Saturday, March 12, 2011

Would you like to lie down in a bed of chemicals?

When I think about putting sheets on our beds, buying organic is a no-brainer for me. Why? We spend about 1/3 of our lives in bed and during all of that time, I want my family to be touching material that is not overly processed, has no pesticides, no insecticides, no herbicides and no bleach. Of course, buying organic is not always an option, so using sheets that have been washed many times can be a cheaper option.

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So, when you have these sheets that have been repeatedly washed or organic, the last think you want to do is use toxic detergent to clean them (this kinda defeats the purpose of organic in the first place). Not only do eco-friendly washing options leave clothes cleaner (they don't use chemicals to "clean" them like conventional cleaners do), they are also better for the environment (they don't have phosphates, which harm water sources) and better for us (they don't contain endocrine disruptors and chlorine bleach).  Check out a review of some of the green detergents out there.

I have also been asked what I thought of bamboo sheets and towels.  This seems like an easy one because bamboo is sustainable (resource that renews at a rate equal to or greater than the rate at which it is consumed).  The problem is, that bamboo starts out in a wood-like form (do you ever see "pine sheets" or "oak towels"?) and in order to make it soft and fluffy, tons and tons of chemicals are needed. The processing of bamboo into cloth is so hard on the environment that you might as well save your money and buy conventional sheets.

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As far as organic clothing goes, it is a good thing for so many reasons, but it is still somewhat pricey.  If you can afford it, yeah. If not, buy secondhand.  You are keeping clothes out of the landfill, they are cheaper and someone else has already gotten many of the chemicals out of the clothes with their washer. Just think twice before you buy a new t-shirt (that single shirt uses a third of a pound of pesticides and fertilizers).

Basically you should consider organic cotton for anything that touches your skin (sheets, clothes, cotton balls, diapers, maxi pads, tampons, towels, etc.) the other organic cotton offerings such as pillows or curtains or even sneakers are good for the earth and should be considered as well.  Many large retailers carry an assortment of organic cotton items to choose from. Happy Shopping!

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