Grow Fresh Air in Your Apartment

These three plants will produce fresh air, even in your basement apartment.

plants fresh air

Image via TED 2009 Conference

When Kamal Meattle was told that the air in New Delhi was killing him, he took three common indoor plants and used them to “grow” fresh air for an entire office park. It worked, and his findings were presented at the TED 2009 conference. Now that it is the dead of winter, most of us have the windows shut in our city apartments and the air quality is definitely not up to par. If his system can improve thousands of square feet in an office park, just imagine how it can improve our tiny apartments.

The three plants you will need are the Areca Palm, the Mother-in-Law’s Tongue, and the Money Plant. All three are common plants that can be purchased at your local home improvement store or nursery. Both the Areca Palm and the Mother-in-Law’s Tongue remove CO2 and convert it into oxygen, and the money plant is a specialist that can do all sorts of cool things like remove formaldehyde and other pollutants from the air.

When used together, Meattle says in the video (below) that you could basically be in a bottle with the cap on and you would not suffocate, because with these three plants you’d have all the fresh air you’d need to survive. Meattle is now trying this experiment with an even larger office park.

There is some fine print, of course. You need to take care of the plants. A dead plant won’t help the air. And you need more than one plant. At his office park, anywhere from four to eight plants per person were used, so that amounts to thousands of plants. For two individuals in a small, city apartment, just a few of each would really do the job. Try it out and breath easy.

  • John Johnson

    Thanks for this article. I had no idea these plants make air cleaner.This Kamal Meattle guy must be a genuis to have figured this out. A very rich genuis I am guessing. In the classic movie Spaceballs there was an air shortage and Mel Brooks played the president of the Spaceballs and in one scene he takes what looks like a can of soda, but instead it says pereAIR. Fresh air in a can. Maybe I should invent that. I am copyrighting that idea on this website. Anyway that was a great movie.