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How to make your bedroom an eco-friendly paradise

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Our bedrooms should be a respite from our hectic lives. After a long, stressful day at work or even an energized day of hiking and playing in the sun, it’s nice to have a place to decompress, relax and prepare for sleep. But it can be hard to rest your head at night if your bedroom is filled with VOC-emitting materials or fabrics derived from fossil fuels.

Luckily, there are plenty of ways to make your bedroom more eco-friendly, creating a truly restful and relaxing space for yourself. If you’re ready to create a more sustainable bedroom, here are some tips for turning your bedroom into an eco-friendly paradise.

Redeem for durable sheets

Durable sheets, comforters, pillowcases and throws are important because you don’t want to wrap yourself in polyester and other synthetic materials. Not to mention that washing the sheets weekly releases microplastics into the water and into your home. Instead, adorn your bed with soft, soothing organic fabrics like cotton, hemp, linen, or bamboo.

Choose a better mattress

We spend about a third of our lives sleeping, which is a lot of time exposed to the potentially toxic materials found in many conventional mattresses today. According to one study, researchers found that four different mattresses caused respiratory irritation in mice. It can be a little scary to think about sleeping on a toxic mattress every night, but there are more and more eco-friendly mattress options on the market to consider for your bedroom.

When buying a new mattress, look for organic cotton or wool or natural latex and consider OEKO-TEX or GOLS certified options.

Opt for furniture from sustainable sources

From bed frames to wardrobes and dressers to bedside tables, there is plenty of furniture that can fit into a bedroom. You might even be lucky enough to set up a cozy reading nook with a plush chair and bookcase or a desk to serve as your home office space.

Start finding furniture for your bedroom by researching used options, and be sure to donate or sell any furniture you plan to replace. You might find some free bedside tables on a sidewalk near you that you can upcycle with custom drawer knobs or a fresh coat of paint.

You may not find used options that suit your tastes, or you may be looking for a very specific style of furniture. In this case, be sure to purchase items from ethical and environmentally conscious retailers. For wooden pieces, look for wood from sustainable sources. Consider pieces made by hand by artisans who earn fair wages. You can even find furniture made from recycled materials.

Use VOC-free paints

If you’re looking to refresh the look of your room with a paint job, be sure to choose VOC-free paints. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are gases emitted by various materials, including many paints, that can cause short- and long-term negative health effects.

Before choosing a paint color for your bedroom, check for low or zero VOC options to minimize the emission of harmful gases into your sleep sanctuary.

Add a remarkable handmade rug

Whether you have hardwood or vinyl floors or carpeting, rugs can dramatically increase the comfort of a room. But many rugs from conventional retailers are made with synthetic materials and are not produced sustainably.

Instead, save your money and invest in an ethically produced and/or handmade rug made from sustainable materials. You’ll be supporting artisans who are paid fair wages, and you’ll end up with a one-of-a-kind rug that will make your space unique. Look for options made with cotton, wool, jute, recycled materials or other natural fibers and water-based or natural dyes.

Plug devices into a solar charger

Yes, we all know it’s best to leave our devices in the living room or kitchen at bedtime, but the reality is that many people still keep their phones in the bedroom. If this is also true for you, at least make sure your chargers are harnessing solar energy to charge your cell. Hang a solar charger from a sunny bedroom window during the day, then use it to power your phone at night.

Fill the room with plants

Want to be one with nature? Plants are the secret. You don’t need to have a green thumb either. There are many houseplants that thrive with minimal care and can provide air filtering benefits to your bedroom. According to some studies, indoor plants can even reduce stress and discomfort and make you feel happier, more carefree and more loving.

For low-maintenance bedroom plants that will introduce a touch of nature to your space, consider snake plants, English ivy, ferns, spider plants, or even lavender for a natural scent.

Light soy or beeswax candles

There’s nothing more relaxing than lighting a candle, pouring yourself a cup of tea and going to bed with a good book. But some candles are made with wax or fragrances that contribute to poor indoor air quality.

Those inexpensive candles from your favorite big box retailers may smell amazing and look classy, ​​but many are made with paraffin wax or paraffin wax blends. Paraffin wax releases carcinogenic soot when the candle burns, according to Green America. Although some synthetic fragrances may be harmless, there is not much regulation to determine which are safe. Some synthetic oils added to candles for pleasant scents have been linked to health problems.

Choose candles made from 100% soy or beeswax instead, and try to find options with cotton, hemp or wood wicks. Unscented candles are best, but if you’re looking to create a peaceful or romantic mood, look for candles made with essential oils.