A breath of fresh air

In the late ’80s, NASA and the Associated Landscape Contractors of America studied houseplants as a way to purify the air in space facilities. They found several plants that filter out common volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Lucky for us the plants can also help clean indoor air on Earth, which is typically far more polluted than outdoor air. Other studies have since been published in the Journal of American Society of Horticultural Sciencefurther proving the science. (Text: Julie Knapp)

Aloe (Aloe vera)

This easy-to-grow, sun-loving succulent helps clear formaldehyde and benzene, which can be a byproduct of chemical-based cleaners, paints and more. Aloe is a smart choice for a sunny kitchen window. Beyond its air-clearing abilities, the gel inside an aloe plant can help heal cuts and burns.

Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

Even if you tend to neglect houseplants, you’ll have a hard time killing this resilient plant. With lots of rich foliage and tiny white flowers, the spider plant battles benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and xylene, a solvent used in the leather, rubber and printing industries.

Gerber daisy (Gerbera jamesonii)

This bright, flowering plant is effective at removing trichloroethylene, which you may bring home with your dry cleaning. It’s also good for filtering out the benzene that comes with inks. Add one to your laundry room or bedroom — presuming you can give it lots of light.

Snake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Laurentii’)

Also known as mother-in-law’s tongue, this plant is one of the best for filtering out formaldehyde, which is common in cleaning products, toilet paper, tissues and personal care products. Put one in your bathroom — it’ll thrive with low light and steamy humid conditions while helping filter out air pollutants

Golden pothos (Scindapsus aures)

Another powerful plant for tackling formaldehyde, this fast-growing vine will create a cascade of green from a hanging basket. Consider it for your garage since car exhaust is filled with formaldehyde. (Bonus: Golden pothos, also know as devil’s ivy, stays green even when kept in the dark.)

Chrysanthemum (Chrysantheium morifolium)

The colorful flowers of a mum can do a lot more than brighten a home office or living room; the blooms also help filter out benzene, which is commonly found in glue, paint, plastics and detergent. This plant loves bright light, and to encourage buds to open, you’ll need to find a spot near an open window with direct sunlight.

Red-edged dracaena (Dracaena marginata)

The red edges of this easy dracaena bring a pop of color, and the shrub can grow to reach your ceiling. This plant is best for removing xylene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde, which can be introduced to indoor air through lacquers, varnishes and gasoline.

Weeping fig (Ficus benjamina)

A ficus in your living room can help filter out pollutants that typically accompany carpeting and furniture such as formaldehyde, benzeneand trichloroethylene. Caring for a ficus can be tricky, but once you get the watering and light conditions right, they will last a long time.

Azalea (Rhododendron simsii)

Bring this beautiful flowering shrub into your home to combat formaldehyde from sources such as plywood or foam insulation. Because azaleas do best in cool areas around 60 to 65 degrees, they’re a good option for improving indoor air in your basement if you can find a bright spot.

English ivy (Hedera helix)

A study found that the plant reduces airborne fecal-matter particles. It has also been shown to filter out formaldehyde found in some household cleaning products.

Warneck dracaena (Dracaena deremensis ‘Warneckii’)

Combat pollutants associated with varnishes and oils with this dracaena. The Warneckii grows inside easily, even without direct sunlight. With striped leaves forming clusters atop a thin stem, this houseplant can be striking, especially if it reaches its potential height of 12 feet.

Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema Crispum ‘Deborah’)

This easy-to-care-for plant can help filter out a variety of air pollutants and begins to remove more toxins as time and exposure continues. Even with low light, it will produce blooms and red berries.

Bamboo palm (Chamaedorea sefritzii)

Also known as the reed palm, this small palm thrives in shady indoor spaces and often produces flowers and small berries. It tops the list of plants best for filtering out bothbenzene and trichloroethylene. They’re also a good choice for placing around furniture that could be off-gassing formaldehyde.

Heart leaf philodendron (Philodendron oxycardium)

This climbing vine plant isn’t a good option if you have kids or pets — it’s toxic when eaten, but it’s a workhorse for removing all kinds ofVOCs. Philodendrons are particularly good at battling formaldehyde from sources like particleboard.

Peace lily (Spathiphyllum)

Shade and weekly watering are all the peace lily needs to survive and produce blooms. It topped NASA’s list for removing all three of most common VOCs — formaldehyde,benzene and trichloroethylene. It can also combat toluene and xylene.

I think it’s important for us to realize that we’re a part of the ecosystem and we are nature. I think a lot of human beings think that we’re somehow disconnected from nature. If we want to keep thriving as a civilization then we need to keep every part of the ecosystem thriving. There’s this whole big green movement going on which I think is great. But part of going green is actually preserving us as a species and starting to love ourselves again as well as the environment. So, yes, you can not buy plastic and you can turn off your water when you’re brushing your teeth to help the environment. But it’s on a bigger level than that. We’re all a part of the ecosystem and I think we all need to start thriving as a civilization.
—  Shailene Woodley

Tumblr Crushes:

  • rodmanstreet: She’s quirky, fun, and down-to-earth. I like this lady’s blog a lot (duh).
  • capn-trips: Ah, yes, one of my favorite Kingphiles. If you like Stephen King, The Dark Tower series, Harry Potter, and LOTR, then this blog’s for you. :)
  • mothernaturenetwork: Mother Nature, Mother Earth, environmentally friendly items, and how to reduce your carbon footprint, all on a beautifully organized blog.
  • scipsy: Science, science, and more science! I love this blog. Awe inspiring photos, interesting little blurbs, and articles about the human animal. Check it out!
  • jtotheizzoe: Science again. I just can’t get enough of the articles about biology, the brain, sea creatures, and nebulas! I’m a big fan. :)
  • idratherbereading: Her URL says it all. From one bookworm to another, this blog is like home in my head.
  • joshdutcher: I have lots in common with the guy, and his blog is just awesome.
  • retrogasm: All things retro, this blog has brought back so many good (and some kinda wonky) memories! If you like getting “blasts from the past” I suggest you check it out.
  • did-you-kno: Lots and lots of little tidbits of usefully useless information for your daily “I want to learn something new today” fix. :)
BIOLUMINESCENCE: An example of a species of glow-in-the-dark mushrooms, Panellus stipticus. (Photo: Wiki Commons) "It’s something you would never expect to go missing, but one of the world’s brightest glow-in-the-dark mushrooms has been rediscovered after an absence of more than 170 years, according to USA Today.   The bioluminescent shrooms had become a Brazilian legend of sorts. They were first spied in 1840 by an English botanist named George Gardner, who was alarmed after he saw some boys playing with a glowing object in the streets of Vila de Natividad, a village in the Goiás state in central Brazil. After that, no more sightings of the brightly glowing fungus had ever been reported. The mushroom was nearly forgotten until 2002, when Brazilian chemist Cassius Stevani came across Gardner’s early reports. Then, in 2005, a breakthrough occurred. A pair of primatologists, Patricia Izar from São Paulo University in Brazil and Dorothy Fragaszy of the University of Georgia in Athens, were studying a band of monkeys deep in the Brazilian interior when they came across something mysterious glowing at the base of some palm trees.   Izar and Fragaszy scooped up specimens and contacted Stevani, who later confirmed that the mushrooms were indeed Gardner’s long lost species. The findings are what led to this month’s paper in the journal Mycologia.   Ironically, right after the rediscovery of the mushrooms, scientists came to learn that local people were quite familiar with them. In fact, the mushrooms had a common name, flor-de-coco, or flower of the coconut, since it is commonly found on the rotting fronts of dwarf palm trees. As is often the case, scientists had just never bothered to ask.   Although glowing fungi are nothing new to science — there are 71 identified species — this particular species (named Neonothopanus gardneri, after the initial discoverer) is notable for its size and the extraordinary strength of its light.   "It glows more brightly than almost all other luminescent mushrooms," said Dennis Desjardin, a fungi expert at San Francisco State University. "If you were in a dark room and you put one on a newspaper, you’d be able to read the words."   Desjardin also noted that these mushrooms can grow up to three inches in diameter, which is giant compared to most bioluminescent fungi.   Stevani is currently working to identify the chemical pathways that allow these mushrooms to produce light, a system that remain a mystery to science. As for why they glow, scientists still aren’t sure why it happens. One theory suggests that the mushrooms may glow to attract insects that help to spread their spores. Another theory, also involving the attraction of insects, proposes that the light is a beacon to predatory bugs that feed on insects that threaten the fungus.   One thing researchers are certain of, however, is that these mushrooms are poisonous. So while the mushrooms’ glow-in-the-dark properties may be interesting to people, researchers strongly advise that they shouldn’t be eaten.”

Do you remember the day I mentioned about my sleeping disorder two days ago?

When I go and see neurologist, I thought his diagnosis is “a little” based on a similarity to what is implied with my symptoms, “jetlag”. But today, I spend some time on it and researched upon that idea and learned that it is a real disorder called “social jetlag”. 

Social jet lag can be defined as the misalignment of biological and social time. When the clock of your body does not match the time that you have to keep up with in order for following every day responsibilities then you might have social jet lag in the mean time.

It can lead to similar symptoms as those caused by travel jet lag, such as sleep problems, indigestion, a loss of appetite, difficulty concentrating, irritability and a lack of energy according to studies that Michael Parsons conducted. “Unlike travel-induced jet lag, which can cause temporary problems with metabolism, social jet lag can occur chronically throughout an individual’s working life,” Parsons said. So it can have some serious and long term consequences if the necessary precautions are not performed. 

The solution concerning this problem is going to be in my blog soon, but I have to go to bed now. It’s 2 a.m in the morning and I am really hungry. I can fool this empty stomach only by sleep. 

See you soon ! 

Strawberry Basil #Sangria #recipe #vegan #glutenfree RECIPE VIA #mothernaturenetwork #drinks

Prep time: 5 minutes
Total time: 15 minutes
Yield: 1 pitcher

1/2 pound fresh strawberries
1 apple
1 ounce fresh whole basil leaves
1 bottle Cline Cellar Cool Climate Chardonnay
1/2 cup organic sugar
1 cup club soda
1 cup white grape juice

Cooking directions
Trim and thinly slice the strawberries. sliced strawberries
Slice and dice the apple into very small bits.

Score the basil leaves with a fork. I did this instead of cutting the leaves into strips as I did not want my guests choking on basil while trying to enjoy this drink. Just rub the basil leaves gently with a fork in order to release their flavor in the sangria.

Layer the fruit, sugar and basil in a large pitcher and let sit for about 10 minutes. This is just to let the sugar absorb the juices from the basil and the fruit. You’ll see it turn a bit red.
Add the club soda first and then the remaining liquids. Stir well and serve.