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How To Improve The Air Quality In Your Home | AD

improve indoor air quality
improve indoor air quality

This is a paid for post with ENGIE on improving your indoor air quality.

When we think of air pollution, we tend to think of outdoor air. We don’t often give the air inside our homes a second thought.  Yet according to the Environmental Protection Agency, the air quality inside our homes can often be two to five times worse than outdoors.   The same study reports that adults in developed countries can spend around 90% of their time indoors.  With indoor air quality contributing to many serious health issues, it really is an issue deserving more attention.

As today is Clean Air Day, a project that aims to clean up the air on the longest day of the year, I’ve teamed up with ENGIE Home Energy, partners of Clean Air Day, to share six tips on how to improve the air quality in your home.

Six Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality

how to improve air quality indoors

1.  Consider Your Cleaning Products

There are many reports of the negative impacts of conventional cleaning products on your health.

Instead of using harsh cleaning products, consider switching to more environmentally friendly brands.  Ethical Consumer has a great guide to cleaning product brands that’s incredibly useful.

Alternatively, try making your own natural cleaning products.  As someone who has written a whole book on the subject, I promise it’s not as tricky or as time-consuming as it sounds.  If you have 5 seconds to add one ingredient to another and then give it a shake then you can definitely make your own cleaning products!  The great thing is that many of the products use ingredients from your food cupboard. From herbs to citrus fruits. From salt to bicarbonate of soda and other food-based ingredients. All of these natural ingredients will do wonders for your indoor air quality.

If making your own cleaning products, or using more environmentally friendly brands isn’t your thing then there are a few things you can do to improve the air quality in your home.  Avoid using aerosol based products and making sure you open a window when using cleaning products can help.

2.  Consider Your Candle Habit

Candles, and in particular, scented candles are a surprising cause of indoor air pollution.

Standard candles are made from paraffin wax. This is a petroleum by-product that is made when crude oil is refined into petrol. This affects your indoor air quality when you burn them.  And that’s before we’ve even covered the artificial fragrances contained in candles, which can hide a cocktail of particularly undesirable chemicals.

Instead of conventional candles, try beeswax candles. Here’s a handy guide on how to make your own. If you’re vegan, then soy candles fragranced with pure essential oils are a good alternative. Here are four of the best.

3.  Service Your Boiler

Getting your boiler serviced by a professional at least once per year is a wise move in improving the air quality in your home.  Without regular servicing, highly poisonous carbon monoxide gas can leak from faulty boilers, which can be fatal.

As carbon monoxide is odourless, tasteless, and colourless it’s best to also install a carbon monoxide alarm too.  The most effective position for your carbon monoxide alarm is around head height on the wall or bookcase. Never install an alarm on the ceiling. Here it’s too high to be effective in the event of a leak.

4.  Consider Switching Your Energy Tariff

Admittedly, this is an action that you can take inside the home to improve air quality outside, but it is still an important one.  Choosing an energy supplier, such as ENGIE, who offers renewable energy tariffs for your home can significantly reduce the pollution caused by fossil fuel-based power stations.

ENGIE source 100% of the electricity they supply from wind power generated from their network of UK wind farms.  Whilst this sounds like it might come at a cost to you, ENGIE says that customers can save up to £200 compared to their old suppliers.

Whilst the name might be new to you, ENGIE have been around for quite some time. Particularly in Europe.  Since 2014, ENGIE has sought to reduce future exploration in fossil fuels and has instead invested heavily in renewable energies and energy efficiency services.  ENGIE sustainably heat the 3,000 homes and buildings in London’s Olympic Park and power big businesses across five continents.

5.  Consider Your Decorating Materials

Moving back indoors, paint is one of those surprising elements that is a considerable contributor to indoor air quality.

Paints contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These are chemical gases that are emitted from certain solids and liquids, and can cause short and long-term health problems.

The highest concentrations of VOCs from painting a room occur during and immediately after painting. However, a freshly painted room can continue to emit VOCs long after the paint has dried on your walls.  In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency says that a mere 50 percent of VOCs contained within paint are released within the first year of application.

Thankfully, it’s an easy one to avoid – just switch to low VOC paint.

Other sources of VOCs include furniture and synthetic carpets and rugs, etc. Therefore choosing natural products, such as pure wool and pure wood products are healthier alternatives that will help improve indoor air quality.

6.  Get Growing

Plants are an easy and cost-effective way to improve indoor air quality.  Don’t believe me?  A famous NASA study found that several common houseplants may remove carcinogenic air-borne chemicals, such as benzene and formaldehyde from the air.  Later research indicated that micro-organisms in the soil of houseplants can also help purify the air.

Although subsequent research has been inconclusive, it certainly doesn’t hurt to have a few houseplants in your home.  Check out here for some air purifying recommendations.

If you have any more indoor air quality tips then do share below, and on this Clean Air Day be sure to follow along on Twitter with ENGIE and Clean Air Day for more clean air tips!

Health & Beauty, Life & Style

The Zero-Waste & Plastic-Free Makeup Brands To Know

plastic-free makeup uk

Looking for the best zero-waste and plastic-free makeup brands? Right this way! I’ve got nine brands for you to know about, all eschewing single-use plastic.

To help support the running costs of Moral Fibres, this post contains affiliate links, denoted by *. Moral Fibres may earn a small commission, at no extra cost to readers, on items that have been purchased through those links. This income helps keep this site running.

A couple of precious makeup items of mine have just run out.  A lovely peachy cream blush, and some black eyeshadow that I use to line my eyes. 

As much as I have loved these products, the packaging they are in is plastic-based. Rather than do the easy thing and replace like for like, I’ve been in prime research mode for the last little while.  This has seen me searching out zero-waste and plastic-free makeup options, to see what’s out there before I make any purchases.

The Guardian reports that cosmetic packaging is the hardest to recycle. This is due to the mixed materials used in every product – from compacts to lipsticks, and more. As such, I’ve been down all sorts of internet rabbit holes, and come up with what I believe are nine zero-waste and plastic-free makeup brands.  I’ve concentrated primarily on what’s available in the UK because that’s where I live.  However, I have included two US options for international readers. 

Here’s what I found!

The Best Zero Waste and Plastic-Free Makeup Brands

Image of plastic-free makeup products with blue text box that reads the zero-waste and plastic-free makeup brands to know.

For this guide, I’ve focused on the plastic-free makeup brands that cater to a wide range of skin tones, from pale to dark skin.  It’s 2022, and no one should be left out of the make-up discussion.

Antonym

plastic free makeup uk

image via Antonym’s Facebook page

Antonym* sells a beautiful range of cruelty-free and ECOCERT certified organic makeup.  Packaged in bamboo and paper, the range is free from parabens, phthalates, sulfates, artificial fragrances, petrochemicals, preservatives, and other nasties.  All products are vegan, with the exception of their lipsticks.  Whilst many of its makeup products are plastic-free, not every single product is plastic-free. Do check carefully before you purchase.

Antonym is difficult to find in the UK.  I’ve tracked down a limited range on Naturisimo.  Here the foundation caters to 5 skin tones – fair, light, nude, medium-beige, and medium-dark. I’m on the lookout for more UK stockists, so watch this space.

Axiology Plastic-Free Makeup

Axiology* makes plastic-free and zero-waste multipurpose crayons, that deliver beautiful colour for your lids, lips, and cheeks. Wrapped in paper, and packaged in a recyclable cardboard carrying case, these palm oil-free and cruelty-free crayons deliver a sheer colour, that’s easy to apply and blend. These Lip-To-Lid Balmies also suitable for all skin types.

Prices start from £12.

Clean-Faced Cosmetics

Clean Faced Cosmetics* is a US-based zero-waste and plastic-free makeup range, selling products such as mascara, eyeliner, lipstick, eyeshadow, and more. As well as being mostly organic, its products are all vegan and cruelty-free. Its products are also made in small batches by hand – helping to reduce waste. 

In terms of inclusivity, their foundation caters to light, medium, and dark skin tones. 

If you can’t find what you’re looking for elsewhere and don’t mind paying for the shipping, then this shop may be the one to visit.

Fat & The Moon

zero waste make up

image via The Future Kept

Fat & The Moon is a US brand sold in the UK via Peace With The Wild and The Future Kept.  From highlighters to lip and cheek stains, to lipsticks there is a small but perfectly formed selection of zero-waste makeup. These are all completely plastic-free – coming packaged in metal tins and cardboard.

As well as being free of plastic, their makeup is made from 100% natural ingredients. Fat And The Mood work with abundant, organically cultivated and ethically harvested plants to create their products, all of which are completely non-toxic. No synthetic chemicals are used in any of their formulations. What’s more, the brand is also cruelty-free and avoids palm oil.

Vegans note that Fat & The Moon products contain beeswax so are not vegan-friendly.

Kjaer Weis

Kjaer Weis*, which is available in the UK via Content Beauty, sells certified organic natural makeup in beautiful refillable metal compacts.  Even the lipsticks and mascaras are refillable.  What’s more, their foundation caters to 8 different skin tones.  

Kjaer Weis is admittedly at the pricier end of the plastic-free makeup spectrum. However, its products do get rave reviews from all around the internet. And they are truly beautiful items that you will want to cherish forever.  The initial price shock is overcome when you realise that once you’ve bought a cream blush in its beautiful compact, for example, the refills are £17 cheaper.  You can find out more about the refill system here.  I truly love this refill makeup concept.  One day, when I’m a rich fancy lady, this is what I’m going to splurge on!

Something that is handy to know is that Content Beauty offers a 10% discount on your first purchase when you sign up to their mailing list.  

Lush

Lush sells a range of cruelty-free and plastic-free or packaging-free cosmetics.  From unpackaged lipstick to an unpackaged foundation, there are a host of products to explore.  Their foundation alone comes in 40 different shades, making it the most inclusive range I’ve found.  With Lush, I personally find it easier to browse in-store than on their website, although you do run the gauntlet of their over-zealous sales staff.  Just me?

RMS Plastic-Free Makeup

plastic free cosmetics

RMS Beauty*, available in the UK via Content Beauty, sells a beautiful range of plastic-free makeup products, packaged in only metal and/or glass (with the exception of the mascara).  They get rave reviews, and they have many celebrity endorsements, including Meghan Markle.  

What’s more, RMS prides itself on using only natural and organic ingredients, sourced from sustainable sources, that soothe and soften skin.  As much, many of their products are vegan friendly too.  And in terms of inclusivity, their foundation comes in 16 shades. 

Sign up for Content’s newsletter, and get 10% off your first order.  

Zao

Zao* sells a wide range of certified cruelty-free beauty products in refillable bamboo boxes, all available in the UK through Ethical Superstore.  What’s more, all products are 100% natural, vegan, and certified organic by Ecocert ZAO.  Their foundation is available in seven inclusive shades.

A couple of points to note.  Currently, Zao says all products can be refilled, with the exception of mascara and lipgloss.  Zao also states that some of the refills are housed in recyclable plastic.  As such, you may want to check this before purchasing.

Your Plastic-Free Makeup Recommendations?

Have you tried any of these brands?  What did you think?  Or do you have any other plastic-free or zero waste makeup recommendations?  I would love to hear!

Since writing this post, I’ve found a heap of eco-friendly lip balms that are plastic-free.

And if you liked this post then I have some more that you might like.  Firstly, if you looking for a zero-waste, plastic-free makeup removal option then do try this handy reusable cotton wool pad tutorial!  Whilst we are talking about makeup removal, do also check out my plastic-free makeup remover tips.

I also have some other useful posts, including a natural makeup brush cleaner recipe. And finally, this post on the ingredients to avoid in your makeup is an eye-opener.