When we make a cup of tea or use the microwave, few of us think of the CO2 emissions these tasks will produce. However, your household appliances take a large amount of energy to run and release harmful emissions into the atmosphere. With CO2 emissions increasing every year, it’s important that each of us find ways to reduce our carbon footprint.
This led us to wonder, could these emissions be cancelled out using houseplants?
To show the extent that our household appliances can cause damage to the environment, VHS have gathered research on the number of houseplants you would need to have in your house to convert the CO2 emissions of your appliances into oxygen.
This means, in total, you would need an average of 12,626 houseplants to offset the emissions of 10 household appliances. Considering the average Brit buys 2 houseplants each year, that is a lot of houseplants!
Out of the appliances covered in our study, the electric tumble dryer uses the most energy.
Gas ovens have the lowest number of CO2 emissions out of the appliances we looked at in our study.
Some easy ways that you can reduce the carbon footprint of your household include:
To work out how many houseplants you would need to counteract the CO2 emissions emitted by your household appliances, we divided the number of CO2 emissions emitted by each household appliance by the number of CO2 emissions absorbed by the average houseplant (in terms of both species and size). This provided us with the number of houseplants you would need to offset household appliance emissions.
To find the average number of CO2 absorbed by an average houseplant, we calculated the average number of CO2 emissions of 10 popular houseplant species (prayer plant, rubber plant, bird’s nest fern, dieffenbachia, anthurium, arrowhead plant, peace lily, devil’s ivy, yucca and spider plant).
The CO2 emissions of different house plant species were taken from a study conducted by www.saveonenergy.com
The number of CO2 emissions produced by household appliances was taken from an article on www.carbonfootprint.com