The Benefits of Plants in Your Home & Office



By Kyla Miller, R.H.N.;

Indoor air pollution and low humidity are now ranked among the top five threats to public health. Every day, while at work in our offices, we are constantly bombarded with toxic fumes from carpets, furniture, cleaning products, computers, printers and photocopies. At home, we strive to limit the amount of toxins we breathe in, but it is difficult and not always feasible to get rid of them completely. Exposure to these chemicals can result in dizziness, nausea, respiratory complaints, blurred vision, or even severe allergic reactions. Unless resolved, this can often lead to poor concentration and even increase in sick leave. Placing air-purifying plants in our office and home can reduce these health complaints significantly.

We all know that plants bring color and a natural feel to an indoor environment. They can brighten a dull, dreary atmosphere and create a refuge from everyday stresses. Additionally, plants possess many other proven benefits which help improve our quality of life. Consider the following:


Plants Emit Oxygen

Every cell in our body uses oxygen for fuel. Our brain function quickly drops when it is not supplied with adequate oxygen. Plants give us clean oxygen instead of the stagnate, recycled oxygen that we usually get in our office. Plants will greatly improve the air quality in our home or office.

Plants Clean the Air

Plants remove common harmful chemicals from the air and break them down into harmless organic by-products in the soil, which the plant then uses as food. This also includes reducing dust pollution.

Plants Reduce Stress

The color green has a soothing, healing effect. Considering that it is the predominant color in nature, we instinctively feel the most at ease in settings that contain this color. Plants create a space that is more pleasant, which noticeably reduces stress as well as symptoms such as headaches and fatigue. 

Plants Reduce Ailments

When detoxifying our bodies, approximately 70% of it occurs through breathing. In a stuffy, poorly ventilated space, we generally tend to breathe improperly because the air is so toxic. When the air is vibrant and full of life-force energy (prana), we naturally want to take big deep breaths all the time.

Plants Reduce Noise
Strategically placed plants, significantly reduce the noise in an office. A small indoor hedge placed around a workspace will reduce noise by 5 decibels. The positive contribution of interior plants to sound absorption has been well documented in numerous studies.



Plants Add Beauty and Positive Energy

Adding plants to your space can add much needed color and can even hide or camouflage distasteful or ugly views. Also, plants are key elements in the ancient practice of Feng Shui. The practice applies a philosophy regarding energy enhancement of specific areas. Plants are positive energy remedies that soften harsh corners.

Where to Start

It is clear that plants can improve our concentration and increase our productivity. If we take the time to infuse our environment with plants we will reap many benefits. On the other hand, perhaps we feel discouraged, because we doubt ourselves and our ability to take care of a plant; however, there are several variety of plants available to us that require very little attention. With a little forethought, you can choose the perfect plant to improve your space and your health.

Assess Your Lighting

Obviously, a plant that needs full sun doesn’t have much of a chance in a windowless room. Decide upon a place where you can put plants and determine how much natural sunlight they’ll get on average. It may become a little more challenging in an office environment. When in doubt, low light (shade loving) plants will do find in most office settings. Some plants will do well if placed near the florescent lights in the office.

Space Requirements
 
Get an idea of the floor, counter or shelf space available.

Care Requirements

Some plants require more maintenance than others, and sometimes it can be difficult to fine time to water or prune them. Be honest with yourself in appraising how much attention you can give to the plant(s).

Purpose

Different plants can do different things for you. If you mainly want to brighten a space, you’ll probably want a flowering plant or one with colorful leaves. If you’re looking to remove as much carbon dioxide/toxins, or add as much oxygen as possible, you should look for a green plant with a lot of leaves.


Budget

While some plants can be very expensive individually, the more plants you plan to own, the more important your budget will be. Figure out how much you want to spend purchasing the plants. If you are looking to purchase plants for your office, why not see if your company will cover some, if not all, of the cost. Alternately, you can also grow your own plants.

Specific Needs

Some plants have very specific light, humidity, and temperature needs. Make sure you are aware of these needs prior to purchasing your plants.

Research

Once you have your specifications, you can ask a professional to suggest some plants that might work. You can also research plants on the internet to determine which will match your needs. Remember to think about the long term life of your plant. What might fit in your space now might not fit when it is fully grown.

Purchasing Your Plants

You can buy from your local garden store or farmers’ market, or you can do your shopping online. Whichever you choose, make sure you get healthy-looking plants that are free of mold, rot, pests and chemicals.
 
With a little effort, you can enjoy all the benefits that adding plants to your home and office will bring.

Your question: Do you have plants in your home or office? (post your comments below)

Sources:
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About the Author : Kyla Miller is the co-founder of guidinginstincts.com. She has overcome illness through dietary/lifestyle changes, and practicing a positive mindset daily. Kyla is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and is currently studying to become a Reiki Master.

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