In a world of plastics and harmful emissions, making your bedroom greener is one of the best small things you can do to make a difference.
From decorating to furniture and mattress choices, eco-friendly options are available to slash your bedroom carbon footprint. You can also make a few small lifestyle changes for eco-friendly living around your home.
Here’s how to make your bedroom greener:
Bag yourself a natural mattress
Natural mattresses are made without chemical additives and contain minimal synthetic materials like polyurethane foams and polyester fibre.
A natural mattress has a lower carbon footprint than a regular mattress because they are made from sustainable resources. The natural fillings are also fully recyclable, so the mattress is less likely to enter a landfill at the end of its life.
Get a recyclable bed
You can’t go wrong with aluminium if you need a new bed frame. Aluminium is fully recyclable, infinitely recyclable (75% of all aluminium in circulation has already been recycled), easy to mine, and the most abundant metal in the earth’s crust – making it highly sustainable and an excellent, eco-friendly choice.
Not so keen on metal beds? Pine is the most sustainable wood, or you can go down the engineered/MDF route made from recycled wood. Oak is also sustainable but has higher emissions than pine and engineered wood.
Use natural, eco-friendly paint
While low VOC paints are less harmful to the environment than high VOC paints, you can go one step further with natural paints.
Natural paints are made from plant extracts and contain no chemical additives – so there are no VOC emissions. A few reputable brands include Farrow and Ball and Organic Natural Paint, with professional decorators rating them highly.
Pictured: Farrow and Ball, Colour by Nature Farrow & Ball’s latest collection of work collaborating with the Natural History Museum. Colour by nature is a collection that will please both the curious and the modernist. It brings together a range of colours that can work with both period and modern interior design schemes.
Choose sustainable wallpaper
If you go down the wallpaper route, choose wallpaper made from recycled paper – the higher the recycled content, the better!
If you can’t find recycled wallpaper you like, look for sustainably sourced wallpaper to ensure it comes from eco-friendly resources.
Another thing to look out for is the detailing – if it’s made from plastic, avoid it because it is near-impossible to recycle at the end of its life.
Buy pre-loved furniture
Pre-loved furniture needs a new home, and the emissions associated with its production are usually years or even decades old, making it a greener choice than new furniture.
Where can you find high-quality, pre-loved furniture? eBay, Etsy, and Gumtree are excellent online options, or you can head down to your local British Heart Foundation, Oxfam, or used furniture shop (nearly every town and the city has at least one).
Heat your bedroom with an electric radiator
Booting up the central heating to warm up your bedroom wastes a lot of energy because you will also heat your house. It is greener to heat your bedroom with an electric radiator, which you plug into the wall and set a timer.
Electric radiators cost around 50p to run for three hours following the Ofgem price cap increase, with a 2kW radiator sufficient for a medium bedroom.
Manage your electricity usage
There are several ways you can reduce electricity consumption in your bedroom:
- Charge your phone to 80%
- Switch to LED light bulbs
- Switch to lower wattage light bulbs
- Turn appliances off standby
- Turn down the brightness on displays
- Set timers on monitors and displays
These small changes could shave £30-£40 on your annual energy bill, offsetting some of the cost of heating your bedroom with an electric radiator.
Trap heat inside your bedroom
If your bedroom drops cold quickly, you are likely to heat your bedroom more often, consuming lots of energy. It is cheaper, in the long run, to make your bedroom retain heat, and there are several things you can do:
- Seal gaps between your door and doorframe
- Install thermal-lined curtains or thermal blinds
- Install insulation film on glazing
- Check windows for draughts
- Get a radiator cover (this will keep your radiator warm for longer)
If you enjoyed this article, read our nine steps to sustainable bedroom decorating.