How to Make Your Bedroom Eco-Friendly

Improve the planet and your health, and get a better night's sleep, to boot, by greening your bedroom.

You will need

  • Organic bedding
  • Restored furniture
  • "Green" paint
  • Wood floors
  • Natural fiber rugs
  • Energy-efficient light bulbs
  • Dimmer switch
  • Cotton nighties

Step 1 Change your sheets When it’s time to buy new bedding, look for sheets made from organic or chemically untreated cotton, hemp, or bamboo, which even big wholesale chains now carry. And make sure your next mattress is made from organic cotton, wool, or natural latex or rubber.

Step 2 Buy pillows At night, rest your head on a pillow filled with natural stuffing, like feathers and down, natural latex, organic cotton or wool, buckwheat or millet hulls, or recycled polyester fill.

Step 3 Find old furniture Find old furniture at flea markets—it’s usually higher quality than modern stuff at comparable prices. Almost any piece can look brand new with a little work.

Step 4 Use “green” paint Go with paint marked low- or no-VOCs, meaning they don’t release the fumes from volatile organic compounds.

Step 5 Ditch wall-to-wall carpeting Ditch the wall-to-wall carpeting in favor of wood floors (recycled wood, preferably) and throw rugs made of natural fibers like sisal, bamboo, sea grass, and organic cotton.

Step 6 Dim all the lights Replace the light bulbs in your bedroom with energy-saving low-watt compact fluorescent ones, and install a dimmer.

Step 7 Sleep in cotton Sleep in organic cotton nightwear and you won’t spend your nights feeling guilty about wearing PJs made from pesticide-laden cotton treated with formaldehyde. Now enjoy sweet, green dreams.