Wishing you a Happy and Healthy Earth Day from OMI!
This Friday will mark the 46th year of the Earth Day movement! Earth Day continues to inspire and ignite passion to motivate people into action to help protect our planet. There are many ways we can start incorporating eco-friendly ideas into our lives to lessen our impact on the globe. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Volunteer to pick up litter at your neighborhood park, beach, hiking trail, etc.
- Help evaluate the recycling system in your home and office to ensure you are using the best system possible.
- Be conscious of your energy and water usage. Turn off lights and unplug appliances when not in use, shorten showers, wash laundry in cold water, etc.
- Evaluate your home’s efficiency, ensure you have energy-efficient light bulbs, lower water temperature, and adjust your thermostat at least one degree lower during cold days and one degree higher on hotter days to help conserve energy.
- Use reusable water bottles and coffee mugs rather than paper to-go cups or plastic bottles.
- Bring your own reusable shopping bags for groceries.
- Plan an unplugged night – turn off the TV, computers, laptops, cell phones,and tablets, hang out with family or friends, play games, talk, laugh, and enjoy an electronic-free night.
- Get outside and enjoy our planet: have a picnic, play games, garden, etc.
These simple ideas may not seem like they will make a big impact, but if we all incorporate them in our lives they can add up to big changes.
What changes are you planning on implementing in your life this Earth Day? Tell us in the comments below.
Spring is here! The sun is bright, the flowers are blooming, and I finally feel like I can venture outside again as the winter chill subsides. Then it happens…my eyes start to water, my nose starts to itch, and all of sudden, I sneeze. Spring is definitely here and with all the beautiful blooms and lush greenery, it ushers in allergy season. Allergies are like the awkward photobomber in the background of a perfect “besties, night-on-the-town” selfie. They are just so disappointing. My days should be full of long hikes in the woods, picnics at the park, and I should not be afraid to take a long, deep breath of fresh air each time I walk outside.
There are many ways to control your spring allergy symptoms. It usually entails going to the drugstore and perusing aisles and aisles of medications in search of the one pill or syrup that will soothe your symptoms without breaking the bank or transforming you into a character straight out of The Walking Dead. Fortunately, there are many natural ways to get relief from spring allergy symptoms, many of which have the added benefits of boosting your energy and your immune system.
Saline solution is an affordable and easily attainable natural option to combat nasal allergy symptoms. Most saline sprays are isotonic, which means the solution is the same saline concentration as in your body. It can help clear the nasal passages of mucus without harming the cilia (the little hairs in your nose that humidify air entering your lungs), trap bacteria to prevent them from entering cells, and aid your sense of smell. Using a saline spray or flushing your nasal passages with a neti pot on a regular basis can reduce inflammation and the risk of infection.
Steam is another great natural solution to spring allergy symptoms. A hot shower is probably the quickest way to clear your sinuses. You can also add a few drops of peppermint or eucalyptus oil to a bowl of hot water, cover the back of your neck and head with a towel, and breathe in the vapors. The steam helps moisturize dry nasal passages while the essential oils alleviate sinus congestion and respiratory symptoms.
Diet can play a big role in controlling and/or eliminating allergy symptoms, as well. There are many foods with properties that can help your body rid itself of histamines. The body reacts to an allergy stimulus by releasing histamines, which can cause inflammation of the nasal tissue, runny nose and eyes, and an itchy nose or mouth. Vitamin C is a natural and gentle antihistamine. It is found in leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, and most fruit. Flavinoids, especially Quercetin, are a group of plant pigments that give many fruits, vegetables, and flowers their colors. They work to block the production of histamines and eliminate them in the body. Great sources of flavinoids are citrus fruits, onions, garlic, apples, parsley, tea, tomatoes, broccoli, lettuce, legumes, berries, and wine. Bromelain is found in pineapples and is another great anti-inflammatory. Spicy foods, especially those with cayenne pepper or chili powder, help to reduce nasal congestion and stuffiness. Lastly, omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon, grass-fed meat, flax seed oil, hemp seeds, and canola oil have many anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce allergic reactions, too.
Tea, specifically green tea, rooibos, and those containing yerba mate are good choices for allergy sufferers. A recent study in Japan showed in lab tests that EGCG, a in green tea, helped prevent allergic reactions. Rooibos tea is a naturally caffeine-free herbal tea that contains two flavinoids, rutin and quercetin, that block histamine production. Yerba mate is a South American herbal bush or tree that stimulates the adrenal glands to produce corticosteroids, which suppress autoimmune reactions in the body, decrease inflammation, and open respiratory passages. Make sure to avoid chamomile tea if you suffer from hay fever, as its properties can increase the severity of your symptoms.
Now you have a good list of natural ways to fight spring allergies! Don’t be afraid to enjoy the blooming trees and flowers and breathe in all the beautifully-scented air you would like. Happy Spring!
Why is wool becoming such a popular material in the mattress and bedding industry? Wool has many beneficial properties, many of which contribute to restful sleep.
One of the most well-known benefits of using wool in bedding and mattresses is its natural tendency to regulate body temperature. No more sleeping with one leg out of your covers or stealing your partner’s covers to stay warm.
Wool is also hypoallergenic. It is resistant to bacteria, mold, and mildew because the wool fibers naturally wick away moisture. No moisture means no dust mites! Dust mites love warm, moist areas. Wool is dry and not always warm.
Wool is naturally flame-resistant. It difficult to ignite, it does not melt, and flames are easily extinguished. For this reason, OMI uses certified organic wool as the natural flame barrier on our mattresses so that we do not have to use harmful chemical flame retardants.
Wool is also easy to clean and keep clean. Its fibers generate very little static electricity, so it repels dirt, lint, and dust, and stays cleaner longer. Dirt that accumulates sits on the surface of the fiber, and is therefore easily removed.
Lastly, wool is eco-friendly, biodegradable, and sustainable. Sheep produce wool yearly. As long as there are sheep, we’ll have wool. Wool is 100% biodegradable as well, so it is a great choice for the Earth!
Romance is in the air as Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. But rather than planning on grabbing a bouquet of flowers at the check stand of your grocery store, try to keep your romance eco-friendly.
Here are 10 ideas to make your Valentine’s Day green!
- Plan a fun outing, like a trip to a new museum, art show, concert, etc.
- Cook a special dinner rather than going out.
- Give a handmade gift like this DIY wine rack.
- Paint a picture.
- Write a poem.
- Plan a picnic in the park if the weather is cooperative.
- Frame a favorite photo ot the two of you together.
- Skip the bouquet of flowers and give a potted plant that your loved one can enjoy longer and even plant in the garden.
- Buy a unique gift from a local artisan or vintage store.
- Give your full attention to your loved one(s) by making it a device-free night in with no interruptions.
However you spend Valentine’s, be sure to make it a memorable experience!
2016 is almost here, and with the New Year come New Year’s resolutions! Many people opt for popular resolutions like losing weight or traveling more. But what if this year you tried something a little different and tried to incorporate some eco-conscious resolutions?
Here are 15 resolutions to help get you started on becoming more eco-conscious:
- Implement a recycling system, or ensure that your current system is the best it can be
- Stop buying water bottles and use a reusable bottle
- Add some indoor plants for better air quality
- Unplug unused appliances and turn off unused lights
- Make your home more efficient by switching out old bulbs for longer-lasting energy-efficient light bulbs, or install a new digital thermostat for more accuracy and to better regulate the temperature while using less energy
- Go Paperless – stop paper bills
- Pay bills online
- Lower water temperature to conserve energy
- Repair, restore, and reuse items, when possible
- Use rechargeable batteries
- Adjust your thermostat one degree lower in the winter and one degree higher in the summer to help conserve energy
- Buy local produce to reduce your carbon footprint
- Take shorter showers
- Try to include a vegetarian meal in your weekly menu
- Enjoy the outdoors
This is only a short list of ideas. However, there are hundreds of ways we can make our lives more eco-conscious.
May your 2016 be a happy and healthy year!
It’s time to deck the halls for the holiday season. It’s time for sparkly lights, twinkly candles, and beautiful baubles that transform your home into a cheery, cozy holiday wonderland. This year, I am looking for ways to reduce my environmental footprint. Here are a few fun ways to go green when decorating this season.
LED Lights and Candles
LED lights utilize a lot less electricity than incandescent lights. They are also known to last longer than traditional lights.
LED candles provide beautiful, soft light without the potential fire danger or messy burning of wax candles. They are available in all shapes, sizes, and colors. There are even models that flicker to replicate traditional candles.
Christmas Tree Alternatives
There are many green alternatives to cutting down a tree for your home. Though you can buy an artificial tree that could be reused each year, it is not the greenest option because of the materials used and the manufacturing process to make it. If you are not opposed to a smaller tree, a potted rosemary tree is a good option. Rosemary has a delightful aroma similar to pine, and you can plant the tree after Christmas. You can also make a corrugated cardboard tree or felt tree, or buy a recycled aluminum tree.
DIY Hanukkah Gelt Tree and Garland
You can easily make your own gelt tree and garland this holiday. I found a really cute DIY gelt tree on the blog “Yesterday on Tuesday.” You can also easily make a beautiful garland for your mantle or banister by attaching layers of gelt to a pretty piece of yarn or gold string.
Bake Your Own Ornaments
One of my favorite family holiday traditions is baking. I am really excited to try something a little different this year by baking some cookie ornaments. You can easily find cookie ornament recipes online. You make them with a non-edible salt dough and food coloring, or applesauce and cinnamon. My favorite recipe is for non-edible gingerbread cookies that I found on the Allrecipes website. You can decorate them with glitter, too, to make them look like they have colored sugar on them.
Wintry Window Décor
Make a pretty vintage collage in your front window with doilies of different sizes and shapes. You can also get the whole family in on the fun and cut out a variety of snowflakes to hang in your window, from your ceiling, or in a garland.
Now take these eco-friendly ideas and have fun and decorate for a greener holiday season!