Monday, September 27, 2010

Keep your air fresh

A few years ago Kemal Meattle gave a compelling TED talk entitled "How to grow your own fresh air." To show that we can grow our own air, Mr. Meattle has conducted extensive studies in office buldings in India. His studies have shown that having enough of the right plants around can give ordinary slobs extraordinary powers (such as the power to stave off lung disease!).

For a government commussioned study, an office with 300 occupants was filled with 1200 plants. "... compared to other buildings in Delhi, the incidence of eye irritation reduced by 52%, lower respiratory symptoms by 34%, headaches by 24%, upper respiratory symptoms by 20%, lung impairment by 10-12% and Asthma by 9%. As a result of fewer sick days, employee productivity also increased."

Our experience points to an amazing increase in human productivity resulting from using these plants to be >20%, and energy costs to reduce by an extraordinary >15%.

Mr. Meattle mentions three plants in particular that are best in class:

The Money Plant is a filter like no other. It traps and stores airborne volatile organic compounds, like formaldehyde, while pumping out fresh clean O2. Live in a polluted area? Get yourself a few of these puppies.

The Areca Palm is a fantastic fresh air machine during the day. It is hearty, requires little water and is therefore very easy to take care of. Mr. Meattle suggests 4 per person; I have one.

The Mother-in-law's tongue (sharp!) is the night time expert. It is known to absorb 107 air pollutants including carbon monoxide and nitrogen monoxide. The mother-in-law can also eliminate bad odours, and it never tells you what to do!

The key property of the Mother-in-law's tongue comes from the fact that is that it is a CAM plant. Unlike normal C3 and C4 plants, CAM plants fix CO2 during the night. They store the necessary energy for photosynthesis during while light is available, and carry out the process in the dark. I promise you this; you'll both breath easier if you and your mother-in-law sleep in the same room together (sorry, had to).

Keep your air fresh!

1 comment:

  1. wump wuuump on the joke there j.

    i'm going to recommend this to my boss at work!