By Jess Handley


For those of us who have a passion for being outdoors and going into nature, winter can be a very depressing time indeed, especially if you live in Cape Town. Mountain bikes are put back in the garage and replaced with visits to the gym, a day trip to the beach or botanical garden becomes a long afternoon in bed with movies, and although these may seem like fairly good alternatives nothing is quite as good as being out in the fresh air. Luckily, there are ways and means of getting clean fresh air indoors that do not necessarily involve fancy air purifying technology. I’m talking about something much simpler, like going down to the nursery or market and buying an air purifying plant.

aloeNo, it is not a specific strain of flora called Purifyingous leafos, but there are in fact a few plants that can be cultivated indoors and have great purifying properties.The aloe, for instance is a readily available plant that can soothe sunburns, stings, or cuts, but is great for purifying the air. Aloe can help clear the air of pollutants found in chemical cleaning products. And being the clever little plant that it is, when the amount of harmful chemicals in the air becomes too excessive the plant’s leaves will display brown spots.

English Ivy is another good choice, and according to NASA is the number one houseplant to grow indoors due to its incredible air filtering abilities. It is the most effective plant when it comes to absorbing formaldehyde, and it grows quickly.


If aesthetics is something that needs to be taken into consideration, why not settle for the Peace Lily. This gorgeous flower is a wonderful low-maintenance plant that does well indoors as it required very little sunlight and can survive in cooler temperatures. Most importantly, they can reduce the levels of a number of toxins in the air.

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