Green Home Decor

Published on June 30th, 2011 | by Karen Lee


How Healthy is Your Bedroom?

You spend more than third to half of your life in your bedroom. It makes sense to keep it eco friendly for  better health and sleep. But short of totally renovating your room, how do you green the indoor space where you spend majority of your life?

Here are five simple steps.

1. Pillows – Allergy proof your pillows by using pillow casing to prevent dust mites. And get rid of throw pillows, which can be a breeding ground for dust mites. If you have to buy new pillows, buy natural latex pillows instead of petroleum based synthetic foam or polyester filled pillows. These synthetic pillows will emit volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) that can cause headaches, nausea, eye and throat irritation. Some people might even experience asthma attacks due to these toxic chemical emission. Natural latex are allergy proof and will emit no toxic gases.

2. Mattress – Mattress contain fire retardants (polybrominated biphenyl ethers, or PBDEs.), stain and moisture resistant chemicals that are toxic to humans. In fact, over 71 chemicals are used in making a mattress. It’s also treated with a recently classified carcinogen Formaldehyde. Although PVC was banned from being used in crib mattresses in 2009, those that are made prior to 2009 still may contain it. The next time you buy a new mattress, buy natural latex rubber or mattress made with organic cotton. They will have no VOC and no PVC or Pthalates. Mattress will double in size in ten years because of dust mites’ feces that stay on the mattress. Nice, huh? So, change your mattress every ten years. Your back will thank you too.

3. Linen – Cotton is considered the world’s ‘dirtiest’ crop. Cotton production uses 16% of the world’s insecticides that are dangerous to human and animal health. Buy organic cotton sheets or hemp, from natural bedding companies, like nikkidesigns, as pictured. There are discount retailers that sell organic cotton sheets too but question how they are dyed. It makes no sense to buy organic sheets but are dyed with “unknown” chemicals.

3. Lose the Shoes – You shouldn’t wear your shoes in the house anyway but if you can’t stop the nasty habit, at least take them off before entering your bedroom. They track toxins from the outside world into your bedroom, and onto your bed.

4. Unplug – Electronic devices can stress you out and interfere with sleep. Unless you are a doctor on call, you don’t need pagers, cell phones or blackberries near your bed. You also don’t need your laptops or iPads. Feng Shui, an ancient Chinese interior decorating rule for life balance, bans any electronic devices in the bedroom, including T.V.

5. Set the Mood – If you want to use candles, um…as mood enhancing elements, use soy candles instead of paraffin wax, which emits VOC’s.

So there you have them. Five easy steps to green your bedroom while improving your health!

What have you changed in your bedroom that improved your sleeping habit?



{All images used with permission from Nikkidesigns}

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About the Author

Karen lives a simple, frugal, green life and shares her eco tips and news on ecokaren and is a co-founder of Green Sisterhood, a network of community of green women bloggers, making change. When she's not managing Green Sisterhood or blogging on ecokaren, she is a chauffeur to two greenagers, wife to an accidental recycler, master chef to hungry locavores, seamstress, knitter, and dumpster diver, not necessarily in that order.

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