From electric cars with solar panels to renewable energy sources, Americans are increasingly going green these days. If youíre looking for ways to make your own home eco-friendly, the bedroom is a great place to start.
For instance, every layer of your bed can be made of organic, recyclable or renewable materials, from the box springs to comforter. But you donít have to stop with the bedding. Thanks to the going green movement, there are plenty of options for the rest of the room, from the walls and floors to the dťcor you choose.
Letís start with the bed and work our way around the room as we turn your bedroom into an environmentally friendly paradise.
If youíre just starting out in the green movement, the bed is a good place to start. If youíve purchased a bed in the last few years, you may have to wait a bit longer before the mattresses can get a green makeover. If youíre in the market right now though, seek out mattresses that are mostly made of organic materials or materials that have been recycled, such are wool, cotton or hemp.
When shopping for sheets, organic cotton is the best, followed by natural cotton. Organic cotton is grown with minimal use of fertilizers and pesticides. Itís also a health alternative, since itís hypoallergenic. Natural fibers will promote a better nightís sleep than manmade materials, since they breathe and absorb moisture more effectively.
If youíre thinking about refinishing the walls, Venetian plaster is an environmentally friendly alternative to paint. The plaster is a mix of marble, quartz and clay that is applied in a thin layer to the walls. You want to be careful when shopping for this material, since all Venetian plasters are not created equal. Some products use a wax or sealer, which arenít green and arenít necessary either. Once of the great things about Venetian plaster is that it is extremely durable, so you donít have to continue to buy paint every few years to refinish the walls and then figure out how to dispose of it down the road in a landfill.
Bamboo is a great alternative to traditional woods since it is renewable and doesnít deplete old growth forests. But what if you want carpeting? The good news is that manufacturers are beginning to make eco-friendly alternatives that are made of hemp or wool with recycled backings. Rug tiles are becoming increasingly popular since you only have to replace the tiles as they wear instead of the whole carpet.
The Finishing Touches
Now that you have the bed, walls and floor covered, how about the decorations that make a house feel like a home? Surprisingly, you can do a lot here too. First, you can repurpose existing furnishings or purchase pieces that have multiple uses.
New products care coming on the market that are made of sustainable and renewable materials. For example, mango wood is becoming increasingly popular. It doesnít require finishing, so no harmful lacquers or stains are used. The wood is beautiful in its natural state and has many of the same characteristics as teak.
While none of these environmentally friendly techniques will stop the ice shelves in Antarctica from melting overnight, they will help you reduce your use of materials that sap the earth of its natural resources. By focusing on renewable, recyclable and sustainable materials, you can do your part to create a bedroom that is both beautiful and eco-friendly at the same time.