We hope your day is as good as this…
Every year students all across the country make the big move to college. This move is often the first chance to live away from home. Setting up a dorm is no small task, especially for the first semester. It is important to make your dorm room a comfortable place to study, sleep and hang out. Why not make your room into a more earth-friendly place by making conscious decisions? All it takes is a little creativity, effort, and a few tips and tricks.
Use reusable packing materials. Transport clothes and other items in laundry baskets, bags and suitcases. Be sure to recycle any boxes you used for moving.
2. Electronics and Appliances
Dorm rooms are usually stuffed with all types of electronics and appliances: Computers, printers, TVs, DVD players, sound systems, alarm clocks, mini fridges, microwaves and more. Talk to your roommate about who brings what so you aren’t doubling up. When buying electronics or appliances look for higher ENERGY-STAR-Certified ratings. ENERGY-STAR is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy that rates electronics and the amount of energy that they use to help consumers purchase items that do not use excess amounts of electricity. Be sure to turn off all electronics when not in use. Also, plugging electronics into power strips is a great solution to easily turn off multiple electronics at once. Choose electronics that serve multiple purposes, such as an alarm clock that’s also a speaker and charger for an iPod or iPhone. A laptop with a large screen that can act as not only a computer but a TV and DVD player, too.
Most dorm rooms come furnished, but can often be lacking key pieces such as chairs or bookshelves. If possible, look for second-hand or recycled products made from sustainable processes and materials. The typical particleboard furniture found in dorms can contain formaldehyde and other chemicals that can offgas and pollute indoor air so steer clear of them when you can.
Replace standard incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent light bubs or LED lights, which consume less energy and last longer than standard bulbs, as well as giving off better light to allow for the better studying.
5. Air Quality
Improve air quality in the dormand add some appeal by having a green plant or two. The plants help to absorb unwanted airborne gases and brighten up your surroundings. A trip to your local nursery can help you pick out a plant that will thrive indoors in low-light conditions.
6. Bed and Bedding
It is essential for students to have a good night’s sleep to help keep the brain fresh and ready to learn. To make a good night’s sleep possible, be sure to have a comfortable and natural mattress and bedding that doesn’t offgas toxic chemicals. We offer several economical options of organic mattresses, including the Midori – one of our classic mattresses – available in Twin XL, which fits most form beds.
MSRP (mattress only): twin $1295• twin XL $1395• full $1695 • queen $1995 • king $2695
Foundation sold separately
If you can’t change out your mattress, invest in a Mattress Barrier Cover, which encases the entire mattress to protect from bed bugs and dust mites, reducing allergens.
Bedding is just as important as a mattress, since it needs to be comfortable and made without the use of chemicals. Pick soft and luxurious organic cotton sheets and all season wool comforters. You can choose a duvet made with color grown cotton to add some color but make sure it is organic.
Click HERE for more information on OMI mattresses and bedding.
Many students want to make their dorm rooms comfortable and homey. Rather than buying all new decorations, choose items from your bedroom at home and revamp them to better fit the dorm. Use material from a favorite shirt or old curtains to cover corkboards, creating an area to hang pictures, notes and other items and add color. Coordinate with roommates to get complimentary organic duvet covers and cover you thrifted loveseat with matching sheets.
Find more tips and useful ideas by going to Teens Turning Green’s ‘Project Green Dorm’ website HERE. Enter their challenge for a chance to win OMI products as well as many other fabulous and green prizes!
Once upon a time the saying “Sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite” was a cute and loving way of saying “sleep safe”. Today it is more of a warning, as bed bugs have invaded and the United States is facing a national infestation. According to Smart Style Living, “The incidence of bed bug infestation has risen 500% in the last few years alone, and they’re not just in dirty hotels – they’re at the 5-star ones as well and swarming the public places you visit every day.” They’re in clothing stores, movie theaters and the public places we visit daily.
Bed bugs are small pests that feed on human and animal blood, causing itchy and irritating bites. The bugs can be as small as the size of a pinhead or as big as a penny. Bed bugs are nocturnal and avoid light, therefore they come out at night to feed off people or animals.
According to the EPA, identifying a bed bug infestation is not as simple as seeing bites on your skin. Bites on the skin are a poor indicator of a bed bug infestation. Bed bug bites can be misidentified, which gives the bugs time to spread to other areas of the house. Bed bug bites can look like bites from other insects (such as mosquitoes or spiders), rashes (such as eczema or fungal infections), or even hives. Some people do not react to bed bug bites at all.
A far more accurate way to identify a possible infestation is to look for physical signs of bed bugs. For example, spots on bedding, as described below, are one of the earliest and most accurate methods.
When cleaning, changing bedding, or staying away from home, look for:
When not feeding, bed bugs hide in a variety of places. Around the bed, they can be found near the piping, seams and tags of the mattress and box spring, and in cracks on the bed frame and head board.
For more information on bed bugs, visits the EPA Website HERE.
To protect yourself, your family and your organic mattress and pillows from invaders like bed bugs invest in an organic cotton mattress and pillow barrier covers. Our barrier covers are made from tightly-woven 100% certified organic cotton and closes with a heavy-duty zipper. Unlike similar synthetic products, our soft, breathable organic cotton barriers offer a more healthful sleep. Available in different depths and sizes to meet your specific needs.
OMI Mattress Barrier Covers Prices Starting at $195
OMI Pillow Barrier Covers Prices Starting at $52
For more information on the OMI products, visit our website HERE.
Introducing OMI’s two newest products, which debuted at the Summer Las Vegas Market: the Lago Nouveau and the Wave pillow top.
The OrganicPedic Lago Nouveau is a two-sided, 10” sculpted-surface mattress made with a 6” core of firm 100%-natural rubber latex under an internal, soft, sculpted-surface layer, and covered with our innovative new knit cushion quilting.
Features and Benefits
MSRP (mattress only): twin $3495• full $4195 • queen $4295 • king $5595
Foundation sold separately
Wave Pillow Top
The new Wave pillow top is made of 3” of 100%-natural rubber latex encased in certified organic cotton knit fabric. The Wave features a sculpted surface to provide comfort for sleepers with pressure-point issues. This comfortable and resilient natural-rubber pillow top provides added surface depth for sleepers, but does so with more firmness than the wool toppers without reducing the support of the mattress.
MSRP: twin $745• full $895 • queen $1095 • king $1225
Both the Lago Nouveau and the Wave pillow top are now available. For more information on new OMI Products, click HERE
National Sleep Foundation 2012 Bedroom Poll discovered that most consumers are not getting good sleep every night.
When polled the participants were asked, “How many nights can you say, I had a good nights sleep?”
Every night/ almost every night 34%
A few nights a week 42%
A few nights a month 12%
The survey shows us how only one-third of consumers say they are getting a good night sleep every night or almost every night. The big number that gets overlooked is the two-thirds of consumers that are not getting a good night sleep. And almost one in four consumers are getting a good night sleep just a few nights a month, or less.
What category does your sleep fall into? If you are like 2 out of every 3 consumers that does not get a good night sleep every night, it is time to consider getting a comfortable bed that allows for proper support and comfort. Visit an OMI retailer to help you get a great night of sleep every night, check HERE for locations near you.
If a full night of sleep is not reason enough, take these health benefits into account:
A study found that C-reactive protein, which is associated with heart attack risk, was higher in people who got six or fewer hours of sleep a night. Inflammation is linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, and premature aging. Research indicates that people who get less sleep—six or fewer hours a night—have higher blood levels of inflammatory proteins than those who get more.
Better Weight Control
An earlier bedtime can help boost your diet. Researchers at the University of Chicago found that dieters who were well rested lost more fat—56% of their weight loss—than those who were sleep deprived, who lost more muscle mass. (They shed similar amounts of total weight regardless of sleep.) Dieters in the study also felt hungrier when they got less sleep.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported in 2009 that being tired accounted for the highest number of fatal single-car run-off-the-road crashes due to the driver’s performance—even more than alcohol! “Sleepiness is grossly underrated as a problem by most people, but the cost to society is enormous,” Dr. Rapoport says.
“Sleeplessness affects reaction time and decision making.” Insufficient sleep for just one night can be as detrimental to your driving ability as having an alcoholic drink.
Your mind is surprisingly busy while you snooze. During sleep you can strengthen memories or “practice” skills learned while you were awake in a process called consolidation. “If you are trying to learn something, whether it’s physical or mental, you learn it to a certain point with practice,” says Dr. Rapoport, who is an associate professor at NYU Langone Medical Center. “But something happens while you sleep that makes you learn it better.” In other words if you’re trying to learn something new—whether it’s Spanish or a new tennis swing—you’ll perform better after sleeping.
Remember to visit an OMI retailer soon to find a mattress that will not only make you sleep soundly, but safely.
Infants, toddlers and children spend anywhere from 35% to 50% of their time sleeping during their developmental years. An organic crib or youth mattress from OMI will provide your child with the most comfortable and healthful sleep environment imaginable.
Our organic crib mattresses and youth bed are the purest you can buy, with no compromises in materials or construction. As with all our organic mattresses, our organic crib mattresses carry a 20-year limited warranty, and they meet the GREENGUARD® product emission standard for children.
Organic Quilted Innerspring Crib Mattress
A super-firm 780-coil innerspring assembly is covered with 100% certified organic cotton and organic Eco-Wool™ padding, then hand-tufted between four layers of certified organic cotton fabric. Our innerspring crib mattress offers a comfortable and truly non-compromising organic mattress that is built to last. The dimensions of our crib mattress are 28″ x 52″ x 6″.
Natural Rubber Crib Mattress
The choice for baby when parents are concerned about dust mites or wish to give baby a metal-free bed. Our extra-firm 100%-Natural Rubber Crib Mattress offers a comfortable, solid support, and will last for years. Great for cribs that convert to toddler beds. The dimensions of the standard crib mattress are 28″ x 52″ x 6″.
MSRP (crib mattress only): Natural Rubber $595 • Innerspring $495
Oval Crib and Bassinet Mattress
A new version of our classic Natural Rubber Crib Mattress. We have designed these oval crib and bassinet mattresses to fit popular oval cribs, such as the Stokke® Sleepi™ and Stokke Sleepi Mini™. These mattresses offer firm support and comfort that will last for years. The dimensions of the bassinet are 23” x 29” x 2.5” and the oval crib 27” x 47” x 4”.
MSRP (mattress only): Oval Crib $399 • Bassinet $199
Once your child is ready for his or her own “big kid” bed, the youth bed makes a great transition.
The OrganicPedic® Youth Bed is a two-sided, 4” flat-surface mattress. Optional natural rubber topper offers surface softness as children grow. Available in twin and twin XL, this mattress is made with a single core of 100%-natural rubber latex and covered with our signature OrganicPedic® knit quilting.
MSRP (mattress only): twin $1295 • 2″ topper $395 Foundation sold separately.
For more information on OrganicPedic® mattresses, click HERE.
In honor of Friday the 13th here is a guest blog, from our sister company Lifekind, with 13 scary facts about conventional mattresses.
It makes sense that an organic mattress would use organic cotton, but beyond that, most people may not be aware of many reasons that organic mattresses really are so much better than conventional mattresses. Lucky for you, we are experts in this area, and can break it down for you.
Warning: If you’re unsettled by things that are creepy, crawly, or contaminated, do not read before going to bed!
1. Bed bugs, dust mites, mold, and germs love your mattress Bed-bugs and dust mites love to live in the dank, dark inside of a mattress. The environment also provides the perfect environment for molds & fungi to thrive in, along with bacteria, viruses, and contagious diseases. Because conventional mattresses are typically made with man-made materials like polyurethane foam, they don’t have the inherent dust-mite resistance that is a feature of the 100%-natural rubber latex used in the organic mattresses we make at Lifekind.
2.Your new mattress may not be new Conventional mattresses can be sold, used, returned, and then resold as “factory seconds” or “refurbished.” Even when they are “sterilized” with chemicals, many nasty things can be left behind. A Dateline investigative report found bed bugs in all stages of life and death, blood, numerous forms of fungi and mold, and occasional traces of urine and fecal matter in refurbished mattresses that were in the same factory and sales-floors as new mattresses. Only 26 states have laws on selling refurbished mattresses, and the government isn’t setting a standard on proper sterilization, which means it’s up to the mattress builder to determine whether or not a mattress is sterilized. In the Dateline report, all of the mattresses tested were contaminated.
3. It’s pumped full of hazardous chemicals Even if your mattress is brand new and uncontaminated, you’re not in the clear yet. Did you realize that formaldehyde and boric acid are just two of the chemicals commonly used in the manufacture of conventional mattresses? When Walt Bader, our CEO, was writing his book Toxic Bedrooms, he had a memory foam mattress tested by an independent lab and it emitted 61 VOC chemicals? The chemicals used in your new mattress can aggravate allergies, cause respiratory irritation or bronchitis, affect your hormone levels, and even limit the amount of oxygen your body is able to absorb. Some chemicals are known carcinogens, endocrine disruptors and reproductive toxins, with warning labels advising “Caution – do not inhale,” “Use in a well-ventilated area,” “Can cause irritation,” or “Avoid contact with skin.”
4. It can adversely affect the quality of your sleep and health Cellular repair, rejuvenation, growth and healing all take place while you sleep. The chemicals that are used in the manufacture of conventional mattresses can cause all kinds of discomfort, and even illness. The range of symptoms can be as varied as the people affected, but one thing is for sure: If you’re sleeping on a toxic mattress, you’re not experiencing optimal health. For more details about the effects of sleeping on a toxic mattress, check out chem-tox.com
5. The bed you sleep in can harm future generations through inherited toxicity Even if you’re one of the lucky ones that are totally unaffected and have children who sleep well without allergies or complaints, you can be certain that your grandchildren will show detectable amounts of harmful chemicals – even before birth! Scientists have confirmed that chemical fire retardants, such as those used in conventional mattresses, have been measured in pregnant mothers and passed through the placenta to their unborn babies. The danger of these chemicals is that they build up and remain in fatty tissue for years, waiting to be shared with your growing baby. Even if you aren’t experiencing any symptoms, there’s no way to know how three generations of built-up toxic chemicals will affect your grandchildren.
6. Suspected to contribute to SIDS A toxic crib mattress is definitely not what you want your brand new baby to start life on. Many of the chemicals used to manufacture crib mattresses, including chemical flame-retardants, are suspected to contribute to SIDS – a logical assumption. Taking into consideration that babies have less mass overall, breathe faster, sleep more, and can’t communicate sources of irritation except by crying, they are by default more sensitive to toxic chemicals. Although research supporting this fact is shunned in general by the mattress and medical communities, common sense and anecdotal evidence from astute parents should not be ignored. Besides, how many mothers wouldn’t rather be safe than sorry?
7. Not actually built to last… It only makes sense that in order to stay in business, a company must sell more product. Unfortunately, many mattress manufacturers prey on their best customers by employing a trick called “built in obsolescence”. They basically build a product that is meant to wear out at a certain time interval (often using cheaper materials that will break down more quickly), which forces the customer to pay good money to purchase another mattress from them. (So how do we stay in business? We focus our marketing on consumers that don’t yet know the benefits of organic mattresses, and we use the best salespeople on the planet: customers who love their organic mattress are always sending their friends and family our way!)
8. …Except that they last FOR-EV-ER And not in the “super plush and comfy for a hundred years” kind of forever (see Scary Fact #7), but they will last forever in our landfills. Even with mattress recycling being fairly effective, there are only 11 mattress recycling facilities in the entire country. This means that most mattresses end up in the landfills (to the tune of 10 million mattresses a year!) The polyurethane foams and synthetic materials and fibers that are used in the construction of conventional mattresses are not biodegradable, which means that they will be polluting our Earth for generations to come.
9. Damaging to our natural resources Commercially grown cotton is a huge offender in polluting the natural world, as are the toxic components used in polyurethane foam and the petrochemical, plastic-based fillers commonly found in, and on, conventional mattresses. Many people are unaware that cotton is treated with substances such as formaldehyde even before flame retardants come into play, not to mention the harm that GMO crops and pesticides cause the environment. The production and processing of conventional products is known to cause harm to the environment, and is thought to contribute to global warming.
10. The chemicals can cause irreparable harm to wildlife The chemicals used in conventional mattress construction that can harm human health are also harmful to wildlife and pets. Many people recall how the harmful pesticide DDT was an effective bug killer, but that it was also responsible for the deaths of thousands of birds and fish that ate the poisoned bugs, prior to being banned in the 70s. Clearly our precious wildlife doesn’t have the option to choose organic, nor do they have the option to relocate beyond nature.
11. Built with sweatshop labor and shipped halfway across the world Laborers in third world countries build thousands of mattresses daily, working for wages that are a fraction of what a U.S.-based company, paying fair wages, pays their workers. The finished mattresses are then shipped halfway across the world, subject to fumigation, and sold in American stores. Basic economics has taught us that price is a huge reason why we choose to purchase an item in the first place, so companies will go to great lengths to make the cheapest product possible. More often than not, products imported from overseas are sold for a fraction of what a U.S.-based company paying fair wages is able to sell its products for, which is great for the guy profiting off of these mattresses. Even when mattresses are made in the U.S., it’s important to be sure the raw materials are U.S.-grown also – otherwise you’re missing a huge opportunity to improve your own economy.
12. Every “vote” for conventional mattresses perpetuates the problem Beyond economics and financial support, it’s important to realize that every dollar spent makes a difference. You wouldn’t cast a ballot in favor of increasing pollution, or to support foreign labor or poor health. However, that’s what happens when you vote with your dollars and purchase mattresses made with conventional methods. Every dollar that goes towards the conventional mattress industry encourages their practices, strengthens their lobbying power and keeps the public uninformed and in a potentially dangerous position. Every time a consumer selects a more healthful choice, we can chip away at the old-boys club that is the mattress industry.
13. We don’t know what we don’t know… Even all of this information is just the tip of the iceberg, a scattered few facts that reflect the limited tests and research that have been done concerning conventional mattresses. Most of the chemicals used have been deemed safe by default, since they are already in products, but lack the research to show what the long-term or more immediate effects are. Mattresses are today, where cigarettes were 50 years ago. As our knowledge increases about the chemicals used in conventional mattresses, we are sure to learn even more dangerous effects they could have on consumers.
It’s a scary thought that your mattress, which should be a safe-haven in your home, could actually be bad for you.
We at OMI wish you a happy 4th of July! May we continue to celebrate all the nations of this world.
Enjoy this video tribute to Independence Day.
Have a fun and safe holiday!
Rather than Hot Potato, try Cold Potato for a refreshing game. Use a pin to poke a hole in a water balloon, then fill it with water and make sure the balloon has a slow but steady leak. Have everyone get into a circle and toss the leaky balloon from one player to the next, spraying everyone in the process. Be sure to toss it quickly, as the goal of the game is to pass the balloon before it runs out of water.
Play Marco Polo Without a Pool
Don’t have a pool? No problem. Put a twist on this classic and it becomes a cool backyard game on a hot day. Decide who will go first and blindfold that person or have them keep their eyes closed. The searcher should be armed with a water gun. Have the searcher turn around and count to 10, while the other players silently move to new locations in the backyard. When the counting ends, the searcher calls “Marco” and the other players respond with “Polo” while moving about the yard. When the searcher successfully shoots a player with water, it’s time to switch roles.
Play a Game of Splat
Fill a dozen water balloons and then draw a large target on your sidewalk or driveway and mark the rings of the target with point vaules. Take turns throwing the water balloons at the target and calculate the points to see who can get the most points to see who won.
Create your Own Water Park
Get out the hose and fill up the plastic pool, spread out the Slip ’N’ Slide, or turn on the sprinkler to turn your back lawn into your own private water park. Set up an obstacle course with pool toys, lawn chairs, baby pools and sprinklers, and let the games begin! Have people on the sidelines of the obstacle course toss water balloons for an extra challenge. However you play, just have fun!
Have a Car Wash
Put on your bathing suits and have kids wash the cars or their bikes. Have a couple of buckets and plenty of rags. Let the kids go to town and hey, if a water fight breaks out, it’ll be a great time to bond.
Visit your Local Farmers Market
This is a fun way to purchase produce that allows you to visit and talk to farmers that grow the food. Buying locally not only helps sustain your local economy, it lessens the impact the shipping industry has on the environment. Farmer’s Markets tend to have local artisans and activities for children, making it a fun trip rather than a boring trip to the grocery store.
Serve Up Indoor Volleyball
Or more accurately, volley feather. Give everyone a large feather (you can find them in the craft aisle of major superstores or even outside, if you’re lucky) and see who can blow the feather overhead for the longest time. Once you’ve got the hang of making the feather float, play as a team and try to pass a feather back and forth between players without letting it fall to the ground.
Play Hide-and-Seek With Stuffed Animals
In this new edition, stuffed animals do the hiding while you and the kids do the seeking. Everyone gets one stuffed animal. Split up and hide the stuffed animals anywhere in the house (or pick one room if you’re playing with younger kids). Then, each searches to find the others’ hidden objects. When you’ve found a hidden animal, take it and put it in a new hiding spot for them to find — the kids should do the same with yours. Continue playing for as long as you all are having fun.
Act it Out
It’s easy to pop in a movie and relax in front of the tube, but that’s not how memories are made. Instead, take turns acting out your favorite flicks as one-person plays. Set a five-minute limit and watch the plot unfold. Help the kids dress up using clothes, blankets or objects around the house. Wait until you see an imaginative 6-year-old perform Shrek. Better have the camera ready!
Have an Indoor Picnic
We all love picnics; there is something about eating on the ground that makes it special. Keep it inside to enjoy the air conditioning and spread out on the living room floor. Lie on a blanket and enjoy a healthy lunch like turkey and cheese roll-ups in a whole-wheat tortilla, fruit salad, and “ants on a log” (celery sticks with peanut butter and raisins).
Skip the ice cream treat and make something healthier. Blend a nutritious, delicious frozen fruit drink. Let your kids help load a blender with a half cup of ice cubes and whatever fruit they select (mangoes, strawberries, bananas, and pineapples work best). Add a little water or juice to allow it to mix smoothly. Then help the kids blend until the mixture is smooth. The natural fruit is sweet enough that no extra sugar is needed. Garnish with a straw or paper umbrella and enjoy.
(You can use the fruits you picked up from your local farmer’s market from Visit Your Local Farmer’s Market tip)
Make it a Game Night
Bingo! Sorry! Yahtzee! What do these exclamations have in common? They’re all popular games that are perfect for playing with your family. A family game night is an excellent way to stay connected with your kids. Choose games that are age-appropriate and of interest primarily to the children. That way children can feel successful playing with family members who are older, are more experienced, and have a competitive advantage. So pull up a seat and let the games begin!
Whatever activity you choose make sure to have fun and enjoy the summer!
OMI is on a roll! We are gearing up to introduce some innovative new products at Market. The World Market Center houses the OMI showroom allowing customers and retailers to see and feel our entire OrganicPedic line. OMI will be debuting new products so stay tuned on the OMI Blog for more information.
Mark your calendars and join us at the Las Vegas Market, July 30th through August 3rd, at Showroom C-1515.
For more information, call the OMI Sales office at 1-800-951-9196 or visit our website HERE.