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.

 

Turning The Tide on Convenience – statewide ban on single-use plastic grocery bags

Great news! California Governor Jerry Brown just passed the nation’s first statewide ban on single-use plastic grocery bags. Starting in July 2015, large grocery stores in California will no longer ask “paper or plastic,” because they won’t have plastic! Are paper bags the best option compared to reusable? Nay. But I’d like to hear more conversation about what’s going into those bags.

Convenience is a pill offering instant gratification, but can leave one with feelings of regret and dissatisfaction. Three words from my mom two decades ago, like a prophet’s counsel – “don’t cut corners” – ring through my mind ironically as a remedy for complexity and chaos. The idea is that you expend a little more energy now to save you later. This idea has saved me bundles of time and money over the years, has spared me from buying items that were cheaply made, and reminds me to evaluate whether I really needed certain items in the first place.

Landfill

Speaking of complexity and chaos, have you seen the news lately? It’s really hard to look at humans and animals suffering, effects of global warming, Ebola outbreaks, and plastic and toxic chemicals in everything, everywhere, without wanting to fix it. What I like to focus on is what I can personally do today to help change the world for the better. Knowledge is my leverage. The more I learn about which chemicals are where and why, for example, the easier it becomes to change my ways. One good habit builds upon another. That’s convenient. Since I’m bringing my own cloth grocery bags shopping, for example, I automatically have a place for reusable produce bags and bottles to refill with bulk liquids. Pop it in the trunk of my car and I conveniently have them when I go to the store.

Check out this one-minute National Geographic Video:

Other examples of toxic convenience in the average American’s life are: fast food, driving when you can walk, dollar store and GiantMart shopping, microwaves, spraying chemical herbicides to kill weeds, using chemicals in your home to “clean” it, and buying cheap clothes to fill a closet. Just say no! Or at least start saying no to more of these things. Don’t wait until there’s a universal bag ban. Ban the bag on your own.

grocery_bags

I realize everyone has different circumstances and most people can’t afford organic food and goods all the time, but reevaluating what we really need and how it gets to us is something we all can do. Imagine if EVERYONE was willing to carry their own clean, cloth grocery bags into stores! With a little effort and forethought we can all make a huge difference.

Image of landfill:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Landfill#mediaviewer/File:Wysypisko.jpg

Can you Eat an Organic Latex Mattress?

What is an organic mattress?

Just like organic food, an organic mattress is made entirely out of all-natural materials such as certified organic wool, organic cotton, and/or natural latex. An organic mattress does not contain chemical fire retardants. Conventional mattresses are made primarily of man-made materials derived from nonrenewable resources, such as natural gas and petrochemicals.  Conventional mattresses are drenched in chemical fire retardants.

Can you eat an organic mattress?

Yes, the question has been asked.  And no, you cannot.  A lot of people have never even heard of an organic latex mattress.  Nowadays, pretty much everyone knows the benefits of organic food, but what are the benefits of an organic mattress?  People used to think just about their comfort when it comes to a mattress purchase, not about what it is made of.

 

ConventionalMattressInterior

Conventional Mattress Interior

 

 

Sleep Safe by Walter Bader

It is a healthier choice to sleep on organic materials and avoid many of the synthetics and chemicals that have become industry standards. Walter Bader, owner of Lifekind and author of the book Sleep Safe in a Toxic World, sent several mattresses to an Atlanta-based lab. A memory-foam model was found to emit 61 chemicals, including the carcinogens benzene and naphthalene.

 

When you choose an organic mattress, the benefits to your family include everything from reducing chemical exposure to helping the planet. 

 

Euro Cutaway

Lifekind Euro Organic Mattress Interior

So in conclusion, while an organic mattress is a great choice for your family, I do not recommend eating it.

 

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Lifekind.com Redesigns its Website

images We are very excited to have finally launched our new website!

Hopefully you will find this new design extremely user friendly.

 

Screenshot 2014-09-23 13.46.49

A few of our goals for the new website were to make it faster and easier to navigate for users and to incorporate customer reviews. Lifekind’s best salespeople have always been our customers, so we thought, why not let our customers speak for us?  We don’t have many reviews yet because we literally JUST launched, but we are sooo looking forward to our customers’ comments.  We also have a long-asked-for Wishlist and other great features.

Our organic products are everywhere, from the White house to Hollywood.   If you take a look around the site I think you’ll get a pretty good idea of why Lifekind is America’s most trusted name in organic mattresses.

Please share your thoughts about the new design in the comments section below, or, if you’ve purchased from us, go to our site and review your favorite products.

My personal favorite product is the Molded Rubber Pillow. I don’t leave home without it.  The molded pillow isn’t currently on sale, but you can enter the Lifekind promo code EXTRA2 to get an extra 2% off your entire order.

lifekind molded pillow

If you run into any unpleasant issues, please let us know.  We want your entire experience with us to be memorable in a good way.

 

Lifekind Summer Catalog

Product Specialist at LifekindSomething to start with…

Though some of the Lifekind customers in the Eastern U.S. thought it might never arrive, summer is finally here. It’s a time when we can put the rigors of winter behind us, take a deep, relaxing breath, and enjoy the benefits of living in a healthful, organic home.

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Through the years, our Super Summer Sale has grown into a highly anticipated event. It’s our 9th Annual this time around, and we’re celebrating by offering 20% off almost everything in our catalog — including mattresses and foundations — as well as bumping the discount up to an impressive 30% on our All-Season Wool Comforter. You’ll find the same 40% discount you’ve come to know and love on our luxurious Pure Organic Sheet Set, plus a whopping 50% off our Pleated Crib Skirt. Add free shipping for almost every item for orders over $149 or over and you’re looking at a sale you won’t want to miss.

As always, we thank you for being a loyal customer and supporting the growth of truly organic products here in the United States. It’s making a difference for all of us.

Wishing you a happy, healthy summer,

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.

Bed_BugLittle