Spider Plant- The Amazing Air Purifier

Looks of Spider Plant 

Spider plant, also known by the names, spider ivy and ribbon plant, is an easy to grow houseplant.

Its long and narrow leaves can reach a length measuring upto 20-45 cm and approx. 6-25 millimeters. 

These are perennial plants with indefinite life span, which also end up out living their owners, provided these are nurtured properly. Thanks to their longevity, they end up becoming the legacy. 

  Spider Plant Uses

  • The NASA Clean Air Study claimed that spider plant is an effective air purifier and helps eliminate air toxins like xylene (Sources- petroleum, coal tar, smoke) and formaldehyde (Sources- paints, coatings, glues, permanent press fabric, pesticides, fertilizers). Thus, reducing indoor pollution. 
  • The plant finds its use in various traditional medicines. Its tubular roots are consumed to treat bronchitis, bone fractures and burns. Its leaves are consumed in kenya.
  • It can be used as an indoor plant not only because it purifies air but also it enhances the indoor beauty due to its decorative value.
  • Spider plants can also be planted in gardens as well as in hanging pots at a partially shady place. It spreads beautifully on the ground and works as a cover to prevent soil erosion .

    Care

  • Soil

Plants love well drained soil so does the spider plant. The fully grown plants can tolerate drought for a while as well but not for very long.

  • Temperature 

The most suitable temperature for its good development is 18-32 degree Celsius. It cannot withstand frost. 

  • Water

Plants prefer the soil to dry between waterings to avoid root rot, so does the spider plant. Excess watering can produce brown leaf tips, which can also be due to buildup of chemicals present in water. You may use filtered water in that case. Water stress can also arise due to insufficient watering.

  • Humidity

Belonging to the tropical rainforest, spider plants prefer humidity which keeps brown tips at  bay. So, you can also place it in a bright bathroom of yours.

  •  Exposure

These require partly shaded sites and if grown indoors they love highly bright spots. Forbid direct sunlight to prevent scorching of leaves and enhance the striping on the leaves.

  • Food

The fertilizing task can be done in summer and spring twice a month. Plant growth is slow in winter and autumn so fertilizer doesn’t find the need. Over-fertilization should be avoided to prevent brown leaf tips.

  • Propagation

 This task requires the plantlets of the plant. These are the miniature replica of the spider plant. So, these are easy to propagate.

  • Repotting

Though the spider plants do not require repotting often but the task should be done in spring which is considered as an ideal time. If the roots start peeping out of the soil, then it’s time for some action.

 Pests

These plants are hardy when it comes to pest attack. But yes, they are susceptible to some infestations, like spider mites, aphids, mealy bugs and whitefield may damage the plant. The plant can be saved using an insecticide mixed with vinegar if it worsens, otherwise, misting it with water will do the job. Spraying neem water on any plant can help save plants from bugs.

Spider plant with brown leaf tips

So, what are you waiting for? Hurry up and clean your indoor air with this NASA approved air purifier and give a pure breathing experience to your family.

Every Corner Needs A Plant 

Air On Sale! Shocked?? You heard that right.

Air On Sale! Shocked?? You heard that right.

Once upon a time, there was an era, when Mother Earth, was respected & worshiped as “Dharti Maa”, who nurtured us like her children. Supreme health is what people enjoyed earlier with nature’s boons. But soon, some smart and intelligent humans began exploiting our resourceful Earth. Their exploitative power and dominance lead to greed. Food, water, air, and shelter started diminishing and their distribution is now imbalanced and unequal.

We are currently struggling to live in a world, which has everything ready to be sold. From canned foods, to ready to use curries or gravies, to dehydrated food products. Food is so expensive and not worth the value and nutrition that used to be earlier in the world today. Why have we made a ready-made world? Because no one has the so-called “Time” to invest. We are paving the way for health hazards by consuming these products.
Food and water have been sold for many years. The packaged drinking water quenches thirst while on the run so well. But have you ever stopped and thought that you actually “paid for drinking water”. The element that nature provides us unconditionally and free of cost.

Air Arrested!

Surprisingly, now air with different aromas also has a price tag. The air was the only thing that was available free to us. But now even that seems a luxury.

How can a necessity be a luxury?

Our planet has life because of air, water, and food. Firstly, we polluted the natural, clean and fresh air and then we invented air purifiers. We have polluted our environment by means of industrialization and now finding an alternative to escape its hazardous effects.

The means of our survival-air is now on “SALE“.

How much are you ready to spend to inhale some fresh air?

Have a look at how air is being sold in China.

Animated earth coughing and surrounded by black air

We are not saving the Earth for generations to come. We are being selfish in the now, not thinking of our future generations.
Why don’t we think of giving a better environment by planting trees? Is doing that too difficult? 

It can save us from the cost of buying air purifiers and bottled air in the ages to come. Don’t you agree?

Health nowadays is the major concern more than a career. We should give a thought to whether there are enough resources left for the newborns to survive, as ‘survival‘ is now a challenge. We all are sitting on a ticking time bomb. The choice is ours, whether to stop this timer and survive or let it explode to destroy this amazing life. We still have time before it’s already too late and impossible to reverse the damage. Together we can put an end to this business of selling air. We cannot spend the rest of our life with masks on because trees are the solution and saviours, not masks and bottled air.

Start the initiative from your own place. ‘Vertical gardens’ or ‘green walls’ are a solution to less horizontal space. The living greens in the wall will help reduce the carbon footprint around your place and maintain the internal temperature.

GET A QUOTE  

Lend A Hand To Release Air

Let’s give Earth its original wealth and prosperity back and make our lives a little easier, healthier, and happier. Question yourself, how many trees are required for breathing fresh and cleaning the polluted air? Analyse, introspect and do your part, contribute to Mother Nature what you took away from it. Don’t wait for anyone else to start, you be the initiator.

“Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam“- the whole world is one family. Let us make it feel like a home to everyone and even the animals. Animals, both wild and domesticated they cannot buy air.

So, are you ready to step ahead? Do share your valuable views in the comment box.

Edited by- Ms. Seema Sheriff (Relationship coach and content writer by passion)

Sick Building Syndrome v/s Green Lungs

What is Sick Building Syndrome (SBS)?

Sick building syndrome is a common worldwide health concern, where people in a building suffer from symptoms of illness or become infected with chronic disease from the building in which they work or reside, but no specific illness or cause can be identified.

History
1. Late 1970s- vague symptoms were reported by people in newly constructed homes, nurseries and offices. It was known as “office illness” in media.

During the first energy crisis in the 1970s, builders and building owners took action to reduce energy consumption in office buildings by increasing insulation, weather stripping doors, building wraps and using insulated double- and triple-pane windows.

In many cases, buildings were renovated to setup windows that couldn’t open, to minimize the escape of heated or cooled air.

2. 1980- NIOSH got 150 internal environmental quality complaints.

3. 1986- WHO coined the term “Sick Building Syndrome” and it also came to notice that 10-30% of newly built buildings in the West had indoor air quality issues.

4. 1989- The Swedish allergy study indicated sick building as a cause of the allergy epidemic.

5. 1990s-
• considerable research was carried out on Sick building syndrome.
• various studies were performed on individual buildings.
• the chemical contents of the material of the building was considered.
• a distrust of the Sick building syndrome concept was raised.
• 52% of complaints concerned sick-making work environments in USA.

6. 1999- a thesis at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm 1999 questioned the methodology of previous research.

7. 2005- a Danish study presented the imperfections experimentally which showed that sick building syndrome is neither a coherent syndrome nor a disease which can be diagnosed individually, rather it is a collection of semi related diseases.

8. 2006- the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare advised in the medical journal Läkartidningen that “sick building syndrome” should not be used as a clinical diagnosis.

How many buildings have this problem?

Animated Sick Building
WHO claims, 30% of the buildings suffer from sick building syndrome. We spend 90% of our time indoors due to the busy schedule and don’t have the time to relish nature.

           

What Causes Sick building syndrome?

1. Indoor contamination (heaters, smoking, etc.)
2. Outdoor contamination
3. Poor ventilation
4. Electromagnetic radiations
5. Biological contamination (pathogens, such as viruses, bacteria, fungi, spores, molds and protozoans)
6. Common products such as
• paint
• insulation
• rigid foam
• particle board
• plywood
• duct liners
• exhaust fumes, various chemical contaminants from indoor or outdoor sources, and biological contaminants can be trapped inside by the HVAC AC system.

Signs and symptoms
The WHO has sorted the reported symptoms into various categories, including:
• mucous membrane irritation (eye, nose, and throat irritation),
• neurotoxic effects (headaches, fatigue, and irritability),
• asthma and asthma-like symptoms (chest tightness and wheezing)

People affected with Sick building syndrome coming out of the sick building with thermometer• skin dryness and irritation, gastrointestinal complaints and more. 
• Non-specific hypersensitivity reactions, voice hoarseness, flu-like symptoms
• personality changes, reduction in work efficiency and increase in absenteeism.

A very large 2017 Swedish study corresponded several inflammatory diseases of the respiration tract with an objective proof of damp-caused damage in homes.

Diagnosis
There is no specified medical test to diagnose sick building syndrome. The below given characteristics can help identifying the cause :
1. Symptoms disappear once the affected person leaves the building or home.
2. Other co-workers have similar issues or complaints.

Animated building with a stethoscope

For your convenience write down when and where the symptoms start, as well as when they go away. Also, be very much specific about your symptoms. Your doctor will try identifying conditions that could mimic sick building symptoms. Record them in your diary.

How to resist the effect of illness?

Coming down to health, there are many natural ways of improving it i.e. engaging in physical activities, eating healthy, thinking positive, opting good habits and spending time with mother nature.

General health is a pivotal pillar for quality of life. How would it feel to be able to live in a place that provides,
• 48% increased focus on your work
• 26% increase in your study performance
• 6.4% improvement in the quality of sleep

Most of us do not know the characteristics of Truly Healthy Spaces. These are:
• To think
• To judge
• To memorize
• To understand

 Most of these strategies can be accomplished by gardening or greenery, but now days we have zero or very little space due to urbanization, open spaces are captured by high rise apartments. So, now we are left with vertical spaces like walls or roofs.

Sustainable healthy homes and offices

Within the last 20 years there has been renewed interest in the role of designed landscapes as a healing tool to enhance the wellbeing.

Sustainable design seeks to Reduce negative influence on environment, health and comfort of building occupants, thereby improving building performance. The basic objectives of sustainability are to cut down consumption of non-renewable resources, minimize waste and create healthy, productive environment.

How?
Sustainable design principles include the ability to:
• Optimize site potential
• Minimize non-renewable energy consumption
• Use environmentally preferable products
• Protect and conserve water
• Enhance indoor environmental quality
• Optimize operational and maintenance practices

Vertical Gardening for Healthy Living (The Green Lung’s Magic)
Vertical gardening (also known as the Living wall or the Green lung) is a technique used to grow plants on a vertically suspended panel. These unique structures can either be free standing or attached to a wall.

Vertical panel with plantsThese living green vertical structures can be as small as picture frame or as massive as thousands of square feet.
The trend of indoor gardening is increasing tremendously as people are taking interest in beautifying their homes and workplace with different kind of plants, veggies and herbs on a vertical panel.

How can green lungs help?

1. Respiratory Health
Animated lungsThe plants in a living wall filter particulate matter from the air and convert carbon dioxide into oxygen. A green lung extracts 2.3 kg carbon dioxide per annum from the air and produces 1.7 kg of oxygen. With these green lungs you contribute to air purification.
If you opt for an electric air purifier, you never know to how much extent the air is getting purified. Plus there will be an energy cost and it may also emit some radiations. Whereas, plants do not affect or emit anything, says Ar. Hardika who leads Hardika Architects firm in the city of Karnal.

2. Thermal Health
Thermometer50% sunlight is absorbed by the plants while 30% is reflected. Thus, it leads to a cooler and more pleasant environment in summers and a warmer indoor climate during winters.

3. Safety

Plants naturally contain a lot of moisture. With a green lung you create a natural fire resistant layer on a building or a house. Thus, it acts as a natural safety blanket.

4. Reduces ambient noise
No noise signA green lung acts as a sound barrier to the building. It absorbs 41% more sound than a traditional facade and this means that the indoor environment is much quieter. Also, the indoor voices are less likely to reach outside.

5. Extends facade life span
A green lung offers protection from external influences such as the sun, rain, wind and temperature fluctuations and thus, extends the life span of a building by reducing the contraction and relaxation of the concrete material.

6. Adds value to the building
The natural and sustainable appearance combined with a reduction in energy cost, means an increase in the value of your property and it also serves as a landmark.

7. Heightens the feeling of well being
Living and working in a green environment has a positive effect on one’s well health. Gardening offers you relaxation and reduces stress, says Ar. Hardika.

8. Green helps you focus
A healthier environment, cleaner air, and a better state of mind. The knock-on effect of this greener living space is the plants’ ability to improve concentration and focus, particularly important if your home is also your workplace.

9. Reduction in energy cost and utilization
Green lungs help to reduce the energy costs incurred to adequately ventilate and control building temperature. Reduction in the use of energy will not only cut down on heavy electricity bills but will also help conserving energy for the upcoming generations.

Plants in a green lung can remove upto 87% of toxins in air within a period of 24 hours.
Plants are effective in cutting down the amount of VOCs and enhance indoor environment. These VOCs include formaldehyde, benzene, xylene and trichloroethylene.

Green lungs or greenery contribute to improve the mental performance by 26% and quality of sleep by 6.4%.
Not only health benefits, green walls also provide a connection with nature that is missing from our work environment. It is really crucial to maintain this connection in order to stay healthy and active. The desire or the urge to connect with nature is known as biophilia.

How many plants you need to clean the air?
The NASA studies on indoor pollution done in 1989, recommended that 15 to 18 plants in 6 to 8 inch diameter containers each, help to clean the air in an average 1,800 square foot house, which is roughly one plant per 100 square feet of floor space.

Does it really matter?

Yes it does. In case of workplace, healthy employees mean more of efficiency and productivity in work. Healthier working environment can cut back on employee’s health expenditures. Whereas, at home you can up class the health of your family and as well as cut down on health expenditures and food cost by growing your own garden. Greenery will help children focus on studies and will make them more active, productive, and creative.

The man built environment is the major cause of green house gas emissions. The quality of air is changing day by day and so is the health of the population. Greenery is the only solution to this problem. Plants can transform our lives in an unexpected way. There is a need of looking at things from green and positive angles.

What we can do?

We can start from our own place, like our homes, then offices and then community. Improved environment quality can help create jobs and productive employees. The community health is also improved gradually.

We all need to join hands for a green initiative to secure the coming generation’s future as well as improve our health.
Good health is what remains forever.

To conclude, Green lungs i.e. mother nature wins over Sick building syndrome.                                                         

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Why Vertical Garden? (Need of Hour)

  1. Where can Vertical Garden be grown?
  2. Why to install a vertical garden
  3. Food Security
  4. Physiological Benefits
  5. Environment Benefits
  6. Economic Benefits

Is your love for gardening fading away due to limited space in your high rise apartment or your home? Do not worry!! Vertical gardening is the solution for your problem. Vertical gardening is a virtuous recourse for people who want save space; these are easy to maintain as they are easy to reach without bending; a large diversity of plants can be maintained within it.

Where can these be grown? 

Car parking, inside office buildings, along lane ways or rooftops.

why to install a vertical garden

No doubt, these gardens have an aesthetic merit but most supremely they do good to the environment as well. Here are some of the benefits;

FOOD Security


• Due to the corona virus crisis, the fear of food shortage is now residing in everyone’s mind. We are dependent on farmers for the same but we can grow most of our food in our homes as a safety measure. Vertical gardens produce healthy and clean harvest.
• Small fruits, vegetables and herbs can be grown very easily without the use of pesticides.
• It is a safe way of gardening as it minimizes the risk of pest attack.
• Food grown vertically is much prettier than the crops grown on ground. The fruits grow straight when trellised, since gravity pulls them down. Plus, there won’t be an ugly yellow spot on heavier vegetables and you get gorgeous vegetables.

Environmental Benefits


• Vertical gardening helps to reduce the carbon dioxide footprint of a building by filtering pollutants and carbon dioxide out of the air which also benefits those living nearby due to improved air quality.
• Exterior wall vertical gardens also help to reduce heat absorption, which can result in significant energy savings in areas where people rely on air–conditioning during the warmer parts of the year.
• These gardens can significantly help to reduce Urban Heat Island Effect and smog.
• The waste produced in our house can be reused for the same, such as- plastic bottles, old shoe organizers, baskets, broken ladder, etc.
• Indoor plants improve inner air quality by removing VOCs (Volatile organic compounds) and other harmful toxins.
• It acts as natural sound proofing barrier as the vegetated surface blocks high frequency sounds.
• Create a microclimate– you can insulate your home from heat, air pollution or noise by designing a living natural shield. This also helps to regulate temperature.

Physiological Benefits


Professor Virginia Lohr of Washington State University found in a study, that plants reduce the physical signs of stress. Dr. Lohr discovered that people working in an environment with plants present were 12% more productive and less stressed than those who worked in an environment without plants.

There are numerous other studies that highlight the positive impact of green spaces upon human well being. Honeyman 1987 found that buildings that feature and promote access to vegetation have a greater positive human health impact than those without. Green buildings have even been shown to increase post-operative recovery rates in medical facilities .

Economic Benefits


• Increase foot traffic in retail spaces as green walls create spaces that people want to spend time in.
• Provide thermal insulation.
As green walls provide insulation to buildings there is less demand upon power, saving cash as well as reducing the amount of polluting by-products that are released into the atmosphere.
• Vertical gardens both insulate and cool buildings, providing a kind of safety blanket that protects the building from the elements, saving money on repairs in the long run.
• Vertical gardens require the expertise of professionals from a variety of disciplines including landscape architects, architects, irrigation consultants and more helps create local jobs.

Vertical Gardening Techniques

Watch more on vertical gardens

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Why Fly To MARS? When We Have All On Earth Itself!

Why do we have missions to Mars but not to Mercury? Mostly because there’s some anticipation that Mars can support life, whereas, Mercury can’t. This is because the daytime temperature on Mercury reaches to 430 degree Celsius, probably hot enough to melt lead and during night it cools down to -183 degree Celsius, cold enough to liquefy oxygen.

Now the questions arise; why are we even planning to live on some other planet? Is earth not enough? Are we so greedy that the millions of resources which are helping us survive will happen to totally exhaust one day? Or we are really finding a planet to ensure the survival of our next generation?
There are many questions but with scanty answers.

Human beings often forget that we are completely dependent on Mother Nature and become ignorant towards caring for it. But the Covid-19 lockdown is healing the planet in a way never seen before in living history! Well, it’s too early to tell if these transitions will last forever. Experts say, the environment would suffer once the quarantine measures are lifted and industries would work double the time to make for what they have lost.
There is no doubt, the COVID restrictions have impacted the environment positively.

According to a survey, China’s nitrogen level has dropped by 30% after the lockdown started in January as the industries and cars (the primary producers of N02) were brought to a stop. A research found that the coal consumption fell by 40%. Also, China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment reported a decrease in chemicals, phosphorus and ammonia in the country’s surface water during this period.

The fear of food shortage is another aspect that is slowly bringing the world to its knees. This pandemic has taught one important lesson, ‘Grow your own food’. Look around you and find spaces that could be filled with food. But the real interest in urban farming will only show once the lockdown is over. There have been reports of panic buying during the lockdown. Food shortages are predicted to cause violent and unrest – a senior economist at FAO said.

Plants are growing better because there is cleaner air and water and because of less human interference.

What’s happening in India?
 The number of flamingoes has increased in Mumbai as a result of lockdown. The birds normally migrate to the Navi Mumbai area every year but there is a massive increase in their numbers this year.

Air quality- India has also observed a drastic change, a positive one, in the air quality. The sky seems cleaner now. Even the birdsong seems much louder. Delhi, the most polluted city is now breathing in fresh air after a long time.

Water quality– since there are no boats, whether they be fishing or pleasure ones, plying on the rivers and waterways, the water has cleared up. No doubt, because of the lesser human footfall even the oceans are recovering. The critically endangered, Ganges River dolphins are back after 30 years just because of less water pollution near Kolkata Ghats.

Ganga river is now fit for drinking,. Water from Har-ki-Pauri in Haridwar was tested and the results reveal that the water here isfit for drinking after chlorination’, for the first time in decades. Water quality improved tremendously in the upstream but downstream Varanasi has seen very little change,” said a CPCB scholar working on the Clean Ganga project.

Effect on wildlife- lockdown has seen a decline in fishing, which means that the fish biomass will increase after over fishing almost, depleted it.

With less fear of busy streets and humans trapped indoors, animals are returning to roam around their urbanized habitats. In many cities with busy freeways, less vehicles on the road also means less road killing of these animals.

So, overall there is a positive impact on environment with COVID restrictions. It teaches us a lesson that If we all work together and responsibly, we can make these improvements permanent and there will be no need to plan expensive missions to other planet when we have lots to do here.

The conclusion is, we can save Earth for our future generations by using the resources wisely. Earth has abundant of resources which can make our lives easy and happy.

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