Most of you know I have a slight plant obsession. This started when I took a summer job at the local greenhouse in my hometown a few summers ago. Now, wherever I live, my plants live with me. I have found out this is called "Indoor Nature Exposure" (INE) and is being used as a way of HEALTH PROMOTION. And since health promotion is one of my career goals, I thought I should do some research for you all to encourage you to fill your home with houseplants.
When I first got into collecting greenery, I did not now of the effects plants have on your wellbeing. I have been a plant mama for over 3 years now and the benefits are endless. My partner recently wrote a research paper on the plants in our home and the mutually beneficial relationship with have with them. It was inspiring and influential in me writing this post. He read a book together called Plants as Persons by Matthew Hall. If you end up reading it, let me know.
I have put time into finding quality research about plants to show you all why I am obsessed with them.
Here are the 5 benefits to filling your home with houseplants.
1. Plants can purify the air around you.
This makes sense since plants use C02 and produce 02. One research study in Korea determined the air surrounded by indoor plants "had showed a continual decrease in the indoor concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) during the entire observation period". Volatile organic compounds are gases emitted from certain solids or liquids that are common air pollutants with possible adverse health outcomes. Get that healthy air flow! (House-plant placement for indoor air purification and health benefits on asthmatics, Korean Society for Environmental Health and Toxicology, 2014).
2. Plants have the ability to increase your attention capacity.
One study in Norway set out to discover how green foliage and flowers can positively influence your attention capacity in an office setting. One group of participants were placed in a room with 4 blooming plants while a control group was placed in a non-plant room. Attentional capacity was tested 3 separate times. The blooming plant group improved their performance 2 out 3 times. (Benefits of indoor plants on attention capacity in an office setting, Journal of Environmental Psychology, 2011).
3. Plants can improve many aspects of your mental health.
This is a common topic of interest within science today. Some psychological benefits presented by plants include decreased stress and associations with ill health. Another Norwegian study looked at employees skills related to the amount of plants surrounding them at work. They found "the number of indoor plants proximal to a worker's desk had small but statistically reliable associations with sick leave and productivity"! (Psychological Benefits of Indoor Plants in Workplaces: Putting Experimental Results into Context, Floriculture Production, 2007)
4. You get to experience a person-plant relationship.
This may not be an experience everyone can attain. I do believe it takes practice and respect towards plants to earn their trust. One study in Denmark explored the person-plant relationships in an office space, concluding that indoor nature had a positive influence on individuals wellbeing. This included self esteem, mood, emotions and confidence. Why wouldn't you want to be friends with then? The office space in this study improved competitiveness and the social climate. (People-plant Relationships in an Office Workplace: Perceived Benefits for the Workplace and Employees, Floriculture, 2011).
6. Plants improve your overall well-being.
The information above proves my point. A meta-analysis reviewed over 50 significant plant studies to conclude the main benefit of indoor nature exposure is increased positive feelings and decreased negative feelings within one's home. The authors extend into the body-mind connection of how plants can benefit us both physically and mentally. Having plants in your home is an effective way of improving your mental and physical health! (Effects of Indoor Plants on Self-Reported Perceptions: A Systemic Review. Sustainability, 2019).
If that information doesn't convince you to go buy a new houseplant, I'm not sure what else will. I hope you soon treat yourself to a new plant that can brighten up your home space. It is never a bad idea to come home with something green to grow.
Thank you for reading everyone. Soon I will write another post on specific plants that are easy to keep alive in your house. See you next Monday. Don't forget to sign up for the newsletter!
This is how we flourish
Below are a few of our babies I had a photoshoot with the other day!
Once again, it is that time of the year where we get to pack up our vehicles and find a new home for the next few nights. It is camping season.
Camping is good for the body, mind & soul. This is due to many things including the nature, new social adventures and self reflection. Hopefully your spot has no wifi, no cell service and lots of room for activities. I can't wait to go soon.
Growing up in the Kootenay's I learned to enjoy and respect the outdoors as much as I possibly can. Recently, I have discovered and become upset at how some of us use camping as an excuse to buy mass single use products. To add, the amount of food being gone to waste during and after a camping trip is usually not minimal. It is very easy to overpack for events in the woods. I also would have a hard time with how much plastic people place into the fire-pits. Anyways... I have decided to create this post to help us become more aware and eco-friendly in nature (yes, I am a tree hugger vegetarian).
The following is a list of ideas we can use to be more environmentally friendly in the woods while still enjoying everything the same. Make sure to check this list before your next trip away. Enjoy!
That is all for today everybody. Thanks for reading and please feel free to share. I would like to thank my Outdoor Education Class of May 2019 for helping me come up with these ideas in class.
A piece about using natural oil concentrates to heal the mind, body and soul. The photo above is of some lavender that is abundant in the Okanagan.
Natural healing, alternative medicine and herbalism have always interested me. Trying new methods and choosing natural ways over chemicals has continually been a goal in my life. Essential oils are a wonderful and simple way to use nature's best healing agents.
If you do not know, an essential oil is a concentrated form of a herb, plant or flower that can be used in various ways. You can buy most oils at a Natural Health Store or even local pharmacies. I try to buy locally produced products to support small businesses however that cannot always happen. I am now testing out different ways of creating my own oils, tinctures and extracts by harvesting what grows around me. This includes Calendula, Wild Rose, and Lavender.
Thankfully, a few years back, my mother showed me her essential oils. I am lucky to grow up with a mother who loves nature as much as I do. She has always been interested in natural healing as well. I must get my plant obsession from her. Thank you mama!
Hopefully in these next few years, I will get the chance to attend schooling in this subject area to deepen my knowledge to share with you all. For now, I will continue my everyday routine and share with you what I love most about these specific oils.
In this article, I want to give information to those who may not use essential oils often and the potential benefits you can receive from them. I am not a licensed practitioner and every alternative medicine should be used with caution. Below is the list of oils I have been using regularly, please remember everyone is individual and these remedies may work differently for each of us.
You may not believe in using nature to heal, however, the benefits I have noticed are life changing. These 4 oils are extremely valuable to me and I aim to use them everyday. I have faith that they help me in multiple ways and hopefully can help others as well.
There are many other types of oils out there you can try to use for healing various ailments of the human body. I encourage you to try a variety of products to see which works best for you. I use mixture of these 4 at the end of my yoga classes to assist with relaxation.
Here are a few homemade recipes I use with my oils.
Yoga Mat Cleaner
-5 drops peppermint
-5 drops lavender
-10 drops orange
-10 drops eucalyptus
-1 tbsp witch hazel
Combine ingredients in a small spray bottle. Spray onto mat and wipe clean with a soft cloth.
Sleepy Diffuser Blend
-6 drops lavender
-3 drops eucalyptus
Combine into your diffuser about an hour before bed to encourage a restful, quiet sleep.
*Himalayan Salt Lamps and house plants will purify your air and can also encourage a heathy sleep.*
-2 drops lavender
-1 drop peppermint
-1 tbsp coconut oil
Combine ingredients in a small bowl or container. Apply to injury twice a day. This is what I noticed to work best for healing my most recent tattoo!
-1 tbsp witch hazel
-10 drops of citronella
-40 drops total (you choose amounts of each) between lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus, orange, geranium
Combine ingredients in spray bottle and use daily to get rid of pests.
If you are an avid essential oil user, I encourage you to continue using them and try new oils when you get the chance. If you have not used oils before, start small and see what your body adapts to best. Do not underestimate the healing power of nature and how big of a difference something small can make in your life.
Thank you for reading how I try to flourish in using nature to heal myself. I hope this inspired some people to be more natural.
A piece on my desire to save the planet day by day.
If only everybody understood this concept. We are blessed to live in such a beautiful world and it is unfortunate that we are losing more and more of it to garbage, global warming and pollution. This is a topic I am very passionate about. Nourishing our planet is essential for living on it. A lot of people ask “Why do you care so much” or say “You’re not going to change anything” which is tough to hear when Rachel & I are so enthusiastic about saving the planet. The truth is we can all contribute to making it a healthier, greener, less polluted place. In honor of Earth Day, I am writing this piece to portray to others the importance of being eco-friendly; We need to take care of our home.
Being eco-friendly is a lifestyle. It can be accomplished by various ways. It is focusing on contributing less to global warming, pollution, trash and contributing more to protecting our world. This can be done in many diverse ways. One of my favourite sayings is “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago”, a Chinese proverb.
We are lucky to experience and live in some of natures most precious creations. If we don’t start acting now, we could lose them. Travelling to Europe in 2015 was an eye opening experience for myself, seeing all the trash placed outside of the main cities. Piles taller than I am accumulate on the sidewalks, I especially noticed this in Greece. If we don’t start now we may see the same issue here one day in North America.
Going on the internet and searching this up is sad to see. A statistic from Science World (2018) states
“Did you know that cigarette butts are the number one most-found item in international coastal clean-ups? In fact, over 25 years of cleanups, approximately 25,907,756 cigarette butts have been collected by conservation volunteers. Second to cigarettes are food wrappers and containers and then plastic beverage bottles and plastic shopping bags.”
Tough to hear, right? Fortunately, we all have the opportunity to transform this. If we start teaching children at a young age to be more earth-friendly, we can build a smarter generation. We need to try harder. Littering is not cool. When I see someone litter or not recycling, I will always call them out. I do not support people contributing to more trash in our society. I try not to support restaurants who don’t understand this concept either. It can be troubling at times, but my goal is to raise awareness of how damaging our actions are.
Rachel and I just had a talk about how we don’t understand people who don’t contemplate this problem. Why aren’t people as worried as we are? Wouldn’t everybody want to live in a place that is trash-free so we can embrace as much nature as possible? This puzzled us. We asked ourselves, are we overreacting? But we aren’t. Something needs to change, we can’t take advantage of this planet any more. Communities need to step up and make a difference. Many of us are doing this well yet many people don’t care at all.
Below is a list of simple habits Rachel and I have adopted that you can engage in as well. The end goal is not to have 0 waste, but less. It is to notice where you are producing it most and deciding to change that. We aren’t asking much, just to be more conscious of how your actions have consequences to this earth.
These are several effective and valuable strategies in reducing your waste, pollution and contribution to global warming. I inspire all of you to look into this topic more and find out what else you can do to save the planet. And to the people who have already started making a difference... Thank you. It is individuals like you we need in our society to flourish.
Thanks so much for listening.
Happy Earth Day!
Be conscious of your actions.