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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » How to Grow Fresh Air: 50 House Plants that Purify Your Home or Office » User review

Very interesting & effective

  • Aug 3, 2010
  • by
"How to Grow Fresh Air" is a nonfiction book about plants' ability to remove common office and household toxins from our indoor air. The book had two parts: 31 pages on how plants purify the air and what the research said about which plants are best at removing common air pollutants; and 100 pages with details about the 50 house plants.

The first part discussed indoor air pollution and the health problems caused by it (with a chart showing what sources--like carpeting, paint, and plywood--gave what harmful air pollutant). The author then described how plants produce oxygen, put water into the air, etc. He then talked about studies done on the effectiveness of using houseplants to remove harmful air pollutants and what they found. He included charts showing the results for the ability of various plants to remove four different harmful air pollutants and charts for other findings. The last seven pages were a basic plant care guide on light level, planting medium, watering, and pest management.

The plant listing had a 2-page spread for each plant listed. The first page had a small, full-view picture of the plant, the plant's name (common and official), and some information about the house plant, its selection, and its care. Along one edge of the page, the following information was briefly given: name; origin; how much light it likes (full sun, semi-shade, etc.); preferred temperature range; pests and problems; care; and what to plant it in. A chart at the bottom of the page rated the plant on its ability to remove chemical vapors, ease of growth and maintenance, resistance to insect infestation, and the amount of water it puts into the air. The second page was a full page, close-up picture of the plant's leaves.

I bought this book several years ago because my house just "felt sick" to me. I had only three small house plants since I was growing so many plants outdoors. I found this book very interesting and immediately bought several more houseplants. They flourished, and my house stopped feeling so "sick" to me--plus I stopped getting sick all of the time. So I do think this information helped. I'd recommend it to people who feel mildly sick most of the time or are concerned about their indoor air purity.

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December 26, 2011
This is a great idea. You need air purifiers, plants and no smoking rules to keep indoors clean and safe.
March 06, 2011
What a neat idea for a book. Sounds great! Thanks for telling us about it.
March 06, 2011
You're welcome. I'm glad you found the idea interesting, too.
September 04, 2010
I've been thinking I may need more plants in my house. Now reading this I really will be getting a new plant soon. I may have to look into this book. Oxygen rules! Thanks for the review.
September 04, 2010
Yes, oxygen is great! Any of the plants you can buy at a store are helpful concerning indoor air quality, and the larger plants can (somewhat obviously) affect more air. The book is useful if you want to learn what plants best remove what pollutants from the air, but otherwise just pick the plants you like. :)
September 03, 2010
Great review, Debbie (btw, I'm a Debbie, too!).  This sounds like a really fantastic book.  I'm really wary of indoor air pollution, so I try to have my windows opened as often as possible, but it sounds like having plants really helps, too!  I think you might be interested in my Little Things I Do For the Sake of the Environment list.  I'm thinking planting plants might go well on my next list :)  Thanks for sharing this!
September 04, 2010
Thanks, Devora. I'm glad you found my review informative and useful. :) I read your "Little Things..." list. I already do about 10 of the things you listed--11 if you add "planting plants. Good ideas.
More How to Grow Fresh Air: 50 Hous... reviews
review by . March 19, 2007
I used this invaluable book as a resource and reference in my book, Harmonious Environment: Beautify, Detoxify & Energize Your Life, Your Home & Your Planet because it proves that plants remove toxic chemicals in the home.      Bill Wolverton, Ph.D., of Wolverton Environmental Services in Mississippi, spent the past twenty-five years researching the healthful benefits of plants. He names fifty best houseplants to clean up your environment. They are listed in descending …
About the reviewer
Debbie White ()
Ranked #119
I review books, do organic gardening (vegetables, fruit trees, etc.), mentor a young lady, and work with inmates at the local jail and state prison units. I live in a passive solar house (with an active … more
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About this book


Plants are the lungs of the earth. This revolutionary guide, based on 25 years of research by NASA, shows how common houseplants can combat sick building syndrome and cleanse the home or office of common pollutants. Color photos & llustrations. Online promo.
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ISBN-10: 0140262431
ISBN-13: 978-0140262438
Author: B. C. Wolverton
Genre: Professional & Technical, Home & Garden, Health, Mind & Body
Publisher: Penguin
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