11 House Plants So Good for You They’re Approved by NASA
Adding some green to a space can do a lot of good — both for your health and your style. Although we’ve been loving 2016’s trending house plants (we’ve even DIYed a Sharpie watercolor planter to keep them looking fresh in our office), we almost lost it when we heard that space plants (yes, space plants!) are actually a thing. And a very good thing for healthy living, at that.
During the ’80s, NASA began studying house plants as a means of providing purer and cleaner air. Thanks to their now published findings, we know some of the best house plants for clean, pure air (Love the Garden even created an awesome infographic detailing why each house plant on the list is amazing). Here are 11 plants you should definitely consider sharing your home with.
1. Peace Lilies: A beautiful house plant that actually blooms all summer, peace lilies ranked the highest at cleaning almost all chemicals in the air, including ammonia, formaldehyde, benzene and trichloroethylene. Wow. Something so powerful in such a pretty package.
2. Sanseveria: Native to Africa and southern Asia, Sanseveria (AKA the snake plant or, for you married peeps, the mother-in-law’s tongue) is almost impossible to kill — meaning they’re perfect for the gal who’s always on vacation.
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3. Palms: Great at purifying formaldehyde, xylene and toluene, there are many types of palms that’ll brighten up your space and keep you healthy, including areca, lady and bamboo palms.
4. Golden Pothos: A fast growing vine that looks incredible dangling from a window, this awesome plant is an air purifying ninja. Don’t have a green thumb? No problem. It’s so easy to grow that you’d almost have to try to kill a golden pothos for it to die.
5. Dracaenas: With three types of dracaenas making the list (marginata, warnecki and janet craig), it’s clear that this fun house plant is so darn popular with homeowners worldwide for clearing the air of several different pollutants. However, all dracaenas are toxic to cats and dogs, so pet owners should steer clear.
6. English Ivy: Although pet owners may want avoid this traditional plant too (the leaves are toxic for cats and dogs), there’s no denying that they clean the air beautifully.
7. Chrysanthemums: Another plant with a perfect five out of five score on air filtration, chrysanthemums are a beautiful addition to any home or office during early summer.
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Thank you to the lovely @_lisa_dawson_ for my #widn well I'm having a little faff with my rose gold skull I bought on holiday & if you miss it the arrows pointing to it, 😝 it doesn't photograph very well as its so blimmin shinny. Oh and he's also pinched the crown from Bird, you probably can't see that either 😆 bloody metallics and dark walls! Wanna play my new American dark interiors loving insta mate @vathadosado_ I included the butterflies especially for you. #darkwalls #darkinteriors #skull #spiderplant #arrow @aldiuk #books #display #vignette #fireplace #farrowandball #indoorplants #butterflies #crown #lights #chimneybreast #gold #myeclecticmix #eclecticdecor #lovemyhome #realhomes #currentdesignsituation #cornerofmyhome #pocketofmyhome #interior123 #interiorlovers
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8. Spider Plants: Non-toxic and easy to care for, this personality-packed plant is NASA approved for sucking formaldehyde out of the air. And aren’t they just made for mantles and hanging baskets?
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Marriage made in succulent heaven! Kalanchoe Luciae, aloe Vera and aloe Blue Elf. Chillin in the full sun in Bonita, Ca. Photo/Hannah Eubanks Designer/Laura Eubanks at Design for Serenity. #crassula #succulent #designforserenity #lauraeubanks #aloevera #kalenchoe
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9. Aloe Vera: Well known for its awesome burn and bite remedies, this low-maintenance succulent is great for keeping your air clean too. And for making cucumber-aloe cocktails.
10. Ficus: A popular tree known for needing a lot of good light, add a ficus or two to your living room for a stylish and healthy statement piece. This mini desk-sized one is cute, but be aware that they can outgrow your space super quickly if you let them. The trick is in not repotting.
11. Chinese Evergreen: Benzene and formaldehyde are no match for this easy to maintain house plant. Plus, they look great almost everywhere in your home!
Do you have any house plants at home? Tweet us your comments by mentioning @BritandCo.
(Featured photo via Getty)
Welcome to Selfmade Finance School, our new money series with Block Advisors to help small business owners with their tax, bookkeeping, and payroll needs year-round. This week, we explore the tax implications of bringing family members into your business.
The question for today is this: Does hiring your family members make sense for your business? Let me be clear. This is not a piece about whether hiring your family members makes sense for your relationships with those family members. As someone who is part of a family business, I could fill up a lot more than 600 words on my opinions about that. For today's purposes, we focus on whether it makes sense from an overall "good business and tax implication" perspective. As it turns out, there is a decent amount of tax nuance when it comes to employing your family. Let's break it down based on relationship to the employee:
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Spouses Who Are In Business Together
Personally, if I had to be in business with my husband, it would not go well. However, many couples build viable, strong businesses together and I say, good for them! Depending on how you have your business entity structured, it will make a big difference on the tax treatment of you and your spouse working as partners. Because a business jointly owned and operated by a married couple is generally treated as a partnership for Federal tax purposes, the spouses must comply with filing and record keeping requirements imposed on partnerships and their partners. The election to file two Schedule C (Form 1040) forms, (one for each spouse) permits certain married co-owners to avoid filing partnership returns, provided that each spouse separately reports a share of all the businesses' items of income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit. Under the election, both spouses will be subject to self-employment tax and on net earnings from self-employment and receive credit for Social Security earnings.
One Spouse Employs Another
If you have a dynamic where your spouse is an employee of your business, then your spouse's wages are subject to income tax withholding, Social Security and Medicare taxes. If you are self-employed (not a corporation or a partnership), your spouse's pay does not have to be included in your federal unemployment tax account (FUTA) contributions and payments. However, if your business is a corporation or a partnership you must include that spouse's pay in your unemployment tax contribution calculation.
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You Employ Your Child
First, let's be clear. I work in my family business, but I am an adult, so I am treated just like a normal employee. However, if you, for example, run a family restaurant and want to hire your children under 18 to work for you, there are some tax benefits. But first, you should check with your state for rules on how many hours minors can work (in non-agricultural jobs) and reference the Fair Labor Standards Act for information on limitations on the kinds of work children can perform.
"This is an often overlooked or under-utilized strategy. Paying your children for true services they provide in your business can be a powerful tax-saving tool," says Cathi Reed, Block Advisors Regional Director. "If you are a sole-proprietorship or single member LLC, and the child is less than 18 years of age, the business is not required to withhold FICA or payroll taxes. The child can use his or her standard deduction against income you pay."
You Hire Your Parent
Oh dear. If you are brave enough to do this, know that you will need to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on your parent's wages and make the appropriate withholdings, but you don't have to pay unemployment taxes. Now all you have to do is convince your parent that you are the boss. Have fun with that!
Is Hiring Family Members Worth It For The Tax Benefits?
"There are some positive tax advantages to hiring family members. It's important to treat a family member like any other employee. Hiring your children can result in substantial savings for businesses. Make sure your child has real, age-appropriate work to do and a reasonable pay rate, comparable to other employees. Consult with a Block Advisors small business certified tax pro to ensure that you are complying with all requirements," advises Reed. "Block Advisors, a team within H&R Block, is dedicated to meeting the tax, bookkeeping and payroll needs of small business owners year-round. To start working with the tax experts at Block Advisors, visit blockadvisors.com."
In my opinion, you should not hire a family member solely because of the tax benefits. You should always hire based on whether that person is right for the job and keep in mind how this hire could materially impact your relationship with that person and others in your family. Finally, as I mentioned, make sure you have a tax professional on your team when making these determinations. As you can see, things can get a little tricky!
*All details were sourced from IRS.gov and blockadvisors.com