3 Plants For Growing The Freshest Air

Perhaps you've thought about growing some of your own vegetables, but have you ever considered growing your own clean air? All it takes is some carefully selected plants.

In 1992, 21 years ago, Kamal Meattle learned that the air in his home of New Delhi, air worse than Beijing, was killing him. He'd become allergic to the heavily polluted air, with his lung capacity reduced by 70%.

With plenty of research, he settled upon 3 plants that would provide for the clean air needs of a healthy human being. These plants are the Areca Palm, the Mother-in-law's Tongue, and the Money Plant. Meattle claims that if you have a sufficient amount of these 3 plants you could live in a completely air tight bubble and have enough fresh air as long as the plants remained alive.

  • The Areca Palm (Chrysalidocarpus lutescens) converts CO2 into oxygen during the day. Meattle recommends a number of 4 shoulder high plants per person.
  • The Mother-in-law's Tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata) converts CO2 into oxygen during the night. Meattle recommends a number of 6-8 waist high plants per person.
  • The Money Plant (Epipremnum aureum) filters volatile organic compounds out of the air. Meattle recommends a number of 2 plants per person.

And this isn't some guess, musing, or theory, Meattle has put these plants to the test for nearly 2 decades. In a 50,000 square foot building on the outskirts of New Delhi, 1,200 plants have been cleaning the air for 300 people, and providing a myriad of benefits. The government has named it the healthiest building in New Delhi.

Studies done by the Indian Government in 2008 found that a person who spends 10 hours in the building will have an increase in blood oxygen by 1% and a 20% increase in productivity. Compared to people in other buildings throughout the city, the occupants of this plant filled building experience 34% less respiratory problems, 24% less headaches, 52% less eye irritations, 12% lung impairment, and 9% less asthma. The building also enjoys a 15% reduction in energy needs as there is no need to filter the air.

Meattle is currently replicating the project in a 1.75 million square foot building utilizing 60,000 plants.

Inspired by Meattle, Julio Radesca has created a cubicle modeled after the same 3 plants. An approach to an office working space that will provide fresh air and leafy privacy.

Why not take some inspiration from Meattle too and put some air cleansing plants in rooms throughout your home? Your lungs will undoubtedly appreciate it.

Sign Up For RGS Updates