In winter our household windows and doors remain mostly closed and one must consider how much of our lives we actually spend indoors. The combination of airtight homes and toxic cleaning products become a health risk. Commercial air purifiers can be toxic because they emit ozone gases or ultraviolet rays. Instead, we can maintain healthy, breathable air in our homes in more natural ways. What can we do to safely and naturally purify our air? 

The best natural air cleaners are to use environmentally friendly cleaning products. Most indoor pollution is caused by chemical cleaning agents we apply to surfaces in our homes. Substitute these cleaners for those in which contain the most common harmful airborne chemicals: formaldehyde, benzene, trichloroethylene, and carbon monoxide. Even in low concentrations these chemicals can cause a variety of health problems that have been linked to early puberty, autism, asthma, obesity, reduced lung function and birth defects.Cleansers that contain natural compounds such as sodium carbonate (baking soda) and other minerals such as calcium carbonate work well for cleaning windows and mirrors. This has been safely used for generations with no known ill effects. For general cleaning, try a basic soap without perfumes or other additives – Dr. Bronner’s makes a great line that you can purchase at Nature’s Source. 

Aura Cacia is another company that is truly committed to product safety as well as sustainability. Their spritzer air freshener/body mist are made from essential oils and water which also uses no propellants. Here is a recipe to make your very own natural air room spray: In a 2-ounce amber glass mist bottle, fill ½ with water then add drops of each essential oil - 5 drops lemon or lime - 5 drops grapefruit - 5 drops sweet orange - 5 drops lavender - 5 drops sweet basil. Fill up the remainder with water, shake contents and mist the air. 

By setting a jar of vinegar in a corner can help absorb odours. Sprinkling your carpet with baking soda then vacuuming it up the following day may also help deodorize. 

Another great, natural alternative is having lots of indoor green plants that absorb airborne toxins and return clean fresh oxygen. Formaldehyde is one of the most prevalent chemicals in our homes and isn’t easy to get rid of. The following household plants is an easy green tool at your disposal to help get rid of it: - Boston ferns - bamboo palm - dwarf date palm - rubber plants and janet craigs - Chinese evergreen - arrowhead vine - English ivy - golden pothos Four flowering air purifiers are: - florist’s mum - gerbera daisies - tulips - azalea 

 The Himalayan Crystal salt lamp also works as an air purifier, as they release negatively charged ions. These negative ions neutralize positively charged ions given out by computers, tv’s, power grids, etc. The negatively charged ions create an environment that is similar to being near the water. The lit salt crystal clears the air naturally of allergens like smoke, pet dander, pollens and other air pollutants. It dilutes odours so that you can breathe easier. Now, even though it is practically impossible to completely avoid harmful toxins, reducing chemical exposure in any way possible starts with each one of us. Become aware, become active, for a safer, cleaner atmosphere.