Sleeping Your Way to a Healthy Environment  by Joel Simkhai

don't know why Al Gore is making such a fuss about global warming. I can't imagine anything easier that doing my part against it. All it takes is for me to go to bed and sleep! How many of you out there knew that? For those of you who raised your hands, you can put them down. You're all liars.

All joking aside, it really isn't difficult to fight global warming from your bedroom. It might take a little more homework and research on your part to find eco-friendly materials but it will be worth it. By selectively choosing bed sheets and blankets, a few fish will be thankful that they didn't poison their water with cotton pesticides. In a remote forest, a tree is still standing thanks to a slightly used dresser.

While you may not be able to afford to go all-organic, here are some ways to help the planet from your bedroom from the pages of National Geographic. Some of the greener choices you can make on your next eco upgrade:

* Natural-fill, untreated mattress or pillow topper

o Conventional mattresses are made of petroleum-based polyester, nylon and polyurethane foam that, especially when new, may give off harmful volatile organic compounds, VOC's, associated with upper respiratory problems. Some mattresses are also pretreated with formaldehyde-emitting stain- and water-repellants whose manufacture releases perfluorooctanoic acid, a likely human carcinogen according to an EPA advisory panel.

* FSC-certified box spring frame

o When it comes to wood, the most verifiably green products are those that bear the Forest Stewardship Council, also called FSC's, label. These woods are responsibly harvested from well-managed forests. Choose solid wood whenever possible, as glues that bind plywood and particleboard cores can emit formaldehyde and other VOC's.

* Untreated, organic-cotton bedding

o Conventional cotton accounts for up to 25 percent of the insecticides used worldwide, and the runoff from nitrogen-spiked synthetic fertilizers, as well as heavy metal dyes, kills aquatic life. Chlorine bleaching releases carcinogenic dioxins. Permanent-press and stain and water-repellant finishes can give off gas formaldehyde, and their manufacture releases PFOA's into the environment.

* Natural-material area rugs and/or carpeting (installed with VOC-free adhesives)

o Conventional wall-to-wall carpeting collects dust, allergens and toxins carried in from outdoors. Its finishes, adhesives and foam paddings can emit numerous VOCs, including formaldehyde and toluene. Area rugs can be washed and kept in place with a natural rubber pad. They don't use VOC-laden adhesives, either.

* Natural-material pillow and/or pillow encasement

* Ethically sourced, VOC-free furniture (second-hand furniture, antiques, formaldehyde-free pressed wood, etc.)

* FSC-certified solid or pressed woods natural-material window treatments (blinds and curtains)

* Low or no VOC wall paints

* Window a/c unit with properly cleaned filter, if necessary

* Electronics turned off each night before bed

* Properly cleaned humidifier, used only when absolutely necessary

You can own an eco bedroom just but being slightly green. I don't mean painting your bedroom a new color, either.

For more information on National Geographic topics such as this, check out at sells a variety of magazines on science and environmental issues along with hundreds of othermagazines on any subject you choose. With an extensive list of magazine subscriptions to choose from and the cheapest prices available, they stand out from the competition.

About the Author

Joel Simkhai has published numerous articles on a wide range of topics related to magazine journalism. He is currently the owner of MagsForLess - a company that provides cheap magazines , and focuses on customer satisfaction.