September 13, 2018
The first sight of falling leaves can inspire us to transform our homes to welcome Fall. One of the most tempting ways to embrace the season is by filling our homes with the warm scent of pumpkin spice candles–but wait! Before you reach for the matches, have you thought about how you could be affecting your health?
Unfortunately, most scented candles and air fresheners contain harmful chemicals known as VOCs, which are released into your air once the candle is burned.VOCs can sometimes come in scary packages–like Formaldehyde, Benzene, and Acetone. Once these chemicals are released in your air, they can easily travel into your lungs and, eventually, blood stream.
Short-term side effects of VOCs include headaches as well as itchy eyes, nose, throat, and skin. Too much exposure to VOCs has also been linked to eczema flare-ups, acne breakouts, hives, allergies, asthma attacks, and cancer.
Don’t worry! There are plenty of natural alternatives to candles and air fresheners that can help you achieve a cozy, fall-festive home. Here are a few of our favorite tricks:
Baking soda is safe and effective alternative to harsh cleaning products, and if you choose to use baking soda in your cleaning routine, we recommend mixing in a dash of cinnamon, pumpkin spice, or cloves--this mix will leave your house sparkling and ready for the season!
Tying together a few Rosemary sprigs with floral wire to create a wreath will help fill your home with this popular seasonal scent.
This trick from Martha Stewart's blog can become a fall favorite after adding a quick healthy-air update! Here are the instructions from Martha's blog:
The only change that needs to be made to this DIY pumpkin pie scent is to swap out the tea light candle for a small beeswax candle. Candles made of beeswax don't emit harmful chemicals in your air and burn longer than typical paraffin candles. Small beeswax candles are available on Amazon.com, Etsy, and more!
This is an age-old trick for filling your home with the perfect smell of fall--and even winter. While this recipe calls for an orange, we recommend trying pears, pumpkins, and more to create a custom scent:
Simmer pots are a great way to fill your home with a comforting and warm fall scent. Most simmer pot recipes suggest heating the ingredients in a pot over a gas stove--however this can add harmful fine dust to the air throughout your home.
We recommend swapping out the stovetop simmer pot for a crock pot or slow cooker--it may help the scent last longer, and it can also help add additional humidity to your home during these cold, dry months. To create your own, simply heat water, cloves, apple slices, orange peels, and cinnamon sticks in a crockpot and let your home be transformed into a cozy fall haven.
You don't have to sacrifice your health to create the perfect fall-ready home. Unfortunately, many of us don’t realize the air in our homes can be filled with chemicals and other toxins that can threaten our safety.
If you want to really know what’s in the air you’re breathing, you can get started with an indoor air quality monitor, like Awair. Awair tracks toxins and chemicals in your air and provides personalized recommendations to help you stay safe and healthy.
The airborne pollution caused by catastrophic wildfire seasons caught many people off-guard and unprepared. Miles away from blaze sites, people were experiencing the health symptoms of inhaling high PM2.5 and ozone (O3) concentrations. Although exposure to wildfire smoke may only last a few days or weeks, the impacts on your health can be much longer-lasting.
In these pandemic-stricken times, it’s paramount to stay healthy as we prepare for the end of the year. Doing so helps ensure that we can enjoy ourselves and see loved ones safely. One way to stay healthy during the holiday season has always been to ensure your indoor air, whether at home, school, or work, is optimized for health. Now, with the persistence of COVID-19 restrictions, monitoring your indoor environment is even more critical, as is following safety protocols from your local and state governments.