Building an eco-friendly nursery involves more than buying a crib made from recycled wood, or making sure your baby uses only organic cotton sheets. A truly “green” nursery considers several ambient factors, such as reducing the amount of chemicals used in the paint on the walls, making sure the nursery has ample natural light and good ventilation. And that’s just for starters.
Here are a few helpful tips to creating a eco-friendly nursery that’s also budget-friendly.
1. Make the nursery flooring out of natural wood
Avoid using wall-to-wall carpeting. Instead, opt for natural wood floors. Doing so will help you minimize your cleaning efforts, since you won’t have any potential dirt traps. If you want to add a softening effect to the room, opt for fiber or natural carpets made from recycled wool, even recycled cork.
2. Use VOC-free, lead-free paints.
Make sure that the paint you use on your nursery walls is eco-friendly, or free of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s), which are substances that emit gaseous toxins that evaporate into the air. When inhaled by humans, these VCOs have been proven to cause a variety of symptoms, such as dizziness and headaches; long term effects of VCOs include cancers and heart disease.
To ensure your nursery is free from these harmful VCOs, only use paints made from natural raw materials. For example: Use soy-based paints from companies like Green Planet Paints or Serena and Lily Paints, which are completely VOC-free. It’s also recommended that you paint your baby’s nursery at least two months before you intend to bring your baby there.
3. Make sure furniture is made from natural wood
The main furniture pieces in your nursery would be the crib, the changing station, a set of drawers (for baby’s clothes), and perhaps a glider or armchair. When choosing furniture, make sure that it’s natural, solid wood that is free from formaldehyde resin glues. These types of glues — which give off harmful gas fumes — are typically found in cheap, factory-made furniture that’s made from fiber board or plywood.
Go for eco-friendly furniture by upcycling vintage furniture. A new coat of VCO-free and lead-free paint can really transform a piece of furniture. The Upcycled Home blog is full of ideas on how to repurpose old furniture so that it can be used as good as new.
Other helpful tips
Extra steps you can take in making an eco-friendly nursery include:
- Install energy saving light bulbs.
- Use only organic, naturally-dyed bed linens for your baby’s crib, and for the upholstery on your chairs and glider.
- Clean with homemade cleaners, which will not give off toxic fumes that can be harmful to your baby’s and your health. Vinegar, lemon juice and baking sode are great, on-hand cleaning agents that can do a variety of disinfecting jobs, too, such as cleaning diaper pails and changing tables.
- Make sure that plenty of natural light comes in during the day. For example: Build the nursery in a room on the side of the house that gets the morning sun. Not only will you save on energy, but the morning sun will actually be good for your baby’s health.
About Martine De Luna
I'm a freelance writer, editor, blogger and former preschool teacher. Married with one kid, I'm a work-at-home mom, but most of all, a mom-in-the-works. I'm a work in progress, and I believe that living intentionally day by day will help me become the best mom for my child.Web | Twitter | Facebook | More Posts (41)