As air pollution in cities like Delhi and Noida continues to pose a threat not only to the environment but also to the health of its million residents, there is an urgent need to put forth every effort to ensure the air is more breathable and safe.
And one organisation is hoping that its oxygen bombs will do the trick.
An environmental NGO called Citizens Environment Improvement Society (CEIS), which is based in Noida, has been cultivating specific plants for the past year that also double up as air purifiers.
And they have been distributing these plants to people across the city at minimal costs.
According to Brig Amrit Kapur, vice president of CEIS, the idea to cultivate these ‘oxygen bombs’ came when he read a NASA study about such plants. The study notes that certain indoor plants have the ability to naturally remove toxic agents such as formaldehyde, trichloroethylene and benzene.
“I was motivated when I read the NASA study because as an organisation, our interests lie in improving the environment. Hence, we started cultivating plants such as aloe vera, musli, sansevieria giant, sansevieria dwarf, syngonium and lemongrass. We tell people to keep one set of these plants indoors and another set of these plants outdoors, so they can be most effective.”
Kapur says that such plants have to be replaced every seven to 10 days and the ones cultivated by CEIS can be picked up from their centre in Noida. “What people need to know is that there is no such thing as an ‘indoor plant.’ All plants need sunlight and water among other things to survive. By keeping these plants indoor for at least a week, you purify the air around you.”
The NGO, which was started in 2002, primarily works in the field of solid waste management and also regularly conducts seminars and workshops for school children to encourage them to adopt environmentally friendly waste disposal practices as well as composting, among other activities.
CEIS, has a 3.75 acre garden in Sector 54, Noida where these oxygen bombs are grown. While these plants can be directly bought from CEIS itself (they are priced around ₹50 to ₹200), Brig Kapur notes that if some particular type of plant is unable, then the CEIS will put interested parties in touch with organisations that will source it for them.
CEIS can be contacted here
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