When we go to bed, we want to have a sound rest. This can be made even better by using bedding that is sustainably made. Synthetic materials, such as polyester, are very common. These are made from nonrenewable chemicals rather than all-natural products that can be grown. There are also some health issues that may arise from the VOCs (volatile organic compounds) in these materials. Another benefit from natural bedding that use natural fibers is breathability. You will feel the difference on hot, humid summer nights. There are lots of choices out there for the eco-conscious consumer. For sheets and pillowcases, cotton is the most affordable and easy-to-find fiber, but you can also purchase linen, bamboo, hemp, modal (a type of rayon made from beech trees), or even silk bed linens. Organic and fair trade materials are highly encouraged. This means that the materials were grown using sustainable and fair labor practices, which makes a better and more eco-friendly product. Blankets are made from a variety of natural fibers. Natural pillows can be made with feathers, down, cotton, wool, kapok, and even milkweed. For the fillings of quilts and comforters on cool nights, there are choices of cotton, wool, down, silk, and hemp.
Another key thing to look for when buying green bedding supplies is to buy formaldehyde-free. Formaldehyde is used to make wrinkle resistant fabrics. In high concentrations, it can cause breathing problems, nausea, a burning sensation in the eyes, nose and throat, and even cancer. Besides, who would want to sleep in a substance that is used to embalm? It sounds so macabre!
There are many reasons to switch to eco-friendly bedding. First, and foremost, it is much better for your health. Breathable fabrics create good air flow around the body, which results in better sleep. The investment pays off in time because it prevents many of the problems caused by Formaldehyde. Switching to natural fibers of course is renewable. It breaks down much quicker in time when disposed of. Organic is even better because less resources were used in the production of the material.
When shopping, there are a few tips to keep in mind. Only buy what is needed. Having more than what we need is wasteful, so if you already have something that works fine, keep it until it wears out. Shop for quality, because it will last longer which means less trips to the store and less to be thrown out. Test before you buy. Going to a store that has sample test sheets will help with your purchase. Be aware of the store’s return policy so if you want something different, you can still be satisfied.
After eco-friendly bedding is purchased, there are a few tips to make it last longer. Avoid excessive washing and drying. Too many trips to the washing machine, or leaving it too long in the dryer, wears out fabric faster, not to mention the waste of water and energy. If you would like more information on this topic the Sierra Club http://www.sierraclub.org/ is a good source.
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