Do you know that humans spend a third of their lives asleep? That’s 8 hours a day in your own bedroom. Since you spend a significant time of your day in your bedroom, you need to make it as conducive to sleep as possible.
A clean, comfortable, and eco-friendly bedroom is your ticket to a restful night’s sleep. After all, the best things in life are already in Mother Nature. Here are some ideas on how to make your bedroom cool and eco-friendly.
Invest in an environmentally friendly mattress
The most important item in your bedroom is your mattress—that’s obviously where you sleep. Thus, it has to be safe, comfortable, and eco-friendly. If you’re using an old mattress, it’s probably time to switch to a newer one with sustainable and environmentally friendly components or features.
Choose a mattress made of latex foam as it’s known to be the most eco-friendly foam material. For the cover layer, choose one that’s made of organic wool, bamboo, hemp, or cotton.
Check if your mattress is CertiPUR-US certified. This certification ensures that the mattress does not contain any toxins, heavy metals, fire retardants, ozone depleters, and other harmful chemicals.
Reuse furniture and decorations
Current waste generation and recycling statistics show that global waste production is estimated to go up by 70%. That’s a huge number considering that at present, we’re dumping 2 billion tons of waste materials each year. This grim prediction highlights the need to recycle and reuse items that you already have.
Thus, rather than purchasing new items for your bedroom, search existing resources first. Your parents or grandparents, for example, may have some old blankets, bedsheets, or pillow covers in their closets. Have these fabrics laundered or dry-washed, and you have a classic sleep system.
Look around your house for more items to recycle, refurbish, and reuse. Old, Victorian-style dinner trays can make great display trays for your perfumes. Empty wine bottles make ideal flower vases. A used cupboard can be made into a closet. An old tree trunk left over after a neighbor decided to cut his tree can be made into a unique nightstand. As you can see, the limit is your imagination.
Put a live plant in your bedroom
Live plants not only provide an interesting feature in your bedroom. It also absorbs carbon dioxide and other pollutants in your room. Most importantly, it generates oxygen, making the air in your room clean and fresh.
When going to your local plant store, choose a plant that is indigenous, or local, to your area; avoid exotic ones. Local and indigenous plants are easier to take care of and require less maintenance since they have already adapted to the local environment.
Properly insulate your bedroom
If you’re living in an old or pre-loved home, there’s a chance that the insulation may be subpar or has rotted away. Have a handyman check out your bedroom’s insulation. Otherwise, you’ll be paying a huge amount of energy bills, use more fuel, and increase your property’s carbon footprint.
Improper insulation and unsealed gaps, cracks, and holes allow cold drafts during cold months to seep into the room. Your heater will have to double its work, consuming lots of energy, to keep your home comfortably warm. Conversely, poor insulation enables warm air to escape, forcing you to increase your air conditioner’s cooling power.
Fixing your bedroom’s insulation can be a big investment, but it’s a small price to pay if you want to lessen both your carbon footprint and your energy bills.
Install glass windows along with shades, blinds, and curtains
Glass windows allow natural light to come in. With your room bright and sunny, you don’t need to turn on your artificial lights. In addition, the glass helps insulate the room. If it gets too warm, you can open the glass windows to let fresh air in.
Shades, blinds, or curtains should also be installed. If you don’t want outside light from coming in (e.g., it’s bedtime and you want to keep your room dark), you can simply close the shades, blinds, or curtains.
Minimize artificial lighting
You want to keep your bedroom dim or dark. That’s because melatonin, the hormone that induces the feeling of being sleepy, works more efficiently in a dark environment. There’s no need to make your room really bright as it defeats its primary purpose.
That means to lessen the lighting in your room as much as possible. One or two lamps would be sufficient. An alternative would be a couple of pin lights or accent lights. Skip the main overhead light; it isn’t really necessary.
For your bulbs, use a compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) or a light-emitting diode (LED) bulb. These are more eco-friendly than standard incandescent bulbs. In addition, they also don’t need a lot of power, so you can save on your power bills. Of course, the best way to save electricity is to only turn on your bedroom light when you actually need them.
Minimize or don’t put bedroom appliances
Your bedroom should only be used for sleeping and for making love to your partner. Thus, there’s really no need to put additional appliances in your bedroom. Forego the television, entertainment system, private refrigerator, and other appliances. Not only do they suck up a lot of energy, but they also disrupt your sleep. Just imagine: you want to take a well-deserved 8-hour snooze but you can’t resist the temptation of watching a movie on your bedroom TV.
In addition, some appliances emit a tiny buzz when activated. In a quiet room, this sound is amplified many times over, disrupting your sleep.
A comfortable bedroom is needed in order for you to achieve the sleep that you need. The good thing is that in the quest for that comfort, you can also help the environment by reducing your carbon footprint and consuming less energy. By following the tips above, you can sleep soundly in your very own bedroom while saving the planet.
Brett Armstron is a writer at ID-Mag. An enthusiast and expert when it comes to sleep products, Brett dedicates a lot of his time reading, researching, and reviewing about both traditional and emerging sleep brands that manufacture varied types of sleep products – from eco-mattresses, smart pillows to cooling sleep systems, Brett has probably reviewed them all. Brett also finds sleep especially important since he juggles a small business which he runs from home, makes sure he spends time with his daughter and he also writes during his spare time – you can definitely see that he needs a great forty winks all night, every night so he’ll make sure that you get great sleep, too!