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What Can Be Done to Improve Air Quality?

In the wake of the modern world’s “pollution” consisting of tall buildings, artificial lighting and indoor living, an urban architect is proposing that we go back to the drawing boards and redesign our approach to making sure we have clean air both inside and out as we go about our daily lives, BBC.com reports. Ideas for doing this include installing sensors to monitor light, modifying our electricity and water usage, planting urban gardens and offering employees access to bike or car-sharing schemes.

It’s shocking that 92 percent of the world’s population breathes polluted air, and that a toxic environment is responsible for at least 1 of every 4 deaths reported worldwide. What’s worse, these numbers may be conservative as they don’t include nitrogen oxides or ozone pollutants, both gasses that are easily inhalable.

While poor outdoor air quality has also been linked to both chronic and acute respiratory diseases, such as asthma and lung cancer, your indoor air quality could be even worse, largely due to our drive toward better-sealed buildings for greater energy efficiency.

The good news is you can make a significant difference in the air quality both at home and at work, no matter the age of the building. Besides using good air filters, you can decorate with plants, which can simultaneously help beautify and clean inside air. Twelve of the best plants to help with this are: jade, spider plants, scarlet starts (from the family of Bromeliads), Caribbean tree cactus, dracaena, ferns, peace lilies, English ivy, ficus, snake plant, philodendron and bamboo palm.
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