Good News for Organic Shoppers

In the world we live in, sadly we can’t always take things at face value. Take, for example, the term “organic.” As you may have read in our recent blog about the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), technically only textiles that are certified organic can be called organic. But with the growing number of “natural” and “organic” products available, it is easy to become a little skeptical…after all, is anyone really holding all of these companies accountable?

It turns out, the answer is “yes.” A few months ago, in the US District Court of Virginia, GOTS won a civil action against a number of companies that were mislabeling and/or falsely advertising their products as “organic.” The case led to a permanent injunction that impedes the unauthorized use of the GOTS logo. Within a matter of weeks, GOTS had also filed a complaint with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to detail the prevalent misuse of the term “organic” in relation to textiles. You can read the full article here.

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This is good news, not only for manufacturers of truly organic products (like Lifekind), but also for consumers everywhere! As Herbert Ladwig, the GOTS Managing Director, put it: “The lawsuit and FTC complaint should send a clear message to the textile sector that unauthorized and unsubstantiated claims that textile products are ‘organic’ or GOTS-certified will not be tolerated.” This lack of tolerance for misleading claims means more transparency in textile marketing… and that should give consumers more confidence when shopping for things like organic clothing or bedding.

Of course, as a consumer, it is still a good idea to do your homework and to verify organic claims (especially with large purchases, like mattresses). Keep in mind that you can always search directly for producers and products in the public database on the GOTS website.

Happy organic shopping!

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

In honor of Cinco de Mayo, we wanted to share a few dessert recipes that are perfect for topping off the taco bar buffet. These recipes are simple enough to be whipped up by tomorrow, but delicious enough to be enjoyed at any time of the year!

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– Watermelon Sorbet –

Ingredients:

1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
6 cups watermelon
2 tbsp lime juice (about 1 lime)

Directions:

1) Combine sugar and water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar; then reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.

2) Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool to room temperature (should take about 45 minutes).

3) Cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour, until chilled.

4) Meanwhile, place watermelon and lime juice in a food processor and combine until smooth. Strain the mixture through a sieve to remove seeds (push any large watermelon chunks through the sieve).

5) Combine the watermelon puree and sugar-water mixture, then pour into a shallow metal pan. Freeze for about 30 minutes, then stir mixture to incorporate the ice crystals. Repeat process every 30 minutes until all of the liquid is frozen, then allow the mixture to harden in the freezer for 1-2 hours before serving.

**Recipe found on Her Campus.

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– Margarita Ice Cream –

Ingredients:

15-oz can coconut milk
1/3 cup agave nectar
1/3 cup lime juice (about 3 or 4 limes)
1 tsp lime zest
1/4 cup tequila
1/4 tsp orange extract
1/4 tsp salt

Directions:

1) Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly with a whisk.

2) Freeze using an ice cream maker, or use the method described in step 5 of the recipe above.

3) Prepare glass serving dishes by rubbing the rim with a lime wedge and inverting on a plate of salt (optional).

**Recipe found on One Green Planet.

We hope these quick and delicious recipes will help liven up your Cinco de Mayo celebrations! We also hope you get a chance to take part in one of our other favorite Mexico-inspired traditions this week…the siesta!  🙂

Happy Earth Day from Lifekind

“If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you, if the simple things in nature have a message you understand, Rejoice, for your soul is alive.”
Eleanora Duse

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I’m writing this post on John Muir’s birthday, April 21. The pioneering Scottish-American preservationist would have been 178 years old today. I’ve loved Muir since the third grade, when I first read My First Summer in the Sierra, the journal he kept as he accompanied a flock of sheep from California’s San Joaquin Valley to the Yosemite high country in 1869 as a young wanderer.

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Around this time each year, people try to put into words the feeling they have for the Earth, our terrestrial home. For those who feel deep connection to nature, that can be intimidating!

Muir was equal to the challenge. In Summer, as the group moved slowly from the heat of the Valley to their destination in the High Sierra near Tuolumne Meadows, he became entranced by what he saw and felt:

“Another glorious Sierra day in which one seems to be dissolved and absorbed and sent pulsing onward we know not where. Life seems neither long nor short, and we take no more heed to save time or make haste than do the trees and stars. This is true freedom, a good practical sort of immortality.”

I know that feeling — maybe you do, too. The suspension of time, a sense of oneness, kinship with everything, the joy of being truly home. I just can’t describe it the way he could!

Freedom and immortality can be real and concrete on a day spent in nature, rooted in things we can touch and hear. Muir was in the Sierra, but it can happen anywhere — mountains, valley, ocean, or a park in the heart of a city. The natural world can inhabit us, and we it:

“We are now in the mountains and they are in us, kindling enthusiasm, making every nerve quiver, filling every pore and cell of us. Our flesh-and-bone tabernacle seems transparent as glass to the beauty about us, as if truly an inseparable part of it, thrilling with the air and trees, streams and rocks, in the waves of the sun,—a part of all nature, neither old nor young, sick nor well, but immortal.”

Muir believed that everything in the natural world is beautiful in its own wild, original state. Landscapes spoke to him, along with plants and insects, rocks and storms and trees and “flower people” — recognition of the kinship we all share.

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Sometime soon, along with all the things large and small that we do to try to be kind to our planet, try to go to the wildest place you can find. Even if only for a little while. And savor the feeling:

“Beauty beyond thought everywhere, beneath, above, made and being made forever.”

Made and being made forever — everywhere. That’s our planet, our home. It’s beautiful.

 

(All photos: public domain)

A Nod to Earth, Mother of Us All

This is about how WE are all in it together. How every action leads to reaction. It’s about balance and responsibility. And grounding.

On a physical level – if we break down human needs – food, sleep and shelter are at the top of the list. Take care of those needs, add some love, hard work and fun, and life is good. In the West we place a great deal of value on shelter, and food is pretty important, but we may take sleep for granted.

While we go about our days fulfilling our needs we’re reminded of the needs of homeless people in our community or starving children in Fallujah, and the ominous climate change that will undoubtedly slash a new path for future generations (whatever that looks like). And we go, “What in the world can I do about all this!?”

Source: Public Domain

Source: Public Domain

We look to the stars for advice, pray to the gods above, and may even take part in solutions first-hand. But what I’m asking you to do is quite unconventional: get down and dirty. Go outside, find some dirt, sand, or grass, and take off your shoes and socks.

What you are doing is called earthing, or grounding. It feels good. You are literally connecting to the Earth (a very big thing) without the barrier of man-made, synthetic, energy-blocking materials holding you at a distance. You’re experiencing the benefits of contact with a vast supply of free electrons that have been found to reduce pain and improve sleep!

Picture the dirt below you under a microscope, teaming with life! One scoop of dirt contains as many microorganisms as there are people on the planet. So, there you are touching millions of life forms with your bare skin. Now picture the web of life that flows beyond you, through the soil, roots, and water, and you are connected energetically and physically to the rest of the planet. Nice. Now is also a good time to deepen your spiritual connection and pray, commune with Nature, or simply worship the dirt we all walk on.

Source: Wikimedia

Source: Wikimedia

Why is dirt so important here? It is earth, which is exactly everything to us. Our planet is called Earth. We grow our food in earth. We build our houses from trees grown in earth. Our water is filtered through earth, and protected by earth. We are Earthlings.

Affecting climate change is about sequestering more carbon than we are losing, keeping it in the earth. We hear about the problems causing high levels of carbon loss, like deforestation and extracting and burning fossil fuels. When you dump a load of pesticide on a crop, it kills the beneficial microbes in the soil. Do that season after season, scraping and tilling in between, and the poor soil struggles to bear any life at all, holds less moisture and erodes. So synthetic fertilizers are added to replace nutrients that could have been there all along if the land had been managed organically.

Source: Pixabay

Source: Pixabay

We shouldn’t be eating food, clothing our bodies, or outfitting our homes with goods grown in dead soil. And petrochemical-based plastics are obviously not the answer for a healthy future. Let’s start conversations about solutions.

How do we build healthy soil to sequester carbon while doing our daily life? Learn about permaculture and spread the word. Think about it like this: permanent + culture = permaculture. It’s a design for living, really. A permaculture perspective is to study the elements in nature and use the power and cycles of sun, weather, and biology to benefit life, not damage it. Permaculture principles can be used on a small scale – at your home – or on a massive scale, the way Nature intended and already manages life on Earth by itself.

Source: Wikipedia

Source: Wikipedia

A “food forest” is a good example of permaculture principles used to grow food while building living soil that regenerates itself, and the air we breathe in return. We’re quickly moving beyond the need for global sustainable agriculture because of the spike in greenhouse-gas levels. To sustain current levels is not enough. What we need now is regenerative agriculture, in which we build healthy soil everywhere we grow by keeping deadly chemicals out and using Earth’s biology first, sequestering carbon in the earth faster than we can burn it up.

No matter how you look at it, Earth is quite awe-inspiring. She will outlast humans in a blink. We need to learn how to support and respect her great power while caring for ourselves.

Meet The Lassen, Our Plush New Organic Mattress

We’ve taken aspects of our most popular mattress and pillow top – the medium-firm Euro and medium-soft Sculpted Pillow Top and created an even cushier, all-in-one, luxurious new mattress.

The Lassen Plush certified organic mattress represents Lifekind’s plushest introduction to the line. It offers springiness without springs, and a comfort level we have never offered before.

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The Lassen is a medium-plush 10.5” sculpted-surface pillow-top mattress made with GOLS-certified organic rubber latex. It starts with a 6” core of supportive medium-firm latex covered in our signature certified organic cotton-and-wool quilting. A removable two-sided pillow top (3 1/2” deep) — also made of GOLS-certified organic rubber latex — is then placed on the mattress. The pillow top is made with two surface options: our exclusive sculpted surface on one side, and a flat surface on the other. This provides sleepers with maximum comfort and flexibility. The pillow top is then covered with our signature certified organic stretch-knit cotton-and-wool quilting.

Ideal for side sleepers, the Lassen — with its sculpted surface, unique-density natural-rubber core, and 3.5″ pillow top – provides a super-soft feel. (Warning: This mattress may make you want to turn off your snooze alarm one time too many!)

For a personal sleep consultation, give our friendly Product Specialists a call at 800-284-4983 and find out if The Lassen is right for you.

GOT GOTS? The Logo to Look For on Cotton Products

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By now it’s clear to most Americans that organic food is more healthful, and organic farming practices are safer for the Earth than conventional methods. When we shop organic it’s always comforting to see third-party organic certifications, because “natural” can mean whatever the manufacturer would like it to. If a food product is labeled “organic,” however, it must contain at least 95% organic ingredients.

Soft, breathable cotton — our favorite textile to wear and wrap up in bed with — has dirty secrets that have long gone unchecked, a fact about which most of America has no idea. Cotton is considered the world’s most toxic crop. (Check out the approximately 20 million results for “toxic cotton” on Google.)

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Organic cotton, like organic food, uses less water, doesn’t poison the soil and its farmers, and isn’t treated with toxic chemical finishing agents. In the U.S., the claim “organic” on textiles is protected by the government. Only textiles labeled with a GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) logo can be claimed as organic.

Check out this simple GOTS video to learn more:

Below are some resources to help you learn about the toxic cotton industry.

Let’s start a clean cotton revolution!

How to get rid of chemicals in fabrics (Hint: trick question)

Chemical cotton 

Fact sheet on U.S. cotton subsidies and production

Naturally Safer™ Spa Gift Bag Giveaway

Here’s an opportunity for some relaxing post-holiday self-care. Enter our giveaway below for a chance to win a luxurious Naturally Safer™ Spa Gift Bag. Contest ends at 12:00 a.m. on December 30, and no purchase is necessary.

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Our popular Spa Gift Bag is filled with a wonderful assortment of our Naturally Safer™ products with lavender scents. Contains Bath Soak, Body Polish, Moisturizing Lotion with MSM, All-Vegetable Bar Soap, and a Cotton/Hemp Cloth. (Bag may be different than that pictured.)

Lifekind’s Naturally Safer™ products are gentle on the body and on the environment, with no phthalates, formaldehyde, parabens, triclosan, or any other toxic culprits on David Suzuki’s “Dirty Dozen” cosmetic-chemicals list. Only pure, natural, and botanical ingredients are used.

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Terms and Conditions: Giveaway ends December 30, 2015 at 12:00 a.m. Pacific Time. Open to residents of the 48 contiguous U.S. states only, ages 18+. Products offered for  giveaway are free of charge, with no purchase necessary to enter or win. Odds of winning are based on the number of entries received. Winner will be selected at random (by Random.org) and will be notified by email. Winner has 48 hours to respond before a new winner is selected. This event is in no way administered, sponsored, or endorsed by Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Google+. Lifekind will use the information provided on this form only for the purpose of contacting the winner.

Bottled Water: Are We Really Getting What We’re Paying For?

If you’re reading this, chances are you know that plastic water bottles are a major contributor to our escalating global plastic-pollution crisis. What you might not know is that there’s no health-based reason to be buying it.

Six plastic bottles filled with spring drinking water

In a recent installment of the Scientific American podcast “House Call Doctor,” Dr. Sanaz Majd recalled wondering why hospital personnel recommended avoiding bottled water and using tap instead when preparing supplemental formula for her prematurely-born twins. Upon researching the question, she found they were right: Not only is most bottled water no better for human health than tap water, but in many cases it’s actually worse.

“Sure, bottled water may potentially taste better than tap,” says Majd — “but that doesn’t mean it’s safer. If you are looking for safety, your kitchen sink is a better bet.”

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Bottled water may potentially taste better than tap, but that doesn’t mean it’s safer. Subject to less-stringent oversight by government agencies than tap water, bottled is more likely to nurture bacteria and other contaminants as it sits on store shelves. Some retail water bottles still contain BPA, an endocrine-disrupting chemical, and manufacturers are not required to divulge the water’s source on labels. All in all, it’s a bum deal for those who believe they’re getting something special for their hard-earned dollars — or at least is safer than what they can find at home.

See more at http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/health-fitness/healthy-eating/know-your-nutrients/should-you-drink-tap-or-bottled-water#sthash.MpTzCExm.dpuf.

To listen to the podcast, go to scientificamerican.com/article/should-you-drink-tap-or-bottled-water/.

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