Indoor Air Quality: When Clean Isn't Green

Indoor Air Quality, Home Air Purifiers, and Sustainability...

There’s a lot of talk around indoor air quality, or IAQ, these days. As a result, there is a huge market for home air purifiers - to the tune of two billion dollars. An air filter unit is meant to be used for years, but most have a disposable element that has to be switched out quite frequently. This disposable element is the actual filter that’s responsible for removing particles from the air. The really effective ones generally rely on a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter to clean the air in your home.

Indoor Air Quality: Largely Unsustainable

Filters Are Thrown in Dumps

Massive landfill

To keep your air purifier working as it should, you have to change the filters regularly (how often varies by model). But what happens to the used filters? HEPA filters are typically made of either fiberglass or a form of polyester fibers and unfortunately, these materials are not recyclable. Though there may be other elements of a filter unit that are technically recyclable, removing them is going to entail tearing into a dirty filter. And who wants to handle a filter full of all the contaminants you want removed from your air to begin with?

Unless you’re willing to go great lengths to get them recycled, those disposable filters are going to be disposed of - in a landfill. 

Or Are Too Difficult to Care For

There are washable filters, and with those you can certainly put far fewer of them in the garbage over the lifetime of your purifier. With these filters you have to be really careful to let them dry before reusing them, to avoid growing mold. If you rely on a central HVAC system to heat and cool your home, you might feel like a separate air purifier is unnecessary. After all, don’t you replace or clean those filters every three months already? The fact of the matter is that those filters are for the benefit of your HVAC unit, not your indoor air quality. Plus, they’re only doing that job when the system is running.

A Natural, Sustainable Air Purifier

Arial view of forest with crisp, clean air

What if the filtering component of your home air purifier was literally green? Is there a sustainable, natural air purifier? Well, we all know that plants dispose of the carbon dioxide we exhale and replace it with oxygen, keeping the balance in the air we breathe. It’s commonly believed that plants purify the air, as well. New research indicates that the real air-purifying power of plants lies in the microbial communities that reside on their root systems. 

A Healthy, Biophilic Living Wall Biofilter

Living, Growing Plants

The living wall bio filter is a system that’s uniquely set up to leverage the benefits of plants for indoor air quality. And it’s effective on a home scale. Using living plants to make up the filter component of the living wall, a fan in the back of the unit draws the contaminated air in and circulates it through the roots of the plants. And better yet, it doesn’t utilize a disposable filter that’s going in a landfill after a few months.

Effective Root System

The moist root systems trap the particles from the air. And those carbon-hungry microbes that support the plants? They also grab the VOCs (or Volatile Organic Compounds), something a HEPA filter can’t do.

Worry-free Maintenance, Guilt-free disposal

Respira’s tech component is set up to guarantee your success in keeping your plants alive. You just have to check in with the app that monitors their light, water and nutrient needs. In the event that a plant does die and needs to be replaced, it can go straight to your compost bin. Even if your only option is to throw it in the garbage, it’s certainly not going to be sitting in a landfill for decades. It’s just going to biodegrade into soil. Respira lets you breathe easy with a natural air purifier that’s truly green.

Woman enjoying the many benefits of her Respira

Living walls have one other important advantage: they’re biophilic. That means the natural element they bring into your space also has psychological benefits. Sure, you can find a home air purifier in any style to match your decor. You might even find one you enjoy looking at. But you probably won’t find one that can actually improve your mental health, apart from the benefits of breathing cleaner air. We’re excited to offer a clean, green, sustainable air purifier.