It doesn’t truly feel like the holidays until you catch a scent of pine, cinnamon, or freshly baked cookies. If you’re still searching for the holiday spirit this year, one of the quickest remedies is to fill your home with the comforting and familiar scents of the season.
Seasonal candles may seem like the best way to add some holiday cheer to your home–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! You can still spread holiday cheer in your home without using candles. Here are three ways you can quickly replace your holiday scented candles and still keep your home festive:
Scented Pine Cones
While pine cones can smell amazing on their own, give them an extra boost with this simple recipe.
- Wash and dry a few pine cones collected from outdoors.
- Mix a few drops of all-natural essential oils (holiday scents can include apple, orange, or cinnamon) with water and spray the pine cones.
- Let the pine cones sit in a sealed plastic bag overnight.
- Remove the pine cones from the bag and let them begin to freshen up your home!
Hanging herbs around your home is a great way to fill your home with both decorations and holiday scents.
Gather pine, rosemary, thyme, sage, cinnamon sticks, and a slice of dried orange together with a piece of twine for the perfect holiday blend!
This is an age-old trick for filling your home with a classic holiday scent, and it only takes a few steps!
- Pierce the skin of an orange with a wooden skewer to create a small hole.
- Place a clove in each hole of the orange. Wrap a rubber band around the orange to help guide you to create even lines and designs.
- Display the oranges and let them naturally freshen your home!
You shouldn’t have to sacrifice your health for holiday cheer–but 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.