If you’re looking to lead a greener lifestyle, transforming your bedroom is a good way to start. After all, bedrooms are places to relax and take refuge in. By making them zero-waste, you’re just making them cleaner and healthier spaces i.e., free of toxins and bad chemicals. Fortunately, creating a zero-waste bedroom isn’t hard.
There are many ways you can go about it. Small changes go a long way to make your life more environmentally-friendly and sustainable. To help you out, we’ve listed everything you need to know about zero-waste bedrooms, including seven easy ways to make your room greener.
This is a guest post by Green Coast, a renewable energy and green living blog.
This post contains some affiliate links. This means if you choose to purchase one of these items I will make a very small commission at no extra charge to you. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.
What Is Zero-Waste?
Firstly, what’s zero-waste? Zero-waste is a movement that emphasizes the importance of resources. It encourages people to make lifestyle changes to support a zero-waste policy or goal.
Consequently, you can’t throw anything away. Everything has its use, including trash (plastic or organic). Through the zero-waste movement, you can think of creative ways to utilize your waste and lessen your carbon footprint.
Why Is Having a Zero-Waste Bedroom Important?
In this day and age, environmental sustainability is necessary. Our natural resources are depleting, pollution is growing, and the climate is constantly changing. Therefore, the zero-waste movement is very important.
However, you don’t need to dive right into a zero-waste lifestyle. It’s better to start small. and a zero-waste bedroom is just the way to do that.
What Is the ‘Five-R’ Principle?
In talks about the zero-waste movement, you may have heard of the Five-Rs. Before we get into our suggestions, it’s best if you know what these five principles mean:
- Recycle (separate plastic, paper, and metal wastes and/or convert them into something reusable)
- Reuse (upcycle old things and having broken items fixed instead of throwing them out)
- Reduce (reduce the amount of plastic, artificial, and inorganic things you use)
- Refuse (always say no to single-use products like straws or tissues)
- Rot (composting is your new mantra)
How to Create a Zero-Waste Bedroom: Seven Easy Tips
Here are our tips for a more eco-friendly and sustainable bedroom. You can easily incorporate these tips into your life using the ‘Five-R’ principle.
● Swap out your mattress for a green one
Most mattresses are made with synthetic filling. While these are cheaper, they tend to wear out quicker and release gases into the air.
Luckily, there are many affordable organic mattresses out there, made without chemicals and flame retardants. You can find reviews and buying guides for these online.
Here are a few organic mattresses worth looking into:
● Avocado Green Mattress – This amazing brand uses 100% GOTS organic certified cotton and wool and 100% natural latex. You can get one in twin, twin XL, full, queen, king and cal king size.
● Latex for Less – Amazingly comfortable natural latex mattresses, pillows and toppers.
● Happsy – Uses certified organic cotton, organic wool and organic latex. You can get one in twin, twin XL, full, queen, king and cal king size.
● Eco Terra Beds – These beds are handcrafted in California using natural, non-toxic materials like certified organic wool, organic cotton and natural latex.
● Zenhaven – Beds made from all-natural latex, 100% organic New Zealand wool and organic cotton. Made in America so much smaller carbon footprint!
● Plushbeds – This brand makes their beds from certified organic latex along with organic cotton and wool. They have organic latex + memory foam options. Made in America.
● Saatva – Voted the best reviewed mattress of 2019. Certified organic cotton covers and plant based materials. Inner springs are constructed from recycled steel. Eco-friendly memory foam layer.
● Brentwood Home – Made with 100% GOLS organic certified latex, organic cotton and natural wool from New Zealand. These organic hybrid beds are responsibly made in Los Angeles.
● Bear mattress – Designed specifically for athletes and active people in mind, these mattresses are made from CertiPur certified foam. The Bear Hybrid in particular is Greenguard Gold Certified by UL for low emissions for a cleaner sleep.
● Use natural fiber and organic sheets and pillows
Most cotton or wool sheets have chemical components such as formaldehyde, chlorine, and silicon. Make sure to get sheets that are 100% organic cotton. These are softer, longer-lasting, and easier to clean than chemical-treated bed sets.
Synthetic sheets damage oceans and other water bodies. Consequently, it’s better to have natural fiber sheets.
Some of the eco-friendly organic mattresses we mentioned earlier off organic bedding, pillow and sheets.
● Plushbeds – Offers sheets, protectors, pillows, and wool comforters.
● Avocado Mattress – Offers pillows, protectors, sheets and throws.
● Brentwood Home – Offers sheets, quilts and pillows.
● Happsy – Offers sheet sets and pillows.
● Latex for Less – Offers pillows.
● Reuse old clothes or sheets
Maximize your use of clothes instead of throwing them out after wearing them a few times. If they’re completely worn out, think of creative ways you can upcycle them. You can convert old T-shirts into pillow covers or even wall hangings.
For example, if the t-shirt has a band slogan, you can cut it out and attach it to your wall. You can think of ideas yourself or search online.
Multiple DIY websites teach you how to upcycle clothes and sheets.
● Buy things at thrift stores or second-hand stores
Thrift stores are more sustainable than widespread retailers. For example, fast fashion brands are responsible for a lot of environmental damage, which is why you should buy clothes at thrift shops. If you don’t want second-hand clothes, consider supporting local designers and clothes shops.
Retail brands produce cheap, synthetic clothes, meant to be disposed of after a few months. Consequently, second-hand or local stores sell better, longer-lasting stuff.
● Look at your bedroom furniture
Is your bedroom too cluttered? Consider giving some items away or upcycling them. If you have a broken shelf, you can easily get it fixed. Moreover, if you can reuse old furniture, do it.
Also, as mentioned above, shop for your furniture at thrift stores and antique shops. Older furniture has a far less carbon footprint than new furniture. Additionally, make sure your furniture is made with natural, sustainable wood or bamboo. These are some sustainable furniture options to consider.
● Get rid of all disposables
Don’t use tissues or single-use plastics. Instead, use handkerchiefs and lint-free cloths for wiping noses or cleaning dirt. Such cloths can be washed and reused over and over.
However, make sure to wash the cloths with natural and zero-waste cleaning products. You can either:
● Buy these from local zero-waste stores
● Make your natural cleaning soaps using simple ingredients (recipes are easily accessible online)
You can also use microfiber filters with normal detergent. These filters (also reusable) prevent toxic chemicals from spilling into the drain (and polluting the local water bodies).
● Don’t forget about lighting and electrical appliances
Of course, you need sustainable and energy-efficient lights and appliances. Again, we emphasize buying second-hand lamps and products. However, you can also look for appliances from environmentally-sustainable brands.
For bulbs, we suggest using LEDs, as these are highly energy-efficient. You can also recycle LED bulbs more easily than fluorescent bulbs.
Other Steps to Take
Keep in mind that your zero-waste bedroom is just the first step. There are many more things you can do to minimize your waste and subsequent carbon footprint.
● Minimizing food leftovers and scraps
● Making a DIY compost bin
● Carrying around personal mugs/metal straws to avoid using single-use plastics
● Donate leftover cooking oil (to be recycled into biodiesel)
● Carrying string bags/totes for your shopping
● Using zero-waste menstrual products
In essence, creating a zero-waste living space is about assessing your carbon footprint. Find out how much waste you leave, starting from your bedroom. Once you’ve done that, you can see how severe the damage is and decide which of our tips you can easily follow through with.
All of these tips are small changes, but they have a significant environmental impact. It’s easy to create a zero-waste bedroom, and we hope, through this article, you’ve learned more about zero-waste living and its benefits.
Guest Post: Green Coast is a renewable energy and green living community focused on helping others live a better, greener life. We believe that energy and green living has become far too complex, so we created a number of different guides to build a sustainable foundation. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter.