So, I found this research study that was done by NASA on the top ten best air-filtering houseplants.
Here's the link for the list: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_air-filtering_soil_and_plants
But...I realized that my work had at least 3 or 4 of these that I could get (adopt-a-plant program) for free for my workspace. So I got a peace lily and a spider plant. I had killed my first spider plant a year ago at work (never had luck with plants and never wanted any really).
Since I've been sucessful with those two plants and some ivy also, at work, I've decided to get some plants in my house. Not only to real plants look nice in your home, but they provide oxygen and also can absorb some harmful polluntants in the air (read that study about formaldehydes and such).
Luckily I found a guy on KSL who had free spider plant seedlings here downtown. So Paul and I went and picked a ton off his spiderplant, so we could plant our own. I ended up getting about 30, becuase I gave them away at my baby shower as the party favor/thank you (green theme), and I included a little card/print out I made about how to care for the plant and also the top ten houseplants list so they can get other plants too if desired. Our two spinder plant seedlinds we got were just a few inches long when we got them, but now they're potted in our litte Ikea pots, one for each bedroom, and are growing taller each week (it's been about 2 months).
I also got a Topsy Turvy tomato plant holder to hang on my balcony outside, along with our basil plant. Talk about urban gardening...I also saw a strawberry growbag you can hang on your balcony to grow strawberries...which I'd love to try sometime.
I've found out that KSL occasionally has people giving away free plants and such. So far I've seen free tomato plants, strawberry plants, tulips, spider plants, trees, and some others I'm not familiar with so I don't remember them. IF you want to garden, but aren't sure where to begin, or don't want to invest money until you know what you're doing...try getting some free plants and begining there.
Also, herb gardening is a great place to start. I grew basil, chives and parsley last year (the dill flopped). We'd make our own pesto out of the basil and parsley...deliscious! I'll put a separate post in here that is the Pesto recipe, if you're interested. Also, we make dill, cheese popcorn all the time and it's delicious. So, these are four great herbs to have on hand fresh! (Cilantro is rather tempermental though and doesn't do well in high heat, so careful if you do that.)
Also, I went to our local Farmer's Market last year and bought some alfalfa seeds. There are a ton and will last for a long time. You can grow your own sprouts in 4 days that are great to top sandwiches and salad. You just take one tsp of seeds and put them in a glass jar with water, with a piece of clean panty hose (makeshift) over the top and leave on your counter. Each morning you pour out the water and rinse the seeds. By the third or fourth day you have sprouts. They last about one week I think. But this has got me interested in other types of sprouting. Be careful though, because there are certain beans you shouldn't try to sprout because they're bad for you when sprouted. You can google which beans to sprout and how long each take, etc. When sprouted, your body can actually digest it better anyway, so there are great health benefits from sprouting.