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Leap into March!

Today the shortest month of the year gains an extra day.  Leap Year has been around for about 2,000 years.  The 365-day calendar was created by Julius Cesar around 45 BCE, and astronomer Sosigenes brought on the addition of the extra day in February every four years.

Julius Cesar

Many people wonder why we even have Leap Day.

Our year is 365 days long, except that isn’t entirely true.  A full cycle of seasons, or for the earth to complete its full rotation around the sun, is actually 365 days, 5 hours, 49 minutes and 16 seconds or 365.242199 days, long to be precise.  Over time the extra quarter of a day can add up and without the Leap Day the calendar would not match the seasons.  After 30 years, it would be off a week, after 100 years, it would be about 24 days off.  If we did not have Leap Year the calendar could be off nearly 16 months behind…

Here are some fun facts about leap year:

  • The chances of being born on a Leap Year are 1 in 1,461
  • About 4 million people worldwide have a Feb. 29 birthday
  • It is believed that the actual term “Leap Year” was derived hundreds of years ago, when Leap Day was not legally recognized, and so it was ignored and “leapt” over
  • Feb. 29 is traditionally a day where women were “permitted” to ask men to marry them. Today, Feb. 29 still commemorates Sadie Hawkins Day, the namesake of the turnabout dances many schools still host, where girls are encouraged to ask boys to attend with them.

Back By Popular Demand….

The Flora

The Flora is back!  Available once again as a part of the OrganicPedic line, the Flora is a two-sided, 8” flat-surface organic mattress made with three layers of 100%-natural rubber latex.  The 3” firm latex inner core is sandwiched between two layers of 2” soft latex and then covered with our signature OrganicPedic knit quilting.

The Flora offers a firmer feel without the hard impact of a firm surface or a compromise in comfort.

Flora Cutaway

Features and Benefits

  • Firmness: Med-Firm
  • Motion-absorbing construction
  • Signature OrganicPedic fully quilted cover
  • Eco-wool fill naturally regulates body temperature
  • Naturally mold-, mildew-, and dust-mite resistant

MSRP (mattress only): Twin $2795 • Full $3195 • Queen $3495 • King $5095

Foundation sold separately.

 For more information about the Flora, visit the OMI website HERE or contact the OMI Sales office for questions or order inquiries at 800-951-9196.

Rave Reviews: Houston

Thank you Winnie Hamilton, a passionate Houston environmental health expert, for your wonderful review of the OMI Terra Mattress and your purchase and delivery experience with one of our OMI retailers, New Living in Houston, TX.

“I recently bought an OMI Terra mattress from New Living in Houston. I love it. The delivery guys not only came right on time (the beginning of a tiny two-hour window) and set up everything, but they also took (for a small fee) my old mattress to be recycled (i.e., not to a landfill).

But the mattress itself is amazing…incredibly comfortable and beautifully constructed. I mean, it’s actually beautiful to behold; and you can flip the pillowtop for variable plushness. I have hip problems and the wrong mattress literally destroys my life as the hip pain will wake me up every 30 minutes or so. So I need a mattress for pressure points.

A lot of people would recommend Tempur-pedic or another memory foam for me and even knowing how toxic they are I’d probably consider one if it gave me glorious sleep (even as a staunch environmentalist and health proponent, when you’re up all night…every night…in pain, your principles begin to slip), but the truth is that I tried a memory foam topper and it made me sick. I put it outside for nearly a month and still the outgassing and chemicals gave me bad headaches, tremors, bone-aching fatigue and a kind-of mental fog. Did my hips like it? Yes, a lot, but my brain and the rest of my body apparently didn’t.

Which is what led me to OMI and the Terra, which is I think probably the best organic mattress for people with hip or pressure point problems…although I’d be the first to say that finding the right mattress is intensely personal and everyone is different. I did ‘test drive’ the Terra at the Modern B&B in Houston and it felt pretty good, but one night–although better than a 10-minute ‘sleep’ in a store–isn’t sufficient.

The Terra has no smell, no toxic ‘ingredients’ and is strangely firm while also being one of the softer mattresses (people with pressure point issues generally need a mattress to support and give in the right places). In any event, I’m a fan…and New Living was super (I researched and debated for months and months.  They didn’t pressure me or badmouth other companies). Last, I really do like supporting Houston companies when possible. If we want more environmentally responsible companies here, we need to support them.

Cheers!

Winnie Hamilton

Houston, TX”

To learn more about the Terra Mattress or to find a retail location near you, visit the OMI homepage, HERE, for more information.

Terra

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.

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