Can We Counter Global Warming With More Indoor Plants?

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Can We Counter Global Warming With More Indoor Plants?

Global warming: it’s something more and more people are joining the fight against. But you don’t have to be in charge of a country or run a big multinational business to do your bit to help counter the damage being done to the planet. We can all play our part to reduce the onslaught of mass deforestation and the burning of fossil fuels, and it all starts in the home.


Surprising Statistics

I live in the UK where, on average, each citizen is responsible for around 9.7 tonnes of the country’s carbon emissions. We can each do something individually to help, and planting trees is as good a place to start as any. If you don’t have a garden or just aren’t that green-fingered though, an indoor forest still has plenty of environmental benefits – perhaps even more so!

Trees and plants are a huge asset in the fight against climate change – they take in CO2, expel oxygen and are an essential tool in keeping the levels in the atmosphere balanced.

Just exactly how much CO2 plants take in has been disputed in recent years: a study in 2011 thought that plants take in more CO2 than we had previously thought, but one in 2012 decided they take in less due to rising temperatures.

They have, however, been responsible for absorbing 30% of CO2 emissions caused by humans in the last 150 years, so whatever the studies say, one thing is certain: more plants is never a bad thing, especially inside where the air is often more polluted than outdoor air.


The Role Of Indoor Plants

Having more indoor plants is a positive step towards replacing the worlds tree and plant population, but it is not merely a like-for-like replacement. Plants also help to purify the air, which leads to less humidity and means less air conditioning is needed to breathe indoors in the heat of summer.  In turn, less fossil fuels are burned keeping your AC on, cutting down yet more CO2 emissions.

So, if you’re thinking about reducing your carbon footprint and doing something constructive towards a less polluted environment, having more indoor plants is a great place to start. If you’re unsure about which plants would thrive best, give this office plant picker a try. It gives you a great guide as to how big a plant you will need going by how many people will be in the room, and the rules can be applied to family size rather than employees if you’re buying plants for your home.

But you don’t have to go all out if you’ve got a smaller place, or not enough time for upkeep. Just one plant per room could help to purify the air there.

The benefits of office plants are fairly well documented. They provide not only purer air but also absorb noise, thus reducing noise levels in the office and making for a much calmer environment. A calmer environment to work in will also lead to happier and more productive employees.


Whether you have indoor plants simply because they look nice or because they’re good for our health and well-being, remember that they are also really good for the environment, too.

How many indoor plants do you have at home or at the office? Share in the comments.

Greener Ideal is an independent environmental news and lifestyle publication that has been curating content since 2008 to further the green movement. The views expressed by contributing authors are their own and may not reflect those of Greener Ideal.

  • Peacespy

    I have too many indoor plants to begin counting. I have made small greenhouses out of each skylight in my home and we have numerous skylights because when we purchased the house it was dark. We also installed larger windows. I love plants and have brought many into the office where I work. Everyone who comes in comments on the numerous beautiful plants growing in our work place. There are so many varieties of plants which the right one can tolerate almost any indoor situation.

  • Estelle

    I love plants too! I buy lots of fresh flowers but am planning to get more long-term, potted plants this summer.