5 Ways to Freshen Your Air Without Poisoning Your Kids!
Sounds a bit dramatic, I know. The scary thing is that I'm not even being dramatic at all, though! If you use conventional cleaners, body spray/perfume, plug-in or spray air fresheners in your home, you are putting a lot of toxic crap into the air your that family breathes the most. The air inside your home is at least 2-5 times more toxic and polluted than the air outside, and the average person spends 90% of their time indoors.* Thinking of all the outdoor pollution we have, that's pretty alarming. I mean, our freaking ozone layer has a hole in it because of all that pollution! If the air inside your home is even only 2 times more toxic, what's that doing to your lungs?! Mostly every air freshener found at the store is full of unnecessary garbage known to cause asthma, cancer, reproductive harm, lung damage, hormone disruption, and many more really fun things to have happen to your body. My sarcasm font is on, right? Ok, good.
You want your house to smell like caramel pumpkin mocha choca latte spice cupcake cookies this time of year. I get it. I also want mine to smell like I actually live somewhere that's not 90 freaking degrees out still in October. It really isn't worth poisoning my kid, though...especially when there are so many healthier solutions! Here are 5 that you should be using instead!
1- I used to be obsessed with candles, and kind of still am. Anything that you have to light is not ideal, since inhaling burnt airborne particles, carcinogens, and lead is never a good thing, but if you can't stop lighting tiny fires, at least go with a clean soy option. Soy wax melts are much better than their petroleum-based counterparts for the same reason. You can usually find options that are lead-free and 100% soy in your local health store, but here's an awesome company on Amazon!
2- Essential oils are a great way to scent your home and even purify the air, but you really need to know what is safe to diffuse around kids, pets, and anyone with certain conditions who may enter your home. (If you are a rep with an e.o. company, I'm not talking about what your company claims is "safe". Do your own research of unbiased materials). There are so many different risks with different oils, and I haven't personally delved into that world yet, but I do love using a couple drops of oil on our wool dryer balls before drying the laundry! It gives sheets a nice, mild scent that is safe, but also actually makes the whole house smell freaking ahhhhhmazing! It's almost like a much milder way to diffuse.
3- Get house plants. I can't even begin to stress the importance of having plants inside! They help purify the air, produce oxygen, and have a multitude of positive effects on your mental health as well! Some are stronger purifiers than others, but you really can't go wrong. Pick out a few that you love and can commit to watering!
4- Use food! Onions have been known to absorb bacteria from the air around them. They certainly won't purify your entire house, and you'll have an oniony smell, but they DO work! Have some oranges laying around? Boil the peels with cinnamon and/or cloves to fill your house with smells reminiscent of Christmas at Grandma's house! Yes, it's THAT good.
5- The absolute BEST way to deodorize and purify the air in your home is activated bamboo charcoal! This won't give you the scent you want, but it will rid your home of unpleasant odors, as well as clean the air and make it safer to breathe for everyone. It filters out grossness like allergens, formaldehyde, ammonia, benzene, chloroform, and bacteria, just to name a few. We have a particularly smelly cat, a dusty dog, and a semi-potty-training toddler in cloth diapers, and we use these charcoal air freshener bags by the litter box, diaper wet bag, bathroom, and near the dog bed...and you can't smell a damn trace of any of them! Our air is clean and deodorized without any toxic chemicals! Pair a couple charcoal air fresheners with one of the methods above for both purification AND the Fall scent you crave!
Have a question about a certain product or brand? I'd be happy to help you sort the poison out of your life! Ask away!
*[American Lung Association 2010; U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) 2012; US Environmental Protection Agency 2012a]