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How Plants Can Keep Your Office Environment Clean And Dry

As the weather gets colder and darker, office workers are likely to spend far more time indoors during the day with the windows closed. Not only will there be no ventilating breeze as seen in summer, but people won’t be so keen to eat their lunch outdoors or even leave the building to get something to eat.

All that means spending the whole day sealed inside, which might be warmer, but also means that whatever the environment is indoors, that is what all will experience the whole day long.

For that reason, it is worth considering what getting plants for offices might do in such circumstances. While flowering plants might be pleasant in summer (and the odd carnivorous one will deal with flies), the sort you have through the year as a whole should be carefully chosen.

A feature by the Daily Record highlights six plants that it hails as ‘mould busters’. These are primarily recommended for homes, but they could also be used in any office building where such unpleasant conditions should arise, such as in older buildings converted to office use from other purposes.

The list included English ivy, Peace lilies, areca palms, Boston ferns and spider plants. These species all thrive in humid conditions; which, of course, is what arises when there is less ventilation - and are great at taking toxins out of the air, including carbon dioxide and more dangerous carbon monoxide.

By soaking up moisture, they can help reduce humidity and thus make the premises a less friendly environment for mould. But some go further. Spider plants can absorb mould itself, while substances like formaldehyde, found in paper and carpets, can be soaked up by peace lilies and Boston ferns.

Indeed, it may be some of these plants are better suited to the office than home, with peace lilies and English ivy being poisonous to pets.

Mould and moisture is not the only possible consideration. Sucking pollution out of the air is important too. A recent study by the World Health Organization said that no less than 99 per cent of the world’s population breathes air that exceeds its recommended limits for substances like particulates, nitrogen oxide and sulphur dioxide.

The situation is sure to be worse in a city centre office, although conditions in the UK are nowhere near as bad as in some parts of the world, like Asia’s megacities. Therefore, it is worth noting that plants are being increasingly used to improve indoor air conditions there.

Indian lifestyle publication Herzindagi highlighted this issue with a feature on plants being used in Delhi, where smog is a particularly notorious problem. Areca palms and peace lilies make this list too, being plants that help produce extra oxygen for indoor environments, even at night.

This goes to show that whether it is indoor mould or the pollution of the busy city, the presence of the right indoor plants can make office life much healthier, as well as being more pleasant with all that extra greenery about. With winter coming, now is a great time to get some in.



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