How to Green Up Your Bedroom
You return to your bedroom at the end of a long day, after the work is done. This calm place becomes that much more tranquil if you fill it with earth-friendly pieces and textiles—you can rest easy know that you kept your footprint low when curating the room. Take the above oasis, created by Los Angeles interior designer Allison Ochmanek Boesch, for example. She used Benjamin Moore's no-VOC, allergy-and-asthma-friendly Natura paint in Moonlight White in this Pacific Palisades, California, home; the bed is made up with OEKO-Tex Standard 100 certified linen from Parachute. Looking for more ways to practice sustainability in your own space? Keep reading for more expert-approved tips.
Meet a New Mattress
The latest and greatest have Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certification, or Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS) certification for organic latex. Austin, Texas, architect and interior designer Laura Britt likes her IntelliBed (from $3,299, intellibed.com): "It's super-comfortable, and you can get wool toppers at different densities." Another plus: You don't need to flip most latex mattresses, and you can rotate them less often than innersprings (once or twice a year, as opposed to seasonally), since they bounce back like champs. Otherwise, just spot-clean any stains on the cover.
Screen Your Sheets
To know if they're organic and ethically sourced, look for OEKO-Tex Standard 100 (the same as for towels), Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), Cradle to Cradle, and/or Fair Trade certification on the label. Red Land cotton (from $30 for two pillowcases, redlandcotton.com) is grown in Alabama. Linen and hemp (except for white hemp, which is chemically bleached) are even stronger and have a smaller environmental impact. Rough Linen (from $36 for two pillowcases, roughlinen.com) and Area (from $80 for two pillowcases, areahome.com) are sturdy yet soft options.
Cover the Windows
Shades or drapes don't just darken your sleep space; they insulate it. Good ones can cut winter heat loss by up to 10 percent, and summer heat gain by up to 33 percent, per the U.S. Department of Energy. Look for styles with the Attachments Energy Rating Council (AERC) seal, which measures energy performance, like Hunter Douglas Duette and Sonnette Cellular Shades (price upon request, hunterdouglas.com).
Cull Your Closet
To build a timeless core wardrobe, says Jennifer Alfano of eco-fashion blog The Flair Index, start with a "radical, no-waste" clean-out: Resell or donate unsentimental items you don't wear, then shop strategically, replacing fast fashion with classic, high-quality pieces. It takes "saintly patience" to find the right black pants, jeans, or sneakers, she says. They're not exciting to buy, but if they make you feel great every time you put them on, they're worth the effort.