Wednesday, January 16, 2013

INDOOR PLANTS CAN HELP YOU HAVE THE ABUNDANCE GLOW.

The feeling that we live with shortages is a lie. Abundance is already here - starting today - when we are open to infinite creativity and refuse to compete for resources.

Plants are a marvelous creation - the very essence of our Earth. They were here long before us and we need them for survival. And remember they don’t need us. In fact, we have been their great destroyers, causing the extinction of millions of plants with our not-so-civilized ways of living. But plants are eternally forgiving and want to help us obtain the abundance that we long for. We just have to give them a chance. Having indoor plants is a good idea for everyone and especially necessary for those who live in cities where asphalt and concrete are most everywhere and green plants and trees are in short supply. This post outlines how to capture some plant-related abundance in our homes.

Unfortunately, for both our mental and physical health, the average US person spends about 90 percent of his/her time indoors. That means that we aren’t seeing much natural green except from out our windows at home or as we drive by. But when we bring some plants into our home, they give back to us some of the green-goodness that we are lacking. They not only lend beauty to our spaces, but also make us feel at ease and can even be a source of healing and food.

Plants can give your home the glow of abundance.
In fact, feng shui, a Chinese philosophy that spans thousand of years, points out how green plants not only improve the energy of indoor spaces but also are a remedy for other kinds of problems arising from being behind walls. And feng shui is not merely concerned with interior decoration or plant placement, but primarily with the flow of chi energy in man made and natural settings. This ancient philosophy also indicates that the healthier your plants, the more abundance they bring into the home. Fresh flowers bring luck and fortune into your home. For the same reason, dying and dried flowers are believed to bring bad luck.

Science today has proved what feng shui suggested centuries ago. Houseplants bring in beneficial oxygen and even lower electromagnetic pollution. Air conditioning, improved insulation, and other energy-saving innovations all reduce air exchange in buildings. We end up breathing the same polluted air again and again. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) created by man-made materials are also a major cause of illness. All these air-borne contaminants add up to a loss of concentration, depression and other diseases in what’s known as "sick building" syndrome. The good news is that indoor plants stimulate both the senses and the mind and help remove air-borne pollutants, making for healthier homes.

Two things to do improve your indoor air quality
First and foremost, if you want to feel better in your home, ventilate your rooms by opening windows. This should be done daily even if it can only be done for just a few minutes at a time.

Second, place some common household plants in the rooms of your home to increase air humidity and help your family to breathe easier. That's a real plus when it comes to fighting viral infections. And you don’t have to have a house full of greenery. NASA studies indicate that just one good-sized houseplant (6 to 8-inch diameter container) is enough to help clean up 100 square feet of your home. Of course, you need to keep the foliage dust free so that the leaves can do their job and keep the top of the soil free from debris.

Some useful houseplants for better air include three common household plants - areca palm, mother-in-law's tongue, and the money plant - all are effective in improving indoor air quality. Besides those mentioned, other research has shown that waffle plant, English ivy, variegated wax plant, asparagus fern and the purple heart plant are also good air purifiers. Some more great houseplants to consider are bamboo, palms, dracaena, peace lilies, jade plants, small ficus trees, rubber plants, and  weeping fig.

House plants can be food, too
Indoor-grown plants can also be a source of healthy food. A good way to grow these edibles is making a window or tabletop “farm.” Sprouts, cherry tomatoes, small citrus trees, and herbs - such as basil, mint, rosemary, dill, parsley, cilantro, and chives – all can be indoor-grown. In other posts, Grandma Susan wrote about growing sprouts and herbs in the home. (See related posts, below.) Today, homegrown microgreens - small garden veggies - have been added to indoor window and tabletop farms. Chia, cress, mustard greens, radish and arugula are some of the most common microgreens.

Larger than sprouts and smaller than baby salad greens, microgreens are harvested from two to five inches tall (about 2 weeks after sowing). At that time, they have a high quality taste and are most nutritious. And they add texture, flavor and healthy nutrients to all kinds of salads and sandwiches. They are also used as garnishes for a variety of dishes.

To grow microgreens, all you need are shallow, lightweight containers, soil, seeds and water and some sunlight. Seeds are soaked overnight, then sowed. Microgreens have short roots so the soil or mats that hold their roots have to be watered often but should not become soggy. Good sunlight and drainage are important to prevent rot and mold.

Related posts
SPROUTS SHOULD BE PART OF YOUR SURVIVAL KITCHEN
GREEN GARDENS: GOOD FOR FAMILIES AND FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
TAKE POSITIVE AND PEACEFUL ACTIONS TO CONFRONT FOOD SHORTAGES
LOOK FOR WAYS TO BE MORE AWARE OF THE NATURAL WORLD.
LIVING IT UP WITH LESS: DECORATION IN A SIMPLE HOME

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