Plants as green shields or How species help us with smog

Ecology is a very popular topic nowadays. Companies are switching to packaging their products in recycled packaging and more and more organisations are being set up to fight pollution. But it’s smog that’s doing the most damage. But how can we put a stop to this without harming it even more?

What is smog anyway?

It is a cloud that carries all the harmful substances that are produced in factories. It occurs especially in big cities, where most of the contamination occurs. It is also very dangerous, especially for the elderly and pregnant women. In the case of smog poisoning, a child born with smog may be autistic or may not be born at all.

How can we dispose of it with plants?

There are already varieties of trees and flowers that effectively clean the air of pollution. This is most needed in big cities where so-called emissions occur. Emissions are especially produced in winter when heating is used because poor quality coal and many times plastics are burned. This is very dangerous for the local population and must be combated. In Germany, the local motorways have decided to protect four times as many trees to offset the pollutants produced by car exhausts. Plants adapted to clean the air have specially developed defence mechanisms to trap the pollutants.


What are the best types to do this?

It’s important to choose the right species because not all of them are able to destroy the contamination. It is important to increase their abundance, especially in cities, as currently the flora tends to be destroyed due to land development.

  • trees that trap particulate matter – Pennsylvania ash, Swedish crane, littleleaf linden
  • smog-fighting plants – Turkish hazel, common ash, aspen, Dutch linden
  • conifers that tolerate urban conditions well – knotty pine, omorica spruce, California fir
  • anti-smog plants at home – ivy, aloe vera, big-leaf chrysanthemum

It’s important to choose wisely and combat ever-increasing pollution. Our planet is heading for extinction because of us, so something has to change. And change always starts with us first.