There’s nothing as good as a breath of fresh air, literally. Think about it, life without horrid odors, germs and allergies. Having clean and fresh air is not just great for your comfort, but also a major health booster.
The presence of contaminants and pollutants, like viruses and bacteria, in the air can significantly affect your health and cause mild to severe diseases. On the other hand, allergies can worsen asthma and make life difficult for you.
While the search for suitable measures and solutions continue, there is a belief in some quarters that moss is an effective air cleaning agent if used the right way.
This poses certain questions which this post will answer as you go on. But we’ll begin with the basics. What exactly are mosses and why are they considered effective for air cleansing?
What is a Moss?
According to the Australian National Botanic Gardens, mosses are flowerless plants. They are spore-producing and the spores are produced in small capsules. It is also often described as a non-vascular plant.
Originally, they were more commonly found in dark, damp environments, but with time have adapted to drier and sunny regions of the world.
Truth is, when we think of mosses, our minds travel far into the forests, thick bushes, and gardens. Some of us even think about the greenish carpet covering on damp rocks and hills. While this is a valid thought, it is simply the tip of the iceberg.
Mosses represent health and freshness. They contribute to the environmental carbon cycle and are very important to life as we know it.
Generally, plants pull in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and produce oxygen which is released into the atmosphere, but with certain species of mosses, so much more can be done.
Does Moss clean the air?
The simple answer is Yes, and we’ll explain how. By participating in the carbon cycle, mosses play an important role in air cleansing. For photosynthesis to take place, plants must take in carbon dioxide.
This is one way of removing carbon dioxide from the air and reduce carbon emissions. This is combined with water to produce food, as well as to produce and release oxygen into the atmosphere.
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Species like the Speat Mosses have the ability to take very high amounts of carbon dioxide for subsurface storage. In fact, the sphagnum and other types of moss take in more than just carbon dioxide.
Pollutants like nitrogen and other toxins are rarely able to withstand the toxin-eating tendencies of mosses, making them a very important resource for indoor and outdoor air cleansing.
In homes, there is sufficient evidence to prove the efficacy of mosses in purifying the air if properly kept.
In fact, moss has also been identified as a useful tool for regulating humidity in the home; releasing it when it’s low and absorbing it when it’s high.
The vast surface area of the plant is one of the reasons it has such absorbent qualities. It is often harnessed as an interior decor by many homeowners.
Does dried moss purify air?
When moss is dried and preserved in some way, does it still have any benefit? Can it purify air? Well, it does, but not as much or effectively as living moss.
This is because the process of photosynthesis which produces oxygen is reduced, if not erased. Also, in this sense, the dried moss doesn’t need much carbon dioxide and its carbon-capturing work is limited.
But dried moss has some advantages, even though it may not give as much purification as you require. They require little or no maintenance, can be applied in the home creatively, and will last long even without water.
There is also a specie known as the Zombie Moss. This one can survive dryness for many years and still be useful for air purification.
In fact, a variety known as Anoectangium compactumis said to possess drought tolerance qualities for as long as 19 years.
What Moss produces the most oxygen?
In 2016, scientists came up with a revelation that it was a moss that gave humans its first breath over 400 million years ago.
Many different moss species exist and it is impossible to tell which species produce the most oxygen without putting location into consideration.
While some mosses may do well on sidewalks, others may not. In the same vein, some species may do well in wet regions and some in dry conditions.
Just be sure that the moss you’re getting is suited for your region, has large leaves, and reproduces multiple times in a year. These are all factors for surplus photosynthesis.
Do moss walls attract bugs?
Moss walls are made from preserved (often dry) moss. Bugs, on the other hand, are only attracted to soil and moisture in plants.
This shows an inconsistency because moss walls neither have soil nor do they require water. It is, therefore, safe to say that moss walls do not attract bugs in any way.
In fact, this is one of the advantages of using preserved moss as against live moss, apart from maintenance cost and effort.
Does live moss and dried moss work with same effectiveness to clean the air?
There are two (or three) different forms in which you can buy moss; live, dried and preserved. Live moss is as it is out in the fields or anywhere it is growing naturally.
It can become preserved moss when the chemical is applied to kill it but also sustain its greenery and freshness over a long period of time.
Dried moss, on the other hand, is a dormant moss that fades with time, losing its color and freshness. Dried moss has the ability to regain its life and grow again if properly cared for and watered.
There is not yet any evidence to show this difference. In fact, a company is known as CityTree already harnesses preserved moss for outdoor use, and evidence shows it is still very effective in cleansing the environment.
Preserved Moss Available Online: Top 3 Products
1. Super Moss 21669 Reindeer Moss (Preserved)
This carefully preserved and packed 8oz chartreuse moss is one of the most popular preserved moss products on the market.
It is not just an ideal option for covering topsoil or dressing your plants and containers but has also been heavily recommended as a great way to cleanse the air in your home and reduce dust content in the atmosphere.
The color is enhanced and the texture softened to give that allure and comfort wherever you choose to put it. It also comes with a great fragrance to keep your home and surrounding smelling fresh all day long.
You may decide to mix this up with different colors for decorative purposes or send them out as gifts to your family and loved ones.
Whatever the case, this presents a cost-effective, affordable and natural way to keep your home and surroundings clean.
2. Mosser Lee ML0560 Spanish Moss
At 250 cubic inches, the Mosser Lee is a Spanish favorite and fast making inroads into America and other parts of the world.
Its popularity stems not just from its incredibly budget price, but also its efficiency as an air purifier.
Mostly used in ornamentals, this brown moss can be spread on top soil, used in dish gardens and flower pots, as well as for artificial arrangement.
Apart from its ability to support the growth of other plants and their oxygenation capability (making them great for air purification), this Mosser Lee moss is effective for moisture retention as well as for preventing the growth of weed.
3. Byher 92926 Preserved Forest Moss
The lush green appeal and fluffiness of this product are not the only good things about Byher’s top moss seller.
Preserved with glycerine, this forest moss is an amazing piece of plant for the clean and fresh home you desire.
The product is dyed to give it a rich green color that still looks very natural.
There’s just something about the green color that denotes freshness and calm. Because it is loose, it can be formed into anything; from as little as fillers for glass vases and baskets for plants to mats or runners for tables.
If you’ve never had to (consciously) use moss before, this is a great place to start. Note that you can also spray this around your garden for good air purification results.
When you consider that mosses have been here even before humans came to be, it feels amazing to still have them around as they continue to serve the interest of humanity, in beauty and in health.
The products reviewed here are just a few you can choose from to harness the power of the moss and ensure a truly healthy environment for you and your loved ones.