Image by Nathan Oakley
We spend a lot of time in living rooms and bedrooms, so we want what’s best for them! If you want to make these spaces eco-friendlier, you can make small, active changes to help make them safer for you and the environment.
Paint & Cleaning Products
Conventional paints and cleaning products can include VOCs, or Volatile Organic Compounds. The American Lung Association warns that VOCs can damage human health while the EPA states that VOCs are “common ground-water contaminants.” The EPA also says VOCs can exist in cleansers, disinfectants, paints, paint strippers, and other solvents.
If you decide to redecorate, choose low- or anti-VOC paints. You can also find environmentally friendly versions of your favorite cleaning products with more natural ingredients. Many manufacturers make eco-friendly or green cleaning products that use natural or plant-based ingredients. Certain manufacturers, like Seventh Generation, include a full ingredient list and explanation of the ingredients on their website.
Take old or used materials and use them to create something better! You can take old furniture and transform it with a coat of paint or new stain. Turn old t-shirts into cozy pillowcases or cushions.
Using repurposed or previously owned materials instead of buying new also keeps your carbon footprint low. You also stop materials from getting tossed in the landfill! Upcycling requires very few new tools or materials outside of the ones you might find in your home.
Mattress & Bedding
Your mattress may contain more toxic chemicals than you think. They often include chemical flame retardants, ingredients derived from petroleum, and VOCs. Eco-friendly mattresses use products without these chemicals. Instead, they might use:
Pair your eco-friendly mattress with environmentally friendly bedding for an even eco-friendlier sleeping experience. Eco-friendly bedding can use organic cotton, linen, bamboo, or hemp while remaining just as comfortable.
Make the switch to environmentally friendly lighting to boost your sustainability and to save money on your energy bill! LED lights use a lower wattage than other lighting, which means they require less electricity to power them. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, residential LED lights, especially Energy Star rated products, can use up to 75 percent less energy and can last 25 times longer than incandescents. By using less energy, LED bulbs help reduce the amount of carbon emissions let into the atmosphere by power plants.