As a parent, you may be more concerned than ever about the future of our planet. While your time on Earth is finite, and you likely won’t live to see the worst of global warming, deforestation, and holes in the ozone layer, your children, grandchildren, and generations of your family yet to come will have to live with the consequences of your actions where the environment is concerned. For this reason you may have embraced a sense of environmental responsibility and started to make lifestyle choices that are more sustainable and produce far less waste and pollution. And your efforts could range from conserving energy and water at home to driving an electric car to purchasing organic food. Of course, you’ll also want to do your part when it comes to designing bedrooms for your little bundles of joy, so here are just a few essential areas to consider when it comes to decorating your children’s bedrooms in an eco-friendly manner.
Non-VOC paint. In case you didn’t know, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are often found in paint, stain, lacquer, and a number of other products related to home decor. And the reason you should be aware of this is that these harmful toxins can linger long after the odor has dissipated, polluting your interior air for years and causing all kinds of health issues, including respiratory disorders, headache, and nausea. VOCs have even been linked to some cancers and neurological disorders. The point is that nobody in your family should be exposed to them. And you can avoid them by seeking out products that eschew these potentially harmful compounds.
Reclaimed materials. Whether you’re installing wooden flooring, cabinets, shelving, or furniture, you should know that there are reclaimed options out there to meet almost every decorating need. These items are not only recycled, but they have often been refurbished. This means that they appear like new, they’ll cost you a fraction of what retail products might, and they won’t require you to participate in further deforestation in order to have the warm look of wood in your children’s bedrooms.
Organic linens. You might be surprised by the vast number of ways in which organic textiles are utilized. You’re probably aware that you can buy organic clothing for kids in order to avoid the chemicals that penetrate most plant fibers. But you can also find options for carpeting, drapes, bedding, and even mattresses. If you want to protect your sensitive and vulnerable tots from potential skin and respiratory allergies, going all organic with linens is a step in the right direction.
Second-hand furniture. If you’re not keen to pay top dollar for eco-friendly furniture, consider that used pieces can not only save you some money, but they also give you the opportunity to do some good for the environment. You’ll stop the linear production cycle that sends products from manufacturer to consumer to landfill by giving these furnishings a second life. And you won’t support further manufacturing and all the pollution and waste it entails.
Yard sale finds. Once you’ve got the basics of decor down, it’s time to fill your children’s bedrooms with items that will add some personality, and you can really go the extra mile with yard sale finds. A crib or play yard purchased at a yard sale can be updated with new padding and linens and a cool and kitschy lamp can be outfitted with an energy-saving CFL bulb. You can also find neat, old books and toys. Although some pieces may need a little TLC, simply keeping items out of the landfill is a great way to decorate children’s rooms in an eco-friendly fashion.