Renew Your Room

Renew your room and create a healthier, safer space and sleep easy.

| February/March 2005

A bedroom should be a clean, comfortable haven from a stressful world, but many of the comfort items with which we surround ourselves can unintentionally cause us more harm than good. To make sure your sleeping quarters are as “green” as possible, just follow these easy strategies.

First, when it’s time to repaint, be sure to use no-VOC or low-VOC paints — you’ll get the benefits of both a new look and a healthier environment. VOC stands for volatile organic compounds — a class of chemicals you don’t want for a sleeping partner.

Now for your furniture. Choose solid-wood new or used furniture. Both are healthy alternatives to furniture made of particleboard, which can release toxic formaldehyde into the air.

Strip down to a bare floor, too, if you can. Instead of wall-to-wall carpeting, opt for colorful area rugs. For great bedroom floor accents, consider washable organic cotton throws, sheepskins or wool rugs with natural rubber or jute backing.

Next, check out natural fiber mattresses, linens and curtains; there’s a world of cozy comfort on the market in organic cotton bedding and window dressings. And mattresses made of organic cotton or wool are out there, too.

The same reasons you should opt for no-VOC paints and solid-wood furniture also extend to going “green” with your bedroom’s fiber products. According to Maureen Marchetta, program director at the Children’s Health Environmental Coalition, Americans now face pollution risks from indoor exposure to more than 80,000 synthetic chemicals.

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