Waste-Free Fall: Non-Toxic Air Freshener & Compostable Décor Ideas

Posted by Taylor Jablonowski on 9/9/19 3:00 PM


Autumn is nearing! The days are growing shorter, Pumpkin Spice season is in full swing, and here in Arizona we’re eyeing our hoodies and scarves in eager anticipation.

Southwest Institute of Healing Arts is all about sustainability and conscious choices, so today we bring to you some Fall DIY projects that are healthy, waste-free and likely made from things you already keep in your home!

Why DIY Instead of Buy?

  • The U.S generates an additional 7 million pounds of wastebetween Thanksgiving and New Year's Day.
  • Many Holiday decorations are made completely or partially from plastic, which contain harmful chemicals such as BPA and PS oligomer, and often end up in landfills or the ocean.
  • Store-bought paraffin candles can fill the home with carcinogenic soot and their synthetic fragrances emit Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) such as formaldehyde, limonene, and even petroleum distillates.

Simmer Pot with Spices & Fruit


A safer alternative to artificial scents is to create a simmer pot! Add your ingredients, boil briefly, and then reduce to a simmer. You can add water every thirty minutes to keep the delicious scents coming. Best of all: when you’re through,  you can compost!

Some ingredient ideas:

  • Oranges
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Clove
  • Anais
  • Apples
  • Bay leaves
  • Lemon peel
  • Nutmeg
  • Cranberries
  • Vanilla extract

Sprayable Essential Oil Air Freshener


A great way to freshen up those fall fabrics after being stored in a stuffy box is to give them some essential oil love! Grab a spray bottle and mix up a base of:

  • ¾ cups water
  • two tablespoons real vanilla extract

Now you can get creative with essential oils; 10-12 drops of any combination will do. Some fall favorites include:

  • Cinnamon
  • Wild Orange
  • Clove
  • Cassia
  • Cedar wood
  • Coriander
  • Ginger

Compostable Décor Suggestions


Skip the plastic pumpkins and leaves and opt for the real thing! Autumn is a time of harvest and there are plenty of pleasing (and compostable) plants that make great décor. You can even make it a family activity and turn it in to a fall nature walk! Use items such as:

  • Fallen leaves
  • Twigs
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Apples
  • Gourds
  • Cranberries
  • Pinecones
  • Acorns
  • Walnuts
  • Squash
  • Dried citrus slices
  • Seasonal flowers


What are your waste-free fall ideas? Connect with us on Facebook or Instagram and let us know!

Study at SWIHA

Topics: Motivational Monday, DIY, aromatherapy, conscious living, Ecofriendly

About the Author Taylor Jablonowski

Taylor Jablonowski is SWIHA’s Marketing Specialist and a momma to a three-year-old boy named Arlo. When she's not working to make the Healing Arts accessible to everyone, you'll probably find her somewhere in the woods with her feet in a river.

Taylor Jablonowski

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