Want a greener way to breathe this winter??
With winter now upon us, the dropping temperatures outside results in higher temperatures inside with every one of us reaching for the thermostat!
Although it is nice to be in a warm environment, within the office this can be at the detriment to our health as this provides a wonderful breading ground for one of the UK’s most familiar problems during winter – no not delayed trains due to a millimetre of snow, the good old flu!
So here is a way to able to keep the temperatures up in the office without aiding the spreading of germs and of course it is a green solution – it wouldn’t be a Global Office Supplies tip otherwise! That tip is… Plants!
The following plants listed below are not only proven to be able to remove the toxins found in the air but also provide a green atmosphere to work in which studies show aids productivity – and being Christmas you can decorate them too!!
Oxalis is hands-down, my favourite office plant. You can find them with leaves of all colours, but the deep purple ones are really unusual and attractive. When they are happy, Oxalis will almost always have a mass of little white or pink flowers waving around over the leaves, and the clover-like leaves fold up at night (which is a good reminder to go home already!).
Jade plants are a succulent that does well in low-light. They have pretty, plump, shiny leaves and a sort-of minimalist aspect to them as they grow. Jade plants won’t drape over the sides of your pot, so they are one plant that should be put in something pretty down below, because it will be visible. They do find in moderate light (including just office lights).
Umbrella plants are so hard to kill that I found mine in someone’s trash can, took it home, trimmed it, watered it and seven years later, it’s threatening to take over my dining room. They do need some light, but not much, and they need to be regularly watered, but I don’t think I’ve ever fed mine any kind of fertilizer, ever — they’re that hardy. Their leaves form umbrella-like shapes and there’s something quite sweet and modest about them. They don’t flower, and need some light.
Peace lilies aren’t like the lilies you see at funerals, and while they do bloom, their flowers are just modified leaves (which means that they last for longer than regular flowers do). Peace lilies grow well with just the light from overhead bulbs, once-a-week watering, and not much else.
Bamboo is a literal no-brainer; just plop a stick of the stuff in some water, keep the water level up, and let it go — it will grow happily under regular office lights. They eventually wear out growing in water, but it can take years, and if you end up wanting to keep it, you can then put it in soil. Be careful disposing of bamboo, since it is an invasive species, so don’t plant it outside unless you want to wake up one morning to find it has overtaken your backyard.
English ivy is another invasive species, so don’t chuck it in the backyard or the woods behind the office if you don’t want it anymore, because it will displace native plants. But because it is so hardy, it is an ideal office plant, and will grow long, pretty tendrils of leaves that you can ‘train’ in various directions (on a trellis, along the top of a cubicle divider, or let them drape down over the desk edge).
Ficus trees (sometimes called fig trees as they are a variety of fig), aren’t always trees, though you can buy them a few feet tall if you have that kind of space. But they come in houseplant size and take some time to grow, so they can work well for an office space. Ficus hate to be moved and don’t like changing light conditions, so be aware that they will drop their leaves if disturbed too much (though they will quickly recover, and it’s not that big a deal for the plant’s overall health). Be sure they are well-watered and they can be a pretty addition to an office and are great air filters, removing toxic chemicals from the air, so well worth the extra effort.
Ferns like to grow on forest floors, where light is limited, so they can do well in offices with lower-light situations. Look for Boston ferns, though lady hair ferns are very pretty and delicate if you are looking for something out of the ordinary.
Philodendrons are the plant most commonly found in offices, according to my personal experience, and that’s because they’re easy to care for, hardy and have glossy, bright green leaves. Like English ivy, they will grow up a trellis, up a hanger, or along a shelf, and they do well even in areas they get little light at all. Plus they are great formaldehyde-cleansers, which is a common ingredient found in industrial cleaning supplies.
Aloe vera plants are perfect for offices that have plenty of sun (so if you have access to a window, it’s a fun choice). You can slowly use the gel from inside the leaves of the plant to moisturize dry hands or calm burns. Or you can just enjoy the leaves for their sculptural, visual appeal.