We are trying to lead eco-friendlier lives in many ways. We save energy, try to minimize our waste, frown at food treated with chemicals and, generally, believe we are doing everything we can. Then we retire to our bedrooms to get some rest before continuing our work on the environmental protection the next day. Spending several hours every day in the same room should be a reason good enough to make us think if we’ve done all we can to make that particular room as eco-friendly as possible.
There is no question about the importance of air quality, since we spend so much time in this room every night. In order to improve its quality, we should have operable windows installed and only use vacuum cleaners with HEPA filters. Another feature that could be both stylish and useful is a ceiling fan, which can circulate both hot and cool air.
Also, it’s vital we choose paints which have low or no VOC for the walls, ceiling and furniture and wash our bedding regularly to reduce mold and mildew. Those allergic to dust should pay special attention to pillows, which should be hypoallergenic and filled with wool, cotton, millet hulls or buckwheat, to mention just some of the materials used.
Mattress is crucial
Since we spend so much time lying on them, it seems wise to invest in purchasing one which is not only comfortable, but also good for our health. A mattress should be toxin- and polyurethane-free. Also, since it should pass the national tests for fire, wool might be a good option.
Another option is a cotton-filled mattress, because they too are very comfortable. But the material that’s taking the world by storm is latex, since organic matrasses made from latex (mind you, 100 percent latex doesn’t exist) are immune to lumps and gullies even after extensive use. To make your bed as organic as possible, you should consider purchasing an untreated wood box spring.
If there’s an option to use something you already have, you should use it. A touch of new paint can go a long way and many objects may be given a new lease of life. You’ll be spending much less than on new items. Also, if you wish to save even more, you can collect leftover material scraps from fabric shops, or reuse old blankets for a unique comforter.
If you have your mind set on getting brand new furniture, however, you should go with quality timber furniture that will last for decades, providing you with the much needed warmth and comfort along the way.
Just like choosing organic food over the one treated with pesticides makes a lot of sense, so does buying bedding made from fibers grown without synthetic pesticides or genetic engineering. We should replace bedsheets softened by formaldehyde with chemical-free sheets, such as those made of organic cotton or bamboo. It’s particularly important to be aware that cotton too can be organic, since enormous quantities of pesticides are usually used in the cotton industry. The final tip about bedding refers to softness: if it’s really important to you, make sure thread counts are between 250 and 400.
Other things to consider
When it comes to blankets, the best material is wool, since it’s much eco-friendlier than polyester. Another trick is to avoid products whose descriptions contain words such as “repellent” or “-proof”, since they usually mean that the product has undergone a chemical treatment.
There is a growing number of people, especially children, having problems with dust mites. Using mattress pads with organic cotton will definitely help. Also, such toppers significantly extend the life of a mattress, meaning you’re saving money in the long run.
It’s true that investing in organic products for your bedroom requires more funds, but you also need to be aware that you’re buying better quality. Not only are such products supposed to last longer, but they’re also much healthier and we know it’s difficult to put a price on that.