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Grow Your Own Fresh Air


Breathing: a function of survival- the lungs taking in and releasing air. It just happens; unless a scent, a reaction, a condition, or something as drastic as a worldwide pandemic puts this physical process in jeopardy.

But what if you knew that you could be in control of your own indoor air quality by using certain plants that can filter and freshen the air that you breathe? What if you knew you could stop masking the air with chemical air fresheners like Febreeze, Fabuloso, and scented dangling cardboard air fresheners, but could quite literally change the standard of your indoor air quality to keep you healthy?

This is a lesson on “How to Grow Fresh Air” as spoken by Kamal Meattle. Who is Kamal Meattle, you may ask? Mr. Meattle is a researcher from Delhi, India. Years ago, he discovered that he was severely reacting to the toxic Delhi air. His lung capacity was dropping. It was slowly killing him. With the assistance of several internationally renowned institutions, including NASA, the discovery was made that you can grow your own fresh air using three common plants.  And it just so happens that these three plants are right in our tropical backyard.

Many of you already have these growing in your gardens or see them on the roadsides, and all of the nurseries in the British Virgin Islands sell them. They are the:

  1. Areca Palm (botanical name Chrysolidocarpus Lutescens), native to Madagascar and naturalized in the Caribbean islands.
  2. Mother-in-Law’s Tongue or Snake Plant (botanical name Dracaena Trifasciata), native to tropical West Africa but also naturalized in our islands, and;
  3. Money Plant (botanical name Epipremnum Aureum), the third and very accessible tropical plant. 

The areca palm, otherwise known as a butterfly, yellow or golden cane palm, removes CO2 and replaces it with oxygen. Keeping several luscious and tall plants (per person) in a household will comfortably filter the air. The mother-in-law plant has microscopic pores that open at night to prevent water from escaping during the day in the hot tropical sun. It is referred to as a ‘bedroom plant’ because the conversion from CO2 to oxygen happens at night. Keep several of these in your bedroom for a healthy night’s sleep. The money plant silently removes formaldehyde and other toxic chemicals from the air; it’s also the most beneficial as it can be easily grown hydroponically.

This combination of plants inside an office or household, especially those that use filtered air or air conditioning, has been proven to reduce eye and respiratory irritation, headaches, and asthma symptoms. So don’t wait. Try it out for yourself. The proof is in the plant, and this is just about the easiest thing you can do to better your air quality.

Mr. Meattle is an acclaimed international environmental activist and CEO of his own company that consults and rents out clean air office buildings in India. To find out more, watch Mr. Meattle on www.ted.com/talks/kamal_meattle_how_to_grow_fresh_air


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