We’ve all seen those air freshener ads - little flowers sprinkling into the living room, perfect homes featuring way-too-happy looking people. Ever found them slightly suspicious? The strange grins may have something to do with the fact they're breathing in a cocktail of chemicals.
Commercial air fresheners don’t actually remove smells, but are chemically "disguising" them. They usually come with excess packaging, most of which is not easily recyclable - like plastic plug-ins and aerosol cans. In the end, they do more to kill the environment than to kill odours!
There are better ways to keep the clean air in your home.
Want to use the latest space technology to keep your air clean? NASA recommends the indoor house plant. We’re not kidding! A NASA clean air study, which researched ways to clean air in space stations, showed that common plants like aloe vera, gerberas, chrysanthemum or English ivy can remove toxic agents from your home.
There are many easy ways to make non-toxic air freshener. Mix your own air-freshener spray using water, vodka and essential oils. Or use bicarbonate of soda - an odour absorber - mixed with a few drops of essential oils.
Scented candles are handy when you’re stuck for gift ideas. But most candles are made of paraffin wax, a by-product of fossil fuels, and burning these types of candles produces emissions. To avoid this, use the soy or beeswax variety.
Humidifiers can be useful in winter to moisten the air and help with colds and dry skin. Avoid the buzzing plastic versions and try a metal or ceramic humidifier. You fill it with water, hang it on the radiator and the heat will allow the water to evaporate. Add a few drops of essential oils to bring out a pleasant scent.