How to Buy an Organic Mattress Online

Searching for the most comfortable mattress can be super challenging, whether you’re looking online or in stores or both. Make it an organic mattress search to avoid toxic chemicals like flame retardants and petrochemical foams, and you’ve got a multi-layered puzzle to solve.

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With so many companies advertising “natural” and “organic” mattresses, there’s the added challenge of sifting through false claims. Use the search terms “certified organic mattress” instead of “natural,” “green,” “eco-friendly,” or even “organic mattress.”

Since Lifekind mattresses hold third-party organic certifications – GOLS (Global Organic Latex Standard) for our natural rubber latex mattresses, and GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) for our innerspring mattresses – there’s no way toxic chemicals can be used in the growing or processing of the materials or be added to the finish product. So that makes them a natural choice for those seeking the purest mattresses available.

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Customers call us up and ask, “How can someone pick out a mattress over the phone?” The short answer is, “Have an in-depth consultation.” While there are a number of people who absolutely must try them in stores, most people feel very confident they’ve made the best choice after a 10-20 minute conversation with an organic-mattress product specialist. While we try our best to get it right the first time, we do offer a 90-night comfort exchange policy so you won’t end up stuck with a mattress that doesn’t fit your needs. Three months is a much better trial period than 5 or 10 minutes in a store!

Sylvia at Lifekind
Contact Lifekind

If you’re ready for a free, personal sleep consultation, or simply have questions, please call our friendly product specialists at 1-800-284-4983.

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)

 

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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?

What to do if the lights go out

I just spent my weekend in the quiet and candlelight… because the storms we had here in Northern California knocked my power out!

Here at the office, everyone knows to ask me if they have a question about the weather. Not only is my heavily-treed neighborhood very susceptible to power outages, I also try to keep an eye on winter storms across the country because they can directly affect our customers’ mattress deliveries.

Thankfully our town was spared major destruction, and the flooded areas drained once the rain stopped.  But, we are heading into another week of heavy rains, and even though I am ready for it, a friend called who’d been a bit more unprepared. He was without charged flashlight batteries or emergency candles, and was using his cell phone to light his way. It got me thinking: What are the most useful things to have on hand when modern life is interrupted by Mother Nature’s plans?

10 important ways to be prepared if you lose power during a storm:

1. Before the storm arrives, bring outside items inside if they could be picked up by the wind.  If they’re too big to be brought in the house, make sure they’re secured so they don’t blow around and cause more damage.

2. Clear gutters of debris so your roof can drain properly, diminishing the chances of your house flooding.

3.  Fill the gas tank in at least one car so you’re sure to have transportation even if you can’t get to a gas station or the lines are long.

4. Store important documents — passports, Social Security cards, birth certificates, and deeds — in a watertight container, and make sure you know where it is.

Keep the following items on hand:

5. A three-day supply of water and food, allowing one gallon of water per person per day. Make sure foods are non-perishable and high in energy, such as canned meats, canned or dried fruits, canned vegetables, peanut butter and jelly, salt-free crackers, energy or protein bars, trail mix or nuts, dry cereal, and cookies or other comfort foods. (Don’t forget the can opener!)

6. Flashlights with extra batteries.

7. A battery-powered radio or weather radio, also with extra batteries.

8. A first aid kit that includes latex gloves; sterile dressings; soap/cleaning agent; antibiotic ointment; burn ointment; adhesive bandages in small, medium and large sizes; eye wash; a thermometer; aspirin/pain reliever; anti-diarrhea tablets; antacids; laxatives; small scissors; tweezers; and petroleum jelly. (In my case, I would also add Rescue Remedy flower-essence blend!)

9. Cell phones and chargers.

10.  Warm clothes and blankets stored in watertight containers.

For more tips and complete emergency preparedness lists, visit the American Red Cross, and Federal Emergency Management Agency online.

Behind-the-Scenes at Lifekind: Warehouse Edition

I just walked back to the warehouse, and was greeted with a mountain of boxes getting shipped out today. Since I sit in a different department it is always fun to see the fruits of our labors headed out to our customers across the country.

Data Entry supervisor Lola, checking orders for accuracy

So what happens when you place an online order? After you hit “submit” and our data entry department processes it (yes, we still process every order by hand so nothing gets missed!), the order gets sent back to our warehouse to be packed and shipped. Michelle, our warehouse supervisor, has been with Lifekind for more than 10 years, and she runs a tight ship. Each order is pulled by hand, double checked by a different person, and then triple checked again before being packed for safe transport.

Our warehouse supervisor, Michelle

You may notice when you get an order from Lifekind that the box is lined with Kraft paper, with your products packed neatly inside with corn-based biodegradable packing peanuts. Before taping the box up, our warehouse staff even secure a piece of cardboard inside the box to make sure you don’t accidentally pierce your order if you open the box with a knife. I know the first time I saw Michelle pack an order, I was impressed with how efficient she is, and how nice her boxes always look.

Once the order is packed and run through the UPS computer, the package is checked again to make sure that the shipping details are correct and that if there are multiple boxes, they are all included in the shipment. We then notify the order entry department that your order has been shipped, and it isn’t until then that your card gets charged for your order. We do it this way in case something comes up (say an item is back-ordered, or you make a last-minute addition to your order) so you are getting charged only for what gets shipped to you.

Double checking shipping addresses

And now you have had a little peek behind-the-scenes at Lifekind. Even better though, make sure you put “Hi Michelle” in as a promo code the next time you place an online order over $99, and we’ll ship it to you for free (offer expires 12/2/12. Some exclusions apply). Interested in more Lifekind behind-the-scenes? What would you like to see?

Let’s Chat

If you’ve been to our home page recently, you may have noticed something new: a photo in the upper-right-hand corner showing a cheerful headset-wearing customer-service agent, along with a caption that reads “Chat with a live product specialist now!”

The product specialist in the picture is me, and I’d like to offer a personal invitation.

The addition of an online chat system to our website is brand new. Some of our customers prefer the ability to talk with a representative without having to make a phone call, so we’re excited about adding it to our repertoire. We’ve chosen a system called AliveChat® — “the world’s favorite live-chat solution” — based on ease of use for both customer and operator, and so far it’s been even better than expected.

Just click on the photo, provide a few pieces of information (including the question you’d like answered), click the “Submit” button, and you’ll be connected automatically to a product specialist.

Our chat lines are open during the same hours you can reach us by phone — Monday through Friday, 8-5 Pacific Time. You can click on the chat window anytime, however, and if we’re not here, you can leave us a message and we’ll contact you as soon as a product specialist is available.

Whether you’re looking for a mattress consultation or just want to ask a quick question, we hope to hear from you soon.

Five Tips for Reducing Household allergens

This is the time of year when the trees change color, leaves fall, and the sweaters get pulled on.  This is also the time of year pine trees bloom, mold spores fly and seasonal allergies come out.  Rather than sniffle your way through autumn, try these tips to maximize your health and enjoy the beauty of this colorful season:

1.  Replace goose down with wool. This important (and easy) step reduces indoor allergens because dust mites tend to accumulate in down bedding, such as pillows and comforters.  Wool is naturally dust-mite resistant and feels a lot like down so it’s a great alternative, and helps keep your sneezing to a minimum.

2.  Keep your air clean. You should be changing the air filter to your house heater monthly, but when the weather changes and those heaters kick on, they can also kick out a lot of dust.  By using a HEPA air filter in conjunction with your household heater, you can keep that dust from getting to you new balance 1200
.  Make sure you select the right size HEPA filter for your environment (there’s no need to purchase a huge filter when you only need to filter a small area).  An added bonus is that a good HEPA air filter will help with lingering odors from pets to food.

3. Keep your yard free of leaves. Although the beautiful fall leaves outside can be picturesque, be sure to keep your yard and surrounding areas clear. Fallen leaves provide an ideal home for mold spores to thrive in because of the wet, mucky conditions cheap jordan 4 retros
.  When leaves and leaf residue are tracked in the house the accompanying invisible mold gets in every crack and corner, ensuring you an allergy flare up.

4.  Vacuum daily. No one likes to vacuum, but if you notice that your eyes are itchy and you are sneezing a lot, it may help to vacuum more often.  Vacuuming helps keep control of the loose dust, pet hair, and other allergens that will float around the house.  Use a vacuum that has a built in HEPA filter and a washable canister nike air max black white
.  If the filter starts looking clogged, either clean it or replace it, (depending on the manufacturer’s recommendations) to keep it working efficiently.

5.  Toss out the old innersprings. Innerspring mattresses, which a majority of mattresses are, are the perfect hiding spot for mold, mildew, and dust-mites.  By replacing your old innerspring mattress with a natural rubber mattress, which is naturally dust-mite resistant, you will be getting rid of a huge contributor to household allergens.  If you can’t afford a new mattress right now, the second best thing is to put a dust-mite cover over your mattress (we sell them for pillows, too) to keep the existing allergens away from your skin, and to stop new ones from gaining access to your bed.

Four Tips for a Healthy Halloween

Every year I struggle with finding the perfect balance to celebrate one of my favorite holidays, without going overboard. I like the fun, but I don’t want my kids to fill up on all of the processed candy and sugar that goes hand-in-hand with the holiday. Here are some tips to ensure your Halloween (and the days following) is full of treats, not tricks!

1- Be the change you want to see in the world. Yes, Gandhi and Halloween make a perfect match! One of the easiest changes for me to make was switching from passing out candy to filling a huge cauldron with toys for trick-or-treaters. Some other ideas are offering raisins, pretzels, pencils or temporary tattoos. The bonus is most kids don’t have to wait to tear into a cool toy; and the instant gratification cancels out any lingering disappointment of not getting more candy. I don’t feel guilty or deprive the neighborhood kids, but I still have the chance to be a good example. If you are a purist, and insist on handing out candy, look for organic alternatives that you don’t have to feel bad about passing out.

2- Have your treats on the side. Adults and kids alike are tempted to over-indulge when surrounded by nothing but candy. A family tradition my parents started is to have a bounty of food available all day, so when the sun sets and it’s candy time, everyone is already stuffed! Our favorites are apple cider, organic chili or a hearty stew simmering (yum), a wide array of fresh, seasonal organic fruit, vegetables for dipping in hummus, and chips with salsa. If you plan ahead and create a similar bounty in your own kitchen, it really sets the mood and eliminates surprise ingredients or extra sugar.

3- Keep busy! Who keeps you busier than friends and family? By turning the focus from candy to good times, memories are counted rather than calories nike flyknit air max cheap
. Play some fun games like pin the nose on the jack-o-lantern, toss a bean bag into the cauldron while blindfolded, play Pop Goes the Pumpkin, tell ghost stories, decorate Halloween treat bags, or if all else fails carve more pumpkins!

4- How to handle the aftermath? Sadly, Halloween celebrations only last one day. The candy, however, can linger well into Thanksgiving! Many dentists turn this sugary holiday around by giving rewards for donated Halloween candy. Another idea is to pay your children a set amount for every piece of candy they want to “sell” you. If the kids in your life are anything like mine, they will welcome any money that comes their way! A nice variation is to trade the candy for a special privilege or outing; 10 pieces might be worth a trip to the movies or staying up past bedtime. Instead of getting elaborate simply let your kids feed the ants. Go outside (far away from your home!) and let the little ones proceed to stomp, smash, throw and destroy the leftover candy. This option lets them burn though some sugar, doesn’t cost a thing, is fantastic entertainment for parents classic new balance shoes, and creates a great transition into sharing for Thanksgiving. (Bring a hand broom and sweep up when you’ve stomped all the candy.)

The Lifekind Crew, Halloween 2011

Have a better idea? Please post a comment below if you have ideas or tactics that have helped you with this tricky time. Hopefully with these tips, and a little creativity, this Halloween will be the happiest, healthiest yet!