If you’re asking yourself, “what are these toxin-fighting champions of the houseplant world?”, I invite you to check out How To Grow Fresh Air by Dr. B.C. Wolverton. It lists 50 plants known for their VOC-removal properties. Carry the book to your local nursery, like I did, and use it as a shopping guide for picking out some plants. They needn’t be large. It is suggested to use between 15-18 plants to clean the air in an 1,800 sq.ft. home, so, if you’re in a studio apartment in Brooklyn, simply halve that number. It’s also advisable to use terra cotta or ceramic pots, as plastic vessels simply reintroduce a number of the same chemicals you’re trying to remove. Plus, you’ll have a totally legitimate excuse for tricking out your place in cool pots, catered to your design aesthetic, be that Mid-Century Modern, Diva Glam, or California Rustic (like me!).
So after reading that I think to myself hey, this is a good idea, I should totally do this in my house...and then I start the whole project from totally the wrong end and get distracted by shopping for cool planters before I've even started researching what types of plants I'm supposed to get to fill them with. I can get to that minor detail later, right?
And then ten minutes later I'm totally off track, looking at a window box planter and thinking about different types of flowers and herbs and doing this whole elaborate fantasy garden makeover in my head (because of course in my head I'm an expert gardener who can successfully grow whatever she wants), totally forgetting that the original plan was supposed to be about improving the quality of the air inside the house with house plants in indoor planters, not starring in my own personal remake of The Secret Garden.
I know myself well enough to be able to figure out how this is probably going to go. I'm going to end up with a bunch of really cool decorative planters sitting around filled with paper clips, M&Ms, old issues of Cosmo, and other random junk while I procrastinate on actually filling them with the plants that could help me breathe cleaner, toxin-free air, which would certainly make me healthier and happy and improve my productivity as a blogger. But at least my intentions are green.