Pogue’s Posts‘ recent look at the latest TED talks underlines one particular presentation that seems pretty interesting. It’s by a fellow named Kamal Meattle who’s experimenting with the way potted plants increase health and productivity:
We have tried and tested these plants for 15 years at Paharpur Business Centre and Software Technology Incubator Park (PBC™ – STIP) in New Delhi, India. It is a 20 year old, 50,000 ft2 building, with over 1,200 plants for 300 building occupants.
…[C]ompared to other buildings in Delhi, the incidence of eye irritation reduced by 52%, lower respiratory symptoms by 34%, headaches by 24%, upper respiratory symptoms by 20%, lung impairment by 10-12% and Asthma by 9%. As a result of fewer sick days — employee productivity also increased.
Our experience points to an amazing increase in human productivity resulting from using these plants to be >20%, and energy costs to reduce by an extraordinary >15%.
I remember reading about the NASA research that inspired this experiment (they were enthusiastic about philodendrons), and am happy to see the ideas being carried further – including into to the workplace. Meattle’s project singled out areca palms (Chrysalidocarpus lutescens), mother-in-law’s tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata) and money plants (Epipremnum aureum, formerly Pothos) as the best indoor air cleaners and oxygen providers. Consider getting one or two for your desk, then?
[via 43Folders Clips]
EDIT TO ADD: More recent research on potted plants removing formaldehyde from the air. Go green!