April 16, 2010

Make Your Teen’s Bedroom Eco-friendly

The teen years are a time when individuality comes to the forefront. Teens love to express themselves, and helping them do that in a responsible way is healthy, and provides an opportunity to discuss sustainable living.

Self-Portrait #26

A teen’s bedroom is his or her personal space, so remodeling is a great way to get creative and give your teen a boost. And if the room is their design, maybe they will be motivated to keep it clean!

Here are some ideas on how to remodel your teen’s room in an eco-friendly way.

1. Decide on a theme or “look” together.

Sit down and discuss your teen’s interests, hobbies, philosophy, and so forth. Take the opportunity to discuss an eco-friendly lifestyle.

2. Set up a social space.

Teens enjoy having friends over, and they also enjoy communicating by phone, email, social networking, and so forth. To make this renovation eco-friendly, look for used furniture or make your own. Use old fabric or clothing to make throw pillows or beanbag chairs. Shop at thrift stores, antique stores, flea markets and so forth to find a small table, chairs, bookshelves. Set up the area so that your teen’s friends can gather to talk, snack, play video games, and so forth.

3. Fun lighting is a great way for teens to reflect their moods and express their inner funk!

Eco-friendly compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs) are available in all kinds of colors. There are even CFL black lights. Lamps and lampshades can be very creative, and lend themselves to eco-friendly projects. Use decoupage medium to paste colored tissue paper to a plain white shade. Decorate a standard lamp base with ceramic paint, beads, and other creative touches.

4. Decorate windows in ways that conserve energy while still being creative and individualized.

Consider filling jars with colored water and stacking them in the window. The water absorbs heat and acts as insulation, and it provides privacy and a creative look.

5. Put down eco-friendly flooring, such as modular carpet squares that can be recycled.

Or use throw rugs made from green materials, such as bamboo, jute, or hemp. If he or she is so inclined, your teen can also make a rug from woven rags, square carpet samples, and so forth.

6. Divide the room or hide cluttered areas with homemade curtains.

Tie-dye or batik an old sheet, or have your teen decorate the sheet with fabric paint.

7. Paint the room using eco-friendly paints, and let your teen choose the colors.

If your teen is artistic, let him or her use environmentally safe paints to create a mural on one wall.

8. Set aside a display area for your teen’s collections.

Make shelves from inexpensive shelf brackets and wood scraps, or obtain used bookshelves from second-hand stores or thrift shops.

9. Take the opportunity to give items away to charitable organizations.

Help your teen get rid of clutter by donating items that he or she doesn’t use anymore.

By following these tips, you and your teen will soon have a bedroom that your teen can enjoy and be proud of, knowing you’ve been kind to Mother Earth while redecorating.

Creative Commons License photo credit: r.f.m II

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Alexis Rodrigo

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