An ethical bedroom
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Date: 15 January, 2008



'Massage oils can have a number of downsides as the oil is often based on petrochemicals.'

How to have an ethical bedroom and how to be greener with certain activities that take place in them. By Suzanne Elvidge

WARNING: This article contains adult content.

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Bedroom furniture

There is a wide range of ethical ways to furnish your bedroom, from water-powered alarm clocks to reclaimed wood furniture.

Less than 10% of wood waste in the UK is thought to be recycled.

However, there are a number of companies making beds out of reclaimed wood, from British reclaimed wood to reclaimed teak, including teak reclaimed from neglected houses. If you have a good supply of ethically-sourced wood, you could make your own bed (and lie in it) – you could even try a Viking bed.

If you are replacing an existing bed, see if anyone would like it on Freecycle.

Once you’ve got your ethical bed, you’ll need an ethical mattress. There are mattresses made out of organic wool, natural latex, organic cotton, horsehair or coir.


Growing cotton for sheets and duvet covers use high levels of insecticides and pesticides, so you might want to look at organic cotton.

There are even sheets made out of bamboo, which is a renewable resource and is very fast-growing, but I haven’t been able to track down a UK supplier (you can get bamboo towels woven in the UK, though).

As an alternative to duvets made out of synthetic materials, you could try silk or kapok-filled duvets.

But if the idea of silk manufacturing makes you uncomfortable (or if the prices are out of your range), what about a duvet made out of recycled plastic bottles.

And to finish off, keep your toes warm with a recycled wool throw or a bamboo blanket.


Eco-friendly nightwear ranges from comfy, through pretty to downright sexy and luxurious, and even recycled! And if this all leaves you a bit chilly, top it off with a bamboo bathrobe.


Candles can set the mood but most candles are based on paraffin, an unsustainable petrochemical.

However, there are sustainable alternatives such as soy-based, palm-based or beeswax candles. If you are concerned about naked flames, try a rechargeable LED candle.

Massage oils can have a number of downsides as the oil is often based on petrochemicals. There are antenatal oils and baby oils that are plant oil-based and massage oils that are fairly-trade, organic, plant-oil-based. You can even prepare one yourself using a plant base and essential oils.

Condoms can be eco-friendly too. There are vegan condoms containing no animal rennet, and fairtrade condoms using ethically traded rubber.

The latex in condoms is biodegradable but they should not be flushed down the toilet as they can end up in the rivers and seas and harm wildlife. Don’t forget to recycle the cardboard or paper packaging.

Lubricants may be based on petrochemicals so look out for plant-based gels and oils but only use water-based substances with latex – oil will damage the rubber).

Sleep well!

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