Every year, the coming of Spring realigns our focus back onto nature and health. For most of us, it's like emerging from our own form of hibernation. The calendar flips and suddenly binging on Netflix feels unnatural, and more than a little guilt-inducing. Now, 50 degrees seems like summer. You have a strange desire for asparagus and a pastel egg wreath. You actually consider going vegan. Again.
Okay, some things we'll chalk up to Spring fever. But overall, the returning focus on healthy living is something that, for many people, tends to stick.
Jogging, yoga, veggies...by now, we know a hundred ways to improve our health. But, often overlooked (and just as important) is improving the health of our home environment. Counting sleep hours, we spend more of our lives at home than anywhere else.
Here are 3 easy ways to clean your space and breathe easy this Spring:
1. LOOK FOR 100% SOY CANDLES. Okay, you knew this one would be #1, but it's an important one. Our candles are made entirely from natural, 100% sustainable, American-grown soy beans that have been processed to create a smooth, long-burning wax. Soy has become increasingly popular with consumers because it burns cleaner, with minimal smoke and soot released into the air. Read more about the advantages and dangers of wax here.
Meanwhile, unless specifically noted on the label, big-chain (and many small-business) candles are made from paraffin wax. This wax is much cheaper and easier to work with in mass production, but paraffin is a petroleum byproduct that has been proven to emit toxins as it burns.
But all soy candles are NOT created equal. Unless a label boasts "100% soy wax", it can contain any combination of waxes, including paraffin, palm, and coconut. Although palm and coconut sound like good alternatives, almost all of it is harvested overseas with little to no environmental regulations. This is causing massive deforestation and displacement of native animal species.
CHOOSE CLEANER CLEANING PRODUCTS. Yes, Mrs. Meyer's Radish scent may be my soulmate, but what's in there is just as important. Each year, more options arrive on the market containing less harsh chemicals and more natural ingredients. Take advantage of them! We, personally, still opt for the serious stuff when it comes to raw chicken on the counter, but overall, we love that today's "clean house smell" is evolving away from Grandma's bleached out bathroom toward naturally-derived, mood-elevating scents like lavender and real citrus. Want to really go clean? Shop local craft shows and farmers markets for soapmakers. Most pay extreme attention to using only pure, natural ingredients, and many make more cleansing products than just bar soaps. Although, a bar soap can do more than you think! One that has exfoliating ingredients like poppy seeds or loofah can scrub out a sink or bathtub like a champ. Handcrafted cleansing products aren't your cheapest option, but you will be supporting a real person who is super grateful for your purchase.
1. Add house plants. These little (or large!) green buddies make great roommates. They may not pay rent, but with their proven record of producing fresh oxygen and filtering impurities such as carbon dioxide and formaldehyde, they're hardly freeloaders. Try easygoing, easy-to-find favs like bamboo, peace lilies, aloe vera, majestic palms, ferns, and snake plants. Plus, talk about a mood-elevator! Get creative and simple houseplants can be an inexpensive way to elevate your home décor and finish off a room's mood. Bamboo, orchids, and lilies make calming additions to a spa-like master bath. Dwarf citrus trees and geraniums can over-winter inside, creating your own hints of Italy. Or a few palms easily finish off beach décor in a way nothing else quite can.
Hint: pick the spot first and buy the greens to match for it. There's a perfect plant for almost any spot in your home, whether that be a low-light office, sunscorched western window, or humid bath. But trying to wedge that cute succulent on a drafty, north-facing ledge won't work long-term.
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