In most interior settings, it's important to get an inflow of fresh air. Whether it is a restaurant, your home or an office, fresh air is needed for optimum brain functioning and upkeep of general wellbeing. It's the oxygen in the air that we require to live, and an insufficient percentage in the air we breathe will lead to a mental decline in any sort of work we do.
However, it's not always easy to incorporate windows in every room, let alone ones that can open. For instance, in a fancy restaurant or a cafe, you may not want to leave windows open to the cold as it will impact customer satisfaction and experience.
You can install air-conditioning units and vents to promote healthy airflow, but have you ever considered adding plants to your interior design to help freshen up the air?
What could be in the air we breathe?
Healthline explains that there are three major groups of toxins that could reside in the air we breathe. These come from all sorts of materials, such as paint, plastic, carpets, cleaning products, and also many other substances that compose the structure of a building.
These three toxins are:
- Formaldehyde – It can be found in plastic, glue and other building materials. There has been much research about excessive exposure to formaldehyde and the higher risk of cancer, but studies show both conclusive and inconclusive results.
- Benzyne – This is commonly found in pesticides, certain types of plastics, resins, rubbers, synthetic fibres and lubricants. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Diseases Registry explains that you can get exposed to small amounts on a regular basis through cigarette smoke, motor exhaust and other industrial emissions. The same source also states that there is now a significantly less amount of benzyne in the workplace environment than in the past years.
- Trichloroethylene – You'll find this substance in the likes of solvents, cleaning products and adhesives. An overexposure of this can hinder your central nervous system and immune system.
To take a step back from this sombre tone, you'll be happy to know that there are usually only very minute amounts of these toxins in our air. However, it's always beneficial to bring some helping hands in, and that's in the form of plants.
There are a range of plants that don't require much maintenance or light to thrive, and can help to refresh your environment. This will help any interior, brightening up the place with lush green as well as bring some nature in to boost our wellbeing.
Before you implement any types of plants into your interior design, make sure that they are safe around young children or any pets that may encounter them. Allergies are also important, especially if it is in a workplace environment.
Plants help to filter out pollution in our air so get that green thumb out!
– Peace lillies
This beauty can absorb all three of the aforementioned toxins. In flowering season, they can showcase large, white blooms which look sophisticated and elegant in any setting. Low light settings will inhibit the development of flowers, however, but they will still survive and filter your air as long as they are dusted regularly.
A tall, green plant composed of many stalks and leaves, bamboo helps to eliminate benzyne, formaldehyde as well as carbon monoxide. It doesn't require direct sunlight but needs regular watering, so keep in dark corners of your room to brighten up the space.
The Mother Nature Network explains that this plant is great for indoors and can grow without bright sun exposure. It combats the pollution of trichloroethylene and benzyne through the process of photosynthesis, and is a striking plant to complement dark wooden furniture in an office setting.
If you are worried about using paint odours or solvents in your renovations, take a look at our range of Environmental Choice approved products. They're waterborne, low-odour and also low in volatile organic compounds so you can get your paint job done and dried with minimal disruption.