If summer’s lush grass, brilliant blossoms, and swaying trees seem like a distant memory, well, they don’t call this the “dead of winter” for nothing! But Mother Nature is only as far away as your local greenhouse, and adding some verdant life to your home may do more than boost your spirits. While they unfortunately won’t do the dishes, certain houseplants can help clean your indoor air! Outdoor pollution conjures images of smog-soaked urban jungles, but you may not realize that indoor air can be up to 12 times more polluted than the outdoors. The culprits? Chemicals known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), often present in paint, furniture, clothing, cleaning products, and building materials.
Researchers have given high marks to English ivy plants, variegated wax plants, purple waffle plants, asparagus ferns, and purple heart plants for improving indoor air quality, not to mention Japanese royal ferns and spider plants, which may be especially good at removing formaldehyde, a VOC that’s been linked to cancer. So add some greenery to your living space, and come spring, open your windows to let in another natural detoxifier: fresh air.