On a recent shopping trip I got to thinking about how much of an impact newly purchased items have on our environment. Just look around your home and assess all the new things you have bought in the past year.

Some big ticket items are the most hazardous to the environment, but are deemed crucial in the home, so how can we make them more enviro-savvy for our world?

Your Old Mattresswoman lay down in grass Dont take this lying down

The Washington Post reports that most mattresses are made out of petroleum based ingredients such as polyurethane foam, and contain flame retardants which are required by law, but are often made up of chemicals harmful to human health.

Aside from the make-up of your mattress, regular tossing and turning can result in a break down of the foam within the mattress and causes dust particles to float into the air your breathe.

In 2006, a Consumer Product Safety Commission study estimated that “the average adult sleeping  on a conventional mattress will be exposed to 0.802 milligrams of antimony and 0.081 milligrams of boric acid, which is commonly used to kill cockroaches every night”. This fact alone has me questioning my Serta Beauty Rest and considering the positives a chemical free mattress may have not only on the environment, but on my peace of mind as well.

Purchasing Your New Mattress

If your in the market to purchase an organic mattress, many retailers such as JC Penney offer organic lines. Another great website to check out and purchase organic mattresses (within the US only) is The Organic Mattress Store (theorganicmatressstore.com).

They offer a wide range of mattresses for babies to adults which are made from 100% pure rubber latex (not synthetic latex) at its core and quilted with pure wool, certified organic cotton, and wrapped in a certified organic cotton fabric cover. The site also boasts duvets, pillows, organic sheets, and wooden and metal bed frames- all environmentally sound.

Lets All Do Our Part

So now that you’re doing your part and trading that old mattress in for an upgrade, it is comforting to know that others are following suit. Mattress giant Sleep Country Canada is taking initiative at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games and donating mattresses for all our athletes to get their rest on, and when the Olympics are completed, they are donating all mattresses, box springs and frames to charitable organizations throughout the Sleep Country chain region.

To read more on environmental sustainability within the 2010 Games check out vancouver2010.com/sustainability and rest at ease on some organic (bed) support.

Image courtesy of smh.com.au