Well, here we are folks. The 21st century is well and truly upon us. Space is at a premium. Dwellings in urban metropolises are shrinking. That saying about being ‘squeezed in like sardines in a tin box’ has never felt as poignant.
Compact urban living is becoming the norm and the effects and consequences of this are emerging. While some see this as a natural and progressive shift, others take a more critical stance, even dubbing this period the age of loneliness for its social isolation.
But how does this relate to plants? What we know for sure is that our exposure to plants and nature has diminished as these worrying trends have increased like pollen on a wattle blossom.
To validate this, research papers from the far-flung fiords of Norway to the sun-drenched beaches of Florida continue to prove the beneficial power of plants. You’ll be amazed at the transformative effects they’ve found in plants. Here are some of their findings:
Indoor plants reduce stress and have therapeutic abilities
Plants are known to make us feel more at ease with our surroundings and thereby reduce stress. Studies in workplaces have proven that productivity and overall happiness go up while sick days and errors go down.
Another study found that hospital patients benefit from green areas to get them in touch with nature. In fact, this study concluded that having plants in view helped patients recover from surgery – the respondents with plants in their room felt significantly less pain, anxiety and fatigue than those without.
The list of academic research papers on stress is plentiful and one constant binds them together: their overarching message that having plants around is better than having none at all.
Indoor plants can reduce noise
Noise pollution. It’s a constant battle that can actually lead to anxiety or tension. No one enjoys waking up to a jackhammer or the blare of a truck horn.
The good news is that plants can reduce noise; that’s why busy roads are often lined with trees and shrubs. Depending on the type of plant, they can help buffer noise by absorbing, deflecting or refracting. Bark and thick leaves are especially effective as their surface area is better at absorbing or deflecting the sound waves.
Indoor plants reduce carbon dioxide, airborne dust and other pollutants
As is common knowledge, our breathing pattern involves inhaling oxygen and exhaling carbon dioxide. Plants are the opposite. They absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen, which makes them the perfect partner, the yin to our yang.
That reputed organisation known as NASA conducted a study, which found that indoor plants remove toxins, including but not limited to carbon monoxide and formaldehyde. The study also found that plants help purify the air by lowering airborne dust levels. As such, the removal of toxins and dust means a healthier environment to live.
With so many health and psychological benefits, it’s little surprise that cities are adopting greening tactics to keep their residents in a better state-of-mind. Long may it continue!
And from a personal point-of-view, these benefits should also get you excited about kitting out your house with a plethora of indoor plants. For the right indoor planter look, Hundred Acre Wood has you sorted.