More toxic mattress “lies” that boil my blood!

I had a completely different post planned for today, but in light of a recent conversation, I just had to write this instead.

You might recall a post last spring when we were in the market for a mattress for our son.  We wantedbed savvy rest an organic, chemical-free mattress so we could have peace of mind while he was getting a peaceful night’s rest.  The issue is the excessive chemicals sprayed on traditional mattresses to make them meet government standards for fire retardants.  They are so, so dangerous for everyone, since we inhale these toxic chemicals each and every night, but especially for children with developing bodies and systems.

Well, a friend of ours recently contacted us and wanted to know about the mattress we ended up buying.  When I sent him the information he told me that the mattress store he just visited told him that he was “unable to buy that type of mattress without a prescription” (presumably because they are also hypo-allergenic) and “they have to use chemical fire retardants to meet standards”.

This is where my blood started to boil.

The reality is that they were lying to our friend simply because they didn’t HAVE what he was looking for and, obviously, would go to any length to make a sale.

mattress fillThe truth of the matter is this:   Mattresses do NOT need to be sprayed with chemicals to make them fire retardant! They do, however, need to meet standards for BEING fire retardant.  There are other ways to meet this standard but unfortunately, for consumers, the cheapest way to do this is simply to spray on a load of dangerous chemicals.

The mattress we chose was from Savvy Rest (via Natural Bed Co.).  Since organic wool is quilted to the inside of the organic cotton fabric cover, THIS is the non-flammable layer that inhibits burning and makes it pass these tests.

I absolutely hate the fact that a mattress retailer would tell such lies just for the sake of a sale.  But on top of that, they are completely misleading consumers about the truth.

Of course, there are honest retailers out there, but if you are in the market for a new mattress, don’t be misled.  You CAN buy a safe, non-toxic mattress… no prescription needed.

10 simple ways to make grocery shopping “greener”.

reusable food toteWe all have our standards for grocery shopping… that list of do’s and don’ts for what we choose.   Maybe it’s a choice of organic produce and/or ingredients.  Maybe it’s a matter of avoiding certain contents, like artificial ingredients.  Maybe it’s just looking for the overall healthiest choices.

But above and beyond the food we select, there are many ways we can make our grocery store trip “greener”.  Consider these 10 simple ways:

  1. Buy the most minimal packaging. Consider things like fresh breads.  They often come in paper bags that can be recycled – a far better choice than plastic wrappers (sometimes double-wrappers!) of mass-produced bread.  This holds true for many products.  Select those with minimal or the most recyclable packaging.
  2. Buy a chunk or a brick of sliced cheese over the individually-wrapped version.  A package of 24-slices will include 24 sheets of plastic otherwise.bread bag
  3. Buy the big can instead of multiple smaller cans – less packaging and less to recycle.  If it’s more than you need, put a reusable container to work and store it in your freezer until you do need it!
  4. Buy local, every time you can!  Did you know that produce in the US travels between 1,500 to 2,500 miles before it even reaches your grocery store? … lots of emissions are created to make that happen!
  5. Choose fresh over frozen or canned.  They use a lot less energy… from the energy used to process and manufacture them, to the energy needed for storage… choose fresh!
  6. Choose sustainable wild fish over farm-raised – they actually contain less metals and create less contaminates since the concentration of farm-raised fish creates high levels of contaminating waste that will eventually reach our water sources.
  7. Buy a gallon of milk or juices versus multiple 2-quarts, and buy in boxes versus individual packages.  This often means one recyclable container versus two non-recyclable cartons, and one recyclable box over a dozen plastic wrappers.  It’s obvious and fairly easy to break down single-servings into reusable containers.soybns
  8. Embrace the soybean! They’re a fabulous source of protein and cost a lot less than cattle farming!  If you replaced one beef meal per month with a soybean product, it would save TWENTY THOUSAND GALLONS of water per year!
  9. Shop the counter.  Buy meats at a counter where you can select the exact amount you need.  Prepackaging ends up in excessive waste and often the needless disposal of foods when you “have too much”.
  10. No paper, no plastic, no arguments!  Reusable bags are the only option.

It’s Friday.  Now get to shopping… but just remember to think “green-ER” before you buy!

FREE Giveaway! “Make the Switch” to an EcoUsable Bottle!

(This giveaway is now closed for entries.  See “Comments” for winner announcement!)

No one was more disappointed than I was with the news that Sigg bottles had come under fire for actually containing BPA in the epoxy liner inside their bottles manufactured before August 2008.  After all, I did recommend Sigg as a choice to avoid that nasty chemical and I have a couple of those bottles in regular use for my own family (insert my frowning face here!).

ecousable logoWell, I’ve “looked into”(and I do mean literally and figuratively) EcoUsable stainless steel bottles and I can assure you… they are safe and one outstanding line of products.  They have even pioneered the world’s first stainless filtered water bottle and have launched the “Make the Switch” campaign. This campaign encourages consumers with aluminum water bottles to make the switch to EcoUsable stainless steel, BPA-free water bottles produced with no lining at all.

The amazing thing about this bottle is that it literally filters the water you drink!  So while you’re away from home you can ecousablealways have clean, safe water… anywhere.  Need to fill it with tap water?  Go ahead … it filters it!  Need to fill it with water from a lake or stream?  Go ahead… it filters it!  Need to fill it with water from a POOL?  Yep, go ahead… it filters it!!!

Sound crazy?  It does!  But you want one, don’t you?!?

Well, then leave a comment here saying you’d like to win and tell me where you’d use your EcoUsable bottle, or send a Twitter message that includes a reply to @momgoesgreen and a link to this blog. The winner will be selected one week from today’s post. (US entries only… sorry!)

This giveaway is valued at over $40, and they’ve even thrown in a “Green 4 Life” bottle wrap for an extra little statement!

They are also offering a 20% discount on products until October 31, 2009, during this campaign.  Just click here to take advantage (discount is automatically given at checkout).

So if you want to know that your drinking water is as safe as it gets while you’re “on the go”, join me… and “Make the Switch”!

WHY go green?… a fundamental (but fair) question.

earth in handsThis IS the most fundamental of questions.  We each have our own idea of what “going green” means, and perhaps, a variety of reasons for doing so.  But it’s a question worth answering.

If you ever asked yourself this question, or if someone ever asks you “why”, think about the big picture and the reasons we “do what we do”.  I’m sure you’ll agree that this is a cause worth fighting for.

  1. In a nutshell, I believe the “go green” movement is all about the concerns for the depletion and contamination of the earth’s greatest, and most important, natural resources… think about clean water, clean air, clean soil… (not to mention a clean and healthy body).  They are directly linked to our well-being and they are in jeopardy.
  2. When we choose not to recycle, our trash (that reaches landfills) contains harmful chemicals and ingredients that affect the soil, leach into the ground and surface water, and contaminate everything… from the soil that grows our food to the water we drink.  This contamination also creates harmful conditions for wildlife and eco-systems.
  3. When we DO recycle, we save the resources needed to create new products and the energy needed for their production, which prevents excessive CO2 emissions caused by the production process.
  4. Reducing energy consumption reduces your demand on polluting power plants that create excessive emissions and seriously contribute to global warming.
  5. Water is essential to our survival and it is NOT renewable.  Being conscious of our use (and preventing overuse) of water and seeing that we do all we can to prevent contamination of our fresh water supply simply protects this invaluable resource.go green
  6. Buying organic locally-grown foods means avoiding harsh chemicals, supporting agriculture that does not contaminate the soil and food (with pesticides/herbicides and harmful chemicals), and avoiding the emissions created by shipping produce from somewhere across the country or (potentially) another hemisphere entirely.  This, in turn, slows deforestation by reducing the demand for producing news crops… therefore saving delicate eco-systems, valuable trees (that hold CO2) and precious wildlife.
  7. Choosing products that are biodegradable and contain natural ingredients prevents absorption of chemicals into our own bodies and the contamination of resources when they reach landfills and water sources. This includes everything from body products and cosmetics to household cleaners and lawn care chemicals.
  8. Choosing products made from recycled or sustainable resources does everything from protecting resources, habitats and forests, to preventing more landfill waste, to the reduction of production energy.
  9. When we choose NOT to use resources, it SAVES resources. Is there really any reason NOT to want to do that?
  10. People, plants, animals and the environment/eco-systems are all interconnected. We cannot change one without affecting the other and, the way I see it, we are the only “element” in that equation that has the true ability to make a positive change.

Why go green?  For me, it’s to do my part in preserving this planet and its resources through each and every choice I make.  And to see that I make the healthiest choices possible.  I have young children… they’re counting on me.

Why do YOU go green?

(Fast) food for thought… you’ll be shocked… or maybe not!

I have a story that NEEDS to be shared…

I recently attended a local PTA Council meeting and went to a special session on “Health & Nutrition”.  I had no idea what would be discussed, but having two young children, I’m always interested in the topic and how I can improve upon our overall health.

What I learned nearly made me fall off my chair.

burgrThe presenter began by asking everyone to pass around a plate that held a McDonald’s hamburger and Burger King fries.  My stomach churned at the thought, because we really avoid fast food (especially these two chains!).

When I was the (un)lucky recipient of the plate my stomach churned even more than expected.  Everything looked dried out and completely unappetizing… as if they had been sitting in a low-heat oven for a few hours.  (Note: they looked nothing like these photos!)

After the plate made its rounds, the presenter asked for thoughts about the “age” of the food.  Guesses ranged from a few hours to a few days.friese

Guess what?  That burger & fries were four and a half years old… yes, I said YEARS!

They had never been frozen, never been refrigerated, never received special “treatment”… they just sit around in their original containers.

The point?  There was no mold, no decay, no visible bacteria, no growing “green fuzzies”.  Nothing.

And what does this tell us? Essentially, these foods are so processed, so preserved, so lacking in enzymes and usable nutrition, that not even bacteria, mold or microbes could locate enough nutrients to develop and grow.  Can you, therefore, imagine was it does (or doesn’t do) for our bodies?!?

Enough said. The next time you’re looking for a “fast food”, grab a banana!