How green are you? How dedicated are you to saving our planet and staying healthy? They say that the bedroom is the reflection of our character, so if there is one way to find out about how green you are, we would have to sneak in to your bedroom. Unfortunately, this is an impossible feat, so you’ll just have to check if you have any of these pieces in your bedroom because the following are some of the greenest fixtures and items that you can use at home in your private haven.
If there is one item that every bedroom should have, it would have to be green mattresses. It comes directly in contact with your body for about 5-8 hours each night (excluding the nap, of course) and it is where you should be counting sheep and not harmful synthetics. Mattresses aren’t just any purchase; they’re big purchases and you got to enjoy and benefit from such purchase. What are green mattresses and what makes them green? How can we find the green ones? Normally, the traditional mattresses that we buy from stores are made of polyurethane that is known for its character in giving off unstable compounds that can cause respiratory and skin woes to the user. In fact, pediatricians often suggest certain types of mattresses for babies and kids, especially those who are prone to allergies and respiratory issues. Furthermore, some mattresses are introduced with formaldehyde to keep it from staining and to stay water resistant most of the time. Unfortunately, formaldehyde has been found to be a carcinogen and can apparently cause hormonal disruptions when exposed to it in large doses.
How to Spot for Green Mattresses
Opt for mattresses that are made of natural fibers like wool, hemp, and natural latex. While I like to add organic cotton here, research shows that organic cotton aren’t so organic after all because of introduction of small amounts of chemicals introduced just to keep up with the demand. Nevertheless, they’re better than polyurethane or petroleum-based options, though. In this line, you will have to avoid synthetic options like those made from petrochemicals and petroleum-based products. Let me also add that some manufacturers include fire retardants in their products like PDBE or Polybrominated diphenyl ethers which are toxic fire retardants that are commonly present in appliances like television sets, computers, furniture, and carpets. The said chemical is a suspected carcinogen that can blend with air and dust over time and can then be inhaled by consumers in the long run. The government of Canada has been urged to take action about it, but it has not yet been banned from the manufacture of mattresses yet.
Avoid picking mattresses made from synthetic latex, traditional memory foam, and innerspring mattresses because these are NEVER eco-friendly. They are made from the use of non-renewable resources; chemicals including fire retardants; glues; chemically-processed fabrics; non-green way of shipment; and unhealthy manufacturing processes.
Follow your senses, specially your nose. One of the many indicators that you are sleeping on the wrong mattress is when it smells so bad you couldn’t even go to sleep. This is so true if you are using chemical-based mattresses, in which the stench happens to stay in the room for weeks, particularly if it’s brand new.
Remember that the cheaper is never the better in this case. While cheap mattresses sound like great savings, they may not provide you with the benefits that you truly deserve from a mattress. For one, most cheap options are chemical-based because the processes and the materials used in making them aren’t as rigorous and meticulously-picked as those costlier and greener choices in the market. Apart from that, cheaper ones aren’t as durable as the good ones, so you’ll end up spending more in the future as you will have to replace it from time to time. Let’s not forget that synthetics and memory foams are non-bug resistant, so you will have to prepare for them, too. A $1000 mattress is way better than a $400 mattress that becomes easily infested with bed bugs and lets you suffer from bad smell almost every sleeping time.
Finally, don’t be deceived by mattresses that carry the green leaf sign, 100% eco-friendly, all-natural, or 100% green labels. Always go for renowned brands that create green mattresses like Ikea’s mattresses that start at $160. These may contain fire retardants, but are not as hazardous as PDBEs. There’s also Savvy Rest, which sells mattresses with innerspring system coupled with natural latex and organic textiles and priced for around a thousand bucks. It also sells mattresses made of natural latex with quilting and organic cotton covering with prices still at a thousand bucks. A furniture line from A Natural Home is another great selection, particularly its twin and full sized organic cotton and organic cotton mattresses with prices starting at $500.
Green Mattress Covers
Now that you have ideas on how to find a green mattress, the next thing that you should consider looking are green mattress covers or fabrics. This factor should be considered meticulously, particularly if you will use it for your baby. Great and green mattress covers are only made from three renowned materials: wool, organic cotton, and bamboo. Organic cotton is the most notable option because it feels soft and breathable, hypoallergenic, and sustainable as well, just like bamboo. Take note that I highlighted ORGANIC in this case because traditional or non-organic cotton contain traces of chemicals and pesticides that are used during its growing process. Bamboo, on one hand, is a very sustainable material, making it a green component in almost every fabric in the market. However, because of the increasing demand of bamboo for fabrics, a lot of people are abusing its presence as they harvest rapidly or incorporate chemicals for rapid growth. Making a good research about a company that makes mattress covers out of bamboo would definitely help you decipher the best pick out there. Finally, wool is quite expensive being very sustainable from living sheep; a natural flame retardant; and good heat retention properties.
Beddings make each snoozing time comfy and welcoming. Every time we talk about eco-friendly beddings, organic cotton, wool, and bamboo are all present at the top of the list because these raw materials are renewable and cleaner compared to its other counterparts – the synthetic choices. In this case, we have a lot of choices: Under the Canopy full size for about a hundred bucks and choices from Spiegel for $50. You can also check out Greenfeet’s recycled polyester selections and organic pillows from Serenity Pillows.
What’s a bedroom without any furniture? Usually, the very basic furniture that a bedroom has is a table, a chair, a cabinet or a closet, and probably a vanity table if the space can hold it. The greenest material that you could probably choose for your bedroom furniture is wood as it is sustainable, easy to find and some are even resistant to molds and bugs. Wood never fails to look simply elegant as well, especially if you opt for a darker, naturally looking shade. For your vanity table, why don’t you ask that old wooden table from your grandma’s terrace and revise it? There are a lot of ways to do it online. Just unleash your creativity and you’re off to a more beautiful and greener bedroom.