PLANTS – The reason why life exists on earth. The most unselfish givers, who have bestowed every part of themselves for the service of this planet and other creatures. They not only give out oxygen but help in maintaining the balance in the environment by contributing towards the formation of the ozone, which prevents the harmful ultraviolet rays to enter the earth. Plants lay down the foundation layer of what we eat. They are the backbone of life on earth and an essential resource for humans and other well-being.
Most hours of our day end up in our workstations. Work is inevitable, but in this modern era of high competition and long hours of work, we end up getting very little time to discern the beauty of nature. Thus, it is necessary for these places to be well equipped if at all not with a lot of greenery holding in big bushes and trees but at least potted plants that will be an aid in maintaining a fresh atmosphere in and all around as these places tend to be away from the connection of natural environment. There is a lot of scientific evidence, which portrays the need to have plants, and mainly for offices and workstations that are piled up with people who inhale more due to stress and pressure than air.
Since time is immemorial, plants are known as healing agents. Dandelions are best known to cure diuretic. Rosemary’s carnosic acid is said to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. The oil in its flowers is antibacterial and anti-fungal. It helps in improving circulation to the brain because it is most analogous to remembrance. Lavender is famous for its fragrance. For many ages, it has been used to lessen anxiety, migraine, insomnia, and depression. The presence of lavender at the workplace can be of benefit for the good health of the employees, as its fragrance has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties.
Peppermint which has antibacterial and anti-viral properties is even known to soothe headaches. Catnip that is well known as a happy time elixir for cats, it can also help to treat toothaches as well. At the workplace, it can be instrumental to avoid diseases like dengue, chikungunya, etc. According to research, Catnip is known to repel mosquitoes ten times more effectively than DEET (diethyltoluamide – the active ingredient in insect repellents).
Certain houseplants like Aloe Vera, Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum) are even known to improve indoor air quality. Spider plants are also known as airplane plants, which are extremely easy to regrow. They can tussle benzene formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, and even xylene. At offices, there is a great need for stationaries like paper, pen, etc. Hence Gerbera (Gerbera jamesonii) can come to the rescue in such situations since it is effective at removing trichloroethylene and is great for filtering out benzene that comes with inks; on top of that, they are brightly colored, beautiful and are easy to lift the mood for anyone who gazes at it.
Even the snake plant can be kept in bathrooms as they help in filtering out air pollutants. These plants also have a unique property, as at night they can absorb carbon dioxide and give out oxygen (opposite of the exercise most plants follow). A Weeping fig (Ficus benjamina) in any room can help to filter out pollutants that conventionally accompany carpeting and furniture containing toxins like benzene, formaldehyde, etc. It can be beneficial since workplaces are generally filled with furniture as much as with people. Other plants that can aid to remove pollutants from desks or particle board etc. can be the Heartleaf Philodendron and Bamboo Palm.
Due to the growing population and the increase in food demands, humans have been destroying nature. Hence on moral grounds also it is our responsibility to compensate for the loss. Planting them in offices can be one such step. Plants through the biological process of photosynthesis produce oxygen as a byproduct. In small places where thousands of people work together day and night, the amount of carbon dioxide released is enormous. Having fresh plants nearby can help speed up the process of removing carbon dioxide and adding oxygen for the work environment to be more healthy, hospitable and comfortable.
So, the list of plants described above are :
Dandelions, Rosemary, Lavender, Peppermint, Catnip, Aloe Vera, Spider plant, Gerbera, Snake plant, Heartleaf Philodendron and Bamboo Palm.
In the words of Lao Tzu, “Nature doesn’t hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” Hence, nature teaches patience. Having patience during work is extremely important, metaphorically it can instill in the minds of employees, the seeds of patience. Also, the resplendence and phosphorescence of plants are unavoidable to match. They are the silent living beings, and the presence of a living entity is hard to redeemed by anything non-living. As Kahlil Gibran says, “Trees are the poems, the earth writes upon the sky.” Hence, office plants can be immensely enriching the soul for all the dreamers, philosophers who not only work to make a living on earth but to live for all the beauty earth manifests.