The bedroom is just as important as any other room in the house from a green living standpoint.
Just a few simple changes can help to transform your bedroom into a toxin-free haven of peace and tranquillity, helping us to achieve a more restful night’s sleep and helping the planet at the same time.
The bedroom is one of the most neglected rooms in the home in terms of energy efficiency.
The bedroom serves as a sleeping area but also as a leisure zone for television, internet, homework, and other tasks that require quiet comfort.
Staying warm is a necessity in the place we spend the most time snuggled up and at our most vulnerable.
Central heating uses up energy, which uses up fossil fuels and costs money.
Instead, why not look at ways to keep your bedroom cozy and warm without using a heater or radiator?
Windows and Doors
Check the windows for cracks, gaps or ill-fitting frames.
Add draft excluders to the windows and doors, too. You will be surprised how much heat is insulated with these simple measures.
Back to the Stone Age
Sometimes the way our grandparents did things was more eco-friendly than we realize. No need to climb in between freezing cold sheets after a nice hot shower.
Fill a couple of hot water bottles and place them under the duvet before going to bed. It is cheap, highly effective, and cozy, too!
- Closing curtains, and using thicker lined curtains will also save on lost heat.
- Try putting foil behind your radiator to reflect heat away from the walls and back into the room.
- Invest in thicker duvets which can be stored during the summer months, and wear pajamas that are cozy and warm.
- Insulate better by getting a contractor to fill in cracks in walls and window frames.
- Try passive solar design and thermal mass for moderating the bedroom’s temperature – not too cold in winter, not too hot in summer.
- In summer, air circulation is better for your health, the environment, and your budget. Use ceiling fans to create a breeze in summer, or an extractor to draw out the heat, rather than using air conditioning.
The Buzz Word
Electronics. We want them, we need them but does our body benefit from all the electronic output zooming around our bedroom when we sleep? Probably not.
Electrical equipment generates positive ions in the atmosphere and creates electromagnetic radiation.
It also generates light which interferes with our body’s natural sleep cycle.
If you cannot create a completely electronic-free zone in the bedroom, at least switch off the electrics at the socket during the night.
Your body, your budget, and the earth will thank you for it.
A Conscious Decorator
A bedroom is a place where we can truly unwind, and it needs to look good.
Going green in the bedroom is all about lasting comfort which leaves little to no impact on the earth – it is a win-win situation!
Take advantage of all the environmentally-friendly alternatives out there and become a more conscious decorator.
Most mattresses are produced using large quantities of chemicals, so choosing to go organic will make a big difference to the toxin levels in your sleeping environment.
Look for one that has no toxins, polyurethane foam and fire retardants as these chemicals are toxic and have been shown to lead to learning deficiencies.
Instead, find mattresses made with environmentally friendly components like organic wool, cotton, and latex.
Eco-friendly mattresses aren’t as hard to get a hold of as you might think. Keetsa and Pure Rest produce great mattresses that are made in the most eco-friendly ways possible and are good value for money.
Environmentally-conscious linen is also widely available.
Look for pillows, sheets, and duvet covers that are made from organic hemp, cotton, bamboo or silk. Environmentally friendly pillows can be stuffed with wool, feathers, or down.
TIP: For consistency in design, purchase the same material for the bedroom curtains.
One step further is to go organic and choose naturally-dyed materials.
For the best night’s sleep choose pure organic cotton which has not been soaked in pesticides during its production.
Likewise, choose organic cotton pajamas as these are chemical-free and better for skin prone to allergies.
Wash pure organic items in an ecologically-friendly washing powder to maintain the integrity of the cotton.
Usually, carpets contain toxic and artificial chemicals in the nylon fibers, so timber or bamboo flooring is a greener option.
For a bit of extra warmth put down a rug made of wool, organic cotton or natural fibers, such as sisal or jute.
Woolen carpets with a natural fiber backing are the most environmentally-friendly option for all-carpet rooms.
While many of the companies that make environmentally conscious rugs are rather expensive, BB Begonia has rugs that won’t hurt your wallet or the Earth.
Wherever you buy, be sure to check that your purchase is mostly made of natural fibers.
Furniture is a broad category but there are a few basic rules for sourcing new items:
- Avoid composite woods. This includes particleboard, plywood, and fibreboard. Not only do they have a short life but they also contain toxins such as formaldehyde!
- Redecorate with used furniture. Before you buy anything brand new, take some time to do some vintage, antique, and plain old used furniture shopping. Shopping this way is not only less expensive but heightens the chance of finding something unique, one-of-a-kind for your home.
- Check the source of wooden products. Solid wood sourced from the Forest Stewardship Council is better.
- Shop for eco-friendly wardrobes with FSC certification. This will guarantee the wood was regulated and harvested by a responsible organization. Even better, buy second-hand pieces!
Want to get your room to look totally different with one masterful move? Paint it. Just be sure to choose an eco-friendly product.
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.
Say goodbye to the toxic odors, chemicals, and solvents that come with most paint!
There are abundant color options so don’t limit yourself. Ask for eco-friendly brands – there are plenty that will give a vibrant, enduring color.
An example of one of the many paint companies that are choosing to go greener is Anna Sova, whose paint is made out of 90% food materials.
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, and ferns are all particularly effective decontaminants.
Some houseplants, such as the Peace Lily are reputed to aid in the removal of electromagnetic radiation in the room, but whether this is true or not, a houseplant will help to improve the air quality through its cycle of carbon dioxide and oxygen release.
Fresh flowers can also help with this, in addition to creating a beautiful scent in the room and creating a more relaxing and pleasing mood in the bedroom.