The benefits of keeping plants in living spaces have long been documented, both in science and in popular wisdom. But plants were not designed to handle, let alone counter, many of the environmental pollutants found in today's air. Enter ANDREA Air, an air filtration system that turns any household plant into an effective air purifier.

The sleekly designed system is engineered to greatly improve the natural filtration capacity of plants, offering up to 10 times the formaldehyde removal rate of plants. It requires no replacement filters, uses far less power than a traditional mechanical purifier, absorbs and metabolizes harmful chemicals, and even biochemically transforms waste.

As carbon emissions continue to plague today's urban epicenters, ANDREA Air offers an elegant solution to managing the air quality of our living spaces. Of course, a better solution would be to employ nature's less efficient but time-tested air purifiers on a larger scale, introducing more outdoor green spaces to cities and pushing for global reforestation. Our atmosphere is, after all, one connected system. Setting borders on clean air is a little bit like Eastern European restaurants, where smokers and non-smokers sit within a few feet of each other on respectively designated tables.

Maria Popova is the editor of Brain Pickings, a curated inventory of miscellaneous interestingness. She writes for Wired UK, GOOD Magazine, Design Observer and Huffington Post, and spends a shameful amount of time on Twitter.