fill bicarbonate of soda

The best way to freshen the air is to give everything a good deep eco-clean, open the windows ajar (if safe to do so) and then keep the air fresh, simply through using common sense (removing unwanted clutter and furniture, steam-cleaning carpets and not bringing anything smelly into the house! But if you need extra help, there is no need to use toxic products in your home or car. There are far safer and better ideas. Conventional brands of air freshener contain toxic chemicals and can cause allergies to people and pets. Many also are in aerosol cans, which cause volatile organic compounds, which can harm our health.

Never spray perfumes or essential oils near pets or children (air rooms after use). Avoid essential oils for pregnancy/nursing and affected medical conditons. Indoor plants don’t clean the air (an outdated NASA myth). Make gardens safe for pets (includes indoor plants like sago palm, lilies and cheese plants which can harm just by brushing a tail). Avoid facing indoor foliage to gardens, to help stop birds flying into windows.

fill cleaning vinegar

Bicarbonate of soda is a good natural deodoriser, just sprinkle onto carpets and then vacuum up 15 minutes later, or leave an open jar in the fridge. It’s also good sprinkled in the bottom of containers or bins, and can be used to clean cloth nappies and unblock plugholes.

White cleaning vinegar (not edible) is a mild acetic acid, so can remove alkaline odours (sweat, fish, pet smells) and can also remove musty smells. Just add 1 part white vinegar to 1 part vinegar to a mist spray bottle, the vinegar smell will disappear after 10 or 15 minutes. You can also soak a cloth to wipe down hard surfaces or add 1 teaspoon to 2 cups of water in a mist bottle, and use it to freshen fabrics.

Unscented volcanic potpourri is porous to soak up chosen essential oils, then slowly releases the aroma into your room (not near pets, babies or pregnancy/nursing). Long-lasting and reusable, it’s sold in a lovely matt black vessel with optional red agate stone lid.

Keep cars clean with hot water and biodegradable unscented cleanerAvoid essential oils in cars with babies or pets, or if pregnant/nursing. For odours, use a charcoal purifying bag. Or use MOSO scent-free car freshener spray. If you smoke, stop outside the car and use a personal ashtray to extinguish the butt, for safe disposal later on.

Home Detox is a highly reviewed book by a qualified toxicologist, to take you through your home to learn how to remove potential toxins. The author (who specialises in oncology to prevent cancer) looks at everything from mattresses and pillows to cleaning and beauty products, furniture and clothing.

From food storage to hidden toxins, she offers safe affordable alternatives for each room, in this practical and easy-to-read guide. Get rid of the ‘Toxic Ten’ in your home that may lead to headaches, asthma, high cholestrol, skin and sleep problems, replacing them with effective homemade solutions like baking soda, vinegar and (if safe to use) essential oils.

3 cities with the worst air pollution

Los Angeles Dolceloca


Yep, London is one of them, even though the city is home to 8 million or so trees. The other 2 cities with the world’s worst air pollution (2023) are Beijing and Los Angeles. The latter is famed way) for its ‘smog’, common with higher temperatures. ‘London smog’ is also in LA, but appears in colder months from burning coal. But LA smog ism ostly from car fumes and emissions from industry.

You’d think everyone in California was living green, vegan and zero-waste. Sounds good, but the truth is not really. It’s a city packed with  traffic jams, and the Hollywood film industry promotes excessive consumption (just see those ‘real housewife’ programs or the multi-million dollar homes that could probably house 100 people). This is a city of limousines, not bike lanes!

The huge emissions is causing havoc with the health of the (poorer) population that live in LA city. This is causing more wildfires in susceptible areas, and some people are dying of heatwaves.  More needs to be done to get people out of their cars. On the east coast, Miami offers free public transport on-demand (paid for by ads on vehicles). But LA does have the world’s first solar-powered Ferris Wheel!

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