Clearing the Air in the Bedroom

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A bedroom should be a peaceful place where you can take a few deep breaths and relax.  One fundamental principle of green design is that the air you breathe should be of good quality, especially since indoor air can be more polluted than you might think.  Considering we spend about a third of our lives in the bedroom, this is something to consider when choosing our furnishings and finishes as they can off-gas harmful chemicals.

  1. Paint:  A new color on the walls can dramatically change the look of a room.  Opt for non-toxic paints or clay plaster which don’t contain any VOCs (volatile organic compounds).
  2. Bed Linens:  The fabrics and materials on which you rest your weary head should be as safe as possible, especially for newborns and children as they are still developing and are more vulnerable to toxins.  Look for pillows, sheets and comforters made from natural materials such as hemp and organic cotton.
  3. Window treatments:  Non-permanent press draperies and shades made from natural materials will minimize off-gassing of chemicals into your room.
  4. Mattresses:  A super comfortable and eco-friendly option is a natural rubber latex mattress.  These mattresses are treated with non-toxic fire retardants and are comprised of materials that don’t emit formaldehyde and VOCs unlike conventional mattresses.
  5. Furniture:  When shopping for new furniture, opt for solid wood and reclaimed wood furnishings finished with non-toxic wood stain.  Avoid pressed wood furnishings as they contain formaldehyde.   For kids rooms, check out my previous post here.
  6. FlooringFloating floors made from sustainable wood, cork or linoleum will increase the comfort factor in the bedroom and are easy to install.  Be sure to ask if non-toxic finishes were used.  If you prefer carpeting, keep in mind that a hard surface flooring material will last a lot longer than carpet.  Modular carpet tiles allow for versatility in design, and if one square gets damaged, replacement is inexpensive and easy.   Another great, green option is cozy and non-toxic wool carpeting.
  7. Ambiance:  Looking to add some romance?  Lighting a few soy-based candles will certainly do the trick!  If you’re lucky enough to have a wood-burning fireplace, try using these cleaner burning logs.

Tag(s): Bed and Bath, For Kids, Green Furnishings, Hazardous Products / Health Issues


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