Monday, March 23, 2009

How To Grow Your Own Air ...

A few years ago, one of my friends got sick at work. She felt dizzy and nauseous ... to the extent that she had to leave work and go home to bed. By the time she got home, she felt better. This happened frequently in the next few weeks so she went to the doctor. It turns out that the new building, which her group recently moved into, was pumping various chemicals through the air conditioning system ... straight into her lungs. And ... it was making her sick.

We are a climate-controlled society. As global warming creates extremes in temperatures, and as our society's practices create more pollution, we look to artificial means to provide the air we breathe. Unfortunately, these climate controlled environments carry their own problems ... including contaminated air.

Here is an interesting video about an easy way to create clean air:





Wasn't that fascinating? Now, in addition to growing our own fruits and vegetables ... we can grow our own clean air.

As always ... I would love to hear from you!

20 comments :

  1. Oh, am I first...? wait, maybe not - oh well *laugh*

    anyway - Oh, videos - I love watching your videos -- :)

    Just love this blog and all it offers.

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  2. 40% of the world's energy taken up by buildings?! Incredible.

    Looks like I am going to my local greenhouse this weekend. I don't have enough of the right plants:)

    Very interesting video! Thanks for sharing.

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  3. Oh SF, that was awesome! I will be looking for those plants soon! :) Nice fresh air in my home sounds good!

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  4. Incredible post, and timing - I have just been doing a little research because I had decided I wanted some indoor plants.... now I know just what to get. Thank you!

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  5. I forgot about the importance of indoor plants! Thanks for reminding me through the TED video.

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  6. I love plants in the home and everywhere. I guess I am a tree hugger.

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  7. That was very informative, thanks! I love those plants anyway...but I don't have enough of them.

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  8. Great post.... As always you are able to bring up great information...

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  9. Great post as usual. I have a couple plants inside but can see I need more. I know which ones to get now, thanks.

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  11. Great post! I have become allergic to the air in LA over the past 5 years and have recently been diagnosed with asthma. Doctors tell me I can either take the steroid inhalers or move, neither of which is a great option. I like this approach much more and will give it a try. At the very least, my house will look greener :)

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  12. Love the post and the video! By the way, nice touch with the green border on the video. Looks great on the site. Some great tips as always.

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  13. I really liked that! I am going to have to look for those plants the next time I am at the store.
    Kelli

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  14. I love household plants and have always had many in my home. I just like having the color and the life in the home. Now, I know that the air we breathe is healthier for us because of my plants. Thanks for this post.

    Just remember to water your plants!

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  15. Does you know the movie 'Joe vs. the Volcano'? The beginning is his workplace in the building with the florescent lighting and the comparison to what you mentioned happened to your friend was uncanny. Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. The pasty faces and coughs and lack of energy. Funny on film, creepy in life.


    www.crystalmwaring.blogspot.com

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  16. I keep plants in the house. I researched them a couple years ago.
    You speak of those chemicals, please allow a story:
    I started having nausea, headaches, memory loss...didn't know what was going on. Honestly, I thought I might have had a mini stroke, that's how bad it was. (I'm fairly young, but have tachycardia or racing heart beat). I was at work one night, you'll figure this one out right away, got a small splash of one of the cleaning agents I was using on my skin. It lit me up. I was scalded. Started running water over it and reading bottles. BINGO! All my symptoms were on these bottles. I was working for a "professional" cleaning service. Most of the products required RESPIRATORS AND THICK, RUBBER GLOVES AKA HAZMAT GLOVES.
    I refused to use them and demanded the proper "gear" to use while handling it. They fired me! This company tends to hire, primarily, hispanics on a work visa that do not speak English, so at each site they hire 1 American to speak with the company heads. Of coure, I didn't know that when I took the job!

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  17. The clean air potential of plants has been known for many years and it's amazing - as a person who is very sensitive to chemicals and who had weeks of feeling awful after my office got new carpet, it's great to know there is something you could do about it.

    BUT! It seems to me that it's great in theory...not so sure about the practice. He doesn't say where they put those thousands of shoulder or waist high indoor plants. Thinking about my office of only 14 people, that's still A LOT of very large plants and there is not enough room to keep them all. Not only that - but who is going to clean the leaves of all those plants EVERY SINGLE DAY? Sounds very time consuming. Would we need to hire a plantsitter? And where would we put them all when we take them outside every 3-4 months? On the footpath? (As far as I know we can't acess the top of the building).

    Sorry to be the voice of pessimism once again... If it were an easy solution, I'd be all over it. But I don't think it is.

    Maybe one day they could build office buildings with a plant room (of the living, green variety)...

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  18. Frisky Librarian, I was wondering the same thing as you, where they were putting all these plants, but they must have already thought of something since they're actually doing it now. The building they tested it on has 1,200 plants for 300 occupants. I was sitting here wondering if I could manage this in my office. Literally, NO. I have absolutely no space left for anything but possibly two plants. But even two is better than none and will help. Also, if one knows in advance, I'm sure the space could be designed around this.

    The current building they are working on has 60K plants. Wow, can you imagine?? yeah, I think you'd need someone full time, either that or each employee must be in charge of their own plants. I have no idea, but I'm sure they are coming up with ways to work it out.

    What surprises me is that they didn't mention airplane plants. These were used in some NASA studies years ago. I wonder why they weren't mentioned. Since those are hanging plants you need less footprint in your building. I'll have to read up more on it, but it's all very interesting.

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  19. Btw, I'm planning on posting about this topic at Spread Change on April 1st and will send a link back to your blog. :)

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  20. I know this post is a few weeks old, but I wanted to thank you about reminding me to get a pothos plant for my daughter's room. I have a ton of houseplants, but I didn't realize the boring old pothos sucked in so many VOCs! we picked it out together today, Lizzie says "thank you" in her wide-eyes baby babble! -kate

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