Making smart, eco-friendly choices about what you put in your bedroom has numerous benefits, from a restful night’s sleep and a positive impact on your health to helping improve the world around you.
Sleep on organic bedding. Did you know that some mattresses are made with a handful of synthetic materials that could be potentially harmful to you and to the environment? The list includes chemicals from formaldehyde, fire retardants and something called volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which are emitted as gases from things like the memory foam inside your mattress (or pillows). While there is no direct proof of health issues from VOCs, many choose to lessen their exposure by avoiding them.
You and your family can create a hazard-free and more eco-friendly bedroom by choosing organic bedding options – like mattresses – over more conventional options. There are plenty of mattress brands who have organic offerings, just make sure they’re made with all-natural latex.
Don’t forget to check the labels on your bed sheets, too. Conventional cotton is one of the world’s dirtiest crops. The high levels of pesticides needed to keep these crops growing is a large environmental concern.
Organic cotton, on the other hand, is produced with natural pesticides and fertilizers. This will keep our ground water free and clear of chemicals. Make sure to look for certification when you’re shopping. There are two independent certifiers – Organic Content Standards (OCS) and Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS).
Keep an eye out for bamboo bed sheets, as well. Bamboo is a naturally sustainable plant that has microbial and moisture wicking properties. Bamboo bed sheets are very popular because of their super soft nature and lightweight feel.
Many bamboo sheets will say 100% rayon or viscose from bamboo. This labeling is tied into bamboo’s manufacturing process and the chemicals used to create fiber and thread from the plant. While bamboo is certainly an eco-friendly material, there is some debate as to whether any natural health benefits from the bamboo plant (like its antimicrobial properties) are left after the plant has been manufactured into thread.
There are several ways to create thread that’s woven into fabric for bamboo sheets. Do your research and always check with the brand about their manufacturing processes, as some are more environmentally friendly than others.
Clean with green products. When we use traditional cleaning products to sanitize our house, we open ourselves up to a host of potential issues that directly impact our health and our environment.
Non-green cleaning products contain several concerning chemicals, including carcinogens and heavy metals. There is growing evidence that fumes from the regular use of these cleaners may be connected to increase cases of asthma and upper respiratory infections, according to the Environmental Working Group.
Using green cleaning products has become increasingly mainstream. These products must go through a rigorous certification process that ensures that they are better for the environment. Often they are made with ingredients that are less likely to deplete the ozone, less likely to build up on our bodies, and less toxic to aquatic life.
Due diligence is key to finding green cleaners that will keep your bedroom clean and help keep you healthy. Don’t be quick to purchase anything labeled “natural” as it may not mean that it’s non-toxic. Read ingredient lists and look online for well-reviewed brands if you’re in need of guidance.
Pick furniture made with sustainable materials.
Not all bedroom furniture is made the same. There are so many ways to include eco-friendly furniture like beds, dressers and night stands into your house without breaking the bank.
Here are a few ideas:
● Sustainable wood – Purchasing wooden furniture made from reclaimed wood, tree farms or sustainably harvested forests. This helps prevent deforestation and other harvesting methods that hurt the environment.
● Keep heirloom/antique furniture – By reusing your great-grandmother’s dresser or chair you’re keeping a piece of furniture out of the landfill. Plus, you’ve got a super cool piece of family history right in your bedroom.
● Buy local – Even purchasing furniture from a local company means that your bed or nightstand didn’t have to travel halfway across the globe to get to you. Shrinking your carbon footprint is a great way to become more environmentally friendly.
Opt for a non-VOC paint. Just like the mattress filling discussed earlier, paints – including interior paint – can give off VOCs that will linger in the air well after the paint has dried. Because there is a lot of debate as to whether these emissions are connected to health issues, the demand for non-VOC paint has risen greatly.
Consider choosing non-VOC (non-toxic) paint for your bedroom or whole house. These types of paints are not hard to find and can be affordable. Big brands like Benjamin Moore have options and stores like Home Depot carry low-emission paints as well.
Source: My FRIENDS at Mattress Clarity
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