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RISMEDIA, Feb. 26, 2008-(MCT)-As the co-host of HGTV’s “Red, Hot and Green,” a contributing eco-columnist to several magazines and newspapers, and a consultant on many environmentally friendly product launches, lifestyle guru Danny Seo has “greened” countless kitchens, gardens, baths and second homes. Ask Seo which part of the house most demands to be green, though, and he’ll tell you it’s the bedroom.

“If you invest in making only one room green, it should be your bedroom,” Seo says. “You spend one-third of your life in bed, and a good night’s rest is tantamount to good health.”

We caught up with Seo earlier this month at the Las Vegas Furniture Market, where he was introducing his new Simmons Natural Care by Danny Seo mattress line. He shared a handful of tips on how to create a bedroom that’s not only good for the environment, but also good for your sleep and overall health.

1. Choose a mattress that stacks up. A quality mattress is not just the most crucial ingredient to getting good sleep; it’s also your best chance to introduce truly sustainable materials into your bedroom, he says. Consider three things when evaluating the green-ness of a mattress: the cover (is it natural, hypo-allergenic and at least partially biodegradable); the interior (ditto); and the foundation or box spring (is it made from recyclable and/or sustainable wood or other materials). Seo’s new Simmons mattress has a knit cover and an interior stuffing made of biodegradable yarn and soy-based foam, respectively.

2. Eradicate electronics. “Banish the Blackberry, the cell phone, the electronic alarm clock from the bedroom,” Seo says. “You don’t need the electromagnetic field or the noise distracting you from your sleep.” Sorry folks, that means the TV too. “If you’re totally attached to your TV, at least unplug it before you go to sleep,” he says.

3. Keep it clean. A clean, dust- and mite-free mattress and bed linens are essential for keeping your system free of harmful allergens. Look for mattresses that are hypo-allergenic and anti-microbial. The standard rule of thumb for linens is to wash them every four days. Recognizing that to be quite a demanding schedule, Seo offers this short cut:

“Every time you dress your mattress and pillows, wrap them with two or three layers of linens at a time. Every four days, you can remove the top layer to find a fresh layer beneath.”

4. Pillow talk. Also for the sake of cleanliness and health, pillows should be replaced or cleaned every two or so years. Another Seo short cut: “If you love your pillows and don’t want to get rid of them, freeze them overnight in your freezer. All the allergens and dust mites will freeze to death.”

5. Linens to look for. Seo says to “look for organically grown linens. They’re super-soft and free of the carcinogens that are sprayed on them in the fields, and wrinkles.” Seo loves bamboo sheets, which are naturally anti-microbial and luxuriously soft. “It’s not like you’re going to die from sleeping on non-organic sheets,” Seo says. “But you are wrapping yourself in this stuff for eight hours every night.”

© 2008, Chicago Tribune.
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.