We are all looking to “go green.” We buy fuel efficient cars; we grow our own veggies or buy from local organic farmers; we worry about GMO’s and antibiotics in our meat; we recycle and re-use. In our homes, we replace old appliances with more energy efficient ones and replace old windows with newer double and triple panes. In each room, we look for ways to preserve heat in the winter and cool in the summer and we buy new light bulbs. All of these things are good for us – for our health and for our pocketbooks. But have you ever thought about “greening” up your bedroom? Here are 4 ways to do this!
One way most of us deal with higher utility bills is by the obvious, lowering our thermostats especially at night and use more blankets to keep warm and cozy. Some of us use electric blankets, which of course use less energy than the furnace since your not having to warm the entire house. But in the morning, there is still that shock of getting out of bed onto a cold floor and into cooler air temperature – it makes us just want to crawl back under! Here are two things you can try.
- Instead of that electric blanket, consider a wool, cotton, or down comforter / duvet. It will keep you just as warm. Choosing organic or certified organic bed spreads will virtually eliminate all synthetics that more often than not include potentially harmful chemicals that could be hazardous to your health.
- Consider using a hot water room vaporizer. The beauty of this is that it keeps the air temperature warmer, the floors warmer, and, best of all, it puts moisture into the air. Because our houses tend to dry out in the winter, we tend to have more stuffy noses and accompanying sleep difficulties. The moist air keeps all respiratory passages moist and makes for better and healthier sleep.
Nothing is worse than trying to sleep when you are too warm, and yet that air conditioning bill can be a “killer.” There are many different remedies to sleep cooler here are are just a few:
- Run a ceiling fan – it keeps air circulating and that air just “feels” cooler to you. Some gadgets that can be of assistance is a Dyson Air Multiplier table fan and the IDEA Mini-Elefan are just a couple other possible solutions.
- Try one of those gel cooling pads you can place on a pillow – Gel’O Cool Pillow Mat, Penguin Cooing Pillow Ma,t PolarGel Cool Pillow Ma,t are just a few examples and according to their online reviews they are all above average or better and they really do work.
- ChiliPAD(CP) Cube Cooling & Heating Mattress Pad – It’s name says it all. It can also warm you in the cold winter months.
You are in your bed 6-8 hours every night – this means a lot of exposure to chemicals – both those in in the synthetic materials found in your bedding and mattress and from the residue of some laundry detergents. The answer is obvious – use bedding and a mattress made only of organic fibers preferably third party verifiable certified organic bedding like, sheets sets, mattress pads, and even pillows and pillow protectors. Making this kind of a change is a low cost solution to the problem and they virtually eliminate exposure to unhealthy toxins. One last to consider is to check the label on the laundry detergent you are using. Most detergents include fragrance, surfactants, formula stabilizers,1,4-dioxane, bleach, phosphates & EDTA: Educate yourself by researching potentially harmful toxins laundry in detergent. Again a low cost solution can be to replace detergents with those that do not contain VOC’s or expose you and your family to potentially harmful toxins.
Use the Right Paint
Standard paints have high levels of VOC’s. These are “volatile organic compounds” that are harmful when breathed. This is why you are told to ventilate a room well when you use things like paint thinners – they have really high levels of VOC’s. The smell you experience as a room is drying from fresh paint are the VOC’s being emitted into the air. But VOC emissions do not stop after the paint dries, even though they are is vastly lower amounts. But, again, you are in your bedroom 6-8 hours out of every day. It just makes sense to buy VOC-free paints, and they are on the market. In fact, make it your goal that as every room in your home is painted, you will only use no or low VOC-free paints.