In these modern times, raising our children to be environmentally conscious can be a challenge. As parents, it is our responsibility to educate our little ones on how to make mindful decisions that can affect the environment. Aside from being good role models, we can also make their personal space more sustainable. Here are some simple ways to make your children’s room eco-friendly.
Go for a Minimalist Layout
Children don’t need a lot of furniture. Since they are naturally active, having a larger space to move around and play will benefit them more. When furnishing their bedroom, go for minimal décor to discourage consumerism and the build-up of unnecessary clutter.
Generally, your little one only needs a bed, desk, dresser, wardrobe or cabinet for their clothes, and few shelves or storage bins to keep their books and toys. Keep in mind that less is more, and it’s better for you to invest in items that your children can still use once they grow older.
Buy Eco-Friendly Furniture
Make sure to choose furniture made from renewable materials instead of synthetic ones. Bamboo is an excellent choice since it’s made from organic and sustainable materials. You can also go for furniture made out of reclaimed wood. Reclaimed wood is derived from old houses, structures, or factory scraps that can still be repurposed. When choosing new wooden furniture, make sure that the wood comes from sustainably harvested forests.
Use Recycled and Other Environmentally-Friendly Decorations
When decorating your child’s bedroom, consider using recycled or natural decorations instead of synthetic or plastic. Decorating together with your children can be a fun family activity. You can also teach them the significance of reducing their ecological footprint and why they need to minimize the amount of plastic they consume.
Ask them to go outside with you to look for natural resources. You can also visit a nature park to give them an idea of how they can decorate their room. By surrounding your children with eco-friendly furnishings, it will be easier for them to develop sustainable habits in the future.
Consider Using Plants as Décor
Another alternative is to use plants as decoration. Not only are they inexpensive, but they are also natural purifiers that can help improve indoor air quality. Some of the best air-purifying plants include snake plants, peace lily, golden pothos, bamboo palms, spider plants, corn plants, aloe vera, weeping figs, flamingo lily, English ivy, rubber plants, Chinese evergreen and dragon trees.
Choose Sustainable Fabrics
When choosing your rugs, carpets, bedding, cushions and mattress cover, make sure they are made from eco-friendly materials such as organic hemp. By choosing environment-friendly fabrics, you are minimizing the chance for your children to develop allergies.
Fabrics made from natural materials can also help your kids breathe better, thus allowing them to sleep more soundly. In addition, when choosing your carpets or rugs, make sure that no animals were harmed during the manufacturing process.
Use Non-Toxic Paints and Finishes
One of the easiest ways to update your little one’s room is by giving it a fresh color. It is important that you use organic and eco-friendly paint instead of conventional paints. Conventional decorative paint contains volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which, when combined with other airborne air pollutants, can cause unhealthy air.
Not only can they contribute to global warming, but VOCs can also cause shortness of breath, fatigue, headaches, eye irritation, nausea, skin problems, dizziness and even cancer, over the long-term. Ideally, the paint you use should contain low or no VOCs and have natural pigments.
Clean with Natural Products
When cleaning your little one’s bedroom, make sure to use natural and eco-friendly products. You can look for these cleaning products online or make them yourself. Most DIY cleaners aren’t even time-consuming to make, and using natural cleaners without any harsh chemicals is a safer option for your children.
Some of the most common and environmentally-friendly cleaning materials that you can use include baking soda, vinegar, soap, cornstarch, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, oxygen bleach, washing soda, olive or vegetable oil, white vinegar, lemon juice and citrus solvent.
Switch to Energy-Efficient Lights
Making your kids’ bedroom energy efficient will not only reduce your environmental footprint but will also give you significant savings. You can start by replacing your incandescent bulbs with light-emitting diodes (LED). LED lights are energy-efficient, can emit a high level of brightness, are more durable, can perform in cold temperatures, and operate on low voltage.
Choose Your Children’s Toys Carefully
When updating your little one’s bedroom, make sure to only fill it with toys made out of renewable materials. The majority of toys available on the market are produced from synthetic and plastic materials since they’re inexpensive and convenient for toy manufacturing companies. It is vital that you limit the number of plastic toys that you give to your kids and go for wooden toys or those made from sustainable materials. You can also choose toys that can help improve your children’s environmental awareness.
Teach Your Children to Use the Appliances Wisely
Aside from choosing sustainable furniture and room décor, you also need to focus on the devices and appliances in your kid’s bedroom. Make sure that all of the appliances are energy-efficient. Teach your children the proper use of their devices and how to prevent wasteful spending of energy resources.
For instance, whenever they use their air conditioning unit, tell them to let it warm up before lowering the temperature setting. Explain that they also need to turn it off occasionally to keep the unit from overheating. You can also teach them how to clean it properly and how to change the air filter. Teaching your kids the importance of using their appliances wisely will help them understand the value of taking care of their personal devices and property.
There are several ways you can create an eco-friendly and safe haven for your little ones. Aside from choosing natural and sustainable materials, it is also crucial that you educate your children on the importance of living a sustainable lifestyle and to explain why they need to be more conscious about the environment.