants have the amazing superpower of improving indoor air quality. We know that adding houseplants increases oxygen levels inside your home but did you know that plants are also highly skilled at absorbing environmental toxins? Due to the increased use of air-conditioning, synthetic building materials and air tight windows, the air inside most homes is typically more polluted than the air outside. The simple addition of select house plants is an easy and aesthetic first step toward improved indoor air quality.

How do they do it? Plants remove VOC's from the air by absorbing them through their leaves in a process called phytoremediation. Microorganisms that live in the soil play a role in neutralizing pollutants once they reach the roots of a plant.

Plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen during photosynthesis, humans take in oxygen and release carbon dioxide when we breathe -- it's a natural co-habitating partnership!

Plants also release moisture (most of the water they take in) through their leaves, providing our homes with a natural humidifier. This, of course, is great for dry skin, keeping colds at bay and can help reduce headaches, eye irratation and asthma.

What kind of toxins? Here's a list of the most common VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that plants help tackle and their sources in our homes:

  • Formaldehyde - carpets, particle board furniture, pressed wood products like kid toys, foam insulation, paper products, cleaning agents, adhesives, permanent-press clothes and fire retardants..to name a few. 
  • Trichloroethylene - found and used in products like dyes, printing inks, paints and paint removers, adhesives, varnishes, and spot removers.
  • Benzene - used to make plastics, synthetic fibers, detergents, glues and adhesives, cleaning products and from petroleum products. 
How many plants do I need? The rule of thumb is one larger plant (or 2 smaller plants) for every 100 square feet of living space.

These five plants are not only amazingly efficient at absorbing harmful toxins, they're also easy to care for, which makes them wonderful even if you think you don't have a green thumb. (Tip: water with leftover water from water bottles at the end of the day)

Spider plant: Excellent at eliminating the majority of toxins (battles benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and xylene) plus it's an easy going plant and happy to grow in areas where other plants may decline.
Aloe: You probabaly already know that aloe is soothing to scrapes and burns but also skillful at removing formaldehyde and benzene.  
Bamboo Palm: Effective remover of formaldehyde and also acts as a natural humidifier. As long as you don't leave this plant sitting in water, but remain moist, the bamboo palm prefers indirect light. 
Golden Pothos: NASA lists this plant among the top houseplants for effective formaldehyde removal. It's also known for removing carbon monoxide and increasing general indoor air quality.
American Rubber Plant: This beauty provides moisture, eliminates bio effluents (and VOCs) as well as a knack for suppessing air-based microorganisms present in a room. As time passes, the rubber plant becomes even more efficient at eliminating toxic compounds present in the air.

Bonus Plants: We tried to keep the list short and sweet, but if you want more, check out this longer list of plants that are AMAZING at absorbing toxins, but not necessarily recommended for households with kids or pets. 


Now that you’ve discovered the air purifying power of plants, join us in pledging to give one a try. You'll automatically be entered into a monthly drawing for a $250 MightyNest gift card. And you'll also earn points for your elementary or pre-school to help win $1000 or more in a monthly MightyNest for Schools Challenge.


 Just click "I Pledge" button to enter! Then, leave a comment telling us which plant you're going to try.

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