May, 2012 – Bringing the “Fresh Air” In – The Virtues of Indoor Plants


Bryan HayesLiving Green


Bringing the “Fresh Air” In – The Virtues of Indoor Plants


By Bryan Hayes


Ever heard that saying, “mother knows best”? Chances are your mother told you to go outside and get some fresh air. She may not have realized just how right she was, on both accounts. Speaking of mother’s, what does NASA and your mother-in-law’s tongue have in common? More than you might think. And, while you may want your mother-in-law to hold her tongue, but I am here to tell you the more Mother-In-Law’s tongues –  the better in this case.

What I am referring to is the link between NASA’s research on household plants such as Mother-In-Law’s Tongue and the effectiveness of such plants to rid your house of harmful toxins. You may not realize all the toxins that are lurking in your house, or should I say building, new or old because this is not limited to your residence. Your place of business may be just as toxic (and no, I am not talking about your boss and/or your co-workers).

The co-worker who brought their special plant to work with them, and sitting it on their desk may have been on to something. It is not just the oxygen produced from plants that they are finding is useful, but something just as invaluable. Whether it is the carpet, the paint on the walls, or most of the products we use on a daily basis we are constantly surrounded by synthetic chemicals. And, the amount of toxins in our environment is staggering. We literally are living with toxins night and day. Not only that, many of these chemicals are toxic. 



NASA has been at the forefront of research indicating that household plants are a powerful tool to counter the toxins we live with. It is a pretty easy solution. Call it a detox for your building with the recipe being rather simple. Not to mention you are utilizing a completely natural method to add to your healthy lifestyle. Simply add more live plants to your house. (Sorry but the plastic plants are counterproductive in this case).


How many plants are recommended? 15 to 18 plants for an average home of under 2,000 square feet. If you have animals, though, consult with your local expert wherever you buy your plants to ensure that the plants are safe for pets. Some are poisonous to both cats and dogs.


Here is an idea. If you are considering a house warming gift for a new neighbor maybe a nice plant would be a welcome gift. Not only will it help make their house look better, it may also help them feel better too. And while getting out and getting some fresh air sounds like a great idea, we often spend a lot of our time indoors.


Ironically, I was taking my morning walk just now and one of my neighbors was outside watering his flowers.  He was wearing a dust mask on his face.   Not knowing his condition, or reason for his donning of the mask, I can only speculate why he was wearing it this morning.   It would be quite paradoxical though if he wore his mask because of his perception that because he was outside of his energy-efficient, modern house he was concerned about the environment around him.  As it turns out, it’s the indoor living that might be more dangerous to us all.


Bryan Hayes is an actor, amateur photographer, business consultant and full-time lover of all things living.  He will be co-hosting a new show “Greenology 101.”