Eco-friendly tips and tricks to get rid of off-gassing and restoring healthy air quality in your car interior!
While we would all love to drive a fancy electric car, the reality is that not everyone can afford one.
And let’s face it, cars in general are not exactly eco-friendly; and they leave HUGE carbon footprints.
They require gasoline, which releases unhealthy vapors into the air (that we breathe in as we pump), emit unhealthy pollutants into the atmosphere, and fill up junk yards.
No wonder we feel guilty about driving them. But the truth is, we have to.
We need them in order to get to and from work, chauffeur our children back and forth from school, and to haul groceries.
But there’s one more problem
The car interior is one unhealthy place. And that new car smell? It’s actually a result of “off-gassing” from volatile organic compounds.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are the group of chemicals within the fabric and plastic material used to construct the inside of your car: ethylbenzene, formaldehyde and toluene.
According to U.S. News And World Report, “These volatile organic compounds are what you find in such products such as glue, nail polish remover, and paint. For some people, these chemicals can cause headaches, dizziness, allergic reactions, and even nausea. Prolonged exposure to VOCs can result in serious health effects, even cancer.”
Your car can literally be making you sick.
Luckily, there are a few changes that you can make within the interior that can improve the air quality and make it healthier for you and your family.
There are several eco-friendly products that not too many people know about, which can help speed up off-gassing and make your car a healthier place to commute in.
Because being “eco-friendly”, isn’t just about being kind to our planet—it involves being kind to ourselves as well.
Being green results in better health.
So let’s take a look at a few gadgets that make your car interior a lot greener, and your body a lot healthier.
Solar Powered Ventilators
The first green item I’d like to talk about is solar powered car ventilators.
These devices are really awesome for several reasons. The first and obvious reason is that they use free energy from the sun to do their job. They don’t need to be plugged in, and your car doesn’t need to be running for it to work. In fact, they do their job while your car is parked.
The second reason that you should use these is because they help to cool your car during hot summer months—when all the chemicals leach into the air.
It won’t be a dramatic difference, but you will notice one. The air won’t feel as stuffy when you first get in. With that said, they help eliminate toluene—a toxic gas that develops when hot air is trapped inside of your car.
And when you have children, that’s all the more reason to keep the air within your car healthy.
The third reason that you should use these is due to the fact that they circulate the air within your car, which means that your interior will constantly smell fresh.
This is especially useful if you’re a smoker, a gym enthusiast, or someone who works outdoors and tends to sweat a lot.
Smoke and sweaty odors tend to linger—especially in automobiles. And yes, those little hanging tree deodorizers will make your car smell fresh as well—but they’re just bandaids that mask odor. Ventilators actually remove it.
Lastly, the fourth reason to get one of these is because high temperature within your car can affect the performance and service life of electronic items in the car— solar ventilators can help to protect those expensive electrical appliances.
If all of those reasons sound good, and you’re considering investing in one (they’re not expensive at all), look into the Stylooc Solar Car Ventilator.
People use these on cars and also on their RVs for travel or camping trips. Some even use them on basement windows.
One thing that you should keep in mind is that they are solar powered. People tend to forget, and get upset when the device stops working on cloudy days.
That’s pretty much the only downside to these devices. Other than that, these gadgets are a great investment.
Bamboo Charcoal Air Purifying Bags
Another way to purify the air within your car interior is to forgo the synthetic perfumes and use these organic charcoal purifying bags instead.
Charcoal bags are natural deodorizes that absorb odor without the need for harsh and harmful chemicals.
They’re organic, eco-friendly, and can be composted after they wear out and expire—which is in two years! That’s right—these bags have a shelf life of two whole years.
So how can they possibly last that long and still do an effective job?
By taking them outdoors into direct sunlight and letting them release all the toxic odors that they’ve trapped inside.
If this product is something you’d like to try, go with these activated bamboo charcoal bags by Products4Future, which come in a set of 4.
BPA Free Steering Wheel Covers
Before you shrug this one off, let me first tell you why steering wheel covers are essential, and why many drivers prefer to use them.
Steering wheels are used every time we operate a car—our hands are in constant contact with the device.
Due to this constant touching, steering wheels show wear and tear over time. And naturally, steering wheel covers prevent the wear and tear from showing—even prevent it.
Plus, if you’re looking to sell your car in the future, you definitely want to conserve the aesthetics of the steering wheel.
Steering wheel covers also help you obtain a better grip—especially in emergency situations where your car might experience a tire blow out, or hydroplane.
Do I have your attention? Great. Now, you’re probably wondering if eco-friendly steering wheel covers actually exist on the market, and the answer is yes, they do. There is a limited selection, but they do exist.
This odorless steering wheel cover by BDK is nontoxic and BPA Free.
As a result, it doesn’t contain that nauseating synthetic smell that most covers have—especially when the car gets hot.
It also doesn’t discolor or fade, and consists of a universal shape that fits all standard size steering wheels (13.5 to 14.5 inches).
Eco-Friendly Car Seat Covers
Car seat covers are another essential item if you’d like to preserve your interior and keep away wear and tear.
The problem is that many car seat covers are either leather or cheap synthetic material that leach chemicals into the air.
Fortunately, if you take the time to research and shop around, you’ll find innovative, eco-friendly car seat covers made of biodegradable stuffing such as buckwheat hull—like the Suninbox car seat, pictured above.
Buckwheat hulls are pollutant-free, pure, odorless, and chemical-free.
The cellular structure that these husks form inside of the padding also creates pain free-travel—which is great for people with hip problems. The husk are also breathable and don’t trap air.