This is a guest post by Rosie Osmun.
A healthy, eco-friendly bedroom puts your mind at ease and sets the stage for sweeter dreams. From fabrics to floors, here are ten simple and effective ways to green your bedroom with earth-friendly alternatives to traditional products.
1. Snuggle Up in Eco-Friendly Bedding
Choose organic cotton, bamboo, wool and other natural textiles for your bed sheets and blankets. This keeps chemicals like formaldehyde and pesticides out of your bed. Traditionally-grown cotton is the dirtiest crop in terms of pesticide pollution, so opting for organic makes a big difference.
Instead of down or polyester pillows, look for pillows made with organic cotton and wool, millet, buckwheat or natural latex.
2. Incorporate Air-Boosting Plants
Plants are nature’s air purifiers, so incorporating living flora into your bedroom can make your space healthier and greener. Areca palm, English Ivy, snake plants, spider plants and peace lilies are a few efficient air purifiers that can thrive indoors. Placing a few in your bedroom to suck up air pollutants like formaldehyde (from particleboard) and carbon monoxide (from fireplaces) gives you a better night’s rest.
3. Use Low-VOC Paints
Paints and lacquers for walls and furnishings can be a strong source of air-polluting volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Opt for interior paints and finishes labeled low or no-VOC to avoid the off-gassing chemicals. Even then, always make sure freshly painted rooms are well ventilated.
4. Repurpose Old Furniture
Rather than tossing old furniture, consider refinishing, repainting or reupholstering it to breathe new life into existing items. Nowadays, many top interior decorators turn to vintage or upcycled items when furnishing bedrooms. Check out thrift and consignment shops as an excellent eco-friendly source of furniture.
5. Choose Eco-Friendly New Furniture
If you do buy new furniture, look for items made with more sustainable materials like bamboo, reclaimed wood or Forestry Stewardship Council-certified wood. Choose items made with low-VOC finishes and non-toxic glues to keep your indoor air clean.
6. Relax with Natural Scents
Inviting aromas can make your bedroom pleasant and soothing — create atmosphere with 100% soy or beeswax candles and your favorite essential oils. You can even make your own linen and room spray by mixing essential oils like lavender or ylang ylang into a spray bottle with pure water.
7. Snooze on a Greener Mattress
Your mattress is the centerpiece of your bedroom, and it’s where you’ll spend most of your time. Opt for a bed made without toxic PBDE flame retardants, and look for more eco-friendly materials like plant-based, low-VOC poly foams, natural latex, organic cotton and wool.
8. Cool Off with Ceiling Fans
Cool temperatures are good for sleep, but the air conditioner consumes a lot of energy. Install ceiling fans to keep your bedroom cooler while reducing energy use. You can also use energy-efficient electric fans and open windows in the evening for more eco-friendly cooling.
9. Find Eco-Friendly Flooring
For soft flooring, choose rugs and carpeting made with recycled or sustainable materials. Wool, seagrass, jute, bamboo, cotton and recycled polyethylene are good green options. And don’t forget the eco rug pad for underneath!
Look into bamboo, reclaimed wood or stone for hard floors. Again, keep toxic odors at bay by ensuring that any foam and adhesives are all low-VOC.
10. Be a Greener Cleaner
Cleaning products can also add indoor pollutants, so opt for green glass and furniture polishes and laundry supplies, or make your own household cleaners from items like vinegar, baking soda and soap.
HEPA filter vacuums can also help purify and clean your air. Don’t forget to wash all bedding every one to two weeks to keep allergens away.
Small Steps Make a Big Impact
You don’t have to totally renovate your home to be eco-friendly. Small, gradual changes can make a big impact over time. Choosing greener versions of things you already use and being conscious of what’s in the things you buy can go a long ways towards making your home healthier while reducing environmental impact.
Plus, knowing that your green bedroom is healthy and that you’ve made earth-friendly decisions makes sleeping and relaxing all the sweeter.
How do you green your space? Share your favorite eco-friendly home solutions in the comments below.
About the Author: Rosie Osmun is Creative Content Manager and writer at Amerisleep, a progressive memory foam brand focused on eco-friendly sleep solutions. She loves researching and writing about eco-friendly rest at the Amerisleep Blog and on Twitter.