Green Bedroom Ideas

Green home advice usually centers around rooms like the kitchen and bathroom, in which a lot of water and energy is consumed. You rarely hear about green bedroom ideas; after all, you’re asleep the majority of time that you spend in the room. However, all those hours that you sleep add up, and you might be surprised to learn how many toxic chemicals your bedroom furniture and linens contain.

Green your bedroom in four ways:

Indoor Air Quality
Bedroom furniture is often made from plywood or particleboard, which are held together by glues that can off-gas formaldehyde, a very irritating and damaging chemical to breathe. Furniture made with these materials is often inexpensive, but a more environmentally friendly option is to purchase used furniture made from solid wood. Not only is it substantial and attractive, but you’ll sleep easier knowing that you’ve rescued perfectly good furniture from the landfill and saved a few trees. For your walls, opt for low- or no- VOC paints. Trade in synthetic linens and mattresses, which contain petroleum-based materials, for those made from organic cotton or bamboo-think natural materials.

Lighting
You probably already conserve less energy for lighting in the bedroom as it is, but it’s always possible to reduce your energy use a little more. Instead of harsh overhead lighting, rely on natural lighting or task lighting in the bedroom. If your bedroom is small, light-colored walls and mirrors help to reflect natural light and brighten up the room. Place lamps with energy-efficient bulbs such as CFLs or LEDs on your nightstand to assist you in reading or watching TV in bed. If you need to use overhead lighting, install a dimmer so you can adjust it and create a little atmosphere.

Flooring
When it comes to flooring choices for the bedroom, the two most common options are carpet and wood floors. If you go the carpet route, select one that contains recycled content or is made from natural materials such as jute or sisal. Choose wood flooring that is salvaged or made with FSC certified wood or bamboo. A few well-placed rugs will make your bedroom feel cozier.

Energy Efficiency
While natural light reduces electricity use and creates a pleasant atmosphere, you may be concerned about it disrupting your sleep. Install blackout shades, which also help to reduce your cooling costs if you pull them down during periods of direct sun throughout the day. Most people like to sleep in cool conditions. Rather than turning up the AC, install a ceiling fan.

These green bedroom ideas are easy to implement and generally inexpensive. Ultimately, your bedroom should be comfortable AND healthy.

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