Summer Brings out the Bugs – How to Protect your Organic Pillow from Bed Bugs

BUGS!     Bed_Bug

Summer brings them out, and we keep them out of our organic pillows with our Certified Organic Dust-Mite and Bed-Bug Barrier PILLOW COVERS.

Lifekind Organic Pillow Barrier Cover
We guarantee that our certified organic barrier covers will keep dust mites allergens and bed bugs out of your pillows, unless they’re already there, 🙁 in which case the barrier cover will cut off the dust mites’ food supply (flakes of your skin).  Without  food, the dust mites will starve and die.  The barrier cover will keep bed bugs out of your pillow, but if they are already there then it is time to get new bedding.

As an added bonus, barrier covers keep your organic pillow in pristine condition.  Which is great, because our organic pillows can’t be washed.

Use one of our certified organic barrier covers on a new organic pillow and it will protect it for its entire product life.

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7 Mindful Shopping Practices

Twenty years ago organic food was not so popular, but I sought it out. People would ask me, a struggling single mother at the time, how I could afford organic groceries. The heart of my decision to shop organic was, and still is, the principle of it. I know I’m directly supporting the environmental movement every day, plain and simple.

Today organic groceries can be found in almost every grocery store in America. Healthier, organic food has become the norm for many, and there is more collective knowledge about what organic means.

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This message isn’t about healthy food. It’s about sustainable choices. We need to embrace change (yesterday!) and apply what we’ve learned about the food we eat to products we buy for everyday use. The chemicals used in conventional products and their manufacturing are just as dangerous as chemicals used in agriculture.

Observing the explosion of Whole Foods Market all over the map, it’s not hard to imagine a paradigm shift from “more for less” to “less is more.” Are you with me? Great! Read on for seven simple tips to help you keep your mind where your heart is while you’re shopping for everyday items.

1. Think quality, not quantity. Once you adopt a minimalist mentality, it is very difficult to go back. No more going to a dollar store for two items and ending up spending $20.

2. Support local. Read labels to find out where things are made. Unfortunately most items are made elsewhere, but it’s like striking gold when a surprise “Made in America” label is found. When you find products you love made in your region, state or country, latch on and don’t let go. Why not inform friends and neighbors, as well?

3. Disposables and planned obsolescence. Seek out longer lasting, recyclable, reusable or compostable alternatives to disposable or short-lived products you currently use, like diapers, razors, toothbrushes, feminine products, light bulbs, paper towels and napkins, paper plates, plasticware and cups, trash bags, sandwich & storage bags, and grocery bags. If you’re unsure where to find these alternatives, please leave a comment for us below.

 

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4.  Think about sources. What materials were used, using what chemicals in the process? For example, cotton fabric is made from soft plant fibers, so it’s perfect for textiles, but cotton is considered the world’s dirtiest crop involving tremendous amounts of pesticides, chemical treatments and water. Organic cotton is an excellent substitute, and as we continue buying more of it, more options will become available.

5.  Awaken your senses. Commercial household cleaning products and personal-care products are made with chemicals that are toxic to the people manufacturing them, the people using them, animals that come into contact with them, and the water systems where they end up. You can smell the pollution walking down the cleaning-products isle at conventional grocery stores. If it doesn’t smell like something from nature, don’t buy it. Tip: go to a health food store and sniff the pure essential oil samplers to get a better idea of what non-toxic scents from nature smell like.

6. Educate yourself and others. Tell people what you learn about consumerism, toxics, trash, and great alternatives. We have an opportunity to change the future for the better by educating children. To get my daughter to understand what clothes (something she has a genuine interest in) are made of, we made up a game I’ll call “animal, plant or other.” Her eyes lit up when she realized that the cotton shirt she was wearing was made from plant flowers. When I explained that rayon fabric is mostly made from wood pulp, she was like, “Whaaat?!” In a fun way, that forced her to think about material processes.

 

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7. Take it in stride. Don’t go out and replace everything all at once. I suggest you take it as it comes, which will give you time to research better options. When you need new sheets, buy organic cotton sheets. When you need new razors and toothbrushes, buy Preserve recyclables. And on and on.

 

“Change is the only constant.” –Heraclitus

 

 

 

My Top 6 Favorite Naturally Safer Personal-Care Products

After working at Lifekind for over 2 years now, I feel like it’s time to give our readers a list of my top 6 favorite Naturally Safer personal-care products. In no particular order here they are:

 

Naturally Safer Rejuvenating Shampoo– This amazing shampoo helps relieve dandruff, psoriasis, and scalp irritation from chemical processing thanks to the special “herbal complex” listed high on the ingredient list. This herbal complex contains rosemary, ginseng, arnica montana, and hypernicum (aka St. John’s wort), all of which are proven effective soothers in the plant world. The nourishing botanicals also include coconut oil, panthenol (vitamin B5), and tocopheryl acetate (vitamin E), which help to moisturize and leave hair shiny air max cheap sale
. The MSM (a naturally occurring sulfur) nourishes both hair and scalp in a gentle formula that won’t strip natural oils, but still really cleans.

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Naturally Safer Rejuvenating Conditioner– My 11-year-old daughter’s smiling face and tangle-free hair are the greatest testimonials I have for this conditioner. She is blessed with very long, thick hair that equates to a three-and-a-half-half hour endeavor to pick through after a lice scare at school (oh, a mother’s love…). We discovered that using this conditioner after the MSM Revitalizing Shampoo in the shower, then rubbing a pea-size amount through the ends of her hair left her hair smelling fresh, and no more tangles, naturally. Life is beautiful when a mother and daughter smile together!

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Naturally Safer Crystallite Deodorant There is no subtle way to sing the praises of this deodorant – it really works! I tend to be a rather, ahem, odoriferous lady, and this is the only natural product that can keep up with me. Within a week of switching, even my husband noticed. Customers often ask if the active ingredient, potassium alum, is unsafe or contains aluminum; the good news is, according to Dr. Mercola, “Potassium Alum or Ammonium Alum are natural mineral salts made up of molecules that are too large to be absorbed by your skin cheap online jordans free shipping
. They form a protective layer on your skin that inhibits the growth of odor-causing bacteria.”

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Organic Buckwheat Hull Heat Lumbar Wrap– Use it cold for sprains, or warm to ease muscle pain; ease fever discomfort on your head, or sooth your spine while on your back in bed. You can tie it around your waist, or tuck under the shoulders to treat the neck and stay in place. I truly love this lumbar wrap; it gives relief anytime, in any space!

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Naturally Safer Organic Body Polish– Did you make a New Year’s resolution to work out and get in shape? This can help you stay on track. Last year when I took up running, and felt pained even thinking about moving, I discovered this fantastic treat after a workout air max trainers cheap
. The crystalline salt helps to smooth skin and the natural oils mean no need for moisturizer once you are out of the shower, so feel free to indulge without adding extra time in your routine. Adding organic lavender and geranium essential oils means you will feel calm and rejuvenated — perfect after a long day or a slow morning. The organic sunflower and safflower oils are easily absorbed and formulated to blend with water so the greasy shower effect is greatly reduced. Still, use caution though, as you will be extra slick!

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Naturally Safer Moisturizing Lotion with MSM– A common question we hear is: What is MSM? MSM, or methylsulfonylmethane, is a naturally occurring (deodorized) sulfur that supports the joints and connective tissue, reduces hyperpigmentation, and has anti-inflammatory properties. As if that wasn’t enough to convince you, this lotion also helps treat itching, minor burns, sunburns, bug bites and rashes. The optional lavender scent comes from the addition of organic essential oil and gives some extra “oomph” in relieving these everyday ailments, along with a calming fragrance.

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The “honorable mention” of this blog is the Naturally Safer Personal-Care Travel Kit. A great way to travel with your favorites, or try a little bit of everything until you love it all as much as I do.

My Top 10 Tips for Warming Up

Are you one of those people who gets cold easily, and has a hard time warming back up? I am! Here are my top 10 ways to warm up. Much of my advice is common sense, but my hope is that you’ll get at least one new warming idea that will enhance your autumn and winter experiences.

 

1. Get Moving: It’s simply the most effective way to warm up. Even 5 or 10 minutes does the trick.

2. Eat Something Warming: Each food ingredient has a warming, cooling or neutral quality. Chinese and Eastern Indian medicine uses this principle to help create balance in a person’s system. Spicy foods like cayenne, onion, ginger and garlic are warming–you can tell when your mouth catches fire and you break out in a sweat.

 

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But there’s also a slew of less likely foods that have warming qualities. I thought all mints were cooling until I viewed the charts. It turns out spearmint is warming and peppermint is cooling. Check out these links for more warming and cooling foods: Warming and cooling characteristics of common foods (Ping Ming Health)

Food as your Medicine (Le Shiatsu)

 

WarmingFoods by Lifekind

3. Have A Cuppa: Bring a thermos of spicy tea with you to sip, as needed, throughout the day. Coffee is on the warming list (YAY!). So is black tea, but green tea is cooling. I love chai tea, the spicier the better. In the winter I enjoy chai lattes with a shot of espresso added. Herbal teas are a delicious and healthy way to bring warmth into your body. View the food charts to find warming herbs to add to your tea collection. You can also add a tiny bit of ginger or cayenne to your favorite tea or coffee (but be careful–HOT)! If you drink chilled water, stop it! Drink room-temp water instead.

 

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4. Get In Hot Water: If you have the time, take a hot bath or hot tub. Simply washing hands in hot water is good for an instant blast of warmth. When I’m cold, I’m the first (and only) to volunteer to do the dishes. I use a sink full of hot soapy water for the washing, and rinse in fresh hot water.

5. Layer Up: Wear breathable clothes that won’t collect sweat and make you cold. Wool naturally wicks moisture and will keep you warm and dry. Wear a scarf out in the wind, and indoors, as needed.  Fingerless gloves are great because you can wear gloves, but still use your fingers for typing or work.

 

6. Be Prepared For Your Environment: Keep a throw or an extra sweater and a space heater at work, especially if you sit stationary while working.

 

7. Use Warm, Breathable Bedding: Get the synthetics out of your bed. They’re typically found in mattress pads and comforters, and don’t wick out sweat, in turn making you damp and cold. Use 100% cotton sheets and mattress pads. Add a wool mattress topper and wool comforter and Zzzzz, you’re a cozy sandwich.

 

8. Tell Yourself You’re Warm: Adding warmer colors and images to your house and work environment, via paint, decorations, etc., will offer a warmer feeling. Picture yourself on a hot sandy beach in the tropics, baking in the sun… Yeah.

 

9. Invite The Sun In: Open the curtains and position a comfy chair and a throw in a sunny spot in your house. In the winter the sun is lower in the sky and will stream further into your house.

 

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10. Choose Cinnamon Over Peppermint: Toothpaste, mouthwash, gum, breath mints, etc. have warming, cooling, or neutral qualities, just like foods. You can also avoid using personal care items with mint: lotions and shampoos, for example.

 

What’s your favorite way to warm away the winter chills?

Made in the USA

Local is the new global. When you think about it, the more energy that goes into something, the more it grows. It is inevitable that the more $$$ we spend in the US, the more it benefits our economy, and Americans in turn. Every American has heard this, and it’s time we put our money where our mouth is…and make change.

Lifekind has long adhered to these principles, and produces useful, healthy products made in the USA. Our Eco-Factory™ is located in Northern California, and produces many of the items we provide while paying workers a fair wage. Most of the other items in our catalog and web-store are also made in America!

To read more about Lifekind’s Eco-Factory™: http://bit.ly/1977uX0

 

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With Lifekind you get:

  • Better-quality products, made with your health in mind!!
  • Amazing value on truly organic mattresses!!
  • Peace of mind, knowing you’re supporting our economy!!
  • Friendly, personal customer service with real people who care!!

 

Check out this link for a fresh perspective on “stuff”: http://bit.ly/1cpjhDV

It’s a blog by Amelia Urry at Grist featuring an Annie Leonard video.

The Best Baby Shower Gift Ever!

After receiving several thank-you notes from friends saying “Your baby gift was the best ever,” I wanted to pass along my secret. Every new baby deserves an organic, chemical-free play mat!

Lifekind Lion Playmat

Hand-sewn in Lifekind’s GOTS-certified factory here in Northern California, our Safari and Garden Play Mats are made with all-organic materials, and provide baby with a safe, soft padded area from newborn to crawling stage.   The removable zipper cover allows for regular washing, and holds up well even with lots of use. Another great feature of the play-mat design is the contrast patterns that contribute to baby’s early visual development, as mentioned in Parents magazine by Tinker Ready.

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 So if you’re in need of the perfect gift for a friend – or for your own baby – I highly recommend the Lifekind Play Mat. See other gift-giving options here at: http://bit.ly/14lpDLi

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FTC cracks down on “green” claims

Gratifying news today for advocates of truth in advertising: The FTC has blown the whistle on three companies for making false organic claims. The federal agency, which oversees advertising claims, has filed suit with Ecobaby, Essentia, and Southern California-based online retailer Relief-Mart for falsely asserting that their products are “VOC-free,” “chemical-free,” and contain “no chemical offgassing.” In addition, Ecobaby has been barred by the FTC from making false claims about third-party certifications after making up a fictitious organization and claiming to have their mattresses certified by it.

Read the full story at the FTC’s website.

Get up to date on Lifekind’s certifications here.

Is an organic mattress worth the money – A Peek Inside Mattresses

It’s no secret that Lifekind® is big on purity. It’s also no secret that other mattress makers claim to be big on purity too, so when consumers are searching for the purest mattress they can find, it quickly becomes a matter of sleuthing out the truth.

From the outside, most mattresses look about the same. I totally understand why people will see a mattress that claims to be “natural” or “organic” for a fraction of what a Lifekind mattress costs, and they purchase it.

Naturally, comfort is a big part of why people purchase the mattresses they do. But if you’ve found Lifekind, you’re most likely also interested in what goes into making our certified organic mattresses — what you will be sleeping on for the next 20 years. Let’s dig a little deeper and look inside a few different mattresses.

This first picture (below) shows a conventional synthetic foam rubber mattress, much like the ones you will find in mattress showrooms around the world. It looks pretty on the outside, nice and fluffy, and just begs you to climb into bed.

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But once you look inside, you see something completely different.

The first layer is the cover material. Then there are several layers of conventional synthetic foam (notorious for offgassing, not to mention the petroleum it contains and the hardship it puts on the Earth to produce), bleached and highly processed cotton, more foam, and then a base layer that is made from cotton scraps.

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This second picture is of a popular “organic” mattress brand that specializes in crib mattresses. Underneath the “food-grade” polyethylene mattress cover (made entirely from petrochemicals), you can see bleached cotton. The blue layer is a Tyvek-like material. Then cotton that is of an unknown grade (the specks you see in there are debris – stems from the cotton plant, along with other unknown detritus), then a plastic mesh layer. The cotton filling they use is most likely organic, but other than that, this mattress does not contain organic materials. Yet it is selling every day because the manufacturer touts the benefits of its “organic” mattresses, misleading consumers into believing that they are purchasing a pure, organic mattress without offering any clue about what is going on inside the mattress.  Naturally, most consumers won’t cut open a new mattress, so there is no way for them to know.

The third picture shows the inside of a GOTS-certified organic Lifekind mattress.  Looking at the layers from the top down, you can see our organic quilting, which includes only certified organic wool and organic cotton cover material. Sandwiched between layers of certified organic cotton canvas is high-quality, certified organic cotton padding. No silica, Tyvek, or other synthetic, non-organic materials are included in its construction.  The innersprings used in the mattress are made of untreated virgin steel, wrapped in four layers of certified organic cotton.

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Travel plans this summer? Here are our top 7 essentials.

Summer can be a busy travel time. Since having children, gone are the days of grabbing the toothbrush, a change of clothes and some gas money, hopping in the car and driving off.

It’s nice to travel light, but remembering some key items that will make the trip simpler later is a valuable, learned skill.

These seven Lifekind products will simplify or enhance your traveling experience this summer, and they are all made in the USA!

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1.     Keep it simple with our super-clean Personal Care Travel Kit, available in lavender or unscented. It’s lightweight and designed to meet airlines’ carry-on luggage restrictions.

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2.   If car travel is in your plans, be ready with an Organic Cotton Travel Pillow or two.  Your passengers will thank you later.

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3.   Keep an Organic Chenille Throw in your car all summer (along with the Travel Pillow), because you never know when you’ll need to wrap up after cooling down, at the beach for example. I like to keep a blanket in my car year round.

4.   If baby is in tow, you’ll need a Wool Moisture Protector Pad to protect guest beds. The 25×30” Puddle Pad is just the right size for travel, and will slip under any mattress pad and sheet.

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5.   For bathing those babies at home or away, the Bath Ball Dechlorinator will remove over 90% of the chlorine in the bath. Just swirl it around in the water before your child gets in.

6.   Don’t settle for conventional chemical cleaners. Naturally Safer Laundry and Cleaning products come in convenient sample sizes, perfect for travel.

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7.   Grab your favorite pillow on the way out the door. Don’t forget a camera, water bottle and healthy snacks, and you’ll be good to go.

Textile Truth: A Parent’s Guide

{re-blog from OMI}

We are an organic company, so using organic products is a no-brainer for us.  But we have to remember that not everyone has the same immersion into the world of organics, and new parents need to know when it is essential to choose organic products.

This great info-graphic,  put together by our friends at Harmony Art, is a great visual aid for new parents, and puts the “how” and “why” of buying organic for your baby into an easy-to-digest graphic that takes away the guessing game:

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To read about how this piece came together, be sure to check out Harmony Art’s blog.