Can Houseplants Really Clean the World's Smoggiest City?
On the roof of an office building in India's capital, the world's smoggiest city, Kamal Meattle has a unique tactic for cleaning the air: a greenhouse with 400 common plants, including mother-in-law's tongue.
Meattle, the CEO of Paharpur Business Centre, has 800 other plants spread throughout the building's lower six floors, greening each room and hallway. Their job: remove soot and other chemicals from the often charcoal-colored outdoor air.
In India, where almost no one wears filter masks on the streets as many do in China, Meattle is seen as a radical. He says he's even been dubbed the Mad Hatter of Nehru Place, a high-tech hub that's home to his leafy building and an adjacent lot he converted from a slum into an oasis of 2,000 trees.