Pollution killed 6.5 million people globally, says a report by The Lancet. One of the forms of air pollution that often escapes our attention is that inside homes; in fact, indoor air quality can be worse than the outside at times. It can lead to diseases and ailments such as bronchitis, asthma, lung cancer, etc. According to a report by the journal Science of the Total Environment, indoors air pollutionmay be more dangerous.

From cooking fuel to paints, varnishes, and fungal spores, the air indoors can be more polluted than outside. And many of us would not believe that there can be plants that can purify air. Let us find out the three indoor plants that can introduce fresh air in our homes and in our lives.

1) Areca palm: This is a plant that removes CO2 and converts it into oxygen. At least four plants per person is needed to produce sufficient fresh air. The plants should be shoulder high. It is also relatively simple to take care of this plant. Its leaves need to be wiped every day (in extremely polluted cities such as Delhi) or once a week (in cleaner cities). The plants need vermi manure for nutrition and need to be kept under the sun every three to four months.

2) Mother-in-laws Tongue or the bedroom plant: This plant converts CO2 into oxygen at night. Around 6 to 8 waist high plants are needed per person.

3) Money plant: This is a very common plant that is found everywhere. It helps in removing formaldehydes and other chemicals that are volatile from the environment, thus combating indoors air pollution.

Delhi man behind innovative idea to fight indoors air pollution

The effectiveness of the plants has been demonstrated by researcher Kamal Meattle during a TED Conference. During the Ted Talk, he showed how an arrangement of the three common plants, used at specific spots at home or in an office building, can lead to measurably cleaner indoor air.

Kamal Meattle’s office park in Delhi is one such model of green business through the use of air-filtering plants as well as sustainable architecture. He is himself a longtime activist, who has worked for raising awareness about the need for cleaning up India’s air. In fact, he used it to save his life.

Fighting Delhi air pollution was a massive task for Kamal Meattle

Delhi is one of the most polluted cities in the world. After developing respiratory diseases; Kamal’s lungs reduced to 70 per cent of their normal functioning. Doctors asked him to change his location and live somewhere else. However, he stuck on and researched on the Internet to find out ways to produce fresh air in his home.

After taking the help of IIT, TERI and NASA, he found out about the three common plants that can produce fresh air in homes and fight indoors air pollution. The plants do improve air quality standards.

About the author: I am a freelance journalist, environment activist, fashion blogger, and a short film and documentary maker. My association with Taru Mitra, an organization working hard for the environment in India, taught me the value of nature preservation. I want to make the world a better place for future generations. Being a mother, I know how important it is to do that. I love nature, art and creativity. Reach me at ushi.fatma@gmail.com