Sustainable homes utilize responsible, eco friendly practices to produce less waste and conserve more energy, a goal that everyone should aspire to. Even if you live in one of the many sustainable housing communities that are being built across the country, there are still areas of your home that can undoubtedly use a green makeover. If you don’t live in sustainable housing, you should be aware of the many chemicals and potentially toxic fumes that you and your family may be exposed to on a daily basis, and hopefully, take steps to correct them. We spend approximately eight hours a night sleeping in our bedrooms, and studies have proven that factors like air quality and atmosphere can largely impact the quality of sleep. With that in mind, here are some tips to help you build a greener bedroom, and improve your sleep, and health, at the same time.
Sustainable living tip one is to reevaluate your mattress. It is an unpleasant, but true fact that most mattresses are made with Polyurethane (PU) and give off (especially in the case of new mattresses) VOC (volatile organic compounds) fumes that can lead to upper respiratory problems. So called “stain repellant mattresses” deliver on their claims because they are usually treated with stain and water repellants that emit toxic formaldehyde into the air that you breathe. What is the good news? There are several eco friendly alternatives out there, and a search online can help reveal the best ones for you. If you can’t afford to purchase a new mattress, you can still save the environment, and your health, by purchasing natural, unbleached cotton bedding, buckwheat hull pillows, and organic wool and cotton quilts and blankets.
sustainable living tip two do not buy new furniture and accessories. Those shiny, expensive bedroom sets that you see in furniture stores have undoubtedly been treated with chemical emitting lacquers and finishes, and were not likely constructed using sustainable living practices. Buying used bedroom furniture not only saves you money, it also saves trees and other precious natural resources as well.
Another really great tip is to use rugs sparingly. Floor to ceiling carpet harbors dust, allergens, and chemicals, and keeping it clean typically requires the use of further chemicals and a heavy duty, energy consuming machine. If you can’t completely strip your carpeted floors bare and switch to recycled wood or other flooring, using area rugs made from natural jute or hemp fibers is a good sustainable living alternative. These types of rugs can be secured with natural rubber padding for easy removal and cleanup. Sustainable living does not have to require a major renovation. Small steps really do add up, and the result is a healthier environment, and a healthier you.