Your bedroom is your sanctuary. You want to be free of harmful substances you might inhale or touch, so you can get the healthiest, best night’s sleep. And guess what. What’s good for you is also usually better for the environment too, so we’ve compiled 9 simple bedroom design tips you can use to transform the more important room in the house into a healthy, eco-friendly oasis.
1. Buy furniture that lasts
“Fast furniture” has been a trend for a while now. You can buy attractive, cheaply-made pieces that will last you maybe five years before they look ragged, and you have to buy new. The problem is every time a piece of furniture is manufactured, transported, and then disposed of. This leaves a footprint on the planet. If you can opt for a piece made from natural materials that will last 10 or even 50 years, you’re doing good for Mother Earth. These pieces may cost more, but the pay-off is worth it for your finances and the environment.
2. Choose the right paints
You can increasingly find less toxic paints on the market. Look for “eco-friendly” and “VOC-free” on the label. VOCs are Volatile Organic Compounds. This basically means chemicals that become airborne easily, so they contaminate the air, and you breathe them in.
3. Choose the right floors
This one is actually a trick tip because the most eco-friendly floor you can have is the one you already have. After all, you’re avoiding sending old flooring to the landfill. However, if it’s time to update your flooring, consider bamboo or reclaimed wood, your best planet-supporting options. And if you must have carpets, avoid ones with:
4. Get an eco-friendly mattress
Opt for a natural mattress. It should be supportive for a beautiful night’s sleep. But also look for ones that use:
- Renewable materials like wool, unless you’re vegan, then you can certainly look for other natural options like cotton or hemp.
- Organic materials
- Components that are free of polyester, toxic fire retardants, polyurethane foams.
The same things apply to your bedding if you’re replacing it too.
5. Balance comfort with efficient energy use
This may not be an option on very hot or frigid days, but design your bedroom for comfort by helping it regulate temperature more efficiently. This way, you don’t have to run your air conditioner as much while you sleep. Consider:
- Insulating curtains, which can block the hot sun in the summer or keep in the heat in the winter
- Houseplants and fountains which can make the space feel cooler
- Ceiling fans that you change direction on in summer or winter to maximize comfort
- Flannel sheets in the winter and lightweight sheets in the summer
And if you do have central heat or cooling, please don’t block the vents. If the furniture is placed over vents, including your bed, the room will feel much colder or hotter than the rest of the house. You’ll be tempted to crank up the A/C.
6. Use efficient lighting
Opt for LED bulbs. They do cost a little more. But they last longer and use much less energy, even compared to fluorescent. Set up your room to maximize natural light during the day and try to keep the number of fixtures you have on at any one time to a minimum.
7. Bring in a few houseplants
Plants cleanse the air naturally and can boost your mood. They also consume carbon dioxide and release oxygen to improve breathing, energy levels, and productivity. One study even showed that patients who have live plants in their rooms may heal faster, so there’s another bonus.
Researchers have actually studied this, and these appear to be the plants that have the most benefits for you and your indoor environment:
- Boston fern
- Lady, Areca, dwarf date, and bamboo palms
- Rubber tree
- Spider plant
- Ficus tree
When choosing houseplants, always consider any pets that might nibble on them, like dogs, cats, rabbits. Some plants can be toxic to certain pets.
8. Strive for minimalism
There is an adage, “if you own too many things, those things own you”. The fewer things you have, the less you have to take care of, and the more time you can spend enjoying the outdoors, family, volunteering, and doing other things that make life worthwhile. Minimalism is also eco-friendly because it leads to less waste.
9. Opt for essential oils, not air freshener
Even if an air freshener says it has essential oils in it, buyer beware. Most are full of planet-harming chemicals and things you shouldn’t breathe in a closed room. Stick with essential oil diffusers or the houseplants we already discussed.
Article Submitted By Community Writer