Breathe Easy in the Bedroom
With nearly 1/3 of your life spent in the bedroom, air quality is key to going green in the bedroom. There are some noxious fumes in the bedroom that should be eliminated, and we’re not talking about your spouse here….
Volatile Organic Compounds are the solvents released into the air as paint dries, and according to some, even after the paint has dried. They can cause acute symptoms including headaches and blurred vision. The long-term effects are being debated, the EPA does suspect that certain VOC’s may be carcinogens (cancer causing).
Consider using low or no VOC paint in the bedroom. Other products that contain VOC’s – adhesives – particularly those used in installing wall to wall carpet, cleaning supplies and certain home furnishings that may be stained or painted.
Natural materials are better for you than synthetics. Use wool blankets instead of polyester and cotton sheets. Organic cotton bedding costs more than regular cotton for linens, since it costs more to produce. Organic cotton is grown without chemical fertilizers or pesticides from plants that have less environmental impact than conventional cotton, Side-effects of conventional cotton production include:
- High levels of chemicals can be used in the production. Cotton production is said to use more chemicals per area than other crop and has historically accounted for 16% of the world's pesticides
- Residual chemicals used in production and processing may irritate consumers' with sensitive skin.
- The overseas conventional cotton industry has historically relied on a high level of forced child labor in undeveloped countries.
Carpets and the adhesive used for installation has had issues with VOC's in the past. Although carpet manufacturers have stepped up to the plate in making more environmentally friendly products, purists who want to go green in the bedroom are relying more heavily on natural flooring. Natural flooring choices include:
- Jute, sisal and seagrass area rugs;
- Wood or cotton area rugs;
- Bamboo flooring or area rugs; and
- Hardwood floors with natural finishes.
Mattress production has historically used chemical processing to make traditional mattresses. Environmentally friendly options include organic wool and cotton mattresses that offer the same comfort as their counterparts. Latex is also considered an eco-friendly option for mattresses, as well as a particular type of natural rubber product.
Going green in the bedroom seems to be the most popular trend in bedroom interior design. For those with sensitive skin, allergies or breathing issues, it may just be the ticket to getting a healthy night’s sleep.