5 Green Changes You Can Make in Your Sleep

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Bedroom design by Jeremy Levine
Image by Jeremy Levine Design via Flickr

One of the main obstacles reported by individuals trying to “go green” is that they have often found it’s easier and cheaper to do things as they’ve always done them in the past. For example, initial cost to buy a gas-guzzling vehicle is still usually cheaper than buying a hybrid. Why pay for solar panels to be installed when you can just continue to pay your electric bills as-is? Why buy organic, when fruits and veggies loaded with pesticides are cheaper and more readily available?

Well, to those of you who have already made adjustments towards a greener way of living, the answers to these questions are obvious. Going green isn’t just a catch phrase, it’s an actual life change. Changing the way you think, changing the way you live.

Don’t do it because your friends say it’s the thing to do or because “everyone is doing it”. Don’t let anyone tell you that it’s all or nothing either. Making healthy and more environmentally-friendly changes in your life can be good for you. Eating out less or eating less processed food is easier on your health and your wallet. Using natural cleaners around your house and adding plants to help lower indoor air pollution, will make your home a safer place to live. I could go on and on, but hopefully you get the idea.

For those of you who are looking to make some green changes, here are a few you can make in your sleep….literally:

1) Sleep on an organic mattress: According to a recent survey by the Specialty Sleep Association, about two-thirds of consumers expressed concern about the safety and health aspects of the products they were purchasing. For those purchasing new mattresses, safety was the top environmental concern. Sales reps also reported that at least 75% of their customers were looking for natural, organic or environmentally-friendly mattresses.

Because of that, “The Mattress/Bedding Industry ‘Green Initiative‘ was created to identify definitions and terminology, as well as existing standards and certifications that apply to the mattress industry.” They intend to standardized how retailers label their green bedding products, so it will be easier to ensure you are in fact getting “green” bedding. Sounds good to me.

Another key reason to get green bedding is because some mattresses, especially crib mattresses, are covered with toxic fire retardant chemicals. These chemicals are continuously being released into the child’s room. Organic mattresses are usually filled with materials such as wool, which provide a natural fire retardant without the added toxins.

2) Ensure your room has been painted with non-toxic, low voc paints: Most people spend at least 8 hours of their day in their bedroom and you don’t want to be inhaling toxins for 1/3 of your day. So, if you plan on doing any painting, touch-ups etc in your bedroom (or any room in the house, for that matter), you are going to want low voc paints that ideally are non-toxic too.

Earth Safe Finishes carries Generation Green “Perfect Paint” which not only allows you to paint without the added toxins, but you can get a variety of colors out of one base container of paint.

3) Keep plants in your bedroom: While you are sleeping, your bedroom plants might be hard at work getting rid of the toxins commonly found in homes. In order to curb existing toxins, you’d be smart to check out “Plants That Naturally Detox Your Air and Improve Indoor Air Quality“.

Why worry about toxins while you are sleeping? Put a few nice plants around and you’ll get a fresher, cleaner bedroom. Besides, bringing a little of the outdoors in always brightens a room.

4) Let in natural light/fresh air: During the day, open your blinds and/or windows and let in some fresh air and natural light. Opening up your room, allows it to be aired out. Bringing in some sunlight will help brighten (and sometimes heat) the room to a more comfortable temperature.

There is no need to turn on the heat or the A/C when you can let nature help you out.

5) Clean with natural cleaners: Especially if you are keeping your windows open, you are going to need to dust and clean more often.  It may not sound very exciting, but you will probably notice the difference in the air you breathe.

Another important reason to clean regularly is you don’t want dust mites running around your bedroom. Unfortunately every home probably has some dust mites. Washing bedding, dusting regularly, vacuuming and cleaning with non-toxic cleaning supplies all help to keep the bedroom clean and keep away most of your unwanted bedfellows.

All of these changes will help ensure you sleep a little better at night. But, as I said earlier, there are many green changes you can make in your life, some big and others small. Whatever you choose to do, make it your decision to make changes that can benefit you, your health, your family and the environment around you. That said, what green changes you have made recently?

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9 Comments

  1. Great tips, Tara! I used BioShield paint when I last painted my room. I got a 5 gallon bucket of white base, which was about the same price as its toxic counterpart, then I tinted it with lavender. Very girly. lol I felt so good about doing that. It had an earthy smell to it, too, instead of making me wheeze and break out, like toxic paint does!

    Reply
  2. Love this post – its so easy to make these simple changes and the long-term benefit is something for which we may need to change our immediate gratification mindset (not here in America – gasp!) I’m particularly interested in the low or no-VOC paints and green housedhold cleaners. They don’t cost (much) more than their toxic counterparts, but are so much better!

    Reply
  3. Nice article. As a long time painter, and after using low V.O.C. paints recently, it is almost unimaginable that we used those brain-damaging, liver-dissolving oil based finishes without any alternatives for so long. Thanks to science this is a thing of the past, hopefully.

    Reply
    • Thanks Nan, Steph, Joanna and Glenn! I’m glad you enjoyed this post.

      Nan – sounds great! That’s what I need, something with an earthly smell to it. Can’t stand the smell of regular paint.

      Steph – agreed 100%.

      Joanna – I’m with you on that one. It’s pretty simple actually!

      Glenn – See, I learn something new about you all the time. I used to do some painting/staining, etc in my younger days and the smells were definitely not pleasant. Having the option of low VOC paints is wonderful – I too hope it becomes the norm.

      Reply
  4. Great tips! I especially like the one about plants.

    Along this same line, when cleaning your home or kitchen dishes, avoid using paper towels. They are such a waste and can really take a bite into your budget. Buy hand made wash cloths from an online seller…One such venue is ETSY . There are many other sites that sell hand made wash cloths, but ETSY does a good job.

    Thanks again for the article.

    Annabelle

    Reply

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