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Green those zzz’s

The Sustainable Bedroom: Greening Your Sleep Space

Katie Overmonds
February 5, 2024

For somewhere that we spend 30%+ of our lives, our bedrooms don’t always get the attention and the glory that other rooms in the home do.

As we’re in the process of renovating our home, I’ve thought extensively about choices for countertops, energy efficient laundry machines, and even how to create an inviting mudroom (which I’ll spend a total of five-ish minutes in per day). But the bedroom? Probably going to just keep using the duvet I’ve had since college and the pillows my great Aunt Marie passed down … 40 plus years ago. (Gross, I know, but they’re darn comfy.)

But as we’re on this journey towards electrification, maximized energy efficiency and lowering our carbon footprint, I began to think about a few simple upgrades and practices we could put in place to transform it into a sustainable sanctuary. (Don’t worry, Aunt Marie! The pillows are staying.)

Let’s dive into a few sustainable bedroom upgrades and practices that will not only improve your sleep but also save energy and money. Let's make our sleep space truly green! (Regardless of what color paint you choose).

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Choose Sustainable Bedding:

Let's start with the basics—your bed itself. If you’re in the market for a new mattress, opt for one made from natural and organic materials like latex, wool, or organic cotton. These materials are not only comfortable but also free from harmful chemicals and better for the environment. Pair your mattress with organic, sustainably sourced bedding, and you're on your way to a healthier, greener sleep.

Energy-Efficient Lighting:

Bid farewell to energy-guzzling incandescent bulbs and say hello to LED or CFL bulbs. These options use significantly less energy and last much longer, which means fewer trips to the store and less waste. Additionally, consider using smart bulbs that allow you to adjust the lighting to your preference without getting out of bed.

Blackout Curtains:

Blackout curtains aren't just for people who love to sleep in—they can also help save energy. In the summer, they keep the hot sun from turning your bedroom into an oven, reducing the need for air conditioning. In the winter, they provide extra insulation, keeping the cold air out and the warmth in. More on window coverings for energy saving here.

Sustainable Furniture:

When it comes to bedroom furniture, consider second-hand or vintage pieces. (We’re big fans of Facebook Marketplace in our household!) Not only does this reduce the demand for new materials, but it also gives your space a unique character. If you do need new furniture, look for pieces made from sustainably sourced wood or bamboo.

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Declutter and Minimize:

A cluttered bedroom can hinder airflow and make it harder to maintain a comfortable temperature. Decluttering not only promotes better sleep but also reduces the need for additional storage and shelving, which can consume energy during manufacturing and transportation. Plus, a room that’s clutter-free is WAY more relaxing than trying to catch some zzz’s while staring at a pile of things you no longer need.

Opt for Eco-Friendly Paint:

If you plan to paint your bedroom, choose eco-friendly, low-VOC (volatile organic compound) paints. Traditional paints can release harmful chemicals into the air, affecting indoor air quality. Low-VOC paints are safer for you and the environment.

Control Your Thermostat:

When it's time to hit the hay, lower the thermostat a few degrees in the winter or raise it in the summer. You'll save energy while sleeping comfortably under your cozy blankets.

Properly Insulate Your Bedroom:

Make sure your bedroom is properly insulated to prevent drafts. Poor insulation can make your heating and cooling systems work harder, driving up energy costs. Seal any gaps and add insulation where needed.

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Use Natural Ventilation:

Open your windows at night to let in cool, fresh air during the warmer months. This can help reduce the need for air conditioning and improve air circulation. On the flip side, close your windows during the day to keep out hot air.

Invest in Sleep Technology:

Consider a smart thermostat or a sleep tracker. These devices can help you optimize your sleep environment and energy consumption by adjusting your bedroom's temperature and lighting based on your sleep patterns.

Incorporating these sustainable bedroom upgrades and practices into your life doesn't have to be overwhelming. Start small and work your way up. Every little change makes a difference, not only in reducing your carbon footprint but also in creating a more peaceful and restful sleep space.

Sweet dreams!

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