Furnishing children's rooms are always a delightful activity, as they are the best rooms of the house to let your creative juices flow. If you are looking to decorate and furnish your child's room in an eco-friendly manner, here are five tips that will help you in doing so:
1. Use toxic free paints
Isn't it rather ridiculous to see people holding their breaths when painting their walls? If it's toxic then, imagine when you are sleeping at night, inhaling those chemicals! Look for paints that are free from VOCs (volatile organic compounds), as they are known to be carcinogens. Now there is even such a thing as milk paint (created with materials such as milk protein, limestone, clay and natural pigments), which is organic, free of VOCs and biodegradable -- the perfect eco-friendly combination! As a decor tip, stay away from darker colors for your child's room, and instead opt for pastels or light and fun colors. You can always get extra creative and paint designs, prints and landscapes on the walls to actualize their fantasy worlds!
2. Let the sun shine!
What is more eco-friendly to the Earth than appreciating and respecting nature's splendor? Having numerous windows in your child's bedroom will not only brighten it up but lessen the need to have the lights constantly on. Less electricity usage is not only eco-friendly but a good way to keep your electric bill from going over the edge. Decorate the window frames with lighter colors such as the traditional white or light blue. Windows will also incite your child's excitement to play outside with nature rather than be indoors all day, so it's a win-win situation.
3. Invest in organic sheets and bedding
The bed (along with the rest of the bedroom) should be the zone of comfort, so invest in top quality, organic bedding. Bamboo sheets are becoming increasingly popular for their high color retention, resilience and softness. If you choose to go with cotton sheets, make sure you choose organic ones, as the cotton crop is considered to be the most toxic crop on the planet due to its high levels of insecticides and pesticides (except the organic crops, obviously). Pixel Organics is just one of the many brands out there that ensures 100% pure organic cotton sheets with cute animal prints to liven up kids beds. Of course, do your research and make sure that the sheets your purchase come from sustainable sources!
4. Purchase recycled furniture
Many of us are vintage thrift shoppers when it comes to clothes and accessories, so why not for furniture? Not only will it leave less of a dent in your wallet, but you'll be saving perfectly fine, unique pieces of children’s furniture from the chipper. Recycled furniture is a definite eco-friendly investment because you are not encouraging more industrial production with your money. Start rummaging through yard sales, antique shops and salvage yards. A good coat of paint is magical (especially if you use VOC free paints!), so don't worry about the furniture pieces not being of the same color when you first choose them.
5. Pick sustainable, environmentally friendly materials for furniture, flooring and doors
In a world where so much of what we use is made of (or wrapped in) plastic, it's important to invest in renewable resources (such as wood) that are biodegradable to toxic clutter. If you want to build your child's furniture yourself, look for wood that has been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, the international organization that has developed sustainable standards for forest management. You'll be getting top-notch materials while making environmentally sound decisions. Don't forget that pictures and posters (as well as anything else you want to hang up on the wall) should also be made from as much natural material as possible. If you are extremely devoted to having an eco-kid's bedroom, find companies that print their posters with soy ink rather than the more common petroleum-based inks.
There you have it! 5 essential, eco-friendly tips for transforming your child's bedroom into their healthy and sustainable playroom.
Photo courtesy of Swiftorchids.com