When you have overnight guests, providing them with a comfortable ‘haven’ is a wonderful treat for them. It will make their entire visit with you more pleasant if they have a place to comfortably retreat for some privacy.
Part of that comfort will be in the furnishings, such as the mattress, or even the temperature setting. However, if your guests have allergies or asthma, the definition of comfort takes on a whole new meaning. And, going ‘green’ is one way to help them. It’s not only growing in popularity, but it’s healthy as well.
I am going to share some ideas with you on how to give your guest room a green makeover, to help the environment, as well as your guests.
If you aren’t already going green when cleaning for the main living area, try it with the guest room to see how it works for you. Using natural ingredients such as white vinegar, baking soda, and lemon is a great alternative to the harsh chemicals often used.
Everything you need to clean can be done with the 3 ingredients I mentioned above. For example, baking soda can be used in a paste form to help remove mold and mildew. Lemon or white vinegar can be used to clean anything from windows, counters, window sills, and more.
Fortunately, the guest room is a low traffic room, so it doesn’t get the soiling and wear that the rest of the house does. So, cleaning is often easier.
Install New Flooring
If you are able to do a complete overhaul, flooring is something you need to consider when going green. Carpets are a haven for allergens such as dust mite and pet dander. Harder surfaces such as wood, tile, or bamboo are easy to clean and do not hold on to the allergens as carpet does.
If the harder surface seems too ‘cold’, you can always add a rug to warm it up. Rugs can also attract allergens, but are much easier to clean.
Whatever flooring you decide to go with, a Hepa-filter vacuum is a great tool in removing more debris and allergens than a traditional vacuum. When we purchased ours, I did a lot of research on the Internet to find one with good ratings and reviews.
Remove the Clutter
If you are like most people, then you probably double your guest room as a storage room. I can certainly understand being short on storage space, and if you need to store it someplace, that room is a convenient option.
However, the more you have in there, the more things there are to collect dust, as well as move around when you are cleaning. It also gives the appearance of being a storage room if your treadmill is being used as a clothes rack, or spare electronics are sitting around.
If you can’t find another permanent location to store all the unnecessary things, then at least find a temporary spot a couple weeks ahead of time, so the guest can feel more comfortable in there.
Switch out the curtains and drapes for blinds. The material of curtains and drapes is quite often a magnet for dust mites and other allergens. Unless the window treatments are easy to wash, and you actually want to wash them often, find an alternative such as bamboo blinds.
Blinds will still collect dust, but they are much easier to clean. Simply dampen a cloth with water and little white vinegar or lemon juice, and wipe down.
There are some healthy additions that you can place in the room, that serve a dual purpose. I believe in all around health, for the body and mind, and certain items can help with that in a bedroom, such as:
- Air purifier – Helps to remove allergens in the air, as well as provides ‘white noise’.
- Plant – A real houseplant can help produce more oxygen in a room.
- Humorous book – Placing a humorous book in the room, such as jokes, can lighten the mood.
These are just a few examples of what you can easily, and inexpensively add to the guest room, which are ‘green’, as well as healthy for both body and mind. Recently, I came across this Irish proverb and believe it sums it up nicely…
‘A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book.’
Eco-friendly Bedding and More
You might not want to go all out, with a new mattress, but if you do have to get a new one, get an eco-friendly and hypo-allergenic mattress. This will help with reducing allergens for your guests, and provide a nice place to land for a well-rested night.
The bedding itself is much easier to change, with bamboo sheeting, or organic cotton. The great thing about going green now, is the popularity allows for you to find items just about anywhere you go shopping. And, don’t forget the pillows.
I’m not necessarily talking about the actual hue, even though it’s one of my favorite. What I am referring to is painting the room with a VOC (volatile organic compound) free paint. These paints are considered to be safer, for both you as you paint, but also the environment.
As far as actual color goes, I have done a lot of research on colors and how they can affect moods and atmosphere. Some of the most soothing and relaxing colors are greens and blues…think nature.
It doesn’t matter if it is ragweed season, or any other allergen, if any of your guests suffer from allergies or asthma, they will appreciate the effort you put into making their stay more comfortable. And, it also is a good stepping stone to turning the entire house green.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jason Munroe is a freelance writer, who lives in Nevada with his wife and family. He often writes on topics that he has experience with, such as allergies.