I Gave My Home a Sustainable Makeover—Here’s How I Did It

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I wanted to create a home sanctuary that was just as chemical-free as the organic grain bowls I eat for lunch—but I’ll be real with you: Going non-toxic and eco-friendly in my space seemed impossible. How would I do it on a 23-year-old-level budget in a not that small, but pretty small Brooklyn apartment?

After a little self pump-up chat, I realized I didn’t have to change my entire way of living to make much-needed changes to my home (and for our pal, the earth). I also got to chat with Alexandra D’Andrea, co-founder of Avocado Green Mattress, a Los Angeles-based brand that started when D'Andrea and her husband were searching for a green mattress for their home that just didn't exist yet.  

"We assembled a small team with a deep expertise in technology, design, manufacturing, marketing, and customer service to create our first product and build our brand," she says. "We used our own modest funds to design an honest, simple product that’s unlike almost everything else in the marketplace."

If anyone knew how to help me take on my green-ifying adventure, it’s D’Andrea. “Old habits can be difficult to break. Especially in today’s world where it’s so easy to hit ‘add to cart’ without considering the true impact of our decisions—both on the people that are making these products as well as on our own health,” she says. 

"It’s so easy to hit ‘add to cart’ without considering the true impact of our decisions—both on the people that are making these products as well as on our own health."

So why not kick off my move towards a greener apartment at the place I love most? Yep, you guessed it, my bed. “A natural mattress is more sustainable and responsible," says D'Andrea. "After all, you spend roughly one-third of your life in bed, on a mattress. Ours is built to last, unlike so many things in our throw-away culture." I made the switch from my online-bought mattress to the Avocado Green Mattress, pillows, and mattress topper—and let me tell you, sustainable sleeps good. 

Alexandra D’Andrea, co-founder of Avocado Green Mattress.

After experiencing the bliss of sleeping on a non-toxic mattress—which in case you didn't know, features up to 1,414 fabric-encased innersprings made from recycled steel for proper support and Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) organic cotton and wool—I haven't looked back. 

Next, I took the inspo from my bed and used it to make over the rest of my apartment. I love to eat, and I'm also a creature of habit, so I bring the same lunch to work every day (don't judge!) in dingy plastic containers I find lying around in my kitchen. So I recently upgraded to a glass container set with all different sized bowls, and found out something important: glass is *way* easier to clean.

Then came mason jars and reusable straws, which are both total life-changers. Is it me, or does water and food taste better now? All of this led to the next important swap: Shopping bags. I broke up with plastic bags all-together and started using the million totes I have in my closet collecting dust, and finally put them to use for my weekly grocery hauls.

The last green piece of the puzzle was plants. While I still have ways to go in building my collection, I've made it a goal to utilize my backyard (yeah, I have one of those) and grow my own greenery.  So through a combo of upgrading necessary items—ahem, dream mattress—and deputizing items I already had, I pulled off the eco-friendly mini makeover I craved.

In partnership with Avocado Green Mattress

Photos: Avocado Green Mattress

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