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Hip Hop Meets Organics

Check out these fun and entertaining videos by Stonyfield CEO CE-Yo Gary Hirshberg, the Stonyfield Moms, and Honest Tea CEO TeaEO Seth. Watch them rap out some information about the importance of eating organic.

For more information about the Just Eat Organic movement, visit www.justeatorganic.com.

How much sleep is enough?

How much sleep do we need to get every night?  The answer to that question used to be universal: eight hours.   Now there is a new study that may forever change that…

According to a CTV News Report, German scientists known as chronobiologists from the Ludwig Maximillians University in Munich found a gene variant called ABCC9 that affects the length of time we need to sleep nightly.

The study, which was published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, found that a very small percentage of the population requires less sleep a night – between four to five hours – and are thought to be short or light sleepers. These people wake up and feel refreshed without needing naps or caffeine throughout the day.   The study included over 4,000 people, all of European ancestry, in a seven-genome-wide association study.  They found that people with two or more  copies of one common variant of ABCC9 slept for significantly shorter periods than people with two copies of another version.

But does this answer how much sleep we need to be healthy, how much we allow ourselves, or how much our bodies are predetermined to need?

According to the 2011 Sleep in America Poll by the National Sleep Foundation, 43% of people in the U.S. ages 13 to 64 reported they rarely or never can get a good night’s sleep Monday through Friday. And 60% of those surveyed said they had a sleep problem every night or almost every night, which could include snoring, waking up during the night or having a lack of energy when they get up. For full poll results, visit the National Sleep Foundation’s website at HERE.

To find out if you are getting enough sleep, take this quiz created by the University of Utah Health Care Sleep Wake Center titled “How sleepy are you?” HERE.

 Or we can always take some tips from Goofy…

 

Shopping Healthfully on a Budget

It doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg to be able to eat healthful, nonprocessed, or even organic foods.  Many people think that buying healthful and organic foods is an expensive luxury that we cannot afford.  But thanks to a wonderful blog titled “100 Days of Real Food,” we learn that this is not always true. (Visit the blog site HERE.) It offers information on many different topics, from recipes, meal planning, and tips for shopping for nonprocessed foods to how to stop eating processed foods, budgeting ideas, and more. The post I found most beneficial and inspiring was titled “12 Ways to Keep it Cheap” (to see the full blog post, go HERE.)

 

Here is an excerpt from the post, showing 12 ways to shop healthfully and stay on budget:

 

1. Set a specific budget. This tip may sound basic, but as I just said simply thinking about “not spending a lot of money” DOES NOT work! Here’s how to structure a budget…

  • Pick a realistic budget amount that you will adhere to each week or month. I personally think a weekly budget is easier to follow because you can’t go too far over budget before you realize you are in trouble.
  • Consider using cash in an envelope so going “over budget” isn’t even possible. (For those who’ve heard of Dave Ramsey, yes, we’ve both read his book!) Also, no matter what, make a commitment that if you do for some reason go over budget you will deduct that amount from the following week or month.
  • Define what will and will not be included in the budget. Will it just be for food or for household items too? What about alcohol, entertaining, and going out to eat?
  • Keep track of all your expenses on paper whether you use cash or not. It is important to see where your money goes.
  • Share and discuss the running budget total with the other adults in your household…accountability is what it’s all about!

2. Be organized and plan out your meals for the week. Last minute purchases that you haven’t put a lot of thought into can add up fast.

3. Minimize waste by saving all uneaten food instead of throwing anything away.

4. Know and use what you have on hand especially if it’s perishable. Even consider keeping an inventory list of food on your fridge or freezer so different family members can check off items as they use them. I know my husband is more likely to eat something in the fridge if I leave a note telling him it is there (don’t ask me why)!

5. Make substitutions in recipes to reduce how many things you have to buy…or even leave out a small ingredient all together.

6. Maximize “cheap” foods like bananas, beans, and pasta. Here are some of our favorite super cheap recipes:

7. When making inexpensive meals like soups and pasta dishes double the recipe and freeze the leftovers for when you have one of those days where you just don’t have time to plan out a good dinner.

8. Make sacrifices like drinking water instead of milk and skipping juice and other flavored beverages all together. If you really have trouble kicking the juice habit at least water it down a little so the juice lasts longer.

9. Reduce your consumption of meat and desserts. Meat can be a big-ticket item and while dessert is certainly a “nice to have” it is by no means a regular necessity (sorry)! Also experiment with “stretching” your meat dishes by mixing in veggies and/or beans.

10. Buy produce that’s in-season and if you like to frequent your local farmers’ market  try going just before closing time to get some great deals on items the vendors won’t want to haul back to the farm.

11. If you can’t afford the organic version of everything consult the dirty dozen list. 

12. Check your receipt after you get home to make sure your your money was spent wisely (most grocery stores accept returns!).

2011 EMA Awards Wrap-Up

This year’s Environmental Media Association Awards ceremony was a huge success!  Not only did it feature more A-list celebrities than past year’s, but it also brought more media attention.  The goal of the organization is to use the power of celebrity to get the word out about eco, green, and environmental practices, and this year they did just that! With a green carpet packed with celebrities and environmental gurus, the attendance brought more news and media outlet coverage.

The award ceremony was followed by an organic dinner prepared by award-winning chefs and a silent auction.  OMI donated a Terra mattress for the auction which also included other enviromental and eco-concious items, with all proceeds going to various charities.

The Honorees:

Justin Timberlake - EMA Futures Award

Marc Nathanson – EMA Board of Directors Ongoing Commitment Award

Southern California Edison – EMA Corporate Responsibility Award

PGA Green – EMA Green Production Award

The Winners:

Yogi Bear – Feature Film

Revenge of the Electric Car – Documentary

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation – “Fracked” – Television Episodic Drama

Futurama – “The Futurama Holiday Spectacular” – Television Episodic Comedy

Real Time With Bill Maher – Episode 188 & HGTV Green Home 2011 - Reality Television

Bubble Guppies – Children’s Television

Take a look at the Highlight Video as well as pictures from the Awards below.

Amy Smart, Nicole Richie, Christa B. Allen, Kim Raver, Charlotte Ross

Aubrey Plaza, Darryl Hannah, Emily VanCamp, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Madeleline Stowe

Constance Zimmer, Wendie Malick, Perrey Reeves, Michelle Kwan, Justin Timberlake

Making The Organic Choice

In today’s world of economic struggles, more and more people are seeking organic products. This is proven by a recent study performed by The Organic Trade Association (OTA).

OTA is a membership-based business association for organic agriculture and products in North America, representing over 6,500 organic businesses across 49 states. They send out newsletters with industry information, announcements and great tips. Check out their site here for more information or to sign up for their informative newsletters.

The study polled 1,300 U.S. families about their attitudes and behaviors relating to organic food. According to the study, 78 percent of U.S. families are choosing organic foods. The study also indicated that four out of 10 families are buying more organic products than they were a year ago. The main motivator for the drastic increase in organic demand was revealed simply by 48 percent of parents: “Organics are healthier for me and my children.”

The full study is available for purchase by visiting OTA’s bookstore.

This motivation is also reaching more into the media, informing more of the general public about ways to be more organic and the important reasons why. It is even reaching into the entertainment business through celebrity organizations like the Environmental Media Association. A great example of this is Eva Longoria, who chooses organic options.

Here is a clip of the actress stressing the importance of buying organic:

OMI featured in O Magazine

Pick up the newest issue of O Magazine to see a great article featuring Organic Mattresses Inc.  Flip to page 72 to read In Search of a Green Night’s Sleep by Laura Fraser in the “May We Help You?” section.   Great information on buying an environmental and healthful mattress, as well as what to look for when deciding on a mattress brand.

OCCUPY

President and CEO of Organic Mattresses Inc, Walt Bader, recently wrote an editorial for the Viewpoints section of the Sacramento Bee about the nationwide movement  “Occupy Wall Street.” Click HERE to ready the article, then comment below on your thoughts and ideas about the movement that is capturing the world’s attention.

OMI featured at Hollywood Gala; Justin Timberlake to receive Environmental Award.

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Justin Timberlake can now add eco-warrior to his already impressive résumé, as he will collect the Futures Award at the Environmental Media Association’s (EMA) Gala next weekend.

Celebrating future environmental leaders in the entertainment industry, the Futures Award will be given to Timberlake for using his celebrity to promote environmental issues, his attempts to create a carbon neutral footprint while on tour, and the eco-friendly Mirimichi golf course he built in his hometown of Millington, Tennessee.

Previous winners of the prize include the actors Edward Norton and Rosario Dawson.

EMA President Debbie Levin said that Timberlake and fellow honoree the Producers Guild of America “demonstrate taking a green lifestyle to the next level.”

Past EMA Awards Gala:

OMI’s Terra mattress will be featured as a hot new product during the Gala event at Warner Bros. Studios and will be part of EMA’s Silent Auction.

EMA mobilizes the entertainment industry in educating people about environmental issues, which in turn inspires them to take action.  The annual EMA Awards honor film and television personalities, productions, musicians and musical tours that convey environmental messages in the most creative and influential ways. The work that EMA has done for almost 20 years has helped inspire millions of people to reduce air pollution, ensure clean water for drinking and recreation, protect endangered species, preserve open spaces, minimize waste, promote a safe food supply (go organic!) and live more environmentally sustainable lives.

The feature films The Other Guys, Rio and Yogi Bear; documentaries Carbon Nation, African Cats, Revenge of the Electric Car and Saving Pelican 895; TV dramas Body of Proof, CSI and The Good Wife; and comedies Futurama, Hot in Cleveland and Nurse Jackie will be showcased at the event as projects that have carried a positive, environmentally friendly message in the past season.

Celebrities Stand Up For A Healthy World

One of our favorite nonprofit organizations Healthy Child Healthy World has always teamed up with celebrities to promote a healthy world.  This week, HCHW is giving a nod to 3 celebrities that are truly making a difference and spreading the word about living healthier.

From the Healthy Child Healthy World website:

Actress Jessica Alba

Jessica Alba

“Healthy Child Healthy World has been rallying moms to fight for more protective policies for nearly two decades and this week we were thrilled to see celebrity mom, Jessica Alba, promoting the Safe Chemicals Act on Capitol Hill. ‘You can’t hire a team of scientists to do your shopping for you. . . I mean, I barely have time to brush my teeth with a toddler and another one on the way. At some point the government has to step in and ensure that chemicals are safe before our children are exposed to them,’ said Alba. Thanks to all of our colleagues at the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families coalition for spearheading this effort and to our former CEO and Executive Director, Christopher Gavigan, for facilitating Jessica’s involvement.”

Join Jessica in showing Congress that Americans care about this issue by asking your Senators to co-sponsor the Safe Chemicals Act!

Actress Jessica Capshaw (Grey's Anatomy)

Jessica Capshaw

“Earlier this month, Jessica Capshaw acted as moderator for the Mount Sinai Children’s Environmental Health Center’s (CEHC) Greening Our Children luncheon – the fourth annual fundraiser to support the important work of this distinguished institution. And last week she spoke up about mercury pollution and the dire threat it poses to children’s health during the Moms Clean Air Force Clean Air for Our Kids webinar. Jessica’s been an active supporter of Healthy Child Healthy World (another nod to Christopher Gavigan) and it was wonderful to hear her passion and knowledge of the issues in these types of forums.”

Support clean air for our kids by signing our petition to tell America’s #1 polluter to clean up their act!

Actress Kelly Rutherford (Gossip Girl)

Kelly Rutherford, Healthy Child Healthy World Luminary

Celebrities are concerned parents, too. That’s the message behind our new Luminary Advisory Board, which counts Laila Ali, Gabrielle Anwar, Amy Brenneman, Laura Dern, Jenna Elfman, Mariel Hemingway, Josie Maran, Kelly Rutherford, Meryl Streep and Jennifer Taylor as members. These concerned parents have joined Healthy Child to inspire small steps to big change.

“I joined the Luminary Board of Healthy Child Healthy World to shine some light on the issues that affect my children and me everyday. Be it the environment we live in to the foods we eat or the products we use, all of these things have an impact in our health and well being. It’s important for me to do my part as a mother to keep my children healthy and myself healthy—so I can be here to watch them grow up. Creating awareness is so important.” –Kelly Rutherford, “Gossip Girl”

Take a look at what other Healthy Child Healthy World Luminaries have to say!

Thank you to HCHW and all of the celebrities who are fighting for a safer world!

Fashionably Organic

H&M Organic Spring Collection

There are many ways to make your life safer and less toxic, and starting with an organic mattress is a big step. Most people who are sleeping organically are eating organically also. But are you dressing organically?

Ten years ago it was next to impossible to find organic clothing options. However, with the organics industry growing every year, more and more manufacturers and designers are making the moral choice to use fabrics made from organic raw materials. Even the high-fashion and couture houses are making the switch, as we see ever so apparently in Fall fashion shows across the world.  From São Paulo to Los Angeles to New York to London, organics are taking the fashion world by storm.

Here are the top 12 brands and retailers who are “going organic” (ranking by Organic Exchange):

#12:  Nordstrom (USA) ­– stocking more sustainable lines such as EDUM and Eileen Fisher, they also have a line of men’s dress shirts, casual shirts, and boxers made of organic cotton.

#11:  Adidas – they use sustainable materials such as organic cotton in their Adidas by Stella McCartney and Adidas Grün collections.

#10:  Target – brought organic cotton into the stores by introducing limited-edition lines by Rogan Gregory and Loomstate.  They also have organic options in their “Home by Target” collection.

#9:  Levi Strauss – although the company has been using organic materials since 2006, they have paved the way for organic denim since, and have become the leader in organic blue jeans.

#8:  Greensource (USA) – mainly a t-shirt company, they have recently expanded to home and bath products as well.  They just so happen to also grow all of their own organic cotton.

#7: Coop Switzerland – although they specialize in being the second-largest coop supermarket in the world, they also purchase a large slice of the fair-trade organic-cotton textile industry.

#6:  Anvil Knitwear – the largest purchaser of U.S.-grown certified organic cotton, they also produce the world’s first carbon-neutral t-shirt.

#5:  H&M – incorporating organic cotton since 2004, this fashion retailer is making an effort to increase its use of organic materials by 50 percent every year until 2013.

#4:  Williams-Sonoma – through brands such as Pottery Barn, PB Teen, and West Elm, they have introduced organic cotton into their bedding, bath, and upholstery products.

#3:  Walmart (USA) – purchases over 12 million pounds of organic cotton to incorporate into their clothing, bath, and upholstery lines.

#2:  Nike (USA) – although the already incorporate organic cotton, the company’s goal is to have a minimum blend of 10 percent organic cotton in all cotton-containing attire by 2015.

#1:  C&A (Belgium) – although better known in Europe, this popular clothing line sold over 23 million organic cotton products in 2010.

Happy shopping!

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