Going Green In The Playroom

What better place to be green than in your child's playroom? For one thing, the materials you incorporate into the design will create a safe and gentle environment for children. But you are also giving your kids a wonderful example by making the effort to be conscious of your environment. Kids learn by example!

Reclaimed Wood

Working from the ground up, consider using reclaimed wood flooring or linoleum. Bamboo is also a great choice for playroom floors. Narrow down your choice by thinking about how long you expect the flooring to last and how much work and effort you're willing to expend to maintain them in tiptop shape.

Next on the list is your choice of paint. Today, numerous brands of paint have jumped on the eco-bandwagon. You can choose from names like Sherwin Williams, AMF Safecoat, BioShield, and Anna Sova. There is a very wide choice of green-crafted interior paints, both natural and synthetic in every color of the rainbow. These paints are formulated to be non-toxic and are both water-based low in volatile organic compounds (VOC).

Recycling is all in the spirit of being green, so haunt yard sales and thrift shops. These are great places to snatch up used furniture for furnishing your child's play area. Make sure that the items still conform to current safety standards.

Outgrown Clothing

Another form of recycling comes in the form of your child's outgrown clothing as a decorating medium. Take her favorite party dress or a favorite t-shirt that no longer fits and use the cloth to create throw pillow of various sizes. There is no such thing as too many pillows in a playroom. Not only are they decorative, but they provide comfortable cushions for relaxing with a good book or a favorite baby-doll.

There may be other finds, such as secondhand toys, that you can find at rummage sales. Make sure you inspect the toys with thoroughness—you want to avoid broken or even loose parts—and of course, give the toys a good washing before you let your child play with them.

In terms of lighting, think compact fluorescent light bulbs. These produce less heat and are longer-lived than other light bulbs. They are designed with an eye toward saving energy. Your child is going to spend a great deal of time in her playroom, so eco-friendly lighting makes sense. Of course, if there is a way to channel natural light into the room, that's the most eco-smart lighting you can get.