Bring Green Scent to Your Home

11_24_08_candle.jpgYesterday, we got really into the holiday spirit and were this close to putting up our little fake Christmas tree. But instead, we lit some holiday-scented candles and cleaned house to prepare for the yuletide.

We're candle people. But more than that, we are scent people. So we've come up with a few eco-minded ways we like to get our home smelling fresh. Jump below for our ideas and then share yours.

First things first: deodorizing can be the first step to a fantastic-smelling home. But you don't have to turn to aerosol deodorizers or fresheners; these can contain phthalates. We get the dirty work done by sprinkling baking soda all over the carpet before we vacuum. We also sprinkle it into our kitchen sink before running the disposal. It will absorb smells and naturally freshen your home.

Once the initial freshening is done, you can turn to a few eco-friendly alternatives.

First, be sure you're using only lead-free, soy candles. Soy candles burn cleaner and cooler than their paraffin counterparts. They are non-toxic, non-carcinogenic, and create 95% less soot than paraffin candles. Of course, our favorite soy candles are the ones handmade by mom, and here at Re-Nest, we're also very fond of Tatine candles.

If you're not a fan of open flames in your home, consider a candle warmer. This is, however, something you have to plug in; but it releases absolutely no soot and still gives the warmth of a candle. This is one of those options you have to weigh, because we obviously don't want to advocate for unnecessary power usage. That said, candle warmers can be turned on an hour before a party, and your whole home will be smelling delicious. We use one when we don't want to worry about blowing out a candle in a couple of hours.

Or, you can use reed diffusers. We like these: small glass vases hold reeds that diffuse essential oil scents into the air. Zero soot, zero power, very minimal footprint. We like to collect apothecary bottles at thrift stores, and then refill with reeds and oil as needed.

And what about that old classic potpourri? Using natural ingredients like orange zest, cloves, cinnamon, and other spices, you can whip up a beautiful batch of the stuff and toss it with some essential oil. Display it in a show-stopping bowl by the door and you've got yourself a holiday winner.