Bad air quality could impact people and things around them.

Why is air quality important?
Air quality is important because without good air quality we would have a lot of problems such as sickness, lack of focus, itchy eyes, headaches, dizziness and fatigue. Bad air quality can also have an effect on people who have asthma. Over time, this could lead to illness and eventually it could even lead to cancer.

We got this idea when Natalia Arbolino, an expert on Sustainability from the University of Colombia, came to visit us and showed us a presentation on air quality and taught us about environmental sustainability. We took interest in the air quality so we started an air quality project.

How we did it
We started to pursue this interesting idea of indoor air quality so first we started to do some research on indoor air quality and how to improve it. We did a research on different ways to do this and found out that plants are the most efficient way. We then walked around Jakarta Intercultural School Pattimura and surveyed how many plants were in each classroom. We used this data to find out how many and what kind of plants we needed. After a few weeks we met up with Jakarta Intercultural School ground maintenance coordinator (Pak Guntur) and talked about our indoor air quality plans. We then worked on a proposal to Ms. Elsa Donahue Principal of PEL and PIE and Butch Koltai Vice Principal of PEL about indoor air quality. After a lot of discussions, we called on them to present our proposal, and after many questions, they eventually accepted. Now we are a few steps away from putting our plan into execution, which will hopefully result in cleaner air quality in our classrooms.

How plants filter air
Some plants are known to filter or clean air. These plants do this by absorbing gasses and other VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and then the plants convert all of these bad gases and chemicals into oxygen. This process cleans the air and the plants do this again and again until there are no more harmful things in the air.

What plants are helpful?
There are some plants that are extremely helpful and clean up the air and the harmful chemicals and gases much faster than other plants. Some of the most helpful plants are peace lilies, snake plants, english ivy, areca palms and aloe vera.

Jakarta Air Quality
The air quality in Jakarta is always on a span of Moderate, Unhealthy for sensitive groups, Unhealthy and rarely Good. This shows that our air quality needs improvement. This is what we have done to help improve the indoor air quality at JIS Pattimura. We hope that you will do your small part in improving air quality in your surroundings.

Text Ahan Agarwal (Grade 5, JIS Pattimura)  •  Photos courtesy of JIS