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10 Ideas for a More Sustainable Bedroom – Sustainability Series

The boudoir is the place for sleep and sexy times. Read on for ideas to make both more eco-friendly.


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Welcome to the 2021 sustainability series. This blog post series will show you how to upgrade your products and lifestyle to be more sustainable, room by room of your house. If saving money, using less, and incorporating sustainable practices into your daily life are part of your New Year’s resolutions, this series is for you.

We’ve talked about upgrading your kitchen and bathroom to be more sustainable, now let’s move on to the bedroom. Yes, that place where you spend at least one third of your life–most of it unconscious. 

Making your time in the boudoir more sustainable may not be immediately obvious. There aren’t a lot of paper products and consumables being used here that can be easily swapped out (big caveat here for my folks who like to eat in bed). Still, there are several areas where we can incorporate more DIY projects, natural materials, and sustainable products.

So, what goes on in the bedroom? For most people, the boudoir is the place for sleep and sexy times. Read on for ideas to make both more eco-friendly. 

Upgrade Your Sheets – When buying sheets, you want to look for high-quality fabric that will last a long time. With the amount of exploitation and pollution involved in the fabrics industry, it is also important your bedding was created with fair labor practices and healthy materials (for you and the workers).

My fabric of choice is linen bedding, as it’s cooling, long-lasting, and produced with less water and chemical waste (especially if you skip the dye) than most fabrics. (One linen shirt requires 6.4 liters of water, while a cotton t-shirt requires up to 2,700 liters.) The downside of linen is that it is priced as a luxury fabric.

The next best option is cotton. I have these organic cotton sheets on my bed at home. Make sure what you are buying is Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and Fairtrade certified. Learn more about sourcing organic cotton with the CottonUP Guide.

Invest in an Eco-Friendly Mattress – A mattress is one of the biggest investments you’ll make for your living space. Wouldn’t you want your mattress to be made from the best materials that will last a long time–even a lifetime?

Going through cheap mattresses will cost you thousands, never mind the environmental cost. Mattresses are some of the least recycle-able home goods, as few people are willing to buy a used mattress. (Bed bugs are not fun!) This means Americans “…dispose approximately 15-20 million mattresses and box springs per year,” according to the Mattress Recycling Council. Most of these end up in landfills. (Options to recycle your old mattresses are popping up!)

Traditional mattresses can contain chemical flame retardants (which are harmful to your health and don’t work–watch the documentary Toxic Hot Seat for more information) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) like formaldehyde. These nasty chemicals are off gassing while you sleep.

Look for 100% organic GOTS and OEKO-TEX®-certified materials, without chemical flame retardants and synthetic foams.

To be honest, I still have an old mattress that I’m sure is not the most sustainable, healthy option. I have my eye on the Happsy 100% Organic Mattress, which features GOLS organic certified latex, GOTS organic certified wool, and GOTS organic certified cotton.

Clear the Air with Houseplants – Reducing the amount of harmful chemicals off gassing into our homes by making smart mattress and furniture purchases is important. However, to a certain extent, VOCs and other potential harmful chemicals are just a part of life.

Luckily, many common houseplants have demonstrated an ability to capture VOCs from the air we breath, making them an attractive and healthy addition to your bedroom. There is some debate around the number of plants it would take to realistically make a dent in your home’s air quality (versus the controlled air of the lab). Either way, we love houseplants for trying.

Add Lavender Room Spray – While our plants are cleaning the air from VOCs and other chemicals, why not add something a little yummier? Lavender has long been heralded as nerve-soothing and sleep-inducing, making it the perfect scent for your bedroom. I spray lavender bedroom and linen mist all over my room and bed sheets every morning as I’m making my bed. I find the scent lasts until I lay my head on the pillow at night. This is an easy one to make yourself: refill a spray bottle with water and a few drops of lavender essential oil

Level Up your Scent Game with a Diffuser – If you want to level up from a linen spray, consider adding a diffuser to your bedroom to achieve all your aromatherapy goals. Diffusers vaporize water and essential oils to create an ambience of aroma that fills the room. I have this VicTsing Essential Oil Diffuser, but have been coveting this White Stone Diffuser from Vitruvi.

Light Up a Non-Toxic Candle – Most candles are made with paraffin wax, a byproduct of the petroleum industry and therefore usually the cheapest material. Burning paraffin wax has been shown to release harmful chemicals like toluene, benzene and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons–the same chemicals you might associate with a busy highway or a lit cigarette. 

Luckily, there are other options, like soy, coconut and beeswax. Soy wax, while much safer to burn than traditional paraffin, raises some concern about GMOs and sustainable growing practices. I go for beeswax candles whenever I can, which have the added bonus of having their own unique scent.

Ethical Pajamas – I’ll be honest, sustainable sleepwear for me has always meant wearing my old college t-shirts. The next most sustainable option is to invest in ethically made and organic pajamas. Some of my favorite sustainable fabrics make fantastic sleepwear, like organic cotton, linen and hemp. 

However, perhaps the most luxurious fabric to sleep in is silk. I have recently been converted to sleeping with a silk pillowcase, sleep mask and scrunchies because of silk’s skin and hair protective benefits. Why not upgrade the whole sleeping experience to include a silk pajama set? I say now is the time to invest in luxury sleepwear while we are spending so much time at home. The Ethical Silk Company makes beautiful pajama sets that are made from the finest mulberry silk (harvested after the silk moth has abandoned the cocoon) and is Fairtrade certified.

Silk pajamas from The Ethical Silk Company

Lube it Up – Some drugstore massage products/lubricants contain ingredients that may cause irritation (plus they come in plastic bottles!) I’ve opted for all-natural, coconut oil-based lubes instead. (Warning: oil can degrade latex.) Specifically, I love the brand Foria Wellness for their commitment to organic sourcing and sustainable packaging. Foria’s Awaken Arousal Oil with CBD is an absolute gamechanger.

Eco-Friendly Toys – When shopping for adult toys, it’s important to consider the materials with which the toy is made. After all, these toys are going in or around some of our most sensitive and thinnest tissues. Luckily, natural materials like stone and glass are some of the safest for several reasons. First, glass and stone are non-porous and easy to clean completely (bye-bye bacteria!) Second, they are naturally free of questionably-made plastics. Check out the Laid D.2 Stone.

Natural Latex Protection – There’s no getting around the fact that condoms are single use. Upgrade your pack to these natural latex condoms from Sustain. Natural latex is made exclusively from the sap of the rubber tree. Who knew?!

Have any other ideas for a more sustainable bedroom? I’d love to hear them! Follow me on Instagram for more sustainability tips and stay tuned for more in the 2021 sustainability series.

Ready to move on to the kitchen? Read how to upgrade your bathroom to be more sustainable.

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