6. Banish air fresheners
It’s completely normal to have a variety of odours in your living space and not all of these will be pleasant, despite your best efforts to keep your environment clean. Most of us want to get rid of these bad smells, so we reach for the air freshener – but did you know that by doing this, you could be seriously harming your health?
Though scented air fresheners might smell nice and mask a bad odour in the short term, this won’t last, plus they are laden with toxic nasties that are dangerous and cause indoor air pollution. One study that tested a variety of scented household products, including 25 air fresheners, found that they contained over 100 volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including some that are legally classified as toxic or hazardous, even the products labelled as green, natural or organic. VOCs are one of the biggest causes of pollution in the home but along with triggering serious diseases all on their own, they can also react with other elements in the air to form toxins, like formaldehyde.
There’s another downside for reaching for the quick fix of an air freshener too – as it can prevent you from locating the origin of bad odours. Some nasty smells may come from a source that needs urgently addressing, as they could mean something is leaking, or bacteria is growing. There aren’t really any safe conventional air fresheners but luckily it is easy to freshen up your home the natural way – instead of spraying smells away, try an oil burner filled with organic essential oils, or a reed diffuser with pure oils instead.
Alternatively, why not make your own homemade potpourri by drying out leaves, twigs and petals, then placing them into bowls and sprinkling with essential oil? Or, if you really feel the urge to spray, you could always create your own natural air freshener, mixing essential oils, baking soda, lemon juice and hot water, then decanting the mixture into a spray bottle.