Let Me Breathe: Things I Didn’t Know About Indoor Air

cycas revoluta


cycas revoluta

An article published in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology showed that people felt “comfortable, soothed, and natural” after potting plants and had lower diastolic blood pressure compared to when they carried out computer-related tasks. Not only have plants been linked to an improved mood, but also they are known to improve indoor air quality. Here are some other things that everyone should know about indoor air.

Did you know that candles can reduce indoor air quality? It’s something I started thinking about after watching YouTuber Tyler Rugge talk about household items that are poisonous to birds. Birds are vulnerable to air pollution because they have a higher respiratory rate, meaning they breathe more air per minute than humans.

lighted candles on cupcakes
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Researchers at South Carolina State University “found that paraffin-based candles – the most popular kind – emitted toxic chemicals like toluene and benzene.” – Kate Stinchfield, CNN

So what other household items should pet owners beware of? When choosing house plants to decorate your space, be sure to check whether or not they are pet friendly. Take the Sago Palm for instance, scientifically named cycas revoluta. The Sago is alluring to plant lovers because of its history – it shows up even earlier than dinosaurs in the geologic record. The Sago Palm is prickly to the touch, but has a welcoming aura and is actually a type of grass. Although it is recognized as a hardy plant, the Sago Palm is easily over-watered. Be mindful that the plant is toxic if ingested especially if you have pets who like to munch on things.

Plants are mysterious things. In nature, soil keeps roots warm and provides nutrients, water, and air for plants to live. In a house, however, plants can be grown hydroponically or even aeroponically. Most indoor plants thrive in low lighting as well. Remember to change your soil regularly and do frequent water replacements if you’re running a hydroponic system. Re-pot your plant when you notice certain signs.

orange flower with butterfly
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Something that has helped me throughout this botanical journey is to think of plants as little green animals. Keeping a plant in the same small pot for its entire life is somewhat akin to keeping a pet in its cage. Watching leaves wilt or yellow is similar to noticing a pet get sick. Try to diagnose the issue so it can be corrected. Learn about the plant’s natural habitat and use that information to make decisions (e.g. where to place it or how often to water it). These are just a few tips to assure that your plant is healthy and happy for many years.

Do you enjoy incense or candles? Have a pet bird? Let me know how you keep your house smelling fresh in the comments below. Thanks for reading, Jess 🙂

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