Simple Tips for Natural Living

October 16, 2015 5

14

natural living, healthy living, beeswax candles, tips for better living, tips for healthy living, healthy homes

Now here’s a blog post I had in mind for quite a while but never had the time or inspiration to put it down in words and images. The concept of ‘natural living’ was roaming my head for a while and I keep asking myself whether it can be called a concept or is it rather the default in living and interiors we should strive for or better yet the staring point where all our dwelling adventures begin from? But it feels like reiterating the mystery and asking which came first, the chicken or the egg. Let us think of ‘natural living’ as what it is in its very meaning: the natural way of dwelling.

natural living, healthy living, beeswax candles, tips for better living, tips for healthy living, healthy homes

natural living, healthy living, beeswax candles, tips for better living, tips for healthy living, healthy homes

I know only a few of us can live a fully natural life in the truest sense of the word. The majority of us lives in urban settlements, we are surrounded with artificial structures, we deal with traffic congestion, environmental issues, processed food and we lead totally connected lives that have disconnected us from the nature and the natural pace of life. But those living in a glass house shouldn’t throw stones, right? I mean I am guilty as charged for most of the aforementioned facts.

natural living, healthy living, beeswax candles, tips for better living, tips for healthy living, healthy homes

natural living, healthy living, beeswax candles, tips for better living, tips for healthy living, healthy homes

For this blog post I was trying to break down the idea of natural living in our homes. How we dwell is a choice we make and speaks about our understanding of natural living. And it starts with simple choices in our daily life. Do we choose natural textiles instead of plastic fiber? Do we choose wooden or clay bowls or do we serve our salad in brightly colored plastic dishes? Do we spray our rooms with artificial home fragrances or do we use more natural ways of scenting our homes? You see, often it is the very basic choices we make that can make a little difference towards better, more natural living. Here are just some simple tips I use in my apartment:

Beeswax candles
I love to light beeswax candles instead of other, more common scented candles that are often made of paraffin wax, a petroleum waste product that disseminate toxic benzene when burned thus polluting the air we breathe. Opt for beeswax candles instead which are a natural product and have a purely natural scents. Here are a few facts that will probably surprise you:

  • Beeswax burns cleaner than other waxes.
  • Beeswax has the highest melting point of any wax and thus burns longer than other waxes. This point makes it easier to justify the higher cost. But just consider that one worker bee must eat six pounds of honey, fly 240,000 km and visit 33 million flowers to produce just one pound of beeswax.
  • Beeswax contains absolutely no harmful chemicals.
  • Beeswax burns brighter than other waxes (a similar light spectrum as the sun).
  • Beeswax is a renewable resource as long as we find a way to keep the bees around.
  • Beeswax does not expire. It has been around since the beginning of civilization. It has been found in Pharaoh’s tombs and Roman ruins.
  • Beeswax emits purifying negative ions during burning that remove pollution and allergens (dust, bacteria, viruses, mold, odors) from the air. Dust, bacteria, mold etc. float in the air because they are charged with positive ions. The negative ions released by a burning beeswax candle are attracted to positive ions. These negative ions attach themselves to the impurities in the air, causing them to become too heavy to float around. They then conveniently fall to the floor where they can be easily swept up.

Two of my sources for natural beeswax candles are Apidae Candles and Golden Girls Candles who also sell amazing honey!

natural living, healthy living, beeswax candles, tips for better living, tips for healthy living, healthy homes

natural living, healthy living, beeswax candles, tips for better living, tips for healthy living, healthy homes

Natural home fragrance
Forget sprays and other artificial home fragrances promising a sea breeze in your city apartment or the scent of a spring meadow in winter. Here again the fake sea and the fake meadow will be concocted by toxic artificial scents. Instead go the natural way and fragrance your home with natural essential oils dripped on wooden scent diffusers or diluted in water, think of dried lavender, fresh rosemary. And here is one natural home fragrance that is very typical in Serbia: People add ripe quince fruits in their homes, they put them on a windowsill or on a sideboard – you will be amazed by the fruits scent!

natural living, healthy living, beeswax candles, tips for better living, tips for healthy living, healthy homes

natural living, healthy living, beeswax candles, tips for better living, tips for healthy living, healthy homes

natural living, healthy living, beeswax candles, tips for better living, tips for healthy living, healthy homes

Natural textiles
Nowadays we really have the choice. You can select between organic cotton, linen, hemp textiles, wool and more. My favorite choice is linen – I love its feel on the skin so a majority of my bedding is linen. I also love hemp textiles. The Finnish design label Saana ja Olli produces some of the nicest home textiles made of hemp. I have a cushion and tea towels made of hemp and they are amazing. Forget those throws, blankets and cushion covers made of polyacrylics and other artificial fibers.

natural living, healthy living, beeswax candles, tips for better living, tips for healthy living, healthy homes

natural living, healthy living, beeswax candles, tips for better living, tips for healthy living, healthy homes

Plants, plants, plants
Well how could I not mention plants as an Urban Jungle Blogger? Plants are nature in themselves and bring back a bit of the lost wilderness into our urban homes. And they not only look pretty, they also work as natural air purifiers by removing toxins from the air we breathe and releasing fresh oxygen. This is beneficial to our body and soul. Fresh oxygen helps us relax, sleep better and concentrate. Some very beneficial houseplants that act like natural air filters are the Snake Plant, Aloe Vera, the Peace Lily, the Rubber Plant, Pothos or Boston Ferns. Many more of course, but these are just to give you a rough idea.

natural living, healthy living, beeswax candles, tips for better living, tips for healthy living, healthy homes

Natural Materials
Whenever possible choose furniture pieces and home accessories made of natural materials such as wood, clay, leather, stoneware. Try to reduce the number of plastic pieces in your home for the sake of a healthier, better living environment. And whatever choice you make, think of sustainability as well. Teak wood is natural, but sometimes its production has pretty adverse effects on our environment.

I know, it is not easy to be 100 % sure we make the best choices for a natural living. But maybe it is not about the best choices per se. Maybe it is rather about better choices we can make. For us and our home.

Photography by Lina Skukauske and Igor Josifovic

14 Comments

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14 Comments

  • Reply doris@laidbackliving October 16, 2015 at 10:35

    Hi Igor, I just love this post. As you know I am a big advocate of only having the things you love in your home and for me it’s filled with natural materials and objects. I agree that even though most of us live in an urban environment, that we all have a choice to create an environment full of natural elements in our own homes. xDoris

    • Reply Igor October 16, 2015 at 12:43

      Thank you Doris and it is good to know that we’re both on the same wavelength!!

  • Reply Petra October 16, 2015 at 10:59

    Lieber Igor,
    danke für die Tipps! Der Bienenwachskerzen- und der Pflanzentipp sind schon Realität bei mir 🙂
    Sag mal, ich hab mich schickverliebt in die Walbuchstütze…. Magst du mir schreiben, wo du sie gekauft hast?
    Liebe Grüße aus HH von Petra

    • Reply Igor October 16, 2015 at 12:42

      Wunderbar Petra!! Dann muss ich Dir ja nicht sagen, wie toll die Sachen sind! Die Walbuchstütze hab ich aus meinem San Francisco Urlaub mitgebracht – ich glaube aber, dass man die über Google finden kann, wenn Du nach ‘Whale Bookends’ suchst.

  • Reply verena + hamburg von innen October 16, 2015 at 11:43

    Wow, Igor, this post is stunning! So many great aspects of living a more natural life. It really is not easy to go for a 100%, but I think every % and every thought put into this is totally worth it and a step into the right direction. Thanks for sharing!
    I now need to buy some new candles 😉
    Best, Verena

    • Reply Igor October 16, 2015 at 12:40

      Thank you Verena! That is exactly my approach too. It is small steps and choices we make daily that will make the change in our home! And yes, get some beeswax candles, I just love them so much!

  • Reply Amy @apidaecandles.de October 16, 2015 at 12:29

    Igor! You hit the nail right on the head, such a lovely post. It feels so good to live naturally. And yes, we can make so many little changes in our daily routine to achieve that. As simple as storing left-overs in a glass container instead of a plastic one. Most of these natural choices just feel better as well, just like your linen sheets! Thank you so much for including me in your post. Cheers, Amy

    • Reply Igor October 16, 2015 at 12:38

      Thank you Amy for all your helpful insights regarding the benefits of beeswax. This was really revealing for me too! Happy to share it with all readers!

  • Reply Cyndi October 19, 2015 at 03:53

    You are so right. We should be living a more natural existence whether it’s eating farm to table or using more natural product in our homes. I love this post…I’m re posting for all my friends to reconsider their habits. Best…Cyndi

  • Reply Ersin October 19, 2015 at 16:00

    I think people should reflect itself in the house all the time. You are very successful in this regard!

    Loves…

    Ersin

  • Reply Maddalena Ferella Falda October 19, 2015 at 17:48

    Dear Igor, I really appreciated this post. I always try to fill my flat with natural items and furnishings, and I always crave for names and addresses of companies which deal with all this. It would be great to find a recurring post for sustainable, organic, natural ways of living in your blog – something like the usual Urban Jungle posts…

    • Reply Igor October 19, 2015 at 21:54

      Thank you Maddalena! In fact this is not a bad idea at all – let me give it a thought and I might come back with a recurring series on natural living!

  • Reply Julia / junifaden November 3, 2015 at 12:28

    this is such a wonderful post Igor, I really love what you pointed out and the pictures are so beautiful 🙂 greetings Julia

    • Reply Igor November 3, 2015 at 16:12

      Thank you so much Julia! Glad you like the post and the pictures taken by my friend Lina.

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