My first two weeks

Born and raised in Maine by a “back to the land,” naturalist mom, I had a pretty good start at living a healthy life. I eat primarily certified organic, non-GMO foods and enjoy the challenge of finding locally or regionally produced products. I reuse plastic bags (yes, I wash them!) and shop with my faithful cloth bags. I compost and recycle, and I’ve always used “natural” (or so I thought) body-care and household cleaning products. I’m doing pretty good, right?

Naomi

Lifekind gives all of their (our!) new employees a gift basket with samples of the Naturally Safer laundry, cleaning, and personal-care products so we get a chance to try everything out before we recommend products to customers.  Both the castile bar soap and the liquid soap have become my new favorites– both feel silky and non-drying. After working at Lifekind for just two weeks, I now feel like I’m really moving back to the land, literally refreshed by the purest organic skin and hair products I’ve used in years.

My husband and I had planned to get a new bed in the near future – something really comfy – and were prepared to spend the money on a really good one. I’m so glad we didn’t just run down to the neighborhood mattress store and jump on (or sink into) some memory foam, because we might have been sucked in. I have a new awareness about the toxicity of the synthetic materials and chemicals in the old beds and bedding in my house, and it’s reminding me of what’s going to happen when they go “back to the land” – yikes!!

I’m already filtering Lifekind’s organic pillows and bedding into my life, and feel so great about it.  I look forward to starting this new chapter in my life with Lifekind.  Hopefully I’ll talk to you along the way!

Naomi is Lifekind’s newest team member, training to become a Product Specialist.  We hope you will welcome her the next time you call us!

THE 2013 WHITE SALE IS HERE!

Our biggest, most anticipated sale of the year is finally here.  Our 16th Annual White Sale will not disappoint, with up to 60% OFF select items plus free shipping on orders over $99.

catalog

Don’t wait till the end of January to take advantage of these great deals!

This year’s White Sale catalog introduces several new products at huge discounts.

LifekindJacquard

Our new Organic Cotton Jacquard Bedding Collection has a delicate diamond white-on-white pattern.  The diamonds seem to shimmer in the light, adding a touch of beauty to the silky-soft material. Made from 100% GOTS-certified organic cotton, they’re free of dyes or synthetic components. The collection contains sheets, pillowcases, and duvets.  Each piece is sold individually for your convenience. The pillowcases and flat sheet have a 7″ attached hem, and the fitted sheet is elasticized all the way around with 15″ pockets. These sheets are imported from India. The major reason I love them is because there’s no guess work when it comes to which direction to put the sheets on after I wash them. During the White Sale, the whole collection is 50% OFF.

We are also pleased to introduce two new items in our Baby Department.

Lifekind Dot Organic Crib Skirt

The first is our new Organic Swiss Dot Crib Skirt.  This dappled organic cotton percale bed skirt finishes the crib on a sweet and simple note. Fits standard cribs, with a 16″ ruffle. (Imported from India). I love this cute crib skirt because I can hide all my baby supplies under the crib and no one is the wiser!  During the White Sale, the Organic Swiss Dot Crib Skirt is 50% OFF.

 

 

Lifekind Organic Cotton Fleece BlanketThe second new baby item is the Organic Cotton Fleece Baby Blanket. Super-soft fleece makes this the perfect snuggling blanket, lightweight enough for swaddling. This snowy-white crib-size blanket is sure to become baby’s (and your) favorite, made in the USA from GOTS-certified 100% organic cotton. During the White Sale, the Organic Cotton Fleece Baby Blanket is 50% OFF.  (I recommend stocking up on these blankets – in my experience, you can never have enough swaddling blankets). Swaddling can help your baby stay calm and sleep better.  Here’s a great refresher, or if you’re learning for the first time, check out Babycenter.com on how to swaddle a baby.

I could write a whole blog on how helpful swaddling is. Warning: Don’t watch the swaddling video too many times, or it will make your biological clock tick:)

Along with these great new items, we also have awesome staple items on sale.  Here is a list of just a few of our customer favorites:

  • Organic Cotton Youth Robe   60% OFF

 

Don’t forget:  Mattresses are on sale too!  Now is the perfect time to order the organic mattress you’ve always dreamed of. During our White Sale, you can purchase a top-of-the-line organic mattress for 20% off plus free shipping.  So what are you waiting for? Order online or call 1-800-284-4983 today!

 

Washed Away

Imagine seeing an advertisement in the paper for a new Corvette, at the cost of a generic sedan. Pretty exciting, right? Like most people, you’d probably be tempted to go check it out. When you arrive at the car lot, however, the salesperson shows you what actually appears to be a shiny new Honda Civic. While there’s nothing wrong with a Civic, it certainly isn’t comparable to a Corvette. This particular Civic has Corvette brake lights, and is therefore being advertised as “Corvette Certified.” You, my disappointed friend, have just been a victim of carwashing.

Ok, I made that term up. Greenwashing, however, a similar concept that’s frighteningly popular in the mattress world, is very real.

As a Product Specialist, part of my job is to research and be informed about our competition so I can better assist customers who have questions about those companies and how they compare with Lifekind. I can tell you with absolute certainty that there is no one else who does what Lifekind does. There are imitators and companies that come close, along with those who blatantly lie to make themselves look like they come close, but I wouldn’t want to trust “close imitation” or “blatant lies” with my sleep.

As a consumer, it can be daunting to sift through the marketing baloney and find the real thing. There are “organic” mattress companies who post logos of trusted certifiers on their website because one of the many ingredients they use might pass that standard, even though the final product does not. Others display logos of “certifiers” that in fact do no such thing, but are merely membership organizations. (I’ve seen, for instance, companies claiming to be “National Geographic Certified,” even though National Geographic is merely the parent company for The Green Guide, a consumer organization that doesn’t certify materials, finished products, or anything else.)

I’m personally vexed by companies that make what I like to call “natural-lite” products, such as the “20% natural-core” mattress I saw advertised the other day. While it’s commendable that someone is making a product with 20% natural ingredients, what exactly is the other 80% made of?

Be cautious and ask questions. I have seen companies use a GOTS logo to infer that their manufacturing plants and products are GOTS certified, when in fact just one raw material component is able to boast GOTS certification. GOTS certification for a facility is not obtained easily; they are very, very strict about their standards, and they conduct random inspections, so there is virtually no room for error. We conduct business in accordance with their standards because we want to be able to show that we make the purest mattress, not that it’s just our opinion that we make the purest mattress.

Many companies claim to support American industry, but outsource the production of anywhere from one to all of their raw materials to other countries. This not only takes away potential green American jobs, but also risks contamination of the raw materials by fumigation when they are imported to the U.S. Add this to the uncertainty about organic standards from country to country, and there is ample room for doubt in exactly how pure outsourced materials really are.

On a similar note, beware of companies that use words like “Organic” or “Natural” in their company names to make them seem purer than they actually are. Without certification to back up the name, it’s simply the name of a company, like Bob’s Mattress Factory.

The moral of this story is to look before you leap into that new bed. Ask the tough questions of companies who want your business. Ask where their raw materials come from, who certifies them, and what has been added. Ask about their manufacturing processes and who certifies the final product.

Ask as many questions as you can, because an educated consumer base is the best defense against greenwashing.

Dad’s Tofu Tacos

Growing up, I was fortunate enough to have parents who not only believed in an organic and holistic lifestyle, but lived one as well. My sister and I grew up without jarred baby food or baby formula. My parents would use a hand grinder wherever they went, and we would eat straight from their plates. Goat’s milk and kefir were staples, as well as tofu and homemade bread. My parents shopped for organic produce at the local co-op or grew it themselves. We hand-raised pigs, and bought a steer from a local farmer each year. It was a healthy, sustainable childhood.

My upbringing taught me to believe in a natural and organic lifestyle. I eat organically, use natural remedies, and always recycle. One area I never thought about until I started working at Lifekind, however, was my bedroom. I never knew the potential hazards of something so seemingly trustworthy as a mattress. I’ve learned so much at Lifekind, and have unearthed a new dimension in my strive for purity.

My goal is to have an organic mattress made without chemicals as soon as possible, but in the meantime I’ll work my way up through pillows and mattress toppers till the money tree can shake a branch free. This in turn has prompted me to start trying harder in the areas of my life I already consider to be organic, and where better to start then to re-create some of my parents’ dinnertime dishes from when I was growing up?

One of my father’s most notorious and loved dinner recipes is for Tofu Tacos. Not only is it a great option for vegetarians (a.k.a. my sister Ashley), but it’s also a much leaner choice than typical beef tacos. Hopefully sharing this recipe will show how easy it is to make a small change to a healthier lifestyle.

Ingredients:
1 or 2 packages of firm tofu (I like to use two for leftover taco salad)
1 small yellow onion
Salt and pepper
Chili powder
Garlic powder
Paprika
Grated Pepper jack and/or cheddar cheese
Sliced olives
Chopped tomatoes
Cilantro
Chopped lettuce (Romaine is best)
Avocado
Sour cream
Corn tortillas

Drain tofu and squeeze out excess moisture, then chop into roughly 1/4-inch squares. Coat a large non-stick skillet with olive oil and turn the heat to med-high; add tofu. Meanwhile, dice the onion and add it to the tofu. Once the tofu begins to brown, you can add the seasoning: a healthy dose of garlic powder and chili powder, then a lighter dusting of paprika. Add salt and pepper to taste. Turn down the heat and continue cooking until the tofu is crispy on the outside.

While the tofu and onions are cooking, prep the rest of the fixings: Chop the lettuce, dice the tomatoes, pick the cilantro leaves, peel and slice the avocado, drain the olives, and grate the cheese. Fill a small skillet with about ½” of vegetable oil; turn to med-high heat until the oil is hot. Place corn tortillas one at a time in the oil for 10-15 seconds, then using tongs, fold in half into a taco shape. Cook on each side about 30 seconds, or until the shell turns golden brown, and place on a plate lined with paper towels to drain.

For extra “yum” factor, dust the tortilla shells with parmesan cheese while they’re still hot. Build your taco with all the fixings you prefer, and you’ll have Dad’s Tofu Tacos.

Enjoy!

New Bill Helps Mattress Buyers

Wondering about the economic viability of purchasing an organic mattress? The federal government may be able to help.

H.R. 3382, The Home Improvements Revitalize the Economy Act of 2009 — or HIRE for short — was introduced on July 29 by Rep. Henry Johnson (D-Ga.). If passed into law, it will allow a tax credit of up to $500 and deductions of up to $2K through the year 2011 for the purchase of residential building products and furnishings (up to $4K for products that meet approved environmental standards). Yay, Rep. Johnson!   🙂

The bill, which reportedly is enjoying bipartisan support, is making its way through the House Ways and Means Committee. To track its progress or for more information, go to govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h111-3382.

Teach Your Children

Before working at Lifekind® I was an Outdoor Science teacher. After settling in as a Product Specialist, I realized my job title may have changed, but my responsibilities are similar. As a science teacher I educated my students about where their food comes from, how it is processed, and the difference between conventional and organic produce. You would be surprised how many of the children had never seen a piece of food growing in a garden.

Living in America, we are blessed with the ability to make many of our own decisions. I encouraged my students to teach their families what they learned and to aid in the decision making process about what ingredients they put in their bodies.

Here at Lifekind®, I am still teaching the public about environmental issues and the importance of making educated decisions. Families have the choice whether to support corrupt chemical-laden industry or to purchase U.S.-made products that use organic and natural ingredients.

It is great that more families are conscious about eating healthfully. Now let’s teach children to support healthy practices around the home as well. It takes a lot of time and energy to educate yourself about chemicals and processes in the mattress industry. At Lifekind®, we’ve done the work for you. Our Product Specialists are extremely knowledgeable, and will assist you in making good decisions.

We would love to hear from you!

Sara, Product Specialist

Reducing my Exposure to Chemicals

A few years ago I purchased a Lifekind organic mattress to help reduce my exposure to chemicals in my daily life. As the days go by I become more aware of every product I use and how it might effect the environment around me.

When we bought our house last year I went even further and vowed to not allow any conventional mattresses or furniture to be purchased, along with removing all chemically based products from daily use. All of the food, personal care products, cleaning products, and mattresses in my home are completely natural or organic and free of toxic substances. Keeping toxins out of my daily surroundings provides a sense of serenity and has improved my quality of life.

The next step is to remodel our home to make it more energy efficient and to personalize the colors on the walls. I can assure you that the replacement products will be free of hazardous chemicals.

I am happy to be a consumer that supports the movement to reduce the amount of chemicals being used daily. It is really comforting to know that when I am at home I am in an area that is as natural as possible.

What can you do to change your environment to help benefit your well-being and those around you?

Stephanie, Sales

Our Grandparents had it Right

I’ve been thinking lately about the differences between the ways our great grandparents lived compared to how we live now. My great-grandmother used to take salt baths and rubbed oils on her hands to make them smooth. She used vinegar as hair conditioner and as a softener for clothing in the washing machine. She bought all of these ingredients at the local market. My grandparents even had a horsehair mattress that was made by a merchant in town.

Why is it so common in this day and age that we go shopping for other countries’ products when ours are time tested and proven to be effective? I say, when your health and well-being are involved, support American workers and buy U.S. manufactured mattresses. I know my great grandparents would have never imagined there was any other option.

If you aren’t supporting your neighbors, then who will be there for you when you need it?

Sara, Product Specialist