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June 9, 2009–Today’s Way: It just seems like common sense to me, but I’m a bit surprised at how many people never open their windows to let a cooling breeze waft through their house.  Instead, we’ve become hermetically sealed up, as if we’re on an airship and an open window will result in being sucked out into the void.  Instead of keeping the house closed up, and having to maintain temperatures through artificial heating or cooling, opening the windows and doors to create a cross breeze on a warm day will allow nature to do your cooling for you, and for free.  It’ll also help to bring in fresh air and help to push out dangerous low-grade offgassing from volatile organic compounds inherent in paints, finishes and even rugs or carpet.  So throw caution to the wind, and invite it in today.

June 3, 2009–Today’s Way: Did you know that the common house plant not only transforms CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) into oxygen in your home, it can also improve the air quality by actually absorbing  harmful Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and fumes of benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene?  According to a NASA study (they were searching for efficient ways to purify the air on space stations), the following plants provide the most purifying power:

  • English Ivy (Hedera helix)
  • Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
  • Golden pothos or Devil’s ivy (Scindapsus aures or Epipremnum aureum)
  • Peace lily (Spathiphyllum ‘Mauna Loa’)
  • Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema modestum)
  • Bamboo palm or reed palm (Chamaedorea sefritzii)
  • Snake plant or mother-in-law’s tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Laurentii’)
  • Heartleaf philodendron (Philodendron oxycardium, syn. Philodendron cordatum)
  • Selloum philodendron (Philodendron bipinnatifidum, syn. Philodendron selloum)
  • Elephant ear philodendron (Philodendron domesticum)
  • Red-edged dracaena (Dracaena marginata)
  • Cornstalk dracaena (Dracaena fragans ‘Massangeana’)
  • Janet Craig dracaena (Dracaena deremensis ‘Janet Craig’)
  • Warneck dracaena (Dracaena deremensis ‘Warneckii’)
  • Weeping Fig (Ficus benjamina)
  • Gerbera Daisy or Barberton daisy (Gerbera jamesonii)
  • Pot Mum or Florist’s Chrysanthemum (Chrysantheium morifolium)
  • Rubber Plant (Ficus elastica)

You can read more in the book, “How to Grow Fresh Air” by B.C. Wolverton;  based on 25 years of NASA research, the author explores how more than 50 common house plants naturally detoxify our environment, indoors and out.

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