With Earth Day fast approaching, now is the time to start incorporating some eco-friendly ideas into your everyday life. In my search for fun ideas I came across several great ways to not only celebrate Earth Day, but keep the eco-friendly ideas going throughout the year.
Plant a tree
Clean up a park, lake, trail, river, beach, or other natural site
Go for a walk
Plant a garden
Start a compost pile
Make an indoor herb garden
Implement a recycling system, or ensure that your current system is the best it can be
Pay bills online
Stop paper bills and bank statements
Limit your water usage
Reduce energy consumption
Lower your water-heater temperature to save energy
Visit a farmers’ market
When shopping, bring your own reusable bags
Ditch the plastic water bottles and use a reusable bottle instead
Bring your own coffee mug when visiting a coffee shop
Check your home for water leaks
Plan a vegetarian meal once a week
Skip the baths and take a shower
Take a shorter shower
Adjust your thermostat one degree higher in the summer and one degree lower in the winter to save energy
Eliminate excess junk mail by removing yourself from unnecessary lists
Use rechargeable batteries
Unplug appliances when not in use
Wash laundry in cold or warm water
Have a picnic
However you decide to spend Earth Day, be sure to try to lessen your impact on the planet by changing one thing you do. Be sure to get outside and enjoy the beauty of nature!
Spring is a time of renewal, when seeds bring new life, animals come out of hibernation, and the Earth reawakens after winter. Many people use this time of year to refresh or renew some things in their lives. You can do this by gardening, cleaning, or getting rid of old items and replacing them with new ones. While replacing old items, why not replenish your bedding accessories with new organic and natural options?
Organic and Natural Bedding Accessories
Bedding is one thing that can definitely use replacing periodically. Once the winter is over, you might want to replace your bedding with some lighter-weight items that can help keep you cool during the warmer nights. Here are some accessory items from OMI that will make great additions to your new spring bedding!
Our Thermal Blanket is perfect for lightweight warmth, and is a great substitute for a comforter during the warmer seasons. The pebbly textured fabric is 100% organic cotton in a crepe weave. Offered from crib to king size.
Pearl Organic Sheet Collection
Since sheets are the closest to you during sleep, it’s nice to change them out for fresh new ones periodically. This sheet collection features 300-thread-count GOTS-certified organic sateen cotton in a creamy ivory. Each set contains a flat sheet and a fitted sheet. Twin and twin XL sets include one standard pillowcase; full and queen sets include two standard/queen sized pillowcases, and E. king and Cal. king sets include two king pillowcases.
Eco-Wool™ Moisture Pad
Wool is a great natural temperature regulator, keeping the body warm in the winter and cool in the summer. As well as helping regulate temperature, it is also naturally moisture resistant (not waterproof). Use this pad to help protect your mattress from soiling due to heavy night sweats, incontinence, or other moisture-related concerns. This seamless, woven wool protector has elastic corner straps and is available in sizes crib through king (crib and puddle-pad sizes have no corner straps). This pad should be rinsed only (no detergents).
Organic Cotton Flannel Mattress Pad
The Organic Cotton Flannel Mattress Pad pairs very well with the Eco-Wool™ Moisture Pad. Together, these pads protect the surface of the mattress and keep it looking great for years. Two layers of certified organic cotton flannel have been quilted together with a tape-edge finish, and have wide elastic corner straps (crib pads are fitted). This pad is seamless and machine washable.
Organic and Natural Pillows
Getting a new pillow can make all the difference in the world for your sleep, and since pillows are in close contact with your face, it feels great to replace them with fresh new ones. OMI makes a variety of pillows using an array of organic and natural materials. It should be easy to find one that is perfect for you!
100% Certified Organic Cotton Pillow
For those seeking a firmer, flatter pillow, our cotton pillows are filled with pure, sanitized 100% certified organic cotton. As with our wool pillow, they are available in three weights: light, medium, and full. (Please note: cotton pillows compress about one-half over time.)
100% Natural Rubber Latex Pillows
Our Molded and Contour pillows are sold with double covers. The inner cover is certified organic cotton mesh fabric, designed to ensure that the pillow keeps its shape and integrity for many years. The second (removable, hand-washable) envelope case is made from our certified organic cotton mattress cover fabric. The Molded pillow is recommended for back and side sleepers; the Contour is ideal for back or stomach sleepers.
In general, wool offers a soft and springy fill, and tends to sleep cooler and compact less than cotton fill. Like our other wool products, our Eco-Wool™ pillow resists dust mites. Available in three weights: light, medium, and full. (Please note: wool pillows compress approximately one-third over time.)
Wool-Wrapped 100% Natural Shredded Rubber Pillow
This dual-chambered pillow is a best seller! It is made with a center chamber of 100%-natural shredded rubber latex surrounded by an outer chamber filled with Eco-Wool™. This pillow is made with a zipper, so sleepers can remove material and customize each pillow to their personal preference.
The Crush 100% Natural Shredded Rubber Pillow
Adjustable and supremely comfortable, our Crush pillow is made without wool for ultimate resiliency. Covered with signature OrganicPedic® knit fabric and filled with 100%-natural shredded rubber latex, the Crush has a soft yet supportive feel, and can be adjusted to any height to meet the needs of individual sleepers.
Wool Wrapped Organic Buckwheat- Hull Pillow
In this dual-chambered pillow, the outside chamber, filled with Eco-Wool™, cushions both the feel and the sound associated with buckwheat pillows. The inner chamber is filled with organic buckwheat hulls. This pillow is made with a zipper, so sleepers can remove material and customize each pillow to their personal preference.
So this spring, while you’re taking out the old and bringing in the new, remember these wonderful organic and natural bedding accessories!
The hot summer weather is here and it is creating a drought, making water conservation a must. This year California businesses and residents were asked to voluntarily reduce water usage by 20 percent to help save water. There are hundreds of things that you can do to help conserve water. Here are a few ideas that you can easily incorporate into your everyday life.
Minimize the number of dishes used throughout the day by designating a drinking glass for yourself. This eliminates the need to wash multiple cups.
When serving dinner, serve right out of the pots and pans, as this will eliminate additional dishes.
Soak pots and pans instead of letting the water run while you scrape them clean.
Wash your fruits and vegetables in a pan of water instead of using running water from the tap.
Keep a pitcher of drinking water in the refrigerator instead of running the tap for cold water.
Dishwashers can use less water than hand washing, especially new energy-efficient models.
Collect water used for cleaning fruits and vegetables, drained from pasta, etc. to water your plants.
When doing laundry, wash in cold water, as it saves water and energy while helping clothes keep their color.
Also, when doing laundry be sure to match the water level with the size of the load.
Shorten your shower by a minute or two and save up to 150 gallons per month. If your whole family did this, imagine how much water your house could save!
Aim for 5-minute showers and you can save up to 1,000 gallons of water per year.
Skip the baths, as a full bathtub requires up to 70 gallons of water.
Turn off the water as you brush your teeth and save up to 4 gallons a minute. That’s up to 200 gallons a week for a family of four.
Be sure to check all faucets for leaks, as one drip every second can add up to 5 gallons per day! Also check all pipes, hoses, toilets, and faucets inside and out for leaks.
Run your washer and dishwasher only when they are full. This can save up to 1,000 gallons a month.
In your yard, be sure to plant species that are native to your area, as they require less maintenance to flourish.
Start a compost pile or bin. Using compost in your garden or flower beds adds water-holding organic matter to the soil.
Wash your pets outdoors, in an area of your lawn that needs to be watered.
Use a broom instead of a hose to clean patios, sidewalks, and driveways, and save water every time!
When washing your car, use commercial car washes that recycle water. When washing your car at home, be sure to turn the water on only when rinsing.
Try to incorporate as many of these as you can, and see what a difference a few little changes can make to reduce the amount of water you use.
Spring is here, the flowers are in bloom, and it’s a beautiful sight, except for those who suffer from allergies. Allergens such as pollen can cause all sorts of symptoms for allergy sufferers, such as itchy eyes, congestion, and sneezing. Many people take prescribed or over-the-counter medicines that help allergy symptoms, but some of these medicines can cause side effects that are worse than the original problem. For a more natural solution to ease mild, spring-time allergy suffering, here is a list of 10 home remedies that may be helpful:
It’s hard enough to avoid allergens outdoors, so try not to bring them into your home, too. Keeping windows and doors shut during allergy season can help keep pollen out of your house. Eliminate any cross breeze by shutting off fans that circulate air in and out of the house. Indoor air purifiers/HEPA filters are a great added step to keep your house as allergen-free as possible.
While being outdoors it is difficult to avoid allergens, so one great step is to wear eye protection. Wearing sunglasses (with side shields) or goggles while outside will keep pollen and other allergens from landing in your eyes and causing swelling or itching.
Taking a steaming-hot shower has two major benefits for allergy sufferers: First, the steam soothes sinuses and clears nasal passages. The second benefit is that the shower washes away pollen and allergens from the skin and hair, preventing the spread of contaminants into your home.
Peppermint tea has essential oils that act as an anti-inflammatory, decongestant, and mild antibacterial. A nice warm mug of peppermint tea can help alleviate irritated nasal passages and a sore throat.
For those who don’t want to take a shower every time they feel congested, a steam bowl is a simpler way to get similar results. Fill a large bowl with steaming water (add eucalyptus oil for added relief), place a towel over your head, and take deep breathes of the eucalyptus steam.
Another way to clear your nasal passages is to use a saline nasal rinse. There are many different methods of delivering the solution into your nasal cavity, but the basic concept is to flush out the congestion and keep the passages dry.
For those who can handle spicy foods, wasabi and horseradish are great for clearing your sinuses. Allyl isothiocyanate is the ingredient in these two foods that activates your sinus and tear ducts to promote mucus flow. Also foods like walnuts, flaxseed, and cold-water fish, which are high in omega-3 fatty acids, are great for fighting inflammation when eaten regularly.
There are a variety of herbs and supplements which have been studied for allergy relief, such as spirulina, goldenseal, and eyebright. The plant extract butterbur has had strong results with reducing airway inflammation, as well as bromelain, which is an enzyme found in pineapple. The stinging nettle is a plant with natural antihistamines, which can be extracted, consumed through tea, or absorbed a variety of other ways.
Consuming locally produced honey on a regular basis is thought to build up your body’s immunity to local pollens. When bees transfer pollen from your region into honey and you eat it frequently, it can slowly inoculate you against regional pollens.
Since you spend a third of your life in bed sleeping, it is important to protect yourself from allergens in your bedroom. Dust mites are microscopic pests that live in warm, humid environments and feed on discarded human skin cells, therefore your mattress and pillow are an ideal location for them to live and thrive in. The excrement and buildup of dead dust mites can be the cause of allergic sensitivity. To protect yourself from being exposed to dust mites and bed bugs, consider purchasing OMI’s certified-organic cotton Bed-Bug and Dust-Mite Pillow and Mattress Barrier Covers. The tight micron weave prevents these pests from invading your mattress and multiplying, giving you peace of mind and a healthier night’s sleep. Here is a link to view more information about our barrier covers:
Spring is finally here! After an unusually bizarre winter with the “polar vortex” swirling around the east and the dry skies in the west, we’re all ready to enjoy the pleasures of springtime. The sun is shining, maybe a little rain is still falling, but warm weather is here, hopefully to stay!
Here is a list of 10 things to do, get outside… enjoy the weather and your family and friends.
1. Read outside on a blanket in the sun
2. Go fishing with your buddies
3. Do some spring cleaning to fun music
4. Make these beautiful spring centerpieces, using simple glass jars and lemons for a touch of color!
As I threw my sheets in the washing machine last night, I caught myself wondering if I wash my sheets enough. At once every two weeks it already feels like I am always changing my bedding, but I did a little research anyway on the recommended time between washing sheets anyway, to see what the world has to say on the subject.
You wouldn’t think it would be a very hot topic, but everybody seems to have very different and (strong) views on washing sheets. Some people are religious about washing them every week, while others don’t see the point in changing out bedding but once a month. There are the fanatics out there that change their sheets several times a week, and studies have even found Western cultures in which changing the sheets only three times a year is the norm.
If you only wash your sheets once a month and you sleep an average of eight hours a night for 30 nights, that’s 240 hours on your sheets every month, or the equivalent of wearing the same clothes for 10 days straight (with fewer mustard stains, I would guess).
Your body, even straight out of the shower, will slough off dead skin cells (which attract dustmites), hair, dirt, oil, and sweat. And when it comes off of you, that means it’s staying in your bed. (Just writing that out makes me rethink my every-two-weeks sheet-changing regime. A change to once a week is definitely in order!)
On mornings when you don’t change your sheets, pull your covers back when you get up and let your bed air out while you shower or eat breakfast. And even though it may feel like just another thing to do in the morning, taking a couple of minutes to make your bed will make it that much sweeter to climb back into it at night, plus it will help keep dust and pet hair out.
I keep extra sheet sets in my linen closet to make for an easier change on sheet day. I can pull the old sheets off and put the new ones on right away, so if I don’t get to laundry that day, it’s not a big deal. Avoid storing sheets in plastic containers, which can trap moisture and help with the growth of mildew.
Frequent washing will break down even the highest quality sheets. Replace them when you see obvious signs of aging, such as stains, faded patterns or fraying hems.
When you decide it is time for a new pair of sheets, check out the new set that OMI has added to our bedding collection! The Pearl Organic Sheet Set is a 300-thread-count beautiful sateen weave in GOTS-certified organic cotton. They come in a creamy ivory color, and all sets include pillowcase(s), one fitted sheet and one flat sheet. (Twin and Twin XL include one standard pillowcase, Full and Queen sizes receive two standard/queen pillowcases, and Eastern and California King sets include two king-size pillowcases.) Check out our previous blog Introducing the Pearl Organic Sheet Set, and for more information on how to purchase a set of our beautiful sheets find your nearest retailer HERE.