Our bedroom is the place where we can retreat from the manic chaos of everyday life. It’s a place of safety, comfort and sanctuary. Of contentment, relaxation and occasionally a bit of fun (!) so it makes sense that when we’re spending so much time in one room, it needs to look good and be a place we can truly unwind.
In-keeping with the modern day ethos of being eco-conscious and taking advantage of environmentally-friendly alternatives, there’s an emphasis on making the most out of the green options available when it comes to decorating the bedroom.
And don’t worry, it’s not necessarily about making huge changes or buying expensive items; very often it’s the small things that will make your bedroom a more environmentally friendly place to hide away in!
Although cotton is natural it’s often grown using chemical pesticides and fertilizer. Choose organic cotton or hemp, coloured with natural dyes, for your sheets and pillowcases. If you don’t slip under the sheets commando, you could invest in some organic cotton pyjamas, dressing gowns or night clothes too which will avoid irritating sensitive skin.
Avoid composite woods such as particleboard, plywood or fibreboard for your chairs, wardrobes, beds and bedside tables. Not only do they have a short life but they also contain toxins such as formaldehyde!
Solid wood sourced from the Forest Stewardship Council is better, and second hand furniture is always a better choice than chopping down new trees to make more, however sustainably grown they are!
If you’re going to paint your bedroom, use natural paints. Standard paints have a petrochemical base and the dyes often contain toxic chemicals that could be the cause of respiratory illnesses.
Your usual carpets contain toxic artificial chemicals in the nylon fibres (nylon itself is actually derived from petrol) so why not try timber or bamboo flooring? For a bit of extra warmth you could put down a rug made of wool, organic cotton or natural fibres such as sisal or jute.
Carpet, understandably, is always a popular option, so if you’re going down that route then wool with a natural fibre backing is the most environmentally friendly option.
Energy saving extends to more than just your kitchen or bathroom appliances! For example, insulation, passive solar design and thermal mass are all good ways of moderating the bedroom’s temperature – it won’t be too cold in winter nor too hot in summer. Good, thick curtains are also ideal.
And let’s not forget the old favourite of the – it seems now strangely retro – hot water bottle, or pyjamas or a thick blanket. Use ceiling fans to create a breeze in summer, or an extractor to draw out the heat, rather than using air conditioning. And it goes without saying that fitting energy saving lightbulbs is de rigeur in most households nowadays.
Image by: alisdair
Most of us like a plant or two in the bedroom and houseplants are great at absorbing toxins such as formaldehyde, ammonia and benzene. Spider plants, bamboo, peace lilies and ferns are all particularly effective decontaminants.
As you can see, there are plenty of things you can do to make your bedroom a more environmentally sound place to reside, and I’m sure there are tons more ideas that I’ve missed. Can you think of any?