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Category Archives: organic

Back to School, Easy as 1-2-3

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It is time for the kiddos to go back to school. Whether they are starting off their first year of school in kindergarten or finishing their last semesters at college, every student can take a step toward being more conscious of the world we all live in.

Here are some great first leaps to make to help preserve our precious resources!

1. Recycled Supplies:

TreeSmart is a company based in Oregon that makes pencils and rulers out of recycled newspapers! They also make recycled crayons, pens and coloring booklets that have educational messages about recycling, endangered species and ways to help the environment.

80450 All Star Recycle SetSet-2 copy

Have a small nub of a crayon left that seems unusable? Donate it to Crazy Crayons, which makes 100% recycled crayons from unwanted crayons collected by The National Crayon Recycle Program. They collect old crayon stubs and melt them down to liquid, then pour them into cute and funky moulds to give the crayons new life!

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2. Pack it in:

One of the best ways to recycle for the coming school year, is to reuse your old backpack, or swapping with a sibling or a friend can give everyone a new pack. If you are in need of a new one however, EcoGear provides very stylish and certified organic cotton backpacks for kids of every age. The Panda Eco-Pack Backpack in particular is great because it uses minimal plastic as well as being the perfect smaller size for young kids in school.

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3. Lunch with Love:

It might be adorable to tell your lil’ one on their first day of school how much you love them on the outside of their brown bagged lunch. By getting reusable containers for your kids to take lunch in. Reusable bottles for liquids instead of juiceboxes, as well as reusable forks, spoons, or even sporks, can help reduce the amount of plastic and paper going into our landfills every day. Plus, you can still stick a sweet note in their lunch box.

Extra Credit! First Day Outfit:

It feels great as a kid to go shopping for the first day of schools’ outfit. Second-hand stores are a great way to recycle old clothing and buy something “new” for your kids to wear, at a fraction of the cost of brand-new clothing.

For those of you with kids going off to college (or if you are a college student yourself), check out our tips for getting your dorm room ready.

Beat the Chill This Fall With New OMI Blankets

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As the hot nights of summer are coming to an end, fall is bringing cooler weather.  It may be time to think about adding a blanket to your bed.  Here are our new offerings for staying cozy and warm on chilly autumn nights:

Thermal Blanket  

CrepeWeave

Starting at $55 MSRP

Perfect for lightweight warmth or for layering in colder seasons. The pebbly textured fabric is 100% organic cotton in a crepe weave. Offered from crib to king sizes.

Baby Heirloom Blanket

Hearts

$55 MSRP

Featuring detailed hearts. It is woven of 100% certified organic cotton, and is machine washable.

To learn more about how to dress your bed, check out our previous blogs “How Does Your Mattress Stack Up?” and “Mattress Protection: The OMI Mattress Pad Line”.

FTC Cracks Down on Manufacturer Greenwashing

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FTC-logo

An important announcement yesterday from the Federal Trade Commission marked a major accomplishment in the fight against greenwashing. At OMI, it is our goal always to offer the purest products available, and it is great to see that fraudulent greenwashing claims are being prosecuted by our governmental agencies charged with protecting consumers. This will help consumers determine what is truly organic and healthy and what is just marketing hype.

The FTC has brought actions against manufactures and/or retailers for the following false assurances:

  • Claiming products do not contain formaldehyde, toluene, or phenols in their latex mattresses
  • Claiming their rubber is “chemical free”
  • Claiming that their mattresses contain no toxic substances
  • Claiming that their mattresses contain fewer contaminants and chemicals than other companies’ memory foam or latex mattresses
  • Inadequate tests that show their mattresses do not contain any VOCs or chemicals
  • Ficticous and misleading logos
  • False certifications

Here is an excerpt from the July 25th, 2013 FTC announcement:

“Under settlements with the Federal Trade Commission, three mattress manufacturers have agreed to stop making unsupported claims that the mattresses they sell are free of harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
 
In addition to challenging the companies’ VOC-free claims, the FTC charged that two of the companies made unsupported claims that their mattresses were chemical-free and lacked odor.  The FTC also challenged one company’s claim that its mattresses are made from 100 percent natural materials, and another company’s claim that its mattresses were certified by an organic mattress organization.

In settling the FTC’s charges, the companies have agreed not to make similar claims in the future, unless they have competent and reliable scientific evidence to prove they are true.  In addition, one company is barred from making misrepresentations about certifications.”

For the full article and links for more information on the FTC announcement, click HERE.

To see a full list of OMI’s certifications, see our Purity Guarantee HERE.  Also check out the blog “Our Dedicated Organic Factory” to learn about the added steps we take to ensure you receive the benefits we claim.

Four Ways to Help You Improve Your Sleep

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Four Ways for Improving Sleep

Environment can make a big difference in how well we sleep. One way to improve the quality of sleep is as simple as changing your bedroom. Sleep Junkie has some great tips to help make your nights more restful, including:

603967 Color matters…

The paint choice for your bedroom may seem like only a cosmetic preference, but it can really influence how well you sleep. Studies suggest that neutral colors are best for a bedroom because they provide a calming and relaxing vibe. Loud and harsh colors can actually distract and even irritate your eyes while you try to settle in for the night…If you want to redecorate, think about how the color might look or affect you as you drift off.

Darker is better for sleep…

It is important to make your room as dark as possible in order for most people to get a restful night’s sleep. To do this, you should use shades and curtains. If your room faces towards the sunrise and you don’t awake at the crack of dawn, than blackout drapes can help improve your shut eye, and eliminate pesky streetlights…The less light the more likely you are to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.”

Invest in a good, comfortable mattress…

The mattress that you choose is absolutely critical to how well you sleep… There is nothing more disturbing to your sleep than a lumpy and uncomfortable mattress.

Don’t forget the details…

There are a number of other extra things that you can incorporate into your bedroom to lull you to sleep. After you have selected a comfortable mattress be sure to include fresh sheets and a cozy comforter. All-cotton sheets keep your bed breathable and feel nice against your skin.

There are a number of things to consider when bettering your bedroom for a restful night’s sleep. Incorporating a few or all of these suggestions are sure to make your sleeping environment much more calming and relaxing.  While these things may take a few extra moments to transform your bedroom into a sleeping haven, it will be worth every minute once you realize how restful your sleep can actually be.

To read the article in full please click HERE.

Here at OMI, we can’t help rearrange your room, but we can help by providing comfortable mattresses, pillows, sheets and other accessories to help you achieve the best (and safest) night’s sleep.

Time to Get Pickin’

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All the fruits and veggies that I love are out and ready for hand picking or picking up from the local farmers market. My most loved, however, are blackberries. It just so happens that my grandparents and my best friend have a few acres of roaming wild organic blackberries that pop up every summer, this year the season came a bit earlier than usual and I couldn’t be more excited about it!

Yesterday afternoon my husband, a few of our closest friends and I headed out in our sturdiest clothes and picked some of the most juicy, beautiful berries I have seen. I am excited for homemade jam, blackberry ice cream, blackberry syrup, and most importantly, blackberry cobbler.

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Make your own cobbler with this delicious recipe from www.bunsinmyoven.com.

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For the dough:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose organic flour

1/2 cup raw organic sugar

1  1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

9 tablespoons cold organic butter

1/3 cup boiling water

 dough

For the filling:

2 tablespoons corn starch

1/4 cup cold water

1 tablespoon organic fresh squeezed lemon juice

4 cups fresh organic blackberries

1/2 cup sugar

 berries

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

For the dough, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl. Cut in the butter until you have a coarse, crumbly mixture. Pour in the boiling water and stir together well so that all of the dough is wet. Set aside.

For the berries, dissolve the cornstarch in the cold water in a medium bowl. Add the lemon juice, berries, and sugar. Mix together well. Transfer berries to a 10 inch cast iron pan.

Heat mixture over medium heat until boiling, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.

Drop spoonfuls of dough over the berry mixture and place the cast iron pan on a foil lined cookie sheet and place in the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the dough is golden brown and the berries are thick and bubbly.

(If you don’t have a cast iron pan, bring to a boil in a sauce pan and bake in a 9×9 baking dish.)

ENJOY!

Sleep Cool This Summer with a Wooly Pillowtop

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Most people would assume that wool is used only to keep you warm on cold winter’s nights.  They don’t realize how amazing wool is, and that it can actually help you keep cool in the summer.

When customers mention that they are getting too hot when they sleep, we often suggest either the Wooly pillowtop or the Wooly Lite.  Both these pillowtops are filled with plush layers of our organic Eco-Wool.  Wool is a great natural heat regulator, and actually wicks body heat and moisture away from you during warm nights.  (It also helps regulate your body temperature during the cold winter months, so it’s a great choice year-round.)  The Wooly is covered in certified-organic cotton sateen, and its feel closely resembles that of a feather bed, adding a nice, luxurious feel to any mattress.

The Wooly (3”)

Wooly

The 3″-deep Eco-Wool Wooly is well suited for sleepers who need a softer surface depth or who enjoy a bed with a “nesting” feel. (Depth is approximate.)

Starting at $545

The Wooly Lite (1.5″)

WoolyLite

The economical 1.5″-deep Eco-Wool Wooly Lite is perfectly suited for the sleeper who needs just a little extra surface cushioning. (Depth is approximate.)

Starting at $385

Contact your local retailer for more information; click HERE to find a store near you.

Add a little softness to you bed and beat the summer heat!

Happy Birthday America!

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Wishing everyone a happy and safe 4th of July!

Doctors Prescribe Sleep

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insomnia

In today’s world of go-go-go attitudes, many people don’t find time to get a full night of sleep.   After a short night of sleep we all feel the effects: drowsiness, a lack of energy and just not feeling up to our full potential.  But what other effects are caused by not enough sleep?

Recently the New York Times published the article “Cheating Ourselves of Sleep,” in which they discuss the many harmful effects of the lack of a full night of sleep:

“Research shows that most people require seven or eight hours of sleep to function optimally. Failing to get enough sleep night after night can compromise your health and may even shorten your life. From infancy to old age, the effects of inadequate sleep can profoundly affect memory, learning, creativity, productivity and emotional stability, as well as your physical health.”

To see the full article click HERE.

Remember to take time for yourself.  Get the sleep your body needs!

Caught up in Cotton

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Yesterday, I was walking out of my house and realized my entire outfit was made out of cotton. It got me thinking about the fact that it wasn’t made out of organic cotton, but conventional cotton. I thought I would do a little bit of research as to why one would choose organic instead. Here’s what I found…

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  • ·Approximately14.1% of global insecticide sales in 2009 were used to grow cotton.
  • ·Worldwide, annual cotton pesticide sales increased approximately 18.5% in the decade between 1999 -2009, from $2.564 billion to $3.038 billion.
  • ·Of the $3.038 billion, 28% was for herbicide sales, 58% for insecticides, 3.5% for fungicides, and 10% for “other” pesticides such as defoliants.
  • ·In 2008, global cotton production used almost 7% of all pesticides (including defoliants, herbicides, and insecticides), 5% of the world’s herbicides, and 16% of the world’s insecticides in terms of sales.
  • ·In the United States, 2009 sales of pesticides for use on domestic cotton amounted to $687 million, representing 23% of total global cotton pesticide use.
  • ·On average, 90% of U.S. cotton is genetically engineered.
  • ·Eight of the top 10 insecticides most commonly used on U.S. cotton in 2010 are classified as moderately to highly acutely hazardous by the World Health Organization.
  • ·Approximately 45 million pounds of pesticides were used on approximately 11 million acres of cotton planted in the United States in 2010.
  • ·The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency considers seven of the top 15 pesticides used on cotton in 2010 in the United States as “possible,” “likely,” “probable,” or “known” human carcinogens.
  • ·The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency considers seven of the top 15 pesticides used on cotton in 2010 in the United States as “possible,” “likely,” “probable,” or “known” human carcinogens.
  • ·Eight of the top 10 insecticides most commonly used on U.S. cotton in 2010 are classified as moderately to highly acutely hazardous by the World Health Organization.
  • ·Over 2.03 billion pounds of synthetic fertilizers were applied to conventional cotton in 2000 (142 pounds/acre), making cotton the fourth most heavily fertilized crop, behind corn, winter wheat, and soybeans (USDA).
  • ·It takes roughly one-third of a pound of chemicals (pesticides and fertilizers) to grow enough cotton for just one T-shirt.

Information provided by Organic Trade Association, http://www.ota.com

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Save the Planet! Buy Organic!

Take Your Summer Vacation from Forgettable to Memorable

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DSCN0407 Summer weather is finally here, and with the days staying lighter  longer it gives us more time for fun activities.  Planning those activities can feel daunting at times, however here are some ideas that will help you create great summer memories while being eco-friendly.

  1. Take a Hike

    Bidwell Park - Chico, CA

    Bidwell Park – Chico, CA

Connect with nature by taking a walk in local park or nature trail.  Take time to check out the trees, wildflowers and birds.  Allow the kids to get exercise while enjoying the beauty of nature.

  1. Go for a Bike Ride

    family-riding-bikes1

Biking is a great exercise, and can be really enjoyable, especially in the evening after dinner.  Work off that meal you ate while peddling along with your family and friends.

  1. Visit a Local Farmer’s Market or Street Fair

    MarketJuly11

Search for hidden treasures at street fairs, or find great locally grown produce to incorporate into your menus for the week.

  1. Plant a Garden

Work on making a small garden for some fresh homegrown treats.  Gardens come in all sizes from window box gardens to large producing gardens.  Find an area for your garden and plant some of your favorite produce.

  1. Host a Potluck Dinner

potluck

Invite friends over for an evening of fun. Potlucks allow guests to bring a dish, so this cuts back on energy used for cooking.  Pick a theme for the dinner, such as Italian, finger foods, etc.  The themes will keep your dinner options varied and allow for some creative cooking.

  1. Cool Off

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Escape the summer heat by visiting a local lake or community pool.

  1. Volunteer

Find a local organization such as a local food banks or animal shelter, and offer some help.  These organizations are always in need of a few extra hands.

  1. Plan A Mini Vacation

    Fisherman camping at a wilderness lake

Just because you can’t get a whole week off this summer does not mean you can’t take a mini vacation.  Plan a weekend trip to an area within driving distance and enjoy being away from home.  You don’t have to stay at an expensive hotel, but you can camp in a campground by a lake or river.  Just give yourself time to relax and “unplug.”

Whatever you decide to do this summer, remember to have fun, make some great memories, and as always, think about what you can do to keep your summer eco-friendly.

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