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
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.
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.
You wanted a mattress under $2000… and we did it!
Welcome the Midori Back!
$1995 Queen MSRP
The Midori is a contemporary, low-profile mattress. Measuring at 7” high, it is a two-sided, flat-surface mattress made from one-piece 6” core of medium-firm 100%-natural rubber latex, then covered with our signature OrganicPedic® knit quilting. The Midori was designed in the style of a firm Japanese-style sleep system. It makes a great option for sleepers looking for firm support, as well as for children.
Features and Benefits
MSRP (mattress only): twin $1295 • full $1695 • queen $1995 • king $2695 Foundation sold separately
For more information on OrganicPedic® mattresses, click HERE.
Did you know that federal law requires mattresses to pass vigorous open-flame flammability tests? These tests are usually passed with the use of chemical flame retardants. It is a proven fact that chemical flame-retardants offgas volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Knowing that, are these flame retardants really helping? An article written by Sam Roe and Patricia Callahan for the Chicago Tribune discusses how research was manipulated by chemical companies to increase the need for the flame retardants. Included is an interview with the study’s lead author, Vytenis Babrauskas.
Here is an excerpt from the article:
CHICAGO — Twenty-five years ago, scientists gathered in a cramped government laboratory and set fire to specially designed chairs, TVs and electrical cables packed with flame retardants For the next half-hour, they carefully measured how much the chemicals slowed the blaze.
It was one of the largest studies of its kind, and the chemical industry seized upon it, claiming the results showed that flame retardants gave people a 15-fold increase in time to escape fires.
Manufacturers of flame retardants would repeatedly point to this government study as key proof that these toxic chemicals – embedded in many common household items – prevented residential fires and saved lives.
But the study’s lead author, Vytenis Babrauskas, told the Chicago Tribune that industry officials have “grossly distorted” the findings of his research, which was not based on real-world conditions. The small amounts of flame retardants in typical home furnishings, he said, offer little to no fire protection.
“Industry has used this study in ways that are improper and untruthful,” he said.
The misuse of Babrauskas’ work is but one example of how the chemical industry has manipulated scientific findings to promote the widespread use of flame retardants and downplay the health risks, a Tribune investigation shows. The industry has twisted research results, ignored findings that run counter to their aims and passed off biased, industry-funded reports as rigorous science.
As a result, the chemical industry successfully distorted the basic knowledge about toxic chemicals that are used in consumer products and linked to serious health problems, including cancer, developmental problems, neurological deficits and impaired fertility.
Industry has disseminated misleading research findings so frequently that they essentially have been adopted as fact. They have been cited by consultants, think tanks, regulators and Wikipedia, and have shaped the worldwide debate about the safety of flame retardants.
One series of studies financed by the chemical industry concluded that flame retardants prevent deadly fires, reduce pollutants and save society millions of dollars.
The main basis for these broad claims? A scientific report so obscure that it is available only in Swedish.
When the Tribune obtained a copy and translated it, the report revealed that many of industry’s wide-ranging claims can be traced to information regarding just eight TV fires in western Stockholm more than 15 years ago.
Although industries often try to spin scientific findings on the safety and effectiveness of their products, the tactics employed by flame retardant manufacturers stand out.
Tom Muir, a Canadian government research analyst for 30 years, called the broad claims based on the eight Stockholm TV fires “the worst example I have ever seen of deliberate misinformation and distortion.”
The American Chemistry Council, the leading trade group for the industry, said flame retardants are safe products that help protect life and property. “ACC’s work is grounded in scientific evidence, as we believe regulatory decisions related to chemistry must be evaluated on a scientific basis,” the trade group said in a written statement.
But when the Tribune asked the trade group to provide research that showed flame retardants are effective, the council initially provided only one study – the one Babrauskas wrote and now says is being distorted by industry.
The full article is available HERE.
OMI has developed a system that allows us to use Naturally Safer® wool as our only flame retardant. As a result, our mattresses are able to pass federal flame tests without the use of toxic chemicals or silica barriers. To use any form of chemical flame retardant in our products would violate our ethical standards and integrity. We stand by our purity so you and your family can have a safer place to rest your head at night.
Keep watching this blog for more information on mattress flammability laws and how we pass them.
Here is a beautiful testimony from an OMI customer family.
“My triplets (2 boys, 1 girl) are closing in on 5 years old. Both of the boys, Cooper and Carson, have Autism and my daughter Camryn also has chemical sensitivities. Most people do not realize that Autism is not only a neurological disorder, but it also affects multiple systems within the body, including the body’s ability to detox chemicals and metals. Since learning this, I have made it my mission to rid my children’s environment of as many toxins as humanly possible, thus lowering their body’s total toxic burden. It has been a process for sure, but I am a determined mother who wants to provide every opportunity for their little bodies to heal and grow.
We have been on this journey for just over 2 years now, and were ready for the next step in cleaning up their environment. I came across the New Living and Green Painter stores upon an Internet search for toxin free paints and mattresses. I called and was lucky enough that Adam Brackman was willing to meet my husband and I on July 4th (when the store was closed) to discuss our needs and see the products both stores had to offer.”
“New Living proves that going green doesn’t always come with a higher price tag, however, we sometimes struggle to be able to provide for everything that our special family needs. We would only be able to afford two of the mattresses for the boys at this time and would hopefully be able to buy Camryn her own non-toxic mattress later in the year. When it came time for the mattresses to be delivered, Adam and his crew showed up to deliver the two mattresses. We had already prepared our daughter, telling her that today was about her brothers getting beds and she would get her own “big girl” bed soon. Camryn was filled with joy to see her brothers new beds, but felt a little left out and asked, “when do I get my own bed?” We were prepared to repeat what we had been telling her, but to all of our surprise, Adam said “How about today?” and miraculously pulled a third mattress out of the truck for her! He had worked behind the scenes and with some help from OMI and his family, and together they had taken care of her mattress. Wow! We were thrilled and Camryn was on her own “big girl” bed in minutes!
Adam and OMI went to great lengths to work with our family to make our mission a reality. We are TRULY thankful to him for all of his efforts and are humbled by his sensitivity to our mission and circumstance!!! Thank you Adam, OMI and New Living!”
Regards– The Toll Patrol
Amber, Dale, Cooper, Carson, and Camryn