The back-to-nature movement has become mainstream in America, and nowhere is the desire for a more natural approach to living more prevalent than in our homes. From organically grown fruits and vegetables to VOC-free paint choices, the trend is toward fewer additives, synthetics and chemicals.
But for all the farmers’ market food in the kitchen and goat’s milk soaps in the bathroom, the quest for a more natural home has neglected the bedroom. However, it doesn’t take much to make the bedroom more natural or green.
Following are three easy and effective tips.
Down and feathers come from nature and are biodegradable and renewable. Consequently, they have the lowest carbon footprint of any bedding fill material. Thirty-six percent of U.S. adults use down and feather bedding because it is eco-friendly, according to a recently completed Harris Survey commissioned by the American Down and Feather Council.
A natural insulator, down helps regulate body heat for an optimal sleeping experience, which allows homeowners to turn down the thermostat at night and save on heating costs. The survey revealed that 55 percent of U.S. adults who use down and feather bedding have chosen it for its natural warmth.
Live plants act as natural air filters. Some plants – spider plants, Boston ferns, rubber plants and palm trees – are particularly effective absorbers of chemical pollutants emitted from carpets, furniture and electronic equipment. Adding fresh flowers and plants to the bedroom helps with the natural cycle of carbon dioxide and oxygen, improving the overall air quality.
Welcoming the sun
In the cold winter months, open blinds, draperies and shutters during the day to let solar energy warm and brighten the bedroom naturally.
In the hot summer months, be sure to do the opposite, closing window coverings to prevent the bedroom from overheating and causing air-conditioning units or fans to work harder, thus using more energy.