As we continue our expedition to “going green” in our houses this year, today’s journey takes us into a room that you typically spend between 6 and 8 hours a day in, although you’re generally not awake for most of it. But fear not, you can even go green while you’re counting sheep.
In fact, getting a good night’s sleep is one way you can get more refreshed, energized and healthier, so maybe it’s best we spend a little more time… in your bedroom.
Don’t Sleep On It!
Speaking of getting a good night’s sleep, one great move to more green in your bedroom is to start with that bed you’re sleeping on. Mattresses typically last between 5 and 7 years, so chances are you’re due for a new one anyways, so why not invest in something that’s both more sustainable and comfortable?
Look for mattresses that are environmentally friendly and made with natural latex, bamboo and organic cotton without some of the harsher flame-retardant chemicals. If they’re made in America, that’s even better, because the carbon footprint is reduced by not having to incur long distance transport emissions.
And don’t forget to recycle your old mattress. As long as it’s in good condition and doesn’t have any tears, holes, structural damage or stains, there are several non-profits, like the Salvation Army that will sanitize or completely recondition an old mattress for resale. Otherwise, they’ll end up taking up a huge amount of space in a landfill, waiting decades to fully decompose.
If you want to go all the way and replace your whole bed, look for wooden frames certified to come from sustainably managed forests. Plain wood or a non-toxic varnish is all you need. Just avoid paints and polishes that release chemicals into the atmosphere. Another fun alternative is to look for stylish secondhand furniture. The right piece can make you feel like your sleeping in a mansion without the cost or the further damage to the environment.
On top of the bed, grab an eco-friendly memory foam mattress topper, or boxsprings topped with natural wool. The wool wicks away moisture from the bed and air, giving you a better, deeper night of sleep and can sustain a lot longer.
Invest in organic cotton sheets and pillows. They are often even softer than the synthetic blends and less likely to melt if a fire happens. If your budget is a little tight, start with transitional cotton that hasn’t yet been fully organically certified, but still adheres to the organic growing practices.
And as we’ve suggested before, consider investing in a buckwheat pillow. Not only does the pillow not collapse under the weight of your head and neck, helping promote a more comfortable sleep, the buckwheat hulls also don’t hold onto heat – so both sides are the cool side!
Time to Come Out of the Closet!
Did you know that almost 40,000 gallons of water are spent each year just to replenish the clothing supply for one family in the United States? Yet how many of the items in our closets sit there for weeks, months, years, even decades without being worn. A lot of us hold onto things, just in case they come back into fashion.
Here’s the secret… It only comes back into fashion after you’ve finally given it away! So why not speed up the process, help a non-profit provide jobs and resources to people who are less fortunate and get a little more breathing room in that closet.
Pick out the several key items that are your typical go-to’s, along with a few specialty outfits. Let’s face it, you’re never going to wear that 90’s vintage bridesmaid dress you hated to wear in the first place. However, your Christmas party cocktail dress, or a classic tux – with or without top hat and tails – is something that you’ll likely use year after year, or at least every other.
Anything that isn’t key, start clearing out and donating. Keep enough that you don’t need to buy a bunch more to replace it. Of course, there are a few items you’ll always be buying new pairs of – like underwear and jeans that are not meant to last forever. But that blouse that is slightly different from the one you loved 2 years ago you never got around to wearing? You don’t need to buy it.
And hey, if bell bottoms do come back, you can always head down to the Goodwill and buy them back, for a fraction of the cost.
Catch Your Breath!
Instead of running the air conditioner all year long, consider opening the windows on cooler nights (yes, we have some in Florida!). Let the system rest and it will thank you by performing efficiently for longer.
Invest in an air purifier. You might have noticed, even with the AC on all the time, we accumulate a LOT of dust in our homes. Give your allergies some relief and clear the air of any toxic fumes that might have drifted in when the kids left the door hanging open.
Most of us here on the Gulf coast have plenty of humidity in the air, but if you find yourself having trouble breathing late at night, you might want to pick up a bedroom humidifier to moisten the air you sleep in.
Clean Up Your Act!
Whether you prefer wood floors or deep shag carpeting, there are safer, all-natural polishes and shampoos that will keep the floors looking bright and new without bringing more harmful toxins into your home.
If you get your clothes dry-cleaned, look for establishments that subscribe to all natural and/or organic dry cleaning practices. Save and return the hangers, or offer to provide your own, if they’ll let you. Instead of going through several of the single use plastic bags, invest in a reusable dry cleaning bag. A really nice one will work as a hamper for dirty clothes, make carrying and drop off at the cleaners easier, and of course, nicely carries the freshly pressed clothes home.
Like in the bathroom and the kitchen, there are plenty of organic, all-natural cleaning options for the bedroom that can do the job. Often the organic products smell, look and work better than their more traditional counterparts.
That’s something we’ve proved at Good News Pest Solutions for decades, with our 100% all-natural approach to insect and other pest control. And we’ve got customers all up and down the Gulf coast of Florida, from Bradenton to Port Charlotte that will attest to it. if you’re looking to keep your pest control as green as the rest of your house, give us a call!