Last week, I wrote a love letter to my bathroom. No, this isn’t a normal thing for me. I penned the missive hoping to inspire folks to lavish their lavs with amorous, eco-friendly makeovers for Saint Valentine’s Day. I realize that for many, this isn’t possible: A bathroom is a bathroom and aside from occasional yearly bubble baths and love song karaoke in the shower, it’s not a place that inspires romance.
For traditionalists, I’m turning my attention to a more typical room to transform into a "green light district" on Valentine’s Day: The bedroom. Before we get to the good stuff, let’s talk pesticides for a hot n' bothered minute. According to the Green Guide, it requires about 1.25 pounds of petroleum-based pesticides and fertilizers to produce a queen-sized, conventional cotton sheet. Of the top 15 pesticides used on cotton crops, seven of them are considered “probable,” “known,” “possible” or “likely” human carcinogens by the US Environmental Protection Agency. Not very sexy, eh?
There are plenty of chem-free bedding choices out there for those who have the tendency to dwell on groundwater pollution and genetic modification while rolling around in the sheets. Bedding made from organic cotton, bamboo, and hemp are the most common, consumer-friendly choices. Even though intensive amounts of water and some chemical treatments are required to produce some of these conventional cotton alternatives, their overall impact on the environment is much less devastating.
Okay, I'll stop being a tease. Before you hit the sheets with a special friend this weekend, check out these seven sexy, sustainable bedding choices. Can't say I've test driven them all, but take my word for it...
Get cuddly (or nasty) in these soft 100 percent organic cotton sheets from Gaiam. Each set contains a flat sheet, fitted sheet, and two pillowcases (except for twin set). The fabric is finished sans chlorine bleach or chemical finishers and is colored (natural or lilac) with low-impact dyes.
Organic Hemp Bed Sheets and Linens @ Rawganique (from $26)
Available in various soothing colors like Terra Cotta, Pistachio, Ivory, and Alpine Meadow, Rawganique’s crisp, cozy linens are made from 100 percent organic European hemp and are strictly sweatshop-free. Various sizes are available including duvet covers and shams.
Unison Larch Organic Pillow & Blanket @ Design Public ($45 - $85)
Robert Segal and Alicia Rosauer combine their backgrounds in textile design and photography for the Unison line of organic cotton bedding. The minimalist Larch blankets and pillows are nature-inspired and ideal for modern green homes.
250-Thread Count Bamboo Sheets @ Target ($14.99 - $59.99)
Always keen on green, big boxer Target has its own line of bamboo/cotton blend sheets. Available in various sizes and colors like Tan, Coral, Mint, and Ivory.
DKNY Pure Comfort organic cotton bedding @ Bloomingdale’s (from $69.99 – on sale now)
Fall in LOVE with the Pure Comfort line of 100 percent organic cotton bedding from DKNY. Colors include Air, Cloud, Dune, Thunder, Shell, and Grass. Available in queen, king, and California king.
Birdseye Cream + Wine Organic Duvet Cover @ Amenity Home ($250 – 280 – on sale now)
I’ve written about Amenity Home bedding in the past and I’ll give it praise again: This duvet cover (available in queen and king) is made from 300-thread count, SKAL-certified organic cotton and printed with nontoxic dyes. All Amenity bedding is sewn and printed in Los Angeles.
Two Turntable Organic Sheet Set @ PBTeen ($32-$139)
No need to get all frilly for Valentine's Day. These masculine, quirky organic cotton sheet sets from PBTeen (that's Pottery Barn) are consenting adult-friendly as well. Ideal for bachelor pads, the sets (available in full, queen, or king) are Oeko-Tex certified.