Making your bedroom more eco-friendly is not just right for the environment; but also a great way to create a space where you healthily spend most of your day.
Your mattress, sheets, furniture, wall paints, etc. are among the emission sources that can potentially harm your health for short and long term.
You may also be breathing in allergens like dust, pet dander and pollen, which can cause eye and throat irritation, coughing and a stuffy nose.
Here are the best ways to turn your bedroom into an eco-friendly haven. Most of them don’t require much investment, meaning you can implement them right away.
1. Get a Natural or Organic Mattress
Start with the item that’s closest to your body – the mattress.
Memory foam mattresses are very comfortable, but they are not the most eco-friendly choice.
Now, not all memory foam mattresses are bad. Mattress companies have been making improvements to their products in recent years, incorporating healthier and eco-friendlier components.
For instance, most foam mattresses today are CertiPUR-US certified meaning they lack or have deficient levels of certain chemicals.
But if you want to go entirely green, the best choice is a natural or organic latex mattress.
Organic latex is hypoallergenic, has no potentially harmful emissions, and is great for the environment.
It also lasts longer than foam mattresses. This means fewer of them end up in landfills.
Organic latex mattresses are generally more expensive than memory foam and synthetic latex mattresses.
But prices have been coming down in recent years. You can get a good-quality natural latex mattress for under $1,500.
If you need some help in finding an eco-friendlier replacement for your foam mattress, we’ve reviewed some of the best organic latex mattresses in our recently-updated latex mattress guide.
2. Change Your Pillow and Bedding
Your face is closer to the pillow than the mattress. If you have a pillow with harmful emissions or that is home to different allergens, you’ll be breathing them right in.
Switch to an organic pillow that is made using an eco-responsible process and has few to no chemicals. Again, organic latex is one of the best options.
You can also go for natural wool, kapok fiber or silk pillow.
These natural materials are hypoallergenic, have no dangerous emissions, and tend to last longer than synthetic alternatives like memory foam.
Don’t forget about the pillow cover as well. Organic cotton or bamboo works great to provide a soft, cool, and breathable surface to lay your head-on.
If you are going to change your mattress and pillow, you might have to replace your other bedding as well.
It’s easy to find organic bedsheets and duvets at increasingly affordable prices.
3. Cut Down on Energy Use
One of the best ways to make your bedroom eco-friendly is to use less energy. The more electricity you – and thousands of other households – use the more pollutants fossil fuel power plants release.
Heating and cooling use the most energy so focus on that.
One way you can reduce energy is by using window treatments that provide better insulation.
Look for curtains and blinds that prevent the bedroom from heating up too much in the summer and help retain heat inside during winter.
Also, consider switching to a room heater or a portable air conditioner. It uses much less energy than central AC.
Another way to reduce energy usage in the bedroom is to use LED lighting. Look for dimmable bulbs. Smart bulbs that turn off automatically when you leave the room are also a good idea.
4. Replace Your Furnishings
Modern furnishings have much higher emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Curtain, furniture, and upholstery all produce VOCs.
Replace some or all of your furnishings with eco-friendlier alternatives.
When it comes to furniture, for instance, look for pieces made from sustainable wood or recycled materials.
It’s also a good idea to invest in durable furniture that will be used for generations rather than getting thrown out after just a couple of years.
For curtains, look for sustainable materials such as organic cotton, hemp, or linen.
5. Choose Greener Paint
Paints and solvents are some of the major sources of VOC emissions at home.
If you are planning a renovation, go with low or no VOC paints.
If you don’t have the budget to repaint your bedroom, open the windows during the day to allow ventilation. It is also a great idea to turn your bedroom into an eco-friendly haven.
You can also get an air purifier with an activated carbon filter. It will reduce levels of VOCs such as formaldehyde.
- Look for furniture with GREENGUARD Certification. This standard requires furniture and various furnishings to have low or no chemical emissions.
- For the floor, opt for tile, hardwood, or bamboo. If you prefer carpeting, look for eco-friendly options without fire retardants or stain-resistant chemicals.
- If you have allergies, make your bedroom a pet-free zone. Dogs can track in various allergens including dust and dander.
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