Social_Media_Giveaway

Lifekind Contest: July 4th Travel Giveaway

July 4th Travel Giveaway

It’s Giveaway Time! In the spirit of healthy things for all Americans, Lifekind is giving away a gift each month…for FREE! July’s giveaway includes one organic Travel Pillow, available in tan or sage, plus one Naturally Safer™ Personal-Care Travel Kit, available in lavender or unscented. Total retail value is $103.95!

 TanTravelPillow SageTravelPillow2

This patriotic, GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard)-certified organic cotton travel-size pillow is made right here in California, has a removable colorgrown organic cotton gingham cover, and is filled with Texas-grown, NOP (National Organic Program)-certified organic cotton. View full description here: https://goo.gl/l0qRDQ

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travelkit800_04 Skip the chemical laden hotel soap and hair care and wash up Naturally Safer™ with travel size shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, liquid soap, and bar soap – designed to meet airline restrictions on carry-on luggage. View our Personal-Care Travel Kit here: https://goo.gl/O2lSoF

 

Here’s to good health and safe travels, and thank you for participating!

 

Terms and Conditions: Giveaway ends July 16, 2015 at 12:00 a.m. Pacific Time. Open to residents of the U.S. only, age 18+. Products offered for the giveaway are free of charge,;no purchase is necessary to enter or win. Odds of winning are based on the number of entries received. The winner will be selected at random (by Random.org) and will be notified by email. The 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 in this form only for the purpose of contacting the winner.
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Are there federal requirements for calling a mattress “organic”?

Answer: Yes. And verifying these requirements is the only way to make sure you’re not falling victim to fraudulent advertising claims when shopping for an organic mattress.

The government agency that controls use of the word “organic” is the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), under Title XXI of the 1990 Farm Bill, otherwise known as The Organic Foods Production Act of 1990.

This Act established national standards governing the marketing of certain agricultural products as organically produced products in order to assure consumers that organically produced products meet a consistent standard and to facilitate fairness within interstate commerce.

USDA control over use of the word “organic” extends to non-edible agricultural crops such as cotton and rubber trees, and further extends to non-edible products derived from livestock, such as wool.

To call any of these raw materials “organic,” each producer must meet the requirements listed in the Act and subject its facility and products to annual audit by a USDA-approved “certifying agent.”

Furthermore, for a complex finished textile product, such as a mattress, to be called organic it must be composed of a minimum of 95% certified raw materials as listed above. Then independently, the company manufacturing the mattress must also meet the requirements as listed in the Act and to subject its facility and finished products to an independent annual textile audit to standards such as GOTS, by a USDA-approved certifying agent.

Therefore, to call a mattress “organic” or to sell it as such, the company producing the mattress must earn independent organic status and be awarded an organic certificate annually in their name. This means that a mattress cannot be called organic simply because it is made up of one, some, or even all organic raw materials. It is the “certifying agent” that substantiates that the organic claim being made is actually true. It must be a USDA-approved certifying agent, who through an audit process can give a company legitimate claim or right to use the term “organic.”

Legislation in the United States established the Federal Trade Commission Act in1914. Under this Act, the Commission is empowered to, among other things, prevent unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive consumer acts or representations affecting commerce.

If a company calls its product “organic” and its facility, methods, and specific products have not been awarded organic status by a USDA-approved certifying agent, that claim is deceptive, and constitutes an unfair method of competition in the marketplace. Unfair marketing claims fall under the purview of the FTC.

Specific to environmental claims, the FTC has published the “Green Guide.” While the guide defines a number of environmental terms and correct use and association of logos and seals, the primary emphasis of the document is substantiation. Environmental marketing claims must be substantiated.

Section 5 of the FTC Act prohibits deceptive acts and practices in or affecting commerce. A representation, omission, or practice is deceptive if it is likely to mislead consumers acting reasonably under the circumstances and is material to consumers’ decisions. See FTC Policy Statement on Deception, 103 FTC 174 (1983). To determine if an advertisement is deceptive, marketers must identify all express and implied claims that the advertisement reasonably conveys. Marketers must ensure that all reasonable interpretations of their claims are truthful, not misleading, and supported by a reasonable basis before they make the claims. See FTC Policy Statement Regarding Advertising Substantiation, 104 FTC 839 (1984).

In the context of environmental marketing claims, a reasonable basis often requires competent and reliable scientific evidence. Such evidence consists of tests, analyses, research, or studies that have been conducted and evaluated in an objective manner by qualified persons and are generally accepted in the profession to yield accurate and reliable results. Such evidence should be sufficient in quality and quantity based on standards generally accepted in the relevant scientific fields, when considered in light of the entire body of relevant and reliable scientific evidence, to substantiate that each of the marketing claims is true.

James Kohm is the Associate Director for the Enforcement Division of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. In that capacity, he oversees enforcement of all consumer protection orders and the Commission’s Green Marketing program. When Mr. Kohm spoke on January 27, 2013 at the World Market Center, he made clear that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) does not define what is or can be called organic. The FTC can conduct investigations relating to the organization, business, practices, and management of entities engaged in commerce and seek monetary redress and other relief for conduct injurious to consumers and other businesses from unsubstantiated environmental claims. Review the following links that report FTC investigation of unsubstantiated claims:

https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2013/07/three-companies-barred-advertising-mattresses-free-volatile

https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2011/01/ftc-settlement-ends-tested-green-certifications-were-neither

https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2009/08/ftc-charges-companies-bamboo-zling-consumers-false-product-claims

https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2014/01/ftc-approves-final-orders-settling-charges-three-companies-made

https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2014/06/ftc-brings-second-case-year-against-plastic-lumber-products?utm_source=govdelivery

 

At Lifekind, we’ve worked hard to establish and maintain a comprehensive organic program. This ensures the creation and assurance of certified organic goods. Testing, quality assurance, lot tracking, purchasing organic raw materials (despite the higher cost), and spending thousands annually on auditing are just a few of the ways in which we keep our rigorous organic program in place. Third-party certification is the only thing protecting us from companies that do none of these things, but would try nevertheless to reap marketing dollars by fraudulently associating the term “organic” with their products.

It does not fall to the consumer or retailer to judge what is or is not organic. For a company to call its products “organic” it must have been granted organic status by a USDA-approved “certifying agent.” The consumer need only confirm a valid certificate with the company’s name and products listed, not a certification showing he name of a grower or producer. At Lifekind, we’ve covered all the bases, so you can “rest” assured you’re purchasing a TRULY organic mattress.

The Many Organic Pillow Options Offered at Lifekind | How to Choose

Watch our organic pillow video to see some of the organic pillow options offered at Lifekind:

For more information on pillows, check out http://naturallysaferproducts.com/how-to-choose-the-perfect-pillow/

 

45 Earth Day Resolutions

Flowers are blooming, birds are chirping, and the air smells brand new. It’s Earth’s promise of fertile prosperity, her reminder of new beginnings. Earth Day represents a time to reflect and find more ways to give back, above and beyond the good habits we’ve already adhered to for her benefit. Let’s think of it as Nature’s New Year and set Earth Day resolutions!

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This Earth Day, let me plant some seeds. We need to be thinking of our impact on Earth every day. It really is up to us to support her health. Our health is dependent on hers and vice versa. Here are some excellent things we all can do this year:

 

1. I will plant some of my favorite veggies in a garden or pots.

2. I will keep clean reusable produce bags in my grocery bags.

3. I will keep shopping bags in my purse or car and use them when I shop.

4. I will only use safe, biodegradable cleaning products.

5. I will teach my kids to read labels.

6. I’ll just get the economy car instead of the SUV.

7. I will stop buying single-use non-biodegradable trash bags.

8. I will replace all the incandescent light bulbs with high-efficiency bulbs.

9. I will cook more foods from scratch, in order to use less packaging.

10. I will take a walk or hike at least once a week to connect with nature.

11. I will not buy another “bottled water” again, ever.

12. I’m going solar!

13. I will keep my air conditioner set 3 degrees warmer.

14. I will keep my heater set 3 degrees cooler.

15. I will choose organic cotton instead of conventional or synthetic material, at least once.

16. I will plant a tree and nurture that tree.

17. I will look for locally produced items before buying imports.

18. I will not use chemical fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides on my property.

19. I will purchase organic foods whenever my budget allows it.

20. I will start composting kitchen scraps.

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21. I will use reusable containers instead of plastic zippy bags.

22. I will sign those land-saving petitions each time this year.

23. I will ask a friend to sign those petitions too.

24. Instead of party favors, we’re doing planet favors.

25. I will consume less meat.

26. I will turn in a “litter bug” if I see one.

27. I will drive 5 mph slower on the freeway.

28. I will consciously slow down at times to take in Earth’s beauty.

29. I will buy more food in bulk in an effort to create less waste.

30. I will shop at farmers’ markets at least once per month (seasonally).

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31. I will focus on buying produce when it’s in season.

32. I will ride my bike to work/school at least once a week, because it’s only 2 miles.

33. I will never use chlorine bleach or ammonia again. Ever.

34. I will read the label of every garment of clothing I buy this year – where it was made and what it was made with.

35. I will not buy any more synthetic body care items. Ever. Because it is body pollution, it goes down the drain, and my body is her body.

36. I will turn my water heater down.

37. I will not buy a plastic one if there is a glass or metal one.

38. I’m just going to go ahead and get that hybrid or electric car I’ve been thinking about.

39. I will volunteer at my local watershed cleanup.

40. I will pick up random trash when it is within my passing reach.

41. I will subscribe to a new media source for Earth news.

42. I will take shorter showers.

43. I will eat more organic raw foods.

44. I will kick my big-box store shopping habit.

45. I will drop-kick my dollar-store habit.

8 Misleading Claims about Organic Mattresses – Is Your Mattress Certified Organic?

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Misleading Claim #1: Merchants using organic logos, or statements that use the word “organic,” to describe their mattresses as “organic” or partially “organic.”
Incorrect Because: Under USDA National Organic Program regulations (USDA/NOP), there are no such categories. There is only “certified organic.”

Misleading Claim #2: Merchants claiming that since they use the same organic materials that are used in certified organic mattresses, why pay more?
Incorrect Because: Without submitting to an independent third-party audit, a consumer has no assurance that whatever organic component is claimed to be used was actually used in making a mattress.

Misleading Claim #3: Merchants claiming that since the materials they use are the same as those used by true organic manufacturers, what’s the difference?
Incorrect Because: Fast food and fine dining can include the same ingredients, but the outcomes are quite different—it’s about quality and purity, not just materials.

Misleading Claim #4: Merchants using someone else’s certification to infer it is their own, but somehow doesn’t have their name on it for a string of reasons.
Incorrect Because: USDA certification certificates are not transferable.

Misleading Claim #5: Merchants claiming their mattresses are “chemical free.”
Incorrect Because: This is scientifically impossible.

Misleading Claim #6: Merchants claiming their mattresses are “nontoxic.”
Incorrect Because: This is also scientifically impossible.

Misleading Claim #7: Merchants claiming their mattresses are “free of volatile organic compounds (VOCS)” or have no harmful outgassing.
Incorrect Because: This is also scientifically impossible, and without an independentUL/GREENGUARD™ or similar test for finished-product emissions, no one can possibly know exact outgassing levels.

Misleading Claim #8: Merchants claiming that their components have been tested for the presence of a long list of chemicals and that none were found.
Incorrect Because: What this means is that the mattress components may have been tested at one point, early in the process, by what is known as a “presence” test. True, these chemicals may not have been present at that time, but it gives absolutely no information as to what is actually emitting from the finished mattress. That is a consumer assurance UL/GREENGUARD™ testing provides.

Find out if a mattress is in fact listed on the certifier’s website.

Note: The name of the manufacturer or retailer must be entered precisely, such as “Organic Mattresses, Inc.”

http://www.global-standard.org/public-database/search.html

http://certification.controlunion.com/certified_companies_and_products.aspx

 

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Love Black Friday bargains, but hate crowds? Cyber Monday is for you!

I admit it, I’ve been one of the crazy people lined up outside a store at 4 am in the freezing cold, battling substantial crowds on Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year. What would possess me to do such a thing on the day after Thanksgiving? The answer is always the same: the bargains! I’ve gotten huge discounts and been able to stockpile gifts for Christmas, and even my daughter’s November birthday (on the years it comes after Thanksgiving). I usually save so much money it makes the crazy crowds and long waits worth it (even if I always ending up catching a bug from all the people). Last year, though, I hit on something even better than Black Friday: Cyber Monday.

Cyber Monday (the Monday after Thanksgiving) is typically the day when online retailers post huge discounts equal to deals you may find in stores on Black Friday.

Rather than mapping out stores, waiting for printed ads, and braving the blistering cold, I now do everything from my computer. I bookmark pages, create logins for faster purchases, fill and save virtual shopping carts, and print pages for my master list.

Sometimes a great deal is hard to resist. For items that end up in your cart without a recipient, remember: ‘Tis the season for those in need, as well. You can always donate purchases to a local charity. Saving money and doing good deeds? Sign me up!

One note is that Cyber Monday sales are often very short – just a set number of hours, instead of days like sales usually are. And just like Black Friday sales, once a deal is gone, there are no rain checks or backorders, so it’s worthwhile to set your alarm and start shopping as early as you can. A lot of stores even start their sales at midnight, so it doesn’t hurt to check before you go to bed on Sunday.

Another strategy I use is to search online for special promo codes to get even bigger discounts such as free shipping or specific discounts off featured items. Also, when items are no longer needed by me or my family, I take them to a local consignment store, sell them online, or have a yard sale. This adds to our holiday-shopping budget and passes along big savings to a fellow bargain shopper, both good things at this time of year.

We usually have a Cyber Monday sale here at Lifekind, and even though our marketing team keeps the actual discounts under wraps until the actual sale starts (they don’t even tell us Product Specialists!), the discounts are usually awesome. This year our SALE IS STARTING EARLY! Shop now to receive 20 percent off your order and free shipping on orders over $99. Save some green on your organic mattress and bedding!

Happy shopping!

Doing Laundry The Non-Toxic Way

Switching from conventional laundry products, loaded with preservatives, artificial fragrances and a toxic soup of hazardous chemicals, to safer, natural laundry products can be confusing and frustrating. Years ago, when I was making the switch, I noticed the natural detergents would often leave my clothes, well… not as fresh-smelling as a mountain breeze. I wanted those “fresh scents” back to mask the odor. Later, I realized my laundry wasn’t even getting really clean, whether I used natural detergents or not, because I wasn’t using them right!

Three children later, I’ve found the cure for the stinky-laundry blues, using pure, biodegradable, septic- and gray-water-safe Lifekind products:

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Pre-treat

Grease Stains: For grease stains like salad dressing, apply All-Purpose Cleaner & Degreaser directly to the spot on dry fabric, vigorously rub the area together, and let it sit for 10 minutes. Then rub and rub while rinsing under hot water. (Hot water is more effective than cold at dissolving and rinsing away oil.) Next, apply more of the product to the spot, leave it in, and put in the wash. *Use hot water if the fabric’s washing instructions permit it.

Food and other stains: Generously spray Stain & Odor Eliminator, with live enzyme cultures, on the spot and rub-rub-rub, then rinse, using cold or warm water. Hot water kills the “live” enzymes, so don’t use hot water. Now ring out the water and spray some more Stain & Odor Eliminator on the spot, then it’s ready for the machine.


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Washing

Machine: Front loaders are more efficient, use less water, do a better job, and are gentler on fabrics than top loaders. Many front loaders have special settings that are very helpful and can save you time and energy, like “sanitize” and “hand wash.”

Detergent: Choose all-temperature Laundry Powder, which contains Oxygen Bleach, or use Laundry Liquid. Both are safe for people with sensitive skin or allergies and for HE machines, septic systems, and gray-watered plants. Both are super concentrated, saving money and resources. If you’re not sure whether to choose liquid or powder, check out Grist’s “Ask Umbra” column What kind of laundry soap is lightest on the land?

Boost: Oxygen Bleach is a non-toxic, chlorine-free, color-safe powder bleach that whitens, brightens, and softens fabrics. It can also be made into a paste by adding a bit of water to use as a pre-treatment for spots. For washables that have been tainted with unpleasant smells or mildew, I always add a healthy dose of Stain & Odor Eliminator directly to the wash cycle (remember – cold or warm, not hot water).

Please, No Fabric Softener: According to the Environmental Health Association of Ontario, fabric softener is the most toxic product produced for daily household use, and the neurostimulant/irritants and central-nervous-system toxins used in these products are known to produce an addictive-type response that may cause a user to experience a feeling of pleasure when the product is directly inhaled. Well, I’ve never been a fan of oily fabric softeners anyway, because I like my towels to actually absorb water, rather than just smear it around. But if you’re like me and you don’t like crunchy towels either, just add ½ cup of baking soda to the rinse cycle.

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Drying

No Dryer Sheets: Aside from the Amish way, hanging out to dry, the healthiest advice I can give you is DO NOT USE DRYER SHEETS! Chloroform, A-Terpineol, Benzyl Alcohol, Benzyl Acetate, Ethanol, Pentane, Ethyl Acetate, Camphor, Linalool, Phthalates, and Limonene are some of the chemicals found in dryer sheets. And people add this stuff to their already cleaned clothes! Stick to the baking-soda-in-the-washing-machine trick. And you can try wool dryer balls, found in most natural-food stores and online. Add 2 drops of pure essential oil to the dryer balls and you’ve got “fresh scent.”

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Ironing

Synthetic-Free Ironing Board Cover: Use an Ironing Board Cover that is free of synthetic and chemical flame retardants to avoid ironing chemicals into your fabrics.

No Aerosol Spray Starch: The chemicals in conventional spray starches are no better than the fabric softener’s plight. You can find natural alternatives for sale online or at your natural-foods store, or you can make it yourself for just pennies. I never iron anything. Ever. So I haven’t tried the homemade kind, but Bren did. Check out her blog post here.

Folding

Sorry, I can’t help you with that. But enter your email address above to subscribe to our blog and receive future posts, and you may see me demonstrate the magic of folding a fitted sheet.

 

Sources:

http://www.epa.gov/dfe/pubs/laundry/techfact/keychar.htm

https://www.lifekind.com/laundry-cleaning

http://saferchemicals.org/2014/08/21/is-your-laundry-clean-or-just-greenwashed/

http://www.naturalnews.com/034617_fabric_softeners_toxic_chemicals_laundry.html#

http://www.ehaontario.ca/help-with.htm

Ask Umbra reference: http://grist.org/living/what-kind-of-laundry-soap-is-lightest-on-the-land/

Bren Did blog: http://brendid.com/3-ways-make-non-toxic-spray-starch/

Decide the Winner of the Lifekind Staff Pumpkin Contest

The staff at Lifekind decorated pumpkins for Halloween but we need your help in picking the best pumpkin.

Vote in the comments for your favorite and help us pick the winner. Voting is ongoing through October 31st:

 

Black Cat Pumpkin

Black Cat Pumpkin

Zombie Pumpkin

Zombie Pumpkin

World Pumpkin

World Pumpkin

Marker Pumpkin

Marker Pumpkin

Walt Pumpkin

Walt Pumpkin

Halloween City Pumpkin

Halloween City Pumpkin

Cinderella Pumpkin

Cinderella Pumpkin

ECV

Clampers Pumpkin

Grumpy Cat Pumpkin

Grumpy Cat Pumpkin

Leaves Pumpkin

Leaves Pumpkin

MummyJPG

Mummy Pumpkin

OHmy

Oh My Pumpkin

skeleton

Skeleton Pumpkin

What’s in a Name?

That which we call organic by any other name would be as clean…right? Well, maybe not. The other day I ran across an article on the SFGate website that got me thinking about the importance of the language used by manufacturers of “organic” nonfood items. As the author of the article pointed out, there is a clear set of standards that makes the distinction between organic food and that which is genetically modified, irradiated and/or exposed to pesticides. That is to say, any food item that bears the name “organic” must actually live up to it! Unfortunately, the same is NOT true when it comes to nonfood items. The U.S. Department of Agriculture does little to oversee use of the term “organic” on items that are not edible (and neither does the Federal Trade Commission, for fear of “duplicating” USDA duties). So basically, there are no government regulations set in place to distinguish between the truly organic and the naturally-sourced “chemical soup” when it comes to cleaning products, personal care products and textiles. Calling your shampoo “organic” could be about as subjective as calling your computer “cute.”

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So, what does this mean for the consumer?

Should we even bother shelling out the extra cash for products that may or may not be as pure as they claim to be…? The good news is that there ARE third-party certifications out there that can help us make informed decisions about our organic purchases. When it comes to personal care products, the National Sanitation Foundation and the American National Standards Institute have formed a private certification called “NSF/ANSI 305.” And for those who live by the adage “If you can’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin,” the USDA label can be found on personal care items that are composed of at least 95% organic “food.” For textile products — items like clothing, sheets and mattresses — consumers can verify purity by looking for the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and the Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS) certifications.

USDA Organic, GOLS and GOTS logo

Other things to look out for…

Organic” is not the only term that can be misleading. The term “natural” is generally assumed to mean that an item is minimally processed and does not contain particular additives. However, this word does not have an established legal definition…therefore, there is no standard by which to substantiate this claim — whether we are talking about food or nonfood items. Similarly, terms like “green,” “eco-friendly,” and “earth-friendly” have no real meaning because there is no scientific or regulatory basis for them.

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Using our resources…

Taking the time to research products that are truly organic may seem like a chore, but it is certainly worth the extra effort. Keep in mind that most certification programs not only oversee the ingredients that go into the products, but also the way in which those ingredients are obtained. So when we choose items that are certified organic, we are not only protecting ourselves and our families, but also our environment. Let’s take advantage of our educational resources, so that we can be better stewards of earth’s resources!

** Use the links on this page to learn more about third-party organic certifications and find lists of the manufacturers who hold them. Also, check out this website for some excellent information about deciphering the language used by manufacturers of bedding and mattresses.