Planning Your Eco-Friendly Bedroom

Feb 8 2013

rolled blanketEvery journey starts with the first step. And that’s particularly resonant for those of us who have ever tried to give their home an Eco-friendly makeover. It’s impossible to go green in one fell swoop; total commitment to the cause can force you to change your lifestyle pretty dramatically if you’re not used to eating organic foods and consuming less around the house. The best way to eco-proof your home is by doing it in steps – ease yourself into it.

Generally speaking, a simple place to start is in the bedroom. Provided you’ll allow a little flexibility with your interior décor, it’s actually pretty easy to green your bedroom. If you’re willing to convert to a vintage look, you can start at a local thrift store or with some diligent yard sale shopping. It’s much kinder to nature to reuse upholstery rather than purchasing a brand new piece (even if you need to have it cleaned). And get creative! Your nightstand can be anything from an old crate to a stack of hardcover books. I’ve even seen old chests and casks fashioned as stylish dressers. Any time you can reuse or adapt furniture instead of buying it new is a great opportunity to solidify your environmental consciousness.

Of course, furniture isn’t the only element that can help you with your green initiative. Obviously, the main attraction in any bedroom is the bed; I know it’s where I prefer to spend at least eight hours per day if I can help it. The key to setting up an earth-sensitive bed is by being mindful of the materials used to manufacture it. There are tons of Eco-friendly mattresses on the market – most of which are made out of materials such as natural latex and organic wool. It’s important that you keep an eye out for these kinds of materials, since companies can actually label their products as “green” without going into much further of an explanation. Do your own research and check out what’s actually used to manufacture your mattress. Also, make sure you recycle it once you’ve gotten all the use you’ll get out of it. Certain recycling specialists know how to break down a mattress so its springs, foams and other parts that can get reused.

green colored penceilAs far as color schemes go, you shouldn’t have to sacrifice the vibe you’re going for on behalf of the environment. There’s a trove of rich, Eco-friendly interior paints available on the market. Again, you’ll want to look at the ingredients before you make your selection. A lot of paint buckets come with VOCs or volatile organic compounds such as formaldehyde and benzene. VOCs can be harmful to the environment and your home’s air quality, so it’s usually a good idea to look for brands that carry a low or no VOC line of paints. The great thing about these paints is that they’re generally odorless and water-based, too, so they’re easy to work with even if you’re not a professional.

If you’re lucky enough to have the bathroom linked up to your bedroom, make sure you’re using a low-flow shower head and toilet. In both cases, you’ll waste a lot less water than you would with their standard flow alternatives. That’s good for the environment and just as good for your wallet. The less water you’re using in the bathroom, the better off you’ll be when it comes time to pay the water bill.

It’s your house and it’s your bedroom, but you’d be surprised how much good you can do for everyone just by following these simple ways to go green. Once you’ve taken care of the bedroom, try moving onto the kitchen, the basement, the deck or wherever it is you think could use an earth-first remodeling. Pretty soon, you’ll have the greenest house on the block.

Kristina Ross

Blogger at Save On Energy

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