By Naomi Martoia, RN of Forum Health Rochester Hills
Every store I enter is full of artificial scents in candles, aerosol sprays, wax melts and perfume. Aromas do create a certain feel and ambiance that we all hope to experience in our homes, but those of us who want to reduce environmental chemicals in our homes want better and cleaner options. Here are a few of my favorites, that not only smell good but some even clean the air rather than pollute it.
- Use fresh greens to decorate your home. During the holidays you can use fresh evergreen garlands or a wreath. My favorite is a live rosemary tree I can brush my hand over every day as I walk by or water it. Houseplants in general clean the air in the home.
- Brew herbals teas. The aroma of orange, mint, and spices get sent into the air when you brew a cup of herbal tea. Enjoy the aroma as you sip it from an open topped mug rather than an insulated coffee mug.
- Use mulling spices in water added to an open crock pot. If you have mulling spices in your cabinet waiting for that pot of hot cider you never made, use them now. Put a quart of water in a clean crock pot and turn on high. Add mulling spices or cinnamon sticks, star anise, or cardamom pods. If you have them, you can add citrus peel, fresh rosemary, vanilla and 3 drops of a citrus essential oil. This can be simmered as you clean or entertain and will not boil dry quickly like a pot on the stove can. Don’t be surprised if you get asked what you are baking.
- Mix baking soda with a few drops of essential oil and keep it a shaker jar you can shake onto a rug that needs to be vacuumed. Leave the mixture on the carpet/rug for 10 minutes and then vacuum thoroughly, your vacuum will now disperse the scent of the essential oils and baking soda into the air.
- Open your windows a crack for 5 minutes a day to get fresh air in.
- Use cleaning products that have been scented with real essential oils and not perfumes or other fragrance chemicals. Then each time you clean your counter you smell citrus, every time you wash dishes you smell Lemongrass, every time you wash your clothes you smell lavender, its aroma therapy while cleaning.
- Buy an essential oil diffuser and add natural essential oils like cardamom, cassia, spruce and fir oils for seasonal scents.