08 December 2009

R3project round-up 4: the Bedroom

We listed everything we did in order to live a more sustainable lifestyle around the house, the kitchen and the living room, so this week we concentrate on the bedroom.

Because it is the place we probably spend most hours in, a third of your life they say, it is important for us to keep it free of toxins. Like for all the walls in the apartment, we used non-toxic, eco-friendly paints in the bedroom too. The floor is also the same as in the rest of the home; natural cork by Wicanders.

When it comes to furniture, all we have in the bedroom is the bed and a wardrobe. The bed is one we still had from previous places we lived in, so no need to throw it out. If you need to get a new bed though, look for FSC-certified wood for the frame and a non-toxic mattress.

The same goes for pillows. A lot of pillows are made from synthetic materials and often derive from petroleum, a non-renewable resource that is also extremely flammable; not exactly what you want to sleep on. In order for pillows not to be flammable, they are treated with brominated fire retardants, that have been proven to cause liver, thyroid, and neurodevelopmental toxicity. Another thing to watch out for with pillows is the allergies they might cause due to the house mites they can accommodate. We opted for natural latex pillows, but check out Planet Green’s guide to pillows for other eco-friendly and healthy options.

The wardrobe our carpenter Rodrigo crafted is made from OSB, an engineered wood that contains very little resin. You should still watch out that the resin it contains, generally under 5%, is not formaldehyde. If you are wondering what the humps on the outside of the wardrobe are; they are StuffBumps. The StuffBump, designed by Petz Scholtus and Graham Hill, is an eco-friendly storage solution, made in the prison of Barcelona. More information on Pöko Design / StuffBump.

As far as textiles are concerned, bed linen, curtains, etc., organic cotton is probably the most eco-friendly and also the best available option. TreeHugger explains:
Organic cotton is the version of its conventional counterpart grown without pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, chemical fertilizers or any other chemicals, and that makes it hugely different, especially considering that cotton (organic or otherwise) provides about half of all the world's fiber needs. Conventional cotton is one of the most chemically-dependent crops, sucking up 10 percent of all agricultural chemicals and 25 percent of insecticides on 3 percent of our arable land; that's more than any other crop per unit. […] 20,000 deaths occur each year from pesticide poisoning in developing countries, many of these from cotton farming, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Last but not least, use low energy light bulbs for your bedside table lamp and ceiling light. If you are interested in other products for the bedroom, check out Matteria’s good+smart textile section. To know more about how to detox your bedroom, go to Planet Green’s Detox Your Home: Bedroom.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Makes me want to just put my feet up and have a long, safe slumber.