✔ Consider buying a used bed – Buying a used bed is a green choice because you will be extending the life of materials that have already been taken out of the environment. Additionally, you will keep these materials from ending up in a landfill.
✔ Buy a bed made from reclaimed or recycled materials – Buying a bed made from reclaimed materials keep salvaged materials out of the landfill. Choosing a bed made from reclaimed or recycled wood also ensures new materials are not harvested from forests to make a new piece of bedroom furniture.
✔ Buy a bed that is made from FSC-certified wood – The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) ensures that wood taken from forests is done in a sustainable fashion. Using sustainable wood lessens the environmental stress on the worlds forests.
✔ Buy a bed made from a rapidly renewable material – Plants such as bamboo, rattan, rice, and straw, are considered rapidly renewable crops. They grow much more quickly than trees and can be replenished in nature in a short period of time. In addition, they require little chemical assistance before harvesting.
✔ Recycle your used furniture – Recycling your used furniture prevents wood, fabric, and foam waste from going to the landfill where its decomposition produces greenhouse gases and leeches toxic substances into soil and water. It also reuses natural resources, including wood, cotton, and petroleum-based products.
✔ Use eco-friendly bedding materials – When shopping for bedding (comforter, blankets, top sheet, bottom sheet, bed skirt, pillows and pillow cases), be sure to look for natural and organic fabrics. Bedding materials made out of synthetics and non-organic fibers contribute to pollution, depletion of resources and indoor air pollution. Below are some materials to consider:
- Hemp – Hemp is considered an earth friendly alternative to conventional cotton because it produces three times as much fiber per acre.
- Bamboo – Bamboo fiber is spun from the pulp of bamboo grass and resembles cotton in its unspun state. Bamboo is considered a sustainable crop.
- Silk – Produced by silk worms primarily in China, silk is considered hypoallergenic because it resists dust mites.
- Syriaca – Syriaca clusters from the milkweed plant are paired with down to fill comforters and pillows. These products are marketed as “Hypodown” comforters and as being hypoallergenic.
- Kapok – The loft and feel of kapok fibers, which come from the seed pod of the tropical kapok tree, are similar to down and are used in pillows and comforters.
- Ingeo fiber – Ingeo is a synthetic fiber made from renewable resources, usually corn.
- Down and feathers – Down is the insulating layer of fine feathers found under the outer feathers of ducks and geese. It is often combined with a small percentage of feathers to fill comforters, providing lightweight insulating material.
- Organic Cotton: Organic cotton is grown and processed without insecticides, herbicides, or fungicides to control crop pests, weeds, and diseases achieved mainly through physical, mechanical, and biological controls. Organic cotton may be chemical-free, but its production still requires significant amounts of irrigated water (though on the plus side, water supplies aren’t at risk of being contaminated).
- Organic Wool: Organic wool production differs from conventional wool production in two important ways: the sheep cannot be dipped in insecticides to ward off pests like lice and ticks, and the grazing land provided for sheep cannot be overcrowded.
✔ Choose natural pillows – Avoid pillows filled with synthetic material like polyester fiberfill or memory foam. A natural pillow is made from down, natural latex, buckwheat, or other natural materials and is better for the environment, especially if the materials are grown and harvested responsibility.