New plants inside the school

The parents from each class with the help of the teachers and the blessing of Miss Harte (head teacher) are starting a new initiative to make each classroom greener.

As well everything else we’re doing (green wall and purifiers) each family will contribute a plant that purifies the air.

 This is what’s already been done in Year 4 so far.

This is what’s already been done in Year 4 so far.

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Indoor air pollutants have been ranked among the top five environmental risks to public health:

Stagnant indoor environments allow pollutants to build up and stick around in greater amounts than we humans should be breathing in. Living and working in places rife with air contaminants and lacking decent ventilation can cause "sick building syndrome," which can cause headaches, dizziness, nausea, and eye, ear, and nose irritation. Lucky for us, NASA scientists have been working to understand this problem and find solutions. Their space-age solution was an easy one that anyone can use. Use houseplants to clean the air .

Plants are also known to:

  • increase mood and productivity,

  • enhance concentration and memory and reduce stress and fatigue

Given that people spend more than 90 percent of their time indoors, air quality matters . Furnishings, upholstery, synthetic building materials, and cleaning products in homes and offices can emit a variety of toxic compounds, like formaldehyde. Indoor air pollution can also be caused by pollen, bacteria, and molds, as outdoor air contaminants like car exhaust finds its way into buildings. All of these are made worse in small or poorly-ventilated spaces (like maybe your apartment with that window that you accidentally painted shut last year).

The good news is that there’s an easy and affordable way to combat the presence of the yucky stuff we may be breathing in, and it comes right from the natural world. Plants purify air, making them part of what NASA calls "nature’s life support system." Adding potted plants to a room has been shown to reduce the amount of air particulates (although plants in bloom may be contributing their own compounds to the air) .

So, how do houseplants clean the air? Plants absorb some of the particulates from the air at the same time that they take in carbon dioxide, which is then processed into oxygen through photosynthesis.

But that’s not all—microorganisms associated with the plants are present in the potting soil, and these microbes are also responsible for much of the cleaning effect. Beyond air quality, plants just make people feel better! For example, hospital patients with plants in their rooms were more positive and had lower blood pressure and stress levels . Similarly, indoor plants may make people smarter by allowing them to stay alert and reducing mental fatigue

Recent research suggests that the mere presence of plants can boost your attention span!

In a study to be published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, researchers show that the mere presence of plants in an office setting boosts one’s ability to maintain attention.

As humans spend more of their lives in front of screens, scientists have devoted more attention to the effects these artificial environments have on the mind. Sometimes, this new study suggests, it may be possible to reap benefits with simple changes in decorating strategy.

Perfect Plants for the Classroom - safe for children

Boston Fern

Ferns are very popular houseplants and the Boston Fern is one that offers beauty and healthy benefits. These plants act as humidifiers and can help to restore moisture in the air so they are perfect for those who suffer from dry skin and other cold weather problems. They can also help to eliminate traces of formaldehyde and they look beautiful hanging from baskets all around the home. Remember to keep your Boston Fern in direct sunlight and mist the leaves with water regularly.

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Aloe Vera

This succulent fights benzene (found in detergents and plastics) and formaldehyde (found in varnishes and floor finishes). In addition to being easy to care for, aloe makes some serious health claims. The plant's leaves contain a clear liquid full of vitamins, enzymes, amino acids, and other compounds that have wound-healing, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties, and there is some evidence that aloe may help (and is unlikely to hurt) skin conditions like psoriasis .

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Spider Plant

The spider plant is a commonly found houseplant and is one that is really easy to grow. Within just two days, this plant can remove up to 90 percent of the toxins in your indoor air. The leaves grow quickly and help to absorb harmful substances like mold and other allergens so it is the perfect plant for those who have common dust allergies. It also helps to absorb small traces of formaldehyde and carbon monoxide.

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Bamboo Palm

A superstar of filtering formaldehyde, these palms thrive in full sun or bright light. Part of the reason they can filter so much air is that they can grow to be pretty big—as tall as four to 12 feet high, making them exciting (and pet-friendly) indoor additions. Pollutants removed: benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene

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Andrea Carnevali