Which plants are recommended for AIRY? How do I plant the AIRY? How does AIRY work? Here you find answers to the most commonly asked questions, separated by topics AIRY, plants and pollutants
Questions about AIRY
Find out what’s behind AIRY, how the ingenious AIRY works and which advantages the AIRY brings you.
Why do we need AIRY?
AIRY solves the problem of polluted indoor airAt first glance AIRY is a just a beautifully designed flower pot. But at a closer look AIRY is a powerful air purifier for your home or office that will significantly improve the air quality and remove pollutants from the air. AIRY does this by increasing the air flow to the roots via the slits at the bottom of the pot. The unique shape of the pot increases the air flow through the stacking effect. All of this happens in complete silence, without electricity, day and night.
- Payment in advance to the AIRY bank account
- Against invoice through BILLPAY ® (Germany , Austria and Switzerland only)
- Credit card payment with stripe ®
AIRY is dish washer safe. After a single wash in a dish washer AIRY will look like new. Please take AIRY apart before placing AIRY in the dish washer, . This is done in just a few steps
Find out more about the plants we recommend here
Fragen zu Pflanzen
Entdecke die erstaunlichen Fähigkeiten von Pflanzen und erfahre, wie sie Dich und Deine Umwelt gesünder machen.
How do plants function?
Plants absorb air through photosynthesis. Pollutants contained in the air are transported to the root system. At the root system pollutants, especially VOC are broken down with the help of enzymes and micro organism into their basic, chemical components (amino acids, starch, glucose). In other words, the pollutants are transformed into nutrients for the plant. During the NASA study the complete plants was exposed to air, including the root system. With the leaves removed the air purification power of the plant was insignificantly reduced (5% - 10%). The research concluded, that the ventilation of root system enabled the plant to purify the air.
The growth of plants follows some basic rules, traffic rules so to speak. Evolutionary processes resulted in plants adapting perfectly to conditions in soil. The roots adapted perfectly for growth in nature, but when in a pot with limited space for roots to grow, it has its limitations.
These are the basic principles how roots grow:
- Roots always expand outwards
- Roots grow around obstacles
- The plan only grows new roots, if existing roots cannot grow anymore
- Roots expand into moist soil, with low temperatures
These principles are rooted in the belief that plants protect themselves against dehydration, starvation, erosion, other plants and herbivores.
Indoor plants only have limited space, and it is important to know that only the fine root tips can absorb water and nutrients. They are the key.
Plants and their spezialisation
There are indeed differences between plants and their ability to purify indoor air. Some plants are useful for a variety of pollutants, others only some specific pollutants. And some are by themselves not able to purify air, but in combination with the micro organism living in the root system, they too break down pollutants in the soil. This way all plants contribute to better indoor air, as long as ventilation to the substrate and root system is ensured.
Find out more: these plants are suitable for air purification
- Ivy (Hedera)
- Spathe flower (Spathiphyllum wallisii)
- Dragon tree (Dracaena)
- Snake plant (Sansevieria)
- Devil’s ivy (Epipremnum)
- Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
- Weeping fig (Ficus benjamina)
- Dwarf umbrella tree (Schefflera)
- Florist’s dairy or hardy garden mum (Chrysanthemum morifolium)
- Lilly turf or monkey grass (Liriope spicata)
- Flamingo flower or tail flower (Anthurium andreanum)
- Lady palm (Rhapis excelsa)
Devil’s Ivy (Epipremnum)
- Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
Air purification through plants
In many offices and energy efficient houses it is not possible to ventilate. Also, airing only reduces the CO2 concentration in the air and CO2 is only a minor part of the problem.
In order to ensure good air quality, the air in the room would need to be exchanged three times, if people are present 5 times, a day.
In order to enable air flow to the roots, where the air is predominantly purified, we looked to nature: In the locations where many air purifying plants originate from (South America, Africa, Hawaii etc), they grow in sandy, lose or volcanic soil. The soil is porous, and it is easy for the air to reach the root system.
For the indoor air to reach the root system in a flower pot, we add vent slits on the side of the flower pot and add activated carbon or mineral substrate to the soil. This combination ensures ventilation of the root system, because the soil is less dense and activated carbon has a very large surface area (1500 m2 for each kilo of activated carbon) and binds pollutants.
Additional absorption and purification = better air quality
The activated carbon in the soil has two roles: On the one side the activated carbon binds pollutants, which is especially useful during the initial growing phase of the plant since it provides additional nutrients. Through the additional nutrients the microorganism at the root system also benefit from the activated carbon, and in a symbiotic relationship they contribute to the removal of pollutants. Both effects increase the air purification, when compared to a standard flower pot.
The continuous process of breaking down pollutants into nutrients does not create a pollutant deposit in the soil. Quite to the contrary, this creates a biosystem as in nature, where plants also purify the air through the same process.
The effect can be measured by placing plants in a closed environment. This closed environment is infused with pollutants, and in the next step one measures how long it takes for the pollutants to disappear.
Comparison between plants
In order to have a meaningful comparison, it is important that all plants are treated equally (well). That means, no rearranging of plants, sufficient water and light etc. It is also possible to measure the impact of stress on plants this way.
Measurement with passive or diffusive sampling
It is also possible to measure the concentration of pollutants in offices, bedrooms, apartments and other facilities with passive sampling devices. These devices are placed inside a room for a specified period. Later in the lab it is tested for the concentration of particular pollutants such as formaldehyde, trichlorethylene etc.
This type of measurement is the most cost efficient, and useful for before and after studies of the effect of plants on air purification.
Worldwide studies have shown, that people are more motivated and productive in “green” environments. Plants are an active factor in the health of employees and according to a Norwegian study, in green offices employees take 3.5 sick days less.
These numbers speak for themselves: If a company has 20 employees, each with a monthly salary of EUR 2500, and each employee misses one day less per year it results in 0.39% less sick days, based of 260 work days per year. In other words, with a total payroll of EUR 600,000 it results in a savings of EUR 2340.
By now there are multiple studies, that researched the impact of plants on company health managements. Those studies have shown
- Indoor plants increase the efficiency of employees
- Indoor plants reduce the number of sick- days
- Indoor plants increase the air quality
- Indoor plants increase productivity and creativity
- Indoor plants reduce the noise level.
- Indoor plants save energy by regulating the office micro climate
Valid reasons for employer and employee to use plants in the office!
Questions about pollutants
Learn more about the contents of your indoor air and the effects on your health. Which pollutants are exist and what you can do about it?
Indoor air pollutants
Volatile organic compounds are a group of organic compounds with a boiling point and release molecules into the surrounding air.
VOC are ubiquitous and can be detected in car emissions, cleaning solutions etc. and are caused by biogenic and anthropogenic processes. Exposure to VOC can result in headaches, allergies, tiredness and others, symptoms that are often connected to the “sick building syndrome”
Benzene was frequently use in cleaning fluids and solvents, which is surprising considering the high toxicity of Benzene. Benzene evaporations are toxic and can cause dizziness, and nausea. Constant exposure even in small dosages can cause permanent damage to organs and bone marrow. Three quarters of all benzene emissions are the result of combustion engine emissions.
Most people know formaldehyde as a preservative, for example in cosmetics. But it can also be found in glue and paint, which is why formaldehyde can be found nearly everywhere: laminates, parkette , furniture and other products using glued components cause formaldehyde to enter the house.
Even small quantities can cause irritations in some cases. A constant exposure to formaldehyde typically results in difficulties concentrating, nausea, restlessness and vomiting. In the worst case scenario, the exposure can cause kidney, liver or lung damage.
Toluene is a VOC that is most commonly found in petrol for cars. In addition, Toluene is used in solvents instead of benzene. Toluene can also be found in cigarette smoke. Toluene can damage the reproductive system, and symptoms include tiredness and nausea, and in some cases fainting. Allergic reactions due to exposure to toluene are also possible.
Trichloroethylene was previously frequently used in heavy metal industries but was discontinued for good reasons: Trichloroethylene is carcinogenic and can cause cell mutations. Surprisingly it can still be found in printer cartridges and copy machines.
Are used as plasticiser in plastics for consumer goods, floor coverings, toys and plastic sheets. It can cause changes to the hormones resulting in diabetes, weight gain and s classified as dangerous to the reproductive system.
Used in fertilizer for agriculture, when exposed to air it converts to nitrogenous compounds. Ammonia causes irritation to the skin, eyes and mucous membrane and can cause chronic cough and asthma.
Occurence and impact
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) about 7 million people died as a result of air pollution. That means, air pollution is the largest environmental risk. About 50% of all deaths are the result of pollutants in closed rooms.
According to the WHO indoor air is 10 to 30% more polluted than outside air. Since people spend around 90% of their time indoors nowadays the impact of the indoor air pollution is immense. First signs of poisoning are headaches and tiredness. Possible later impacts are allergies, asthma, diabetes and cancer. Researchers refer to this effect as the “toxic home effect” or “sick building syndrome”
Continue here on Wikipedia: "Sick-Building-Syndrome"
Predominantly volatile organic compounds (VOC) such as formaldehyde, toluene or benzene. These occur in construction materials, furniture or technical equipment. VOCs continuously evaporate from these items. Fine particles, for example from printers or copy machines, are also a factor.
Many items inside the home release molecules harmful to our health into the air. Sadly, we bring most of the sources into the home ourselves, especially technical equipment, but also furniture and construction materials contribute to poor indoor air.
The most common sources by rooms:
- Living room: TV, stereo, open windows, furniture polishers, cushions, glue for wooden parquet
- Bedroom: Furniture, home textiles, floor sealants and wall coverings.
- Bathroom: cosmetics, deoderants, bathroom cleaners, air fresheners,
- Children rooms: plastic and rubber products, carpet, carpet glue, carpet cleaner, foam
- Home office: computer, printer, copy machine, insulation material
- Kitchen: gas stove, microwave, oven cleaners, plastics, wall paint
- Hobby room: MDF wood, paints, glue, turpentine, paint stripper
Air quality has a significant impact on our health, or fitness and well- being. Not only outdoor air but especially the air in the rooms we spend most of our times in, the living room, office or class rooms.
The air quality in these rooms is affected by chemical components that not only evaporate from furniture, clothing, floor and wall coverings, paint, printers etc, but also from humans.
Scientific studies (NASA, GSF Research Center) demonstrated that plants can absorb these pollutants and clean the air.
The typical, poor indoor air smell has multiple consequences:
- Headaches, tiredness and mood swings
- Difficulty concentrating, loss of appetite, nausea, sleep disorders
- Sore throat and eye irritations
- Allergies and heightened sensitivities
- Impairments of the nervous system
- Asthma, diabetes,
- Asthma, Diabetes, infertility
People with allergies and children. Did you know that children have a faster metabolism than adults and are more susceptible to pollutants? Children not only sleep in their rooms, but they also play and study in their rooms.
If they complain about headaches, coughs or sleep disorders, the source could be biological (mould, dust mites) or chemical.
For the youngest the risk is highest. They frequently put items in their mouth, including toys which may contain traces of heavy metals. We have legal limits for these but regardless of those, we expose our children to too many air borne pollutants and others.
Everywhere, where we regularly spend time, for example in the bed and at work. If one airs the rooms regularly and extensively, selects „healthy” furniture and textiles, uses mild detergents, one can reduce the indoor air pollution concentration. But what is possible at home, may be difficult or impossible to do in other locations.
It is possible to avoid poorly ventilated cinemas and shops, but not the office, class room or hospital, where one is exposed to environmental pollutants over many hours each day.
Fumes, dust and smoke evaporate from machines, work surfaces or furniture. Worst of all, some sources of pollutants cannot be removed, wall and floor coverings are permanently fixed. And then we still have the indispensable electronic equipment in the house such as computers, printers, laptops, TV and stereo, which all contribute to poor air quality.
* all prices include VAT