Welcome back to the Small Changes, BIG Impact Challenge!!! We are starting Day 6, and this challenge may be a tough one for you. If you have air fresheners in your home, my experience tells me that you are pretty attached to them. My experience also tells me that you likely do not notice the overpowering smell they give off to someone entering your home. I am very sensitive to them and will get an instant headache, my throat will tighten, and I will almost definitely have a sore throat the next day. I really wish I wasn’t so sensitive to air fresheners, but I am so now I just shower upon returning home and throw my clothes in the wash as soon as I can. Your challenge for the day is to count the number of air fresheners, candles, and warming scents you have in your home. (We will focus on air fresheners, but candles and warming scents often have the same health hazards in them as air fresheners.) Can you part with one of the categories? If so, I will tell you how to properly dispose of them in a bit, as well as give you some healthier alternatives.
Why? Why do you want me to part with these? I love the fragrances! Here are a few reasons for giving them the boot for good.
- They are widely unregulated
- Some can produce toxic pollutants when mixed with ozone (a form of oxygen)
- According to the EPA, the four basic ingredients of air fresheners are formaldehyde, petroleum distillates, aerosol propellants, and p-diclorobenzene (the active ingredient in moth balls). Go here to see some of the health effects of each of those 4 basic ingredients. Keep in mind that these are the building blocks of air fresheners. There are many more chemicals that go into making each of them. Here are some other common ingredients in air fresheners.
- They contain VOCs
How To Dispose Of Them
- Air Fresheners are generally disposed of as Hazardous Waste (Do you still want to be spraying it around and plugging it in everywhere?)
- You can find your specific air freshener on this list and dispose of accordingly.
- The Clean Sweep Program in Madison, WI accepts Hazardous Waste. If you are local, contact them for further clarification.
- Essential Oils are a great addition to any home for a bunch of reasons, but can definitely help you take care of odors or give your home a desired smell. I prefer Young Living Oils, but there are lots of options available to you on the market. I have a few Young Living Consultants that would gladly help you with all of your oily needs. I love the Purification Oil for eliminating odors!
- Open the windows! I love to crack the windows and let in all that fresh air. To improve your indoor air quality, it is recommended to open your windows for at least 5 minutes a day (even during the Winter…my hubby does not need to be privy to that information).
- Make your own Natural Room Spray in less than 5 minutes!
- Bake something! Cookies anyone?
- Absorb odors with baking soda
- Use a charcoal based air freshener bag that naturally absorbs odors in the stinkest of places!
So, how many air fresheners, candles, and warming scents do you have in your home? Are you able to part with any? I am here to cheer you on! See you tomorrow!