Your bedroom may not be the first place you think of to reduce energy waste in your home.
After all, there’s much more potential for waste in kitchens, bathrooms, even your living room. But your bedroom still plays a part in your overall energy consumption, and making smart choices where you sleep can help you reduce energy waste in your bedroom.
- Choose an eco-friendly bed. Your mattress choice can make a difference in energy waste, as mattress production and disposal have an impact on waste. Look for a mattress made with natural materials, including natural latex or organic textiles including wool or cotton. As mattress disposal is an issue for energy waste, you should look for a high-quality mattress that will last you for several years. With a durable mattress, you can use your mattress for a longer period of time so you’ll contribute fewer mattresses to waste over your lifetime. When it’s time to replace your mattress, consider reusing or recycling materials to reduce waste.
- Use blackout curtains. Warm or cool air and light can escape or come in through your windows even when they’re not open. This is especially true if you have drafty windows or doors — which should be sealed up for greater efficiency. With blackout curtains, you can block some of the temperature from escaping or coming in to make it easier to maintain the right temperature in your bedroom. The curtains will retain the inside air while keeping outside air out of your bedroom so you’re not fighting the weather to keep your bedroom at a preferred temperature.
- Choose ecofriendly lighting. Look for bedroom lights that offer a dimmer, so you can easily turn down the lights at night. It’s a good idea to switch to compact fluorescent or LED lights for your bedroom and throughout your home, as these lightbulbs are more efficient than traditional bulbs.
- Use a fan at night. Most people sleep better when they feel cooler, but turning your air conditioning down to a low temperature at night can be wasteful. If you use a fan to promote airflow, you can sleep cooler without wasting energy at night. A fan can also be useful for white noise, which can make it easier for you to sleep.
- Consider used furniture. New furniture requires energy to create, but you can save that energy if you shop for used furniture to put in your bedroom. Used furniture may still be in good condition, and if you use a piece that’s already made rather than one that has to be made for you, you can avoid energy waste. Used furniture can be a healthier choice as well, as it has typically had plenty of time to offgas.
- Avoid carpet flooring. Although carpeting can be cozy in your bedroom, carpets can be wasteful. Carpets are typically made in a heavily manufactured process that can produce harmful chemicals. Instead, consider looking for floors made out of natural and minimally processed materials, including hardwood floors and bamboo.
Bedrooms typically aren’t the most energy-intensive room in your home, but they consume energy nonetheless. Take care considering how you can reduce the waste produced by your bedroom furnishings and focus on using natural, sustainable materials in your bedroom design.
Amy Highland is a sleep expert at SleepHelp.org. She loves taking naps during thunderstorms and cuddling up with a blanket, book, and cats.