How many houseplants can offset CO2 produced from charging smartphones?

Charging our phones is a normal, everyday thing we all do. Whether it’s plugging them in as soon as we wake up or leaving them to charge overnight, it’s something we do without really thinking about it. If we were aware of the environmental impact this simple act can have, a lot of us would be searching for ways to lessen it. That’s where houseplants and their ability to absorb CO2 come in.

The experiment
Interested in the number of plants needed to reach carbon neutrality after charging our phones, energy comparison site SaveOnEnergy analysed data from two studies to find out how much CO2 each variety of houseplant can absorb. We then standardised the data to see how much CO2 10 types of popular houseplant absorbed in a sealed chamber over a 24 hour period.

Taking this number, we compared it to the CO2 released from charging a standard smartphone to 100% and worked out how many of each plant you would need to offset this by using a greenhouse gas equivalencies calculator.

Importance of reducing CO2 indoors
A lot of our time is spent indoors, either working within an office space or shop, relaxing at home or working out in a gym. We spend 90% of our time indoors each year on average, which makes the need for clean air even more important. In fact, research shows that too much CO2 in our bedrooms could lead to kidney and bone issues.

By introducing plants into our household, we could help to reduce the amount of CO2 in the air, head towards easier breathing and improve our overall health.

The top five plants for absorbing CO2
Sitting at the number one spot of least plants needed to offset CO2 produced from charging your smartphones is the Prayer Plant. This attractive piece of greenery boasts distinctly marked oval leaves which makes it a firm favourite of many. By reducing the amount of CO2 in a room by 14.40% over a 24 hour period, you would need 30 Prayer Plants to cover the emissions from your phone charge.

A single Rubber Plant, scientifically called Ficus elastica, is able to absorb 0.0002387 kg of CO2 which means it would take 33 of them to absorb enough to reverse the effects of charging your phone. Said to bring prosperity and positivity to your household, this is a great pick for both your environment and lifestyle alike.

Getting its name from the messy appearance of its leaves, the Bird’s Nest Fern is quite a powerhouse when it comes to absorbing CO2. Experiments have concluded that this unassuming houseplant could reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in a room by 12.48% and 34 of them could negate the emissions from a phone charge.

Dieffenbachia is a showy plant which can grow to 20 foot tall! This large size means that it is able to absorb 0.0002063 kg of CO2 when left in a sealed chamber for 24 hours. If you’re looking to cut out the harmful effects of charging your phone, then you’ll need to find room for 39 of them.

The first of the flowering plants on this list, Anthurium takes some looking after and a lot of attention. However, if you’re prepared to commit to this, then you’ll be rewarded with its CO2-absorbing effects, as studies have found that it absorbs 10.80% of CO2 and can offset the effects of charging your phone (if you have 40 of them).

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