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LizzieWeakley posted a blog entry in Lizzie Weakley's Green BlogThere are few things that can make a home more inviting and pleasant to be in than a wonderful scent. Of course, everything from the kids' smelly shoes and your pets to grease from cooking and more can impact the smell of your home. Many people go to great lengths to overcome these smells and to improve the odor in their space. For example, it is common to spray air fresheners, to use deodorizers on your carpeting and even to light candles in various rooms in the home. While these are common steps to take, aromatherapy may actually be a healthier solution. The Toxins in Air Freshening Products Many air fresheners and other related products contain ingredients that are harmful to the environment as well as to your health. For example, most contain benzene, styrene, formaldehyde and phthalates. Some of these are known carcinogens. Others can increase hormone levels, cause reproductive issues, negatively impact the development of a fetus and more. Different air freshening products contain different levels of these ingredients, and some will opt to use products that have a lower level. However, a better option may be to forgo these products altogether and to opt for aromatherapy instead. What Is Aromatherapy? While most common household air freshening products use harsh, dangerous chemicals to make your home smell great, aromatherapy can produce the same aromatic results by using natural plant extracts and essential oils. These may be some of the same oils and extracts that you may use in your massage oils and bath products. The practice of aromatherapy describes the combination of art and science that come together to create a harmonizing, pleasant and healthy experience for the mind, body and spirit. Gary Young is a leading advocate of aromatherapy, and he has authored many books on the topic that go into great detail about his own health experiences with aromatherapy. How to Use Aromatherapy in Your Home Aromatherapy may most commonly be thought of in relation to making your home smell good, but there are true health benefits associated with aromatherapy as well. Each oil and various combinations of oils can be used to create different and healthy results for you. They have the ability to affect your mood, improve your physical health and help you to feel more spiritually balanced. Choosing oils is the first step to take to enjoy aromatherapy. You should spend time researching the effects each one may have on you. For example, lavender has qualities that will help you to feel more balanced and soothed. Rosemary can be both invigorating and warming. Sweet orange has uplifting, cheerful properties. These and other oils can be incorporated into your home individually or separately to create the healthy results you desire. While you want to choose a scent or a combination of scents that you find appealing and pleasing, you also should be aware of the impact they can have on your mind, body and spirit. Everyone wants a home that smells fresh, clean and pleasant, but daily activities and regular use of the home can often produce odors that are unappealing. Using air freshening products that you purchase at a local store can be effective at making your home smell better, but these products are bad for the environment and can have unhealthy effects on you and your family. The essential oils used in aromatherapy are a better option because they are natural, safe and healthy, and they are also equally as effective at making your home smell great. If you are looking for a great way to improve the odor in your home without creating an unhealthy environment, aromatherapy may be the right solution.
RachelleW posted a blog entry in Shades of an Apple Green HomePets make a welcome furry addition to any home. Unfortunately, they often generate unpleasant smells that can be hard to remove. The following are five natural remedies for getting rid of pet odors. Vodka and Essential Oils Vodka is a powerful tool in removing pet odors from the home. What makes vodka work so well is that it can quickly absorb any odors. Since it is made from alcohol, it evaporates fast. One recipe for a vodka air freshener includes 3 cups of water, 1 cup of inexpensive vodka, and 10 to 15 drops of essential oils with flavors like eucalyptus, lavender, or citrus. White Vinegar Vinegar is a powerful odor fighting agent. One of the nice things about white vinegar is that it is all natural, so it does not harm the home’s occupants with chemicals. Pet odors can be removed from the room by taking white vinegar, putting it in a hand towel, and then ringing the hand towel out. Then wave the towel around the room, and the odors will eventually dissipate. Baking Soda Baking soda has long been used to remove hard to remove odors. Baking soda is more powerful when combined with other odor removing ingredients like vinegar. An odor removing spray can be made by taking 2 cups of water, throwing in a tablespoon of vinegar, and 1 teaspoon of baking soda. Then add 10 drops of essential oil, and the smells will disappear. It is easier to remove pet odors from carpets that have been treated to reduce odor, like the carpets sold at places like JLG Flooring for example. Hydrogen Peroxide Talk to any old-timer or anyone who is grown up on a farm and they will tell you that hydrogen peroxide is an excellent way to remove the smell of pet urine and skunk odor from carpets and upholstery. A tried and tested mixture includes 1 quart of hydrogen peroxide, ¼ cup of baking soda, and a touch of natural liquid soap. This mixture can be applied to an area and allowed to sit for 24 hours. Vanilla and a Light Bulb This is another old-timer trick to cover up unpleasant pet smells from the room. Take a dash of vanilla and put it on a light bulb. As the light bulb heats up, the smell of vanilla will permeate the room, effectively covering over any unwanted pet odors. Owning a pet is a lot of fun. However, it can also be a very smelly endeavor. By following some of the above-mentioned natural remedies, you can easily eliminate unwanted pet smells.
RachelleW posted a blog entry in Shades of an Apple Green HomeEssential oils have long been used by mankind to treat a wide range of skin ailments and stomach problems, as well as to clean and improve the smell of a home. Recently, essential oils have received positive press in the media, and this has attracted more and more people to them. Yet, since there are many people who are not completely familiar with their use, there are some questions that arise. What Are Essential Oils and How Do They Work? All essential oils come from plants. The oil is extracted from the plant using a wide range of methods, most commonly distillation and expression. In order to be classified as an essential oil, the oil must have the chemical properties of the plant it is extracted from as well as the aromatic properties of that plant. Essential oils work because they are made up of tiny molecules that can easily be absorbed in the body through the skin. These molecules then interact with the body and depending on the plant that they are derived from can kill bacteria, kill viruses, help the body eliminate toxins, as well as provide a wide range of other cures. How Are Essential Oils Used? Most essential oils are used for topical applications. They are often placed on the skin either on the palm, temples, or on the sole of the feet. Since the skin is permeable, the oils are absorbed into the skin, providing different benefits. Some oils are inhaled. This is done by adding a few drops of the oil into a humidifier, putting them in a diffuser, boiling them in water, or by simply smelling the bottle. Some even choose to ingest essential oils, but more research should be done before deciding if this is appropriate for all oils. How Is the Quality of Essential Oils Determined? There are no governmental guidelines determining the potency level of essential oils. The quality is going to be determined on how pure the oil is, if it is directly from the plant, or if it has been adulterated with other sources. Additionally, its integrity, that is if the oils are extracted from a single type of plant or if they are a mixture from different plant species, is an important quality. Every company will define what quality means. Essential oil enthusiasts like Gary Young, founder and CEO of Young Living Essential Oils, have decided to create their own organic farms and distilleries to make sure that the essential oils they use are pure. The quality of the essential oil a person gets will depend on the price they pay for them and the person or company they buy them from. How Effective Are Essential Oils? There are people who have strong opinions about this. There are some individuals who believe that essential oils are the magical cure-all for everything, be it physical or mental. Others do not share this belief. It is a proven fact that essential oils have been used on every corner of the globe by billions of individuals over thousands of years, and these individuals attest to their effectiveness. And it is a fact that all pharmaceutical medicines are based on organic chemistry, including the chemical makeup of some organic oils. What Are the Top Five Oils One Should Consider Purchasing? Some of the more popular oils include lemon, peppermint, frankincense, eucalyptus, and tea tree. It is recommended that people learn about the oils before using them. Once they understand how the oil works and once they see how it makes them feel, then they can increase the amount they use. Essential oils have been providing relief to mankind for many years. It is recommended that a person takes their time and do their research prior to selecting essential oils in order to find the ones that are the most reliable and useful for their situation.