Thursday, June 26, 2008

Day 66 of our Green Year: Homemade Air Fresheners

Day 66 has come and it is time to make the house smell nice. Not that it smells bad, but there is something about a house that smells great. However, in most air fresheners, that smell comes at a price, and that price is your health. How bad can it be? You may not want to know....

In a study done in 2007, the Natural Resources Defense Council looked at 14 air fresheners and found that 12 contained phthalates. If you don't know what those are, then ignorance is bliss. They are a group of chemicals that are used to dissolve and carry fragrances. They can also soften plastics and companies also use them as sealants and adhesives. They are found in many products, including children's toys, and they have health consequences.
Studies have found that high exposures to Phthalates can cause cancer, sex-hormone abnormalities, development problems in children, malformed sex organs in infants and problems with fertility.

Now, you may think that buying 'all-natural' or 'unscented' air fresheners is the way to go. Well, in a study by the NRDC, they found that some of those 'all natural' products carried as much as 7,300 parts per million of phthalate content. Phthalates are also listed in California's EPA's Office of Encironmental Health Hazard Assessment as a developmental toxin.

Therefore, Layla and I are making our own air fresheners. Previously in the blog, we have mentioned how a bowl of lemon juice can freshen up a room, as can vinegar or baking soda. Well, if you want to do something a bit different, try this.

  1. Take 1/2 cup of salt and a one and a half a cups of flour.
  2. Mix together with some food coloring and some essential oils (Lavender for example).
  3. Add 2/3 cup of boiling water
  4. Once mixed so that it is clumpy, then form into small balls.
  5. Let sit on the counter so they dry.
  6. Put some more essential oil on them.
There, you have a great air freshener. There are not byproducts in this, no chemicals, it is all-natural and good for your home environment.

UPDATE: The soda is ready after sitting in the fridge for days and it is great. Really, it is very good. I love it and am going to be making more soon.

Also, if you want to see what the world will be like after cheap oil is gone (which may be happening now), then check out this CBC documentary I watched last night.

The Future Without Oil