RUBBER TREES ARE NOT BOUNCY

Rubber trees are not bouncy. I know; I was disappointed to find this out as well. As a child growing up on the philosophies of Dr. Seuss, I assumed that rubber trees grew in giant, jungle gym forests just outside of Whoville. They don’t, for the record, and if you ever find yourself in a rubber tree forest, trying to bounce from tree to tree is not advisable.

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Rubber trees actually grow on large plantations, mostly in warm, tropical climates in countries like Malaysia and South Africa. Natural rubber is a sap, and is tapped from the tree much like maple syrup. It’s very sustainable; one tree can be tapped for 40 years without harming the growth of the tree. As a person who always casts her vote for sustainability, I am obviously all for this type of production, and loving the fact that natural rubber is rising rapidly in demand. As a person who works in an industry dependent on natural rubber, I am not so thrilled to find that demand is rising faster than production. This combination always seems to end in price increases.

With more demand from other industries looking for a natural alternative to synthetic rubber in their products, natural rubber is the “it-girl” of the latex industry. Factor in rising demand from rapidly developing countries such as China, and natural rubber is becoming more and more sought after. Unfortunately, unlike synthetic substances, we have to wait years for a rubber tree to mature before it is able to produce sap that can be used to make products.

And so this story ends with higher mattress prices. The cost of natural rubber went up 20% in just the past year, and unfortunately we can’t absorb that much of a price increase and still stay in business, although we wish we could. However, when put into perspective, a Lifekind organic mattress will last at least 20 years…which is 7,305 nights (including leap years)…which is 58,440 hours of restful, organic sleep. That’s a lot of sleep for your buck.

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Sustainability

Sustainability — it goes beyond the buzz of being “green.” It’s more than buying recycled paper plates. That’s a great starting point, but to truly be sustainable, we have to think outside the box.

Living in the 21st century has been such a radical change from the way our ancestors have survived. Civilizations that thrived for thousands of years used to garden and rotate crops to keep the soil fertile. Food was local, not neatly packaged in plastic and paper from thousands of miles away. We have been so conditioned to rely on our modern conveniences for survival. Without them, most humans would be clueless about how to survive.

Sustainability is a way of life. Looking at everyday lifestyle choices to see how they impact our world can really be eye opening. Simple steps to lessen your footprint on the earth – riding your bike, preparing food at home, or planting a food garden – are just the beginning.

Here at Lifekind®, we strive to be a model of sustainability. We support our local organic bakeries and organic fruit stands on a daily basis. We recycle and minimize the use of office supplies, paper, and energy. Our raw materials for the products we carry are sourced from US organic farmers. The fact that our manufacturing facility is certified to be in compliance with the Global Organic Textile Standard is like icing on the cake.

Rowena, Product Specialist