As the big day approaches, we are thinking about alternatives to some common holiday decorations you might want to consider to make it a green Christmas and keep your home healthy during this season of celebrations and get-togethers.
Alternatives to Scented Candles
Whether you have put up a real pine tree (maybe even a living tree in a pot to plant later) or put garlands on the mantel, your home probably smells like Christmas. Many people also add scented candles to the mix, but there are better alternatives.
Candles can be adding chemicals including acetaldehyde, formaldehyde, acrolein, and naphthalene to your indoor air. Check the ingredients and choose candles made from beeswax, vegetable wax or coconut wax.
You can also scent your home with essential oils in a diffuser, rather than relying on air fresheners.
We love the simplest solution, though. Put a couple of cinnamon sticks, whole cloves and allspice in a small pot on the back burner and let it simmer–but remember to turn it off before you go out to see the lights!
Speaking of Lights
LED lights are becoming the norm for decorations, but many have switched to Compact Fluorescent (CFL) bulbs for their regular home lighting. Unfortunately, CFL bulbs contain mercury that has to be carefully disposed of. They do last longer than incandescent bulbs, but LED lights can last ten times longer still. They also stay cool, presenting less of a fire hazard, whether on the tree or in a lamp.
Emulate the Japanese: Take Off Your Shoes
Ever wonder how all those contaminants get into your indoor air in the first place? Some of them are coming in with you. The Japanese have this one right: take off your shoes at the door and leave dirt, dust and mold spores outside when your friends and family come in to celebrate!
We always have a green Christmas in Southern California, but we could make it greener and healthier with just a few changes.
Everyone at AirTek wishes you a happy and healthy holiday!