Bring the Outdoors In

By Jacqueline May Conte, CNP

Boy, did the temperatures turn this week! The crisp air is so lovely, but it shortens our days and limits the time we like to be outdoors. Instead, we opt for comfy clothes, blankets, lattes, and lounging with a good book.

I’m not complaining, I love Fall! I also love to be outdoors, though, and when the weather turns I start to miss being able to spend the whole day outside comfortably. One thing I love about being outside is connecting with nature. I’m constantly high-fiving trees and bushes, stopping dead in my tracks in awe at the colours of the mountains against the sky and water, and just breathing in fresh air with deep breaths.

It’s usually around this time I like to bring the outdoors inside. I do this by contributing to my indoor plant collection. There are many reasons I like to have these guys with me inside, but here are my faves:

Plants Clean the Air (of more than you think!)

Photosynthesis is wonderful. This process means plants take in carbon dioxide and turn it into oxygen. Good for us, especially in winter months when the windows tend to remain closed. But plants do another wonderful thing. They have the ability to take in toxic chemical compounds in the air, even those that HEPA filters can’t attack like volatile organic compounds (VOCs) found in perfumes, hair spray, commercial cleaning products, paint, and glue. They absorb these air pollutants and turn them into nutrients they use to grow. How amazing is that?!

Plants Are Very Efficient and Use Minimal Resources

Plants will grow with very little. Water first, soil second, sun third, and very little of all three. Plus, they don’t need a lot of maintenance and they don’t require electricity to grow. There are a lot of indoor plants that only require minimal sunshine, too. Be sure to ask your local botanist (a.k.a. plant therapist) for recommendations that will grow in the conditions you live in. I guarantee there’s at least one plant suitable for whatever your living conditions are. Hint: succulents!

Plants are Aesthetically Pleasing and Soothing

If you don’t have any indoor plants, try adding just one and see how your place changes visually and how you respond physically. You’ll be connecting to something alive. (Indoors? Yes!) You might even feel more at peace mentally and find yourself breathing deeper. That’s just what happens when these little beauties are around. Plants can make you feel more connected and grounded, keeping you balanced.

Having a bright array of plants inside your home can help make it feel like you’re back outside and keep you connected to nature on days when you’re unable to explore outdoors without getting soaking wet or freezing your buns off! Try adding one to your home and see how you feel. It can’t hurt!