Friday 22 February 2019

How your garden can help tackle air pollution


Rising air pollution is a big problem. Air pollution can cause both short term and long term effects on health. In fact 40,000 deaths each year in the UK are linked to toxic air levels. The severity of this invisible killer is highlighted in the fact that one girl's tragic death could mark the first death certificate to have 'toxic air' cited as the primary cause of death.

With toxic air impacting on our health it is no surprise that people are considering what they can do to tackle air pollution.

Looking at our carbon footprint and making positive changes to lower our carbon footprint can help fight against rising air pollution.

Another way to change toxin levels in the air is to look at things that will clean the air – PLANTS! Thankfully there are a number of plants that can be grown in your garden and community areas that are ideal for fighting air pollution as they help purify and clean the air. Let's venture outdoors and look at the best plants to help purify, filter and clean the air.

Growing greener walls
Renowned for growing on stone walls, trees and up the sides of homes across the UK, the Hedera Helix, commonly known as the English Ivy is an evergreen climber that not only looks gorgeous but also helps to purify the air.

Thanks to its wide leaves Ivy is noted for its ability to cage particulates in the air and remove toxins from the air. This makes Ivy a wonderful air purifying plant. Because Ivy is fast growing and exceptionally hardy it is perfect for both the countryside and city.

Hedges grown from plants that boast air purifying properties are particularly good if you live by a busy street as they trap and filter pollutants at exhaust pipe level. Noted for their air cleaning properties conifers and the western red cedar are hedges that offer fantastic filter against pollutants.

If you are limited on garden space consider planting the yew because not only will it help with air pollution but the evergreen plant is easy to trim and takes up less space. Another way to boost greenery in a small space is to grow a living green wall or use a grow bag.

Splash of colour
In the quest for cleaner air not only are green plants your friend, colourful flowering plants such as the wallflower are also ideal for helping to purify the air. The leaves of the self-seeded wallflowers are covered in short hairs which captures particulates, stopping them from further dispersing.

Boasting purple anti-pollutant powers the aster flower is not only a beautiful addition to the garden but also a wise one for fighting pollutants. Not only does it capture air pollutants with its leaves but the aster flower also deals with soil pollutants too by drawing metals like lead and cadmium from the soil.

Nature indoors
As plants boast many health benefits why not take nature indoors too. To help improve the air quality of your home or office introduce house plants. Boasting air purifying qualities plants such as the red-edged dracena and aloe vera are ideal for improving the air pollution indoors.

Healthy gardening
When it comes to pollution consider thinking beyond flowers to help air pollution and look at ensuring you are practising environmentally healthy gardening techniques. The Smiling Gardener highlights five ways a gardener can decrease their pollution contribution when caring for their garden. The site outlines not using pesticides and chemical fertilizers as well as suggesting avoiding other forms of pollution such as noise pollution.

Have you implemented plants that fight air pollution in your garden?

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