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How to Grow Fresh Air Indoors using Common Plants

Living in Hawaii, we’re blessed with beautiful beaches, lush landscapes, and fresh ocean breezes. However, indoor air quality can sometimes be overlooked. Whether you’re living in a condo or working in the downtown office, improving the air quality can have significant health benefits. 

Today, we’re diving into a fascinating topic that’s perfect for our island lifestyle: how to grow fresh air indoors using common green plants, inspired by Kamal Meattle’s insightful TED Talk.

The Importance of Indoor Air Quality

Kamal Meattle has identified three common houseplants that can dramatically improve indoor air quality. These plants are not only easy to care for but also thrive in Hawaii’s climate. Here’s how you can incorporate them into your home:

    The Three Key Plants for Fresh Air

    1. Areca Palm (Dypsis lutescens)
      • Benefits: This plant is excellent at removing carbon dioxide and converting it into oxygen during the day.
      • Care Tips: Areca Palms love bright, indirect sunlight, which makes them perfect for placing near windows. They also thrive in Hawaii’s warm temperatures and humidity.

      Areca Palm


            2. Mother-in-Law's Tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata)

      • Benefits: Also known as Snake Plant, this hardy plant converts CO2 into oxygen at night, making it ideal for bedrooms.
      • Care Tips: It’s incredibly low-maintenance and can tolerate low light levels, which is great for those who might not have a green thumb.

      Mother-in-Laws Tongue Photo from:


            3. Money Plant (Epipremnum aureum)

      • Benefits: This plant is effective at removing toxins like formaldehyde and benzene from the air.
      • Care Tips: Money Plants are versatile and can grow in water or soil. They prefer indirect sunlight and can thrive in the humid conditions of Hawaii.

      Money Plant Photo from


      Practical Implementation and Benefits

      • Health Improvements: A study found significant health benefits, including:
        • 52% reduction in eye irritation
        • 34% reduction in respiratory symptoms
        • 24% reduction in headaches
        • 12% reduction in lung impairment
        • 9% reduction in asthma
      • Productivity Boost: Human productivity increased by over 20%.
      • Energy Savings: Energy requirements in buildings were reduced by 15% due to decreased need for fresh air.

      Creating Your Indoor Garden

      Incorporating these plants into your home or offices is easy and can be a fun project for the whole team and your family. Here are some tips to get you started:

      • Choose the Right Spots: Place the Areca Palm in your living room or any area with good natural light. The Snake Plant is perfect for your bedroom, and the Money Plant can be placed in your kitchen or bathroom.
      • Regular Care: Ensure your plants are watered regularly, but be careful not to overwater. Hawaii’s humidity can help reduce the need for frequent watering.
      • Enjoy the Benefits: Not only will these plants improve your air quality, but they’ll also add a touch of natural beauty to your home.

      By growing these plants, you’re not just enhancing your indoor environment; you’re also embracing the aloha spirit of living in harmony with nature. At Hawaiian South Shore, we believe that a healthy lifestyle extends beyond the waves. So, let’s bring a bit of that island freshness indoors and enjoy the benefits of cleaner, healthier air.

      Mahalo for reading, and happy planting!


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