Air pollution

Not only do plants provide stunning visual interest and ecological habitats for a wide range of wildlife, they also have a huge impact on the air we breathe.

Mixed foliage indoor living wall

We probably all remember from school science lessons that plants produce oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide: we breathe CO2 out, they take it in – a perfect balanced partnership! Removing CO2 helps stop climate change, of course, which is a very good thing!

But on a personal level, Public Health England estimate that between 28,000 and 36,000 deaths in the UK each year are caused by long-term exposure to air pollution. With pollution on the increase, the need for more natural greenery in our living and working spaces has never been greater.

Cleaning the air for us to breathe

Indoor plants create a lush urban jungleIn addition to carbon dioxide, plants naturally absorb other nasty pollutants such as VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and actively use them as food to grow. A living wall can also help trap street dust, and keep that out of your home. In densely populated towns and cities worldwide, poor air quality is an issue that can be helped by introducing living walls indoors, or vertical gardens outdoors. If you know someone who lives by a main road, consider giving them a PlantBox gift to help clean up the air in their home and garden.

Professor Paul Cosford, Director of Health Protection and Medical Director at Public Health England, said:

“Now is our opportunity to create a clean-air generation of children… By making new developments clean by design, we can create a better environment for everyone, especially our children.”

Ladybird on a leaf on a PlantBox living wall

We would love to work with schools that are on busy roads, to explore installing PlantBox living walls in the playground. Contact us if you are interested.



Living space is precious. By growing upwards you are not only helping biodiversity to thrive, maximising space, but also improving the very air that you breathe.

We think it’s time to grow up – don’t you?

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