It may at first seem strange to mention LED lighting in the same sentence as the humble house plant. The fact is that both with not only improve your immediate environment but also the planet as a whole. If that isn’t incentive enough then how about having lower energy bills and improve you and your family’s general wellbeing?
Before you read any further think about what you have just read – by making a few small changes at a relatively small cost you are going to improve your health and save money. People always talk about the environment as if they are talking about something in a far off country. The fact is the most important environment is your home and your workplace, the places you spend most of your life. I strongly believe change should start at home as that is where you will see the greatest improvement and see that you can actually make a difference.
Bring fresh air into your home and office with a plant
Without plants we wouldn’t be able to breathe, as plants are amazing little machines that turn light into food and supply us with oxygen. You probably already knew that but I bet you didn’t know that they can also remove toxins and dust from the air and make you feel better – and that’s not just psychologically better but also physiologically better.
You may have heard about sick building syndrome; it’s where poor indoor air quality affects the health of its occupants. You can get this in your home or in your office or workplace, and this is why proper ventilation is essential. Many of the furnishings, parts of the building and electrical appliances give off toxic gases like formaldehyde, benzene and ammonia. Those lovely soft furnishings are poisoning you. Photocopiers, carpets, computers, plasterboard, MDF wood, paint and just about everything is constantly leaching dangerous gases into your environment.
Simply by placing a house plant on your desk at work or having a plant in each room at home can help to reduce the impact of these toxins. Often times conditions such as asthma, stress, anxiety, lethargy and tiredness can be caused or aggravated by poor indoor air quality.
A plant can oxygenate and humidify the air, reduce blood pressure, help concentration, reduce anxiety, coughs, cold symptoms, sore throats and tiredness. Don’t believe me? Why not try it, buy a plant or get a cutting from someone who has.
But I can’t keep plants alive, I don’t have green fingers?
I have two plants that anyone can grow and they don’t mind being neglected, over-watered, under-watered and can cope with low light conditions. They are the type of plants that you could go on holiday for a month and come back and they’ll be just fine – so no excuses. The two best plants are the common Spider Plant and Devils Ivy. I realise they are not the most conductively named plants but they are tough and love to purify your local environment. For more, check out 10 plants that clean the air inside your home.
What about LED lighting?
So you have sorted out the air quality what about sorting out the light quality. Good light makes it easier to read and work under and reduces eye strain. Energy efficient LED lighting can produce a whiter light more akin to natural daylight. If however you are fond of that yellow tinged warm glow of the incandescent light bulb you can get LED lights that produce this type of light too.
You probably already know about energy efficient CFL lighting that is now commonplace, and while these save energy and money they are not as environmentally friendly as LED lights.
You can get LED bulb replacements for your home but a more cost effective solution is to replace that energy hungry halogen recessed lighting with LED replacements. Typically you find this type of lighting in kitchens where there are several recessed lights in the ceiling. Each of these bulbs can be 50 watts, sometimes more, you can replace each of these bulbs with brighter, longer lasting and cheaper to run 4 watt LED equivalents. Go for cool white for a cleaner look with light closer to that of daylight or warm white for a more traditional match to halogens.
By installing this more efficient type of lighting you will usually save enough in electricity to cover the cost of your investment in about a year. Yes, they are more expensive than halogens but you will easily save the money back in energy savings and continue to do so year after year as they quite literally pay for themselves. Another benefit is that they typically last 50,000 hours so if you used them for two hours a day they would last for 68 years. How many times do you have to change your halogen bulbs?