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Monday, May 10, 2010

Safer Furniture Can Make a Difference!

So, I have been on the journey to switch out our regular furniture for safer organic or naturally made alternatives. Let me go into why I think this is so important for families who are trying to live safer, healthier and more natural lives.

Let me tell you a little bit about regular furniture. Your couch may look harmless, but unless you know exactly how it was manufactured, there’s a good chance that it’s off-gassing (emitting substances into the air) harmful chemicals into your home. The most common off-gassed substances are VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, which actually sound as scary as they are — they’ve been connected to cancer and birth defects — and can be found in substances like formaldehyde, flame retardants, finishes, adhesives and foam cushions. Your couch is not the only thing that contains these harmful VOCs. We are talking about everything from your mattress to your carpet to your drapes to any furniture with particle board in it. Here’s a mini summary of what to look out for: avoid PVC, other plastics, high-emitting particleboard, polyurethane foam and synthethic fibers for upholstery, toxic finishes and glues. It is a long list...But don't get overwhelmed.

Remember, every little step you take is safer for you and your family, not to mention our world!

Let me tell you about my journey so far. I started with our mattresses and sheets. I researched long and hard to find the best ones for the least amount of money. Because, I am definitely not a person with unlimited means. So, I have to be thrifty too.

I found our son's crib mattress at organicgrace.com, which is a fabulous site for all things nontoxic and safe for your family. Talia Rose, the owner, is a beautiful woman and mother, and you will love her site! I bought an organic wool and cotton mattress, because wool is a natural flame retardent and is free of all things that are dangerous for your little ones.

A few months later, (because I had to save up a little dough) I bought an organic Savvy Rest organic cotton, organic wool and natural latex mattress for my husband and my queen size bed. Latex is anti-microbial and anti-bacterial, and dust mites cannot live in it. It will hold up for 10—20 years. I bought this one from thenaturalsleepstore.com. I must say, I didn't really appreciate the smell of this mattress(it was like milk), but it went away quite quickly, and I thought that was a small price to pay for a great safe mattress.

My next purchase was organic mattress covers and organic sheets. I believe I ordered those from different companies on Ebay. You can find lots of great quality organic products on Ebay, as well.

My latest and biggest purchase of just two days ago was my organic couch, which I am so excited to have purchased!! I have been researching this one for almost a year. First, I was going to go with a futon with an organic futon mattress, but that was getting really tricky and really complicated. Then, I was going to give up and just get a more natural, less toxic couch from IKEA, but I just wanted better. So, the other day I finally found one that we could afford on Ebay. It was from an Amish company A Natural Home that makes organic furniture. A Natural Home is a small family run company with a core of families that do custom work, as well as stock items. They use organic materials, sustainable wood, and bench crafted creations.

My next step is to hopefully rip out a lot of the carpet in our home and install wood, bamboo, or cork flooring. Remember, you can take little steps, because each step you take will still make a big difference!

Please let me know if you have any questions or comments about this topic, because it can take a little work to find good deals and make it work for you, but it pays off! It is another way to invest in your health!

4 comments:

  1. Hi Cara, you've taken on quite the journey! Congratulations and glad to hear you're well on your way. I know that our facebook users would love to hear about what you're doing and so I'd like to invite you to review our mattress, post on our wall, and include a link to this post if you like (we're at facebook.com/savvyrest). Best of luck!
    Gopal
    Savvy Rest

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  2. Thank you, Gopal. I am interested in reviewing your mattress and posting on your facebook page. I love to shout the praises of great eco-friendly, natural and organic products! My email address is cara.nitz@gmail.com if you would like to contact me to discuss this further. Have a great day!

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  3. Right now I am searching for a new matress for my son. I'm going to check out the site you mentioned. Amish furniture is so nice. It's high quality stuff!

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    1. Sounds great! Let me know what you find!

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