Spring is the perfect time to detox your home and breathe a little easier. Today, we’re taking it to the bedroom to a clean and green home:

1. Sleep easy

A reclaimed wood bedframe, wool and cotton blankets and cushions make up the eco-green bedroom

When it comes to your mattress, you want to look for natural fabrics and natural materials. When shopping. look for companies that are making mattresses using:

— Natural latex, a thick foam made from the sap of a rubber tree. Make sure it’s not synthetic latex, which is made from petroleum.

— Or puregrow wool: This specific, trademarked wool comes from Oregon and California. These ranchers adhere to strict environmental standards. Wool is used in mattresses because it’s a natural fire retardant.

The chemicals commonly used to make mattresses fire retardant — PBDEs, or polybrominated diphenyl ethers — are linked to damaging effects on thyroid function and fetal brain development. They’re also suspected carcinogens. PBDEs are chemically similar to polychlorinated biphenyls (PBDs), neurotoxins that the government banned decades ago because of their health and environmental effects.

Mattresses and mattress pads treated with water- and stain-repellent chemicals, such as Teflon, are another health hazard. Teflon’s chemical building block, Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), is being investigated for toxicity.

If you already own a decent mattress and bed frame, consider buying a mattress topper, which creates a barrier between you and the chemicals in your mattress. A topper can be cleaned more often than a mattress, plus regular washing will deter dust mites.

Where to shop: For organic cotton and wool have a look at www.obasan.ca. You can also check out www.woolbed.ca and www.greensleep.ca.

2. Pillow talk

The key is to look for pillows made with natural fibres. Down filled pillows come with two problems, animals welfare is not taken into account in most cases and the feathers are usually doused with bleach and formaldehyde.

Where to shop: www.willownaturalhome.com or www.organiclifestyle.ca are good places to start.

3. Between the sheets

Have some fun with your sheets and go seasonal. In the winter opt for organic flannel sheets. They are cosy, soft and simply divine. In the spring, the light and breezy feel of organic cotton is a must, plus organic cotton is grown without harsh chemicals. On those hot and steamy nights, hemp is the best choice. I like hemp sheets because the more you use them and wash them, the more they look like vintage linen.

Where to shop: For organic flannel and hemp sheets, try www.rawganique.com or www.willownaturalhome.com. For organic cotton sheets, check out www.organiclifestyles.com.

4. Get comfy

Your duvet and comforter should be filled with organic cotton. It’s easy to wash, acts as an insulator and is hypoallergenic. Wool is another great alternative and will it keep you warm in the winter.

Where to shop: Check out www.allergybuyersclub.com, look for the Euphoria line of bedding.

5. Don’t climb the walls

You want to make sure that pretty new colour helps you sleep better. Chose low- or no-VOC paints. Hues in the green and pale blue palettes help to create a softer mood

Where to shop: Try Boomerang Paint, www.boomerangpaint.com, also available at Rona.

6. Walk the walk

Carpets make the room warm and cosy, but they also add to indoor air pollution by trapping mould, dust mites and dust mites droppings. Ew! If that’s not bad enough, most conventional carpets are made using synthetic (petroleum-based) backings and glues that also give off VOCs.

If you can’t part with you carpet, look for one made from recycled materials. Try an area rug if you simply can’t go without a carpet. Sea grass, coir (an all-natural item produced in the outer husk of the coconut) or jute (vegetable fibre that can be spun into coarse, strong threads) are my top picks.

Where to shop: For sea grass, try a big box store such as the Home Depot. For coir and jute, try www.selectrugscanada.ca or www.happyfeetcarpet.ca.

7. Light up your life

If you use your lights and bulbs effectively you will save on energy bills. Compact Fluorescent or LEDs are a great place to start. CFLs last 10 times longer than conventional bulbs. LEDs are more expensive but they are the greenest option.

You can also incorporate low-lighting options using energy-efficient light bulbs. If you’re on a budget and want a unique lamp for your bedside table, check out Ecobre’s fair trade, hand-hammered, recycled-copper lamps.

Avoid paraffin candles as they contain soot. If you love the mood of a dimly lit room but dislike the idea of compromising your health, try soy or beeswax candles. Look for varieties scented with essential oils and with wicks containing no metals.

To block bright morning sun and save energy lost through the windows, replace your curtains with insulated curtain panels, such as those available from Gaiam.

Where to shop: Energy efficient bulbs are for sale in any hardware or home design store. For candles, try www.wayoutwax.com.

8. Keep it clean!

Say no to harsh cleaning products. If you want your bedroom to smell wonderful, try lavender. All you need is a spray bottle, distilled water and lavender essential oil. Fill your spray bottle (12-16 oz.) with distilled water, add 12-15 drops, shake and spray. Lavender will not only give your bedroom a fabulous smell, but can help you sleep better. I spray a mist over my sheets and pillow before bed.

Where to shop: Try www.jardindusoleil.com. Lavender oil is also available in most health food stores.

Other tips:

Let the sun shine in! Open your windows for natural ventilation.

Bring plants indoors. Plants are really natural air purifiers. You can put them in just about any room in the house.

Go bare. Barefoot that is, keep grime and other nasty things out of your bedroom by checking your shoes at the door.

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