A person’s bedroom is their personal sanctuary, a place to go to escape the stresses of life and relax and be peaceful. A bedroom is a place where you sleep, curl up and read a good book and snuggle up with your loved ones, it should be cozy and luxurious. However, a bedroom should not be filled with hazardous chemicals which can be damaging, cause allergies or possibly certain types of cancer. Your bedroom should be a clean, harmonious environment and free from fumes and vapors which could cause serious damage to you and your family’s health. To “green” your bedroom, a person should put the focus on fabrics, lighting and furniture which can be toxic and interrupt you from getting a good night’s sleep.
If furniture in the bedroom is made of pressed wood or particle board, it should be sealed or it could off gas harmful chemicals like formaldehyde into the air. Formaldehyde has been outlawed in California in various wood applications that are used in the production of bedroom furniture. It is a toxic chemical which is classed by the Environmental Protection Agency as a carcinogen; it can cause asthma, breathing problems, skin rashes, allergies and watery eyes. If new furniture is out of the question, it is important to either seal it up or place the furniture in a well-ventilated area to avoid the fumes becoming concentrated and dangerous.
Another issue to give consideration when “greening” your bedroom is the paint on the walls. Paint can be made of toxic chemicals and if the walls gave off a strong smell when painted, it is a good indication of how chemically concentrated it is. Using low odor non-toxic paint with low or zero VOC’s (volitile organic compounds) is much better because some of the fumes which can be released can include benzene, kerosene, ammonia, xylene, toluene and formaldehyde. In order to decrease air pollution in the bedroom, a person should include plenty of indoor plants into the décor, which can decrease the toxins in the air by as much as 85% within a one day period of time.
Mattresses and bed linens are another important component of “greening” your bedroom and if you are using synthetics, now is the perfect time to switch to organic cottons and other natural materials. When a mattress is composed of polyurethane foam and other chemicals, it can release a bunch of risky toxins into the air and make sleeping unhealthy and very uncomfortable. Incorporating organic materials and natural linens for bedding is less likely to cause a person to suffer from allergies and decreases the chances of bed bugs making a home in the mattress.
The final area someone needs to consider when “greening” a bedroom, is the lighting being used. Lighting sets the mood of a bedroom and can provide a relaxing ambiance, but it needs to be used cautiously and wisely. Natural lighting is always best, but if you have not already, now is the time to switch to a dimmer switch. By placing mirrors in places that receive the most light, it is possible to cut down on the use of artificial lighting in the bedroom. In the winter, using heavy backed curtains helps keep the room warm and in the summer, it keeps heat out.
A person’s bedroom should be like a home away from home and provide relaxation and be a place to get away from it all. By “greening” your bedroom effectively, you not only improve the way you sleep at night and improve health, but are also doing your part to protect the precious environment in which we live. Enjoy and put personal touches on your new and improved “green” bedroom and make it all you have dreamed about.