4 Green Ways to Keep Your House Fresh

1. Houseplants

­NASA (the National Aeronautics and Space Administration) has determined that some common houseplants can do a world of good at eliminating nasty toxins that may be in your home. After all, indoor air quality is a matter of some concern: Along with everyday carcinogens such as secondhand smoke (which contains sulfur dioxide), common household products may also be emitting chemicals into the air we breathe. One of these chemicals is formaldehyde, which can be found in clothes, plywood, and carpeting, leading to headaches and breathing problems.

NASA studied three common indoor pollutants -- trichloroethylene, formaldehyde, and benzene -- and concluded that the average home could benefit from keeping about 15 plants around. Plants work to gently remove these toxins from your indoor air by producing oxygen, adding moisture to the air, and absorbing the bad stuff through their leaves. Consider them nature's filter!

Here are some houseplants to consider adding to your indoor plant collection:

The Boston fern (Nephrolepi exalta "Bostoniensis"), florist's mum (Chrysanthemum morifolium), gerbera daisy (Gerbera jamesonii), dwarf date palm (Phoenix roebelenii), areca palm (Chrysalidocarpus lutescens), moth orchid (Phalenopsis), bamboo palm (Chamaedorea), Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema), English ivy (Hedera helix), indoor dracaenas (Dracaena "Janet Craig," D. marginata, D. massangeana, and D. warnekii), and the snake plant or mother-in-law's tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata laurentii).