The bedroom is not normally on most people’s green to-do list. However, there are a number of eco-friendly ideas that you can try in the master bedroom and your kids’ rooms.
- Get rid of the space heaters – You may want to eliminate space heaters just because they are a common source of house fires. But they are also a huge waste of energy, when an extra blanket would do just fine.
- Try bamboo bedding – Bamboo is now being used in textiles, with crop yields of up to 10 times more material than cotton. It’s organic, renewable, naturally antibacterial, hypoallergenic and completely sustainable. If you want to stick with cotton, please try organic cotton.
- Upgrade your window treatments – Good, thick blinds and curtains can block the sun and heat in the summer and keep out the cold in the winter. You will really see a difference in your heating and electric bills. Check with your community manager about guidelines before installing new window treatments.
- Use that ceiling fan - If you have a ceiling fan, set it at a low speed in a clockwise direction this winter. This should produce a gentle updraft, which will help circulate the warmer air from your heating system. In the summer, reverse this and set it in a counter-clockwise direction. This should produce a gentle downdraft, which will make you feel cooler.
- Buy used furniture – Look for treasures at backyard sales, flea markets or thrift stores. Find a nice antique piece to make a statement. It keeps this furniture out of the landfill, and with good care, can last a lifetime.
- Replace your old mattress - Don’t forget to turn and flip your mattress to get the maximum life out it. But if you decide you need a new mattress, try an organic cotton mattress. They still have metal coils, but they are filled with organic materials which last just as long. As a side benefit, eco-friendly mattresses tend to have less dust mites over time. And don’t forget to donate or freecycle your old mattress.
- Check your lighting – Replace all your incandescent bulbs with CFL’s or LED’s. The prices have come down and the quality has gone up. The bulbs will last 10 times longer, too.
- Reuse your clothing – Lightly used clothing can be sold or donated. Those old socks and t-shirts make great rags for cleaning. If you’re in the market for clothes, check out the local thrift stores. They are a great resource for kids’ clothing.
As you can see, these ideas should be easy to adopt in green apartment living. You will also sleep better at night knowing that you are doing your part to help the environment.