Do Wool Mattresses Smell?

Wool blog A lot of companies are going green these days including mattress companies. People who are health conscious, have chemical sensitivities, or are environmentally wise purchase natural mattresses for their homes. At My Green Mattress we have a selection of mattresses that use all natural materials including organic cotton, wool, and natural latex.

One question our customers ask is, “Do wool mattresses smell?”

Many natural materials, like wool, have their own natural odor that is nontoxic. Some people are more sensitive to this smell than others. Wool is hygroscopic, which means it easily absorbs moisture, causing the natural odors to be more noticeable in humid climates. It is possible that exposing wool to humidity during the manufacturing process can increase the natural odor of the wool. At My Green Mattress, we place our wool out in the sun to help dissipate the natural odors before quilting it into your new mattress. If any natural smell persists, rest assured that it will dissipate naturally with time.

However, it is possible to expedite the dissipation of the wool odor in your new mattress. Just follow the steps below:

HOW TO GET THE SMELL OUT OF YOU WOOL MATTRESS

• Put your mattress out in the sun for 3 to 4 hours – the sun is a great deodorizer. If your mattress is upholstered on two sides, make sure both sides get exposed to the sun for 3 to 4 hours.

• Air out your mattress. Remove any bedding from your mattress, open the windows, and let the fresh air in.

BENEFITS OF WOOL

• Wool is hypo-allergenic, which makes it a good choice for people who have allergies to feather, down, or synthetic bedding products.

• Wool adds extra padding for improved softness and comfort.

• Wool keeps you cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter

• Wool is flame resistant, allowing our mattresses to meet flame laws without the use of chemical flame retardants

• Wool is durable and long lasting for many nights of comfortable sleep

Being Mindful: Recycling

Making a Difference – One Piece of Trash at a Time

You’ve probably heard the story “The Star Thrower” by Loren Eiseley at some point. It’s the one where a man is throwing stranded starfish back into the ocean one by one and when told it won’t make a difference, he replies, “It made a difference to that one.” Every day each one of us is also making a difference, good or bad, in even the most mundane things we do and yet we often don’t realize it. For instance, when you are throwing a glass bottle into your recyclables, you are saving enough energy to “run a 100 watt light bulb for 4 hours”(Recycling Revolution). When your alarm clock needs new batteries and you simply toss the old ones into the garbage, you are actually contributing to the addition of potentially hazardous compounds to the air that we breathe and the water that we drink. I try to be mindful about recycling and the way I discard of my trash because I know that in some small way my efforts are actually helping this earth and my fellow human beings. I also know that my small efforts are a part of one big effort that millions of people partake in, and that makes a big difference!

Because the majority of us are pretty savvy when it comes to the basic recycling components (cans, paper and such), I thought I would touch upon items that people usually don’t think about recycling, as well as items that if discarded improperly can have a negative impact on our environment. After all, the more you know, the more mindful you can be, thus keeping your environment safer.

 

recycle

Books

Having graduated from college as an English major, it pains me to see books in the garbage! Used books in good condition can be donated to your local library. Depending on the library, the books are reused in different ways. Sometimes they are put on the shelves, sometimes they are sold and the funds are used to support the library, and sometimes they are given to charity.

Batteries

Among other things, batteries contribute to heavy metals that potentially may leach from solid waste landfills (EHSO). For hazardous waste material, such as batteries, compact fluorescent light bulbs or fertilizers, go to http://www.Earth911.com. Type in your zip code and you’ll get a list of places you can bring these items in to recycle. I was surprised to see how many local locations there are accepting these items. For instance, libraries are one place that often accept the alkaline, or single use batteries. Because it wouldn’t be practical to drive to one of these places for every battery or light bulb that needs replacing, keep a box in a safe place away from children or pets where you keep a collection. Once the box is full discard of them all at once!

Fertilizers

According to many State Departments of Public Health and Environment, throwing fertilizer in your trashcan is the least desirable method of getting rid of it. The solution? Only buy what you need and if you have extra see if a neighbor can use it. Otherwise, you should dispose of it through your town’s Household Hazardous Waste Collection Program. On a side note, this should make you think twice about using non-organic fertilizer on your lawn, especially if it is a place where children and pets play. Fertilizers and pesticides have been linked to the increase of childhood leukemia and brain cancer. Really, it’s best to find an alternative option to chemical fertilizers because just using them causes damage to the earth.

Medication

So you can’t recycle medication, but you can save the water that we drink from becoming contaminated. When medicine containing any form of mercury is flushed down the toilet, it ends up in our waterways (where it comes to us via the water we drink and the fish we eat) and when thrown in the garbage, it ends up in the air we breathe. Mercury turns into methylmercury, which is extremely toxic. To discard of medication properly, take it to your local police department where they will dispose of it safely.

Even the smallest step forward is a step in the right direction. By recycling and helping to discard of hazardous waste properly, you are helping to make a positive difference in both our present and our future.

Organic Cotton-it makes a difference!

Thankfully, the importance of eating organic foods is becoming common knowledge. With links to cancer, infertility, mental illnesses and the like, ingesting the chemicals commonly used on foods is toxic.

What people are becoming increasingly aware of is that it’s just as important to make sure that what we surround ourselves with daily in other areas of our life is organic as well. Case in point: cotton. We come into contact with this material on a daily basis, be it clothing, various stuffed animals, blankets, sheets, tablecloths, furniture, mattresses, and towels, to name more than a few. Because it’s cotton we assume it’s safe, as it’s easy to take the fabric for granted knowing that it’s soft, natural and breathable. The truth is though, that if not organic, cotton is one of the most heavily treated fabrics out there.

Organic Cotton makes a difference blog graphic

“Conventionally grown cotton uses more insecticides than any other crop in the world. It is estimated that each year cotton producers use as much as 25 percent of the world’s insecticides and more than 10 percent of the world’s pesticides; an incredible amount for one just one crop”(Dietz, Huff Post Green).

These chemicals pollute our air and water supply, and have a grave affect on those working with or living around the areas where cotton is being grown and treated. Across all agricultural sectors, an estimated 1 to 5 million cases of pesticide poisoning occur every year, resulting in 20,000 reported deaths among agricultural workers and at least 1 million requiring hospitalization (The True Costs of Pesticides).

Unlike standard cotton, “Organic cotton is grown using methods and materials that have a low impact on the environment. Organic production systems replenish and maintain soil fertility, reduce the use of toxic and persistent pesticides and fertilizers, and build biologically diverse agriculture”(Organic Trade Association).

By choosing organic cotton, you are choosing a material that is safer for the earth and for you. Because cotton is so much a part of our lives, going organic may seem daunting at first, but it’s really quite simple. Start one item at a time. As something needs replacing, search and buy organic. The more the demand, the more organic cotton will be used, limiting the conventionally processed cotton and thus, the hazards that come with it. By demanding organic cotton, we are demanding health and safety for ourselves, for our communities, and for our earth.

DIY Natural Electrolyte Drink

 

We’ve been living with the stomach bug in our household for two weeks now. It’s something that I knew would probably be showing up, as we decided to take the kids for a weekend to an indoor water park in the Poconos. If you know anyone who has ever taken little kids to one, then you know it’s more than likely for young kids to contract one of these when there. The kids had fun, but perhaps it wasn’t worth the consequence, as I honestly didn’t think it would last this long.

The good news is that though the only ‘cure’ is to let it run it’s course, there are natural steps that can be taken to ease the pain and discomfort. Most people know that keeping hydrated is key, however, it’s important to take small sips every few minutes instead of gulping something down as there is a greater chance that it will stay down and be absorbed into your system. Electrolytes are important when you are losing a lot of fluid, but choose your drink of choice wisely. Avoid Gatorade because it contains artificial ingredients and too much sugar, which will make it harder for your immune system to work against the virus. Instead, opt for coconut water, which naturally contains electrolytes or make your own electrolyte drink.

Natural electrolyte drinks are also great to drink while exercising, participating in sports or when feeling run down.

Homemade electrolyte Drink

 

 

Natural Electrolyte Drink Recipe:

1 quart of filtered water
⅛-1/4 tsp Himalayan Sea Salt
¼ cup or more of lemon juice
1-2 TBSP honey

Mix all ingredients and drink to your health!

 

The Stars of Sleep

The Stars of Natural Sleep Remedies
It happens to us all. Sometimes there are nights where it seems impossible to either fall asleep AND stay asleep. We can will ourselves all we want, but when it comes down to it, the sleep process involves a lot more than willpower.
There are actually four different chemicals that aid in proper sleep. The first, tryptophan, is what is needed to start the process of sleep. Tryptophan is the only one of the four chemicals not produced naturally by the body. This is one chemical that you must consume. Once it’s consumed, it gets converted into 5-HTP, which then converts into serotonin. The serotonin then converts into melatonin. It’s the melatonin that tells our body when it’s time to sleep and when it’s time to wake. If you don’t get enough tryptophan to start your sleep process, your body will be lacking in the other three essential sleep chemicals.
If you regularly have trouble sleeping, make sure that you are consuming foods that contain tryptophan. These include: cheese, chicken, eggs, fish, milk, nuts, oats, peanut butter, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, soy, and turkey.
Once you know that you are eating foods that give your body the tryptophan it needs to start you on your sleep journey, you can look further into how to naturally increase your sleep time and quality. Many answers can be found in plants and minerals.
Stars
The Two Stars of Sleep Remedies 
These two seem to be the most powerful of natural remedies. In fact, the first, tart cherry juice, has been found to provide better sleep than Valerian Root, a commonly prescribed natural sleep aid. 
Tart Cherry Juice – Two studies, one performed in 2009 and one in 2011, show that drinking tart cherry juice every day increased melatonin levels and provided participants in the study with more sleep time and better sleep efficiency. Why does it work? Cherries help to increase the availability of tryptophan, an essential amino acid that coverts to serotonin, which then coverts to melatonin. Cherries are also a source of naturally occurring melatonin. Concentrated tart cherry juice is the best as it is a much smaller serving size with a lot less sugar than the not from concentrate. This ‘remedy’ is particularly helpful for staying asleep through the night.
Magnesium – Magnesium plays a huge roll in calming the nervous system, thus getting the body ready for sleep. Surprisingly, many people are deficient in this mineral. If you are experiencing muscle spasms or heart palpitations, these could both be signs that you need more magnesium in your diet. Magnesium can be found in foods such as dark leafy greens, nuts, fish, dark chocolate, avocados and bananas. Though important to ingest through foods, you can also get it through soaking in an Epsom salt bath. In this way you are absorbing the mineral into your skin. Make sure to follow the dosage directions that come with the salts.
Two Herbal Remedies for Sleep
These two provide great sleep on a lesser scale of potency than the two aforementioned remedies. While the cherry juice and magnesium can both be used with children, these two herbals/oils can be used on very young kids and babies as well.  
Chamomile – Chamomile contains properties that act as a mild sedative and helps to aid in calming. The properties of the plant can be used in two ways to induce sleep. It can be made into a tea, or the essential oil can be used on the bottom of the feet or diffused in the air. Chamomile is great for inducing sleep.
Lavender – For sleep purposes, lavender is best used as an essential oil as it is the inhalation of it that helps to reduce stress and to provide a calming and sedative effect. It can be diffused or put directly on the soles of the feet to be absorbed into the skin.
It’s important to note that a great night’s sleep starts with your sleep environment and the routine you have for getting to sleep. Please see “Bed-time Tips for Your Child” for more information on this because the same tips that apply to children also apply to adults!
Resources
Chamomile: A herbal medicine of the past with bright future. NCBI. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2995283/
Effects of a Tart Cherry Juice Beverage on the Sleep of Older Adults with Insomnia: A Pilot Study. Journal of Medicinal Food. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3133468/
Lavender, University of Maryland Medical Center http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/lavender

DIY Mattress Freshening

At least one third of our lives is spent sleeping on a mattress. Add in time spent reading, watching television, cuddling, nursing, and playing on one and the amount of time that we spend on our mattresses increases significantly.

If you think about the activities that take place in the bed, be it a bed you sleep alone in or one that you share with another adult and/or children, you will see how a mattress needs to be refreshed every now and then.

Many mattress are found to contain sweat, blood, urine, and other bodily fluids, along with dirt and dust. Some without a good, natural moisture barrier also contain mold and mildew.

Gross to think about? Absolutely. The good news is that it’s easy to freshen a mattress, even though it’s not something many of us think to doYOU SAID THERE'S

Here’s How You Can Freshen Your Mattress

1. Start with washing all of the bedding including the mattress protector. In order to insure that any nasty germs are killed off, add about 10 drops of tea tree oil to your laundry detergent. Tea tree has been proven to kill off everything from the flu virus to MRSA!

2. Vacuum the mattress in every crease and crevice with the upholstery attachment. This will get rid of any dead skin cells, dust and other debris that have made their way there.

3. Mix some baking soda with 10 drops of tea tree oil and 10 drops of lavender oil. You can use a mason jar, shaking the mixture to combine the oils with the baking soda. Sprinkle the mixture over the bed and let it sit for a few hours. The baking soda will neutralize and odors and absorb any moisture. The oils will help to kill any germs on the surface of the mattress.

4. Vacuum up the baking soda once again using the upholstery attachment.

5. Spot clean any stains. The stains on mattresses are usually those of body fluid, and if you are finding them after freshening your mattress for the first time, then they have most likely been there for a while. You may not be able to fully remove them at this point, but here are some recipes to try. Please note that you do not want to get a lot of fluid on your mattress, so use as little as possible when cleaning it.

For blood: Make a paste of 1/4 cup hydrogen peroxide, 1 tbsp liquid dish soap and 1 tbsp of salt. Rub it in, let it sit and then scrape it off.

For urine and sweat: Mix 3 tbsp baking soda into 8 ounces of hydrogen peroxide with 2 small drops of dish soap. Mix until the baking soda is dissolved and dab this on the spot.

For vomit: Make a paste using hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. Set it on the stain, let it sit and then scrape it off.

If you needed to do any spot treatments, wait until any damp spots on the mattress are dry before putting any bedding back on.
When you are sure that your mattress is dry from any spot cleaning, put all of the bedding back on and relax knowing that you will sleep ‘fresh’ tonight!

 

 

 

Sweet Sleep

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