Green Your Home for Less
I have a passion for green. Saving green and living green. But let's talk the other green - plants. I absolutely love plants, trees and flowers of all sorts. Green makes me happy! Several years of my childhood were spent on Maui, where it is green and lush year round. We always had fresh tropical flowers on display in our home. Twenty years and four kids later, not so much.
Today I have settled for a few indoor houseplants. While I would love to have more green in my home, two things make this a challenge - a toddler and one very feisty cat. Plants are just an easy target. But perhaps in a few years, when the toddler is manageable and the cat calmer, I will fill my home with lots more cheerful, oxygen-giving houseplants.
Wouldn't fake plants be easier and more frugal? After all, they require little maintenance and last for years. I have considered this, since the trail of dirt left in my family room by one curious kitten is getting rather old. However, I found that the benefits of houseplants outweigh the small nuisances. A NASA study found that common house plants could improve air quality and are able to remove up to 87 percent of air toxins in 24 hours.
The following plants are known to be most effective in removing potentially harmful chemicals - including those in paints, varnishes, dry cleaning fluids, car exhaust fumes and tobacco smoke from the air in your home: dragon tree, ivy, ficus, philodendrons, spider plants, peace lilies, ferns, chrysanthemums and palms.
A pricey air purifier could do the same thing, but I much prefer a few plants, which brighten a room and lift my spirits. Plants are also a relatively frugal way to decorate bland decor. A few plants in bare corners fill the space and look inviting and natural.
If you are wanting to invest in some new greens for your home, here are a few tips to keep your costs down:
- Shop garage sales or thrift stores for baskets, pots and planters.
- Find wilted plants on markdown at stores and bring them back to life with a little TLC at home.
- Watch for available coupons at your local home improvement store.
- Use natural fertilizer, such as epsom salts or used coffee grinds.
- Be sure to purchase plastic saucers to catch excess water under your plants to avoid damage to your floors.
- Clean and shine the leaves of your plants with a soft sponge and tepid water.
- Plant a window herb garden for double savings. Enjoy some green and eat it, too!
Do you have a green thumb when it comes to house plants? Or do you prefer the fake variety?
For more tips on frugal living, stop by Keeping the Kingdom First.