Environmental Mattress

“Veganism as 2018 Mega-trend: Pros, Cons and Everything in Between!”

by Marla @

Our world is constantly changing at an ever-quickening pace, and thankfully, a lot of these changes are positive. Particularly when it comes to living and consuming mindfully, we seem to have become more aware as a society. We’re trying to reach out to each other and nature itself, probably as a result of being fed up with the way things have been so far. In a collective quest to be more mindful of how we eat, research suggests that the search for plant-based products is rapidly escalating and veganism is going to be the next big thing in 2018. But when it comes to any kid of mega-trend, nothing is ever black and white and education is key. So, whether you’re thinking of going vegan or completely opposed to the idea, let’s look at some facts. Plant-based diet done the right way As the number of people who adhere to vegan or vegetarian diets has gradually increased, so have the options of finding healthy plant-based foods. The whole idea is much more demystified now and even non-vegetarians are making use of the extensive knowledge we gained on extremely nutritious fruits, vegetables and whole grains. For example, avocado, various nuts (especially almonds), seeds, beans and legumes, tofu, quinoa, rice, tempeh and leafy greens such as kale and spinach have all proven to be highly nutritious ingredients. Various studies suggest that all the necessary nutrients can be taken in through a vegan diet, but only if the meals are diverse and eaten properly. That means that special attention should also be paid in order to ensure that all the nutrients are absorbed to a maximum level. Eating a wide variety of foods is really the most important. A major contradiction As we mentioned, the industry of plant-based food has really grown and spread, but with this rise in popularity comes a major contradiction: vegans now have a choice of mock-meats, plant-based cheese, faux fish and a still growing number of imitations of animal-based products. These are all highly processed foods, as their names suggest, and that is precisely where the contradiction lies. People choose to be vegan because they see it as the best way to consume natural and organic wholefood products and they approach other aspects of consumerism in an eco-friendly way as well – cosmetics, clothes, cleaning products, etc. Being vegan is definitely not about banishing meat from your diet and then turning to processed mock foods to satisfy the craving.   In this sense, there’s really not such a big difference between vegans and conscientious meat-eaters who choose only organic meat from grass fed, free-range animals. Actually, being a junk food vegan is much more worse since rightfully treated and prepared animal products are nutritious, healthy and often essential food sources. To vegan or not to vegan People decide to be vegan for various reasons. For many, these reasons are very personal and deeply rooted in their minds. In short, it’s something that resonates with their idea of self so soundly, to the point that they really see it as the only choice for themselves. They are very responsible about their diet, investing a lot of time and effort to prepare meals and to remain well informed. But a danger emerges when it comes to those who do not fall into this category. Typically, very young people who fall under the influence of social media and the latest trends, without realizing they must first educate themselves before even making a decision…and without realizing that you cannot live off of fruit smoothies for breakfast, lunch and dinner. In this category are mostly the people who want to be environmentally conscious through their eating habits, but are not sure how.   When choosing how to eat, the choice should be made for the right reasons. A lot of people feel they would never be able to exclude meat from their diet, and this makes perfect sense as well – everybody gets to choose the kind of lifestyle that resonates with them. Eating only organic, grass-fed meat is an environmentally and socially aware choice as much as veganism. Since studies have shown that a varied plant-based diet is neither beneficial nor detrimental to health, the news is pretty great for everyone – eat what suits you, just make organic, healthy and diversified choices whenever you can.

Nolah Mattress Discount Code

by Logan Block @ Sleepopolis

You can save $125 on any size Nolah mattress by following some simple steps and using the following promo code! Choose your mattress at Enter the code SLEEPOPOLIS in the discount code section on the checkout screen and click apply Congratulations, you just saved $125!   Don’t forget to check out my full Nolah […]

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Bella Sera Firmness Guide

by Corinna @ The Natural Sleep Store

You can choose whether you want your three layers to be soft, medium, or firm. Additionally, if you are purchasing a Queen or King size mattress, you can customize each side to be a different firmness level. For more detailed information, please read about customizing your mattress.  After you have slept on the mattress, if […]

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Organic Mattress, Natural Mattresses | Avocado Green Mattress®

Organic Mattress, Natural Mattresses | Avocado Green Mattress®

Avocado Green Mattress

Be safe & healthy on a luxury organic mattress handmade in USA with natural & organic materials. Non-toxic, eco-friendly, 100 night trial, 25 year warranty.

Is Watching the News Actually Bad for Your Health?

Is Watching the News Actually Bad for Your Health?

by Alex Barasch @ Slate Articles

A Minnesota-based gym chain called Life Time caused a stir among its clients—and the rest of the internet, once the New York Times picked up the story—when it announced its decision to remove all cable news programming, left- and right-leaning alike, from the big-screen TVs in its 130 locations around the country. Amid cries of censorship, Life Time’s statement on Twitter emphasized that it was a decision borne of “significant member feedback received over time” and that the move was in line with the gym’s “healthy way of life philosophy.”

The subtext is that watching cable news could harm your health—a maxim that might sound downright intuitive in this day and age. But among scientists, the jury is still out. It’s true that certain types of news seem to have a measurable impact on our mental health: Researchers from the University of Toronto found that journalists who regularly deal with images of extreme violence in the course of their work are more likely to suffer from anxiety, depression, PTSD, and alcoholism. The authors conclude that “frequent, repetitive viewing of traumatic images can come with adverse psychological consequences.” Interestingly (and worryingly), the opposite can also be true: Increased exposure to these images can lead to desensitization, a kind of emotional numbing effect as they become used to the horrors that come with the job. While non-journalists won’t bear the brunt of this, it follows that stories of police brutality, terrorist attacks, and other violence could start to wear on our emotional well-being (or at the other end of the spectrum, our ability to respond emotionally in the first place), particularly if we’re always plugged in.

Importantly, though, cable news in and of itself has no such effect. Although individual elections might affect our stress levels—Duke scientists tracking the stress hormone cortisol in McCain voters vs. Obama voters on the night of the 2008 election saw a spike among members of the losing party—the steady drumbeat of political developments doesn’t seem to do the same. One 2017 study of older adults, the largest consumers of cable news, exposed volunteers to Fox News, MSNBC, and PBS (respectively deemed right, left, and center), then monitored their psychological, physiological, and cognitive responses. In short, there wasn’t one: “Cable news watching had no effect on psychological stress, physiological stress, or cognitive function.

This remained true even if the news exposures were discordant with participants’ political affiliation.” While a 2012 study at Texas A&M found that New York Times stories about Obama’s success led to higher cortisol levels than those about Mystic Pizza or Taylor Swift among the college’s conservative student body, the authors were quick to note that “the effects we observed were within the range of normal, daily variations in cortisol,” and they pushed back against the notion of political coverage as a kind of “secondary smoke” for partisan opponents. So from an empirical perspective, it seems that both watching and reading the news, even when it scares us or disappoints us or we disagree with it, are relatively safe habits.

Natalie Bushaw, a spokeswoman for Life Time, assured the Times that when it comes to cable news at the gym, this went beyond Trump. “This has been a growing issue over years, not weeks or months,” she said. That may have been more about the gym’s desire to combat accusations of censorship in these polarized times. But she’s right that people have worried about information overload being bad for one’s health for a long time: As early as the 1840s, Victorians feared for the fate of “brain workers”—the academics, financiers, and clergymen inundated with information at rates that had previously been impossible. As the advent of commercial telegraphs and the mass production and distribution of pamphlets and periodicals radically altered the speed and frequency of communication, doctors advised those facing mental and emotional overload to “take rest,” literally checking out and retiring to, say, Davos for months or even years at a time.

A six-month vacation from reality may sound tempting, perhaps even healthy considering the current state of the world. Which brings us to the crux of the issue: Things have obviously changed fundamentally since the 1840s, but they’ve also changed since 2016. It’s worth noting that while the most recent of these studies was published in 2017, volunteers were recruited between July 2014 and May 2015—in other words, well before the Trump administration or the #MeToo moment. Our current 24-hour news cycle, dominated by stories of sexual assault, environmental crises, and impending nuclear disaster, may well be more distressing than it has been in the past, and plenty has been written about what we can do to cultivate a healthier “media diet” in response. There are cases in which limiting our exposure is in fact a valid and worthwhile course of action: It’s OK (and probably even advisable) to go to bed on an election night instead of obsessively refreshing the Upshot’s robot predictor needle. And there’s no shame in choosing not to bear witness to every moment of violence, as long as we don’t shy away from what they tell us about the world we live in.

Life Time has offered its customers a compromise: The channels that have been removed from large-screen TVs are still available on smaller ones, and the gym’s Wi-Fi allows them to tune in to whatever they like on mobile phones. While it may not be scientifically necessary to take cable TV off its biggest screens, the gym is simply letting its customers make a choice about where, whether, and how much they want to engage—and that seems like a perfectly reasonable step to me.

11 Best Natural, Eco Friendly & Organic Mattresses You Can Buy Online

11 Best Natural, Eco Friendly & Organic Mattresses You Can Buy Online

The Good Trade

A good night’s sleep shouldn’t be elusive. Studies show that we spend nearly a third of our lives sleeping, and yet the average mattress contains a cocktail of toxic chemicals and flame retardants that can lead to long term diseases, skin irritations and respiratory problems. Comfort and quality are

All Natural Latex Mattresses: Find Your Perfect Natural Latex Mattress

by Brooke Stern @ Habitat Furnishings

Tire of tossing and turning?  Time for a new mattress?  Ready to try something more comfortable than your old inner spring mattress?  Perhaps you are thinking about an all natural latex mattress?  How can you find the all natural latex mattress that is right for you? A 100% all natural latex mattress is extremely comfortable.  […]

The post All Natural Latex Mattresses: Find Your Perfect Natural Latex Mattress appeared first on Habitat Furnishings.

Map and Directions

by denverorganic @ The Natural Sleep Store

Map and Directions to the Denver Organic Mattress Showroom Our address: The Natural Sleep Store- Denver Organic Mattresses and Bedding 928 W. 8th Avenue Denver, Colorado 80204 1.303.623.2261 We are located in central Denver at 928 W. 8th Avenue on the corner of 8th and Santa Fe. Click for Driving Directions Directions from Fort Collins, […]

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The Benefits of a Natural Mattress

The Benefits of a Natural Mattress

Hästens Los Angeles

If you’re looking for a non-toxic mattress that will improve your sleep and your health, you should consider purchasing an organic, natural mattress. Natural mattresses are crafted from non-toxic, chemical-free materials, like cotton, wool, or horsehair. Here is a look at the primary benefits of a natural, organic mattress.A Natural Mattress is Supportive and Comfortable

DIY Night Cream

by Destiny Hagest @ Avocado Green Mattress

DIY Night Cream | An all-natural recipe that won't clog pores.Read More ...

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“Good Nutrition for Mama & Baby!”

by Marla @

When one transitions to parenthood, good nutrition takes on a whole new significance. During pregnancy and while breastfeeding, the things a woman consumes are imparted directly to her child. Similarly, even when a child moves beyond that, their perceptions of food and eating are largely shaped by the example set by their parents. The challenge is in making that good nutrition consistent, though. Before children, it is often easier to budget time and money so that you’re consuming the right things. But when a newborn arrives, amidst the sea of dirty diapers and midnight feedings, it becomes far more difficult to make that happen. But it can be done. Having the right idea about nutrition and a game plan to follow through on can make all the difference. Mamas have the ability to make it happen! One small disclaimer: this article is not meant to shame those who are not breastfeeding for whatever reason. It is meant to educate and encourage those who are breastfeeding. Mom-shaming stops when we’re able to have an open dialogue from every perspective, and when we’re able to acknowledge the benefits of some tactics without attacking others. Moms are uniquely equipped to give good nutrition The good news for the mom invested in the nutrition of her kids is that she is uniquely positioned to do so. And one doesn’t have to look far to see examples of how breastfeeding has been shown to have positive impacts babies. For example, studies have shown that breastfeeding cuts the risk of SIDS in half in babies of certain of ages. Moms impart customized antibodies to their babies via breast milk, and some research has even found that telomeres, which protect the end of chromosomes from deterioration, are longer in the bodies of breastfed babies. Research results that echo the above are easy to find. Anyone who has breastfed knows it’s not for the faint of heart. It can seem like it should be natural, when in reality it takes baby and mama a good while to get the hang of it. So much so that Bradley University notes, “Only 29 percent of women who have initiated breastfeeding continue breastfeeding on past the six month mark.” Thus, one of the key components of managing to stick it out, even when it is tough, is realizing that there are a host of benefits for the mamas and babies who do breastfeed. Eating Smart While Breastfeeding Breastfeeding in and of itself means you’re making a solid commitment to the health of your baby. But you can maximize the positive impact you have by making thoughtful choices about your diet. It may seem overwhelming, but if you know what you’re looking for it, it becomes much easier. Some straightforward ways to boost the health of your family include: Whole foods Eating healthy whole foods essentially means that you’re removing as much processed food from your diet as possible. The advantages to doing so include research that suggests a correlation between whole foods and a higher IQ in kids. Try: Organic fruits Veggies Grains Fermented foods From birth, healthy gut bacteria ensures that the body’s systems run appropriately, and fermented foods are a surefire way to keep the bacteria in the gut healthy. Try: Raw milk yogurt Kombucha Sauerkraut Milk supply foods: One of the main stress points for a breastfeeding mom is supply, but incorporating foods that help promote supply is not hard to do! Doing so will provide a first line of defense so that baby can get as much food as necessary, straight from mom.   Try: Fenugreek, Oats Fennel Spinach Focus on the Big Picture The undercurrent that will grant a mom pursuing good nutrition success is remembering the big picture. The matter of central importance is how mama feels physically and emotionally, and what she’s doing to promote that same health in her kids. This is not about never giving your kids sugar, or any number of things that can produce mom-guilt. Instead, it’s about establishing a lifestyle that mama is content with. And beyond that, it’s about realizing a pattern that your own kids can adopt and implement. Fostering a pro-breastfeeding and pro-nutrition outlook will reap major rewards in the long run. Remembering the value of good nutrition, and the way that it will grant your family a sustainable path to life where they feel good and can do the things they want to do, is one of the best healthy habits you can foster as your family begins to grow.

Organic Cotton and Wool Shikibuton

by rjarvis @ Organic Kids Mattress – Healthy Child

3 - 4 inches thick, easily folded and stored!

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Why Buy an Organic Mattress?

by admin @ Sleeping Organic

With almost 1/3 of our lives spent in bed, what we sleep on does affect us. Your mattress is a long term investment in your comfort and health. Organic latex mattresses are made of organic latex, organic cotton and organic wool. The components of our organic mattresses, cotton, wool and latex, are cultivated using NO […]

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Why It’s Actually Awesome That Hawaii Is So Ridiculously Expensive

by Alden Wicker @ Ecocult

At first, I was frustrated by the high price of everything on Hawaii. In fact, I almost felt dumb for visiting. Basic resort rooms at $300 a night. Paying an extra $350 on top of the $700 plane tickets for one Economy Comfort seat (and sitting separately from him in a cheaper seat) just so my new 6’5″ husband could walk when he got off the 12-hour flight. The $175 grocery bill for a week of breakfast and bagged lunches. Ouch! Why visit Hawaii when you could get the same tropical vibes for a third of the price in Mexico or Thailand? But midway through our trip, something switched. We found pristine, empty beaches in Hana, ate locally caught seafood and locally grown chocolate and coffee, and hiked for seven hours in Haleakala’s crater without seeing more than ten other people. And it struck me: Hawaii is an example of accidental environmentalism. You see, there is a term called “externalities.” When it comes to the environment and the economy, it means all the stuff that is damaged as a side effect of economic development: pollution, overfishing, deforestation, asthma, climate change…. every ecosystem damage you can think of. The very basic […]

The post Why It’s Actually Awesome That Hawaii Is So Ridiculously Expensive appeared first on Ecocult.

This Land Was Your Land

This Land Was Your Land

by Elizabeth Shogren @ Slate Articles

This story is republished from High Country News as part of a collaboration with Climate Desk.

President Donald Trump has spent the past year steadily undoing Obama-era environmental protections, especially rules designed to fight climate change. By law, agencies must go through a lengthy process to rescind or rewrite many rules, but executive orders and other policies are easier to erase. Some of the rollbacks have major implications for the West and public lands.

Here we take a look at some of the most important rollbacks of the past year:


Trump slashed two national monuments in southern Utah and is considering changes to other monuments in the West. Under Trump’s boundaries, Bears Ears becomes two separate management units: Indian Creek and Shash Jáa. The two together are just 15 percent of the footprint protected by President Barack Obama in 2016. The new Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is about half its original size. Countless archaeological, paleontological, cultural, and scenic treasures are left out of Trump’s new boundaries. Bears Ears and Escalante supporters are suing to block this unprecedented action.

Arctic Refuge

At the Trump administration’s urging, Congress in December opened parts of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas drilling. This was an enormous loss for the Gwich’in, a Native Alaskan people, and environmental groups, which had successfully protected the refuge from drilling for decades. Drilling in the refuge is part of a broader policy of the administration to increase oil production in Alaska and in Western public lands in general. In December, the administration offered the largest lease sale ever in the National Petroleum Reserve, Alaska. But companies bid on a tiny fraction of land available—only seven of the 900 tracts offered.

Clean Water Rule

The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to rescind the 2015 Clean Water Rule. This rule—particularly important in the arid West—mandates, for example, protecting tributaries that connect to navigable waterways and adjoining wetlands, even if they flow only part of the year. If it’s revoked, those tributaries could be filled in, ditched, or diverted for construction or farming without federal review.

In October, the Supreme Court heard arguments about whether federal district courts or appeals courts should hear several pending cases challenging the rule. It’s unclear when it will issue a decision. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt plans to write a new rule describing which waters and wetlands warrant federal protection and which should be left to state discretion. In the meantime, the Trump administration is trying to delay the date the Obama rule goes into effect until 2020 in case the courts uphold it.

The EPA also plans to eliminate protection of many wetlands and streams by narrowing the definition of a “navigable water.” This will be especially significant in the arid West, where most streams run only part of the year or after rain events.

Fossil fuel royalties rule

In August, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke repealed a 2016 Obama rule designed to ensure that taxpayers get a fair return on oil, gas, and coal. The Obama administration estimated the rule would have increased the royalties that fossil fuel industries pay to mine and drill federal lands and waters by about $80 million a year. The rule was meant to eliminate a loophole that allows companies to sell to affiliated companies that then export and resell the minerals at higher prices, reducing royalties. Zinke said it was too complex and plans to draft a new rule.

BLM methane rule

In 2016, the Bureau of Land Management implemented a rule limiting how much methane can be released from some 96,000 oil and gas wells on federal and tribal lands. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, and the 2016 rule’s goal was to reduce emissions that contribute to climate change, smog and health problems, as well as to increase royalties. Industry claims the rule is too onerous and duplicates state rules.

Congressional Republicans tried unsuccessfully in May to erase the rule using the Congressional Review Act. The BLM in December suspended it until 2019, and Zinke plans to rewrite it.

EPA methane rule

The EPA also passed a rule in 2016 designed to limit methane emissions, but from new and modified oil and gas wells, compressor stations, pneumatic pumps, and similar equipment. It was a key part of Obama’s climate change agenda; his administration projected that industry’s costs would be partially offset by revenues from recovering and selling more natural gas. Pruitt has sought to prevent the rule from going into effect, but environmentalists and the states of New Mexico and California have been fighting him in court. The EPA now has proposed suspending the rule for two years while it redrafts it.

National Environmental Policy Act reviews

In an Aug. 31 secretarial order, the Department of Interior “streamlined” agencies’ processes for analyzing the environmental impacts of major actions. Now, agencies may not spend more than a year to complete environmental impact statements, nor may their final reports be more than 150 pages or 300 pages “for unusually complex projects.”

Environmental groups fear the arbitrary deadlines will hinder public engagement in public-land decisions. But John Freemuth, a public policy professor at Boise State University, said environmental impact statements are often long and incomprehensible to most people. “Trying to make this process work better and happen quicker is probably not a bad thing, unless it’s done for surrogate reasons, like to get more coal off the land,” Freemuth says.

Federal coal

Obama wanted the federal coal-mining program to better reflect its costs to taxpayers and the planet. So in 2016, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell placed a three-year moratorium on new coal leases on federal land while reviewing the program, which produces about 40 percent of the coal burned in the U.S. for electricity.

This March, Zinke canceled both the moratorium and the review. Given declining demand for coal, though, there’s been no rush for new leases. One exception: Cloud Peak Energy is seeking to expand operations in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin.

National parks management

The National Park Service in August rescinded a sweeping December 2016 policy instructing managers to use an adaptive approach to decision-making, taking into account uncertainties such as climate change impacts, and erring on the side of caution to protect natural and cultural resources. The policy also committed to address worker harassment. Now, NPS says revoking the order avoids confusion while Zinke establishes his own vision for the parks.

Also in August, the agency ended a six-year policy that allowed parks to ban the sale of disposable water bottles to decrease waste and greenhouse gas pollution. Western parks that banned bottled water included Arizona’s Grand Canyon; Arches, Bryce, and Canyonlands in Utah; Saguaro in Arizona; and Colorado National Monument.

Power plants

The EPA has taken steps to repeal the Clean Power Plan, the Obama-era regulation intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 32 percent by 2030 compared to 2005. The Supreme Court had already stayed the rule, pending court review. The Trump administration asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit not to rule in the case, and in August the court agreed to suspend its review.

Trump’s EPA also is reconsidering an earlier Obama administration rule that required that all new power plants meet greenhouse gas standards, which roughly equate to emissions from modern natural gas plants. The rule effectively banned the construction of new conventional coal-fired power plants and remains in effect.


Trump revoked Obama administration policies that had blocked or postponed construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines. Environmentalists had long objected to Keystone XL because the heavy tar sands crude oil that it carries has a bigger greenhouse gas footprint than conventional crude oil. It requires a lot of energy to get tar sands out of the ground and process it for transporting by pipelines.

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and many supporters from other tribes and the environmental community staged a monthslong protest to oppose DAPL. They raised concerns about sovereignty and the risk that potential spills pose to water resources that the tribe needs for farming and other uses. Trump touts the pipeline projects as key parts of his energy independence and infrastructure plans.

Cleaner cars

The EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are considering backtracking from Obama’s plans to boost fuel efficiency for cars and light trucks to the equivalent of 54.5 miles per gallon by model year 2025.

The outcome is important in the West because California has led the rest of the country in pressing for cleaner cars, both to improve its air quality and achieve its climate change goals. California has fiercely objected to the possible rollback and vows to keep the standards. Thirteen other states, including Oregon and Washington, also warned Pruitt not to weaken the fuel standards and vowed to defend them in court if he does.

Offshore drilling

Obama withdrew large sections of the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans from drilling to protect marine habitats. In an April executive order, Trump reversed the withdrawals and ordered annual lease sales in those areas, including in the Chukchi Sea, Beaufort Sea, Cook Inlet, Mid-Atlantic, and South Atlantic. Environmental groups have sued in federal court, challenging the legality of Trump’s action.

Blowout prevention rule

In April, Trump ordered a reconsideration of a 2016 rule designed to prevent the kind of engineering failures that led to the catastrophic 2010 BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. That explosion killed 11 workers and inundated the fragile coast and deep sea with the largest marine oil spill ever seen, pummeling the Gulf’s seafood industry, killing thousands of marine mammals and rare sea turtles, and contaminating their habitats.

The chairmen of the bipartisan National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling warned in a New York Times opinion piece that Trump’s order threatens the most important safeguard for preventing repeats of the BP disaster.

Social cost of carbon

Trump abolished policies crafted by the Obama administration to consider the cost of climate change to future generations when considering the costs and benefits of proposed regulations and when analyzing the environmental impacts of government actions under the National Environmental Policy Act. The social cost of carbon is a dollar amount that represents how much a ton of carbon pollution will “cost” society over the long run, such as the loss of usable dry land because of sea level rise, stresses to agriculture from droughts, and increased need for air conditioning. Trump’s March executive order directs agencies to use a 2003 policy that does not include directions on calculating these future costs of greenhouse gas emissions.

The Trump administration’s approach has started to run afoul of the courts. A federal judge in August blocked a major expansion of a coal mine in Montana and ordered the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement to redo its environmental analysis. The judge took issue with the agency’s argument that the millions of tons of extra greenhouse gas emissions from the Montana mine would not result in any costs to society because if that coal weren’t burned, other coal would be. Judge Donald Molloy of the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana said the conclusion was illogical and put the agency’s “thumb on the scale by inflating the benefits of the action while minimizing its impacts.”

Floods and infrastructure

As part of his strategy to prepare the United States for the greater risks of climate change, Obama signed an executive order in 2015 requiring that the federal government consider sea level rise and storm surge when designing infrastructure and building in flood-prone areas. Just days before Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, Trump signed an executive order revoking Obama’s order.

Trump defended his decision as an incentive for investments in infrastructure. Many professional engineers, insurance companies, and environmentalists objected to the repeal, saying that the standard protected people and property and reduced expenses to the federal government associated with rebuilding after flooding.

Best Soft Mattress for Your Needs

by Candace Osmond @ The Sleep Judge

Organic Sofas, Loveseats, and Armchairs

by Corinna @ The Natural Sleep Store

All organic sofas, loveseats, and armchairs by Savvy Rest with your choice of fabrics, cushion firmness, and leg finish. Savvy Rest Verona Armchair with Organic Hemp-Cotton Blend Fabric Free Shipping! Continue the benefits of a healthy nights sleep all day with the Savvy Rest Verona Armchair with organic hemp-cotton blend fabric. This elegant tuxedo style […]

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Zotto Mattress Unboxing

by Logan Block @ Sleepopolis

I’m here to unbox the Zotto mattress! It’s a memory foam mattress standing 10 inches in height and aims to help regulate temperatures to help sleep cool. This is going to be my first look at the Zotto, so I’m excited to learn more about the mattress and get a sense of the feel so […]

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A Begrudging Defense of Dog Clothes

A Begrudging Defense of Dog Clothes

by Eleanor Cummins @ Slate Articles

Walking through New York City in December is an unparalleled sensory experience—holiday lights, patches of yellow snow, pop-up Christmas tree stands. This week, walking uptown, I eyed a broad-chested pit bull; he was wearing a scarf. Muscles rippling, he confidently navigated the patches of ice before him, evidently unaware of the ridiculous fringed, gray garment his owner had wrapped around his neck. On that same block, I’ve seen dogs decked out in glossy down jackets, yellow fisherman’s rain jackets with matching booties, and even cowl-neck cardigans.

Clearly, these particular choices were influenced by aesthetics and made possible by disposable income, but many dog owners argue that these clothing items aren’t just fun—they’re paramount to their pets’ health. This is strange to consider, given we’re talking about an animal. Unless they spontaneously grew thumbs, dogs could never make clothing on their own, so how could it be essential? It’s even weirder when you remember dogs are descended from the mighty wolf, which can withstand an enormous range in temperature, thriving in arctic conditions as low as -70 degrees and in the desert, enduring weather as high as 120 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s hard to imagine, say, the direwolves in Game of Thrones ever trouncing around in medically necessary suits.

Hard to imagine, sure. But to scientifically investigate the answer to this question, let’s remember that somewhere between 10,000 and 30,000 years ago, humans domesticated the wild wolf, probably by paying them for their loyalty with scraps of food. Over time, wolves became softer creatures—and eventually man’s best friend. But it came at an enormous cost: Those strong, resilient proto-pups evolved, by the power of human selection, into the cute, cuddly, and relatively wimpy things they are today. After millennia of manipulation, that one wolf has been transformed into more than 300 distinct dog breeds. Some, like the dignified Siberian husky or the lovable Samoyed still thrive in cold environments, thanks to their thick, plentiful fur. But others, like Chinese cresteds, are basically naked, having likely been bred from the African hairless dog into the even more fragile and strangely coiffed creatures we know today. Even those dogs that sit (good boy!) in the middle struggle to endue extremes; their short- or medium-length coats are perfectly suited for the more middling climates their owners put them in.

Though dogs are widely varied in their appearance, their body temperature is strikingly similar: The American Kennel Club says dogs range from 101 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Of course, keeping a Siberian husky and a Chinese crested in that small sweet spot just of slightly more than 100 degrees is hard. Unless you still live in the Arctic Circle, huskies need little things like extra water and bigger things like air conditioning to get them through the summer. Conversely, Chinese cresteds likely wouldn’t survive a winter in the wild. Most dogs should be safe in temperatures above freezing, at least for the duration of a short walk. But, in temperatures below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, things get a little riskier. Huskies may still feel fine, but a small or thinly coated dog could potentially get hypothermia or frostbite, especially if they get wet or spend hours out in the cold. While most dogs are probably OK for a short wintertime walk, the situation is serious enough that experts really do recommend bundling up certain pups before taking them out in that winter wonderland.

Certain breeds clearly could benefit from a well-wrapped scarf or, if you must, a merino wool doggy cardigan. And even though watching the descendant of a woodland wolf walk around with a plastic barrier between his paws and the sidewalk is painful, doggie boots have a purpose too. In cities that salt their roads and sidewalks in the winter, it’s actually important: Road melt chemicals in industrial salts can be toxic to dogs and can also dry out or burn their paws. If you live in a city that uses this kind of salt, it’s possible that your dog will go home to groom, only to ingest the potentially dangerous salts stuck to their body as they clean. It doesn’t guarantee illness, but it’s a risk many dog owners don’t want to take.

I’m still skeptical of many dogs’ fancy cold weather wear, but I have to admit that the evidence supports cautious dog owners in their decision to shield man’s more delicate sidekicks from the ravages of winter. Still, looking at the dogs of New York City, I can’t help but consider what we’ve done to these creatures. Before humans bred them into strange shapes and sizes and stuffed them in tiny outfits, dogs were independent, self-sufficient, and even fearsome creatures. Now, they’re just fashionable furballs.

Customize Your Organic Mattress

by Corinna @ The Natural Sleep Store

Three firmness options are available for each layer of latex: "soft," "medium," or "firm." You can then decide whether you'd like solid layers of latex, or whether you'd like it split down the center to allow for different firmnesses on each side of the mattress. The latex is wrapped in an organic cotton and organic […]

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2017 Is the Year We Should Have Realized That Climate Change Is Already Here

2017 Is the Year We Should Have Realized That Climate Change Is Already Here

by Adam Rogers @ Slate Articles

This story is republished with permission from Wired, as part of a collaboration with Climate Desk.

This past year, 2017, was the worst fire season in American history. More than 9.5 million acres burned across North America. Firefighting efforts cost $2 billion.

This past year, 2017, was the seventh-worst Atlantic hurricane season on record and the worst since 2005. There were six major storms. Early estimates put the costs at more than $180 billion.

As the preventable disease hepatitis A spread through homeless populations in California cities in 2017, 1 million Yemenis contracted cholera amid a famine. Diphtheria killed 21 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, on the run from a genocide.

Disaster, Pestilence, War, and Famine are riding as horsemen of a particular apocalypse. In 2016, the amount of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere reached 403 parts per million, higher than it has been since at least the last ice age. By the end of 2017, the United States was on track to have the most billion-dollar weather- and climate-related disasters since the government started counting in 1980. We did that.

Transnational corporations and the most powerful militaries on Earth are already building to prepare for higher sea levels and more extreme weather. The FIRE complex—finance, insurance, and real estate—knows exactly what 2017 cost them (natural and human-made disasters: $306 billion and 11,000 lives) and can calculate more of the same in 2018. They know that the radical alteration of Earth’s climate isn’t just something that’s going to happen in 100 years if we’re not careful, or in 50 years if we don’t change our economy and moonshot the crap out of science and technology. It’s here. Now. It happened. Look behind you.

Let me rephrase: Absent any changes, by 2050 Earth will be a couple degrees hotter overall. Sea levels will be a foot higher. Now, 2050 seems as impossibly far away to me as 2017 did when I was 12 years old. I live in the future! And I like a lot of it. I like the magic glass slab in my pocket and the gene therapy and the robots. I mention this because in 2050, my oldest child will be the same age I am today, and I have given him a broken world.

I don’t want that.

So 2017 taught a lesson, at last, that scientists and futurists have been screaming about. Humanity has to reduce the amount of carbon it’s pumping into the air. Radically. Or every year will be worse from here on out.

But 2017 also made plain the shape of the overall disaster. All those fires and floods and outbreaks are symptoms of the same problem, and it’s time to start dealing with that in a clear-eyed way. It’s also time to start building differently—to start making policies that understand that the American coastline is going to be redrawn by the sea and that people can’t keep building single-family homes anywhere they can grade a flat pad. The wildland-urban interface can’t keep spreading at will. People can’t keep pumping fresh water out of aquifers without restoring them. Infrastructure for water and power has to be hardened against more frequent, more intense storms, backed up and reinforced so hundreds of thousands of people don’t go without electricity as they are in post-hurricane Puerto Rico.

In short: Change, but also adapt. Fire season in the West is now a permanent condition; don’t build buildings that burn so easily in places that burn every year. Hurricanes and storm surges are going to continue to walk up the Caribbean and onto the Gulf Coast, or maybe along the seaboard. Don’t put houses on top of the wetlands that absorb those storms. Don’t insure the people who do. Build ways for people to get around without cars. Create a power grid that pulls everything it can from renewable sources like wind and solar. Keep funding public health research, surveillance, and ways to deal with mosquito-borne diseases that thrive in a hotter world.

And the next time someone in a city planning meeting says that new housing shouldn’t get built in a residential area because it’s not in keeping with the sense of the community and might disrupt parking, tell them what that means: that they want young people to have lesser lives, that they don’t want poor people and people of color to have the same opportunities they did, and that they’d rather the planet’s environment get crushed by letting bad buildings spread to inhospitable places than increasing density in cities.

This apocalypse doesn't hurt everyone. Some people benefit. It’s not a coincidence that the FIRE industries also donate the most money to federal political campaigns. Rich people living behind walls they think can’t be breached by any rising tide, literal or metaphoric, made this disaster. And then they gaslighted the vulnerable into distrusting anyone raising the alarm. The people who benefit have made it seem as if this dark timeline was all perfectly fine.

It isn’t. And that’s why it’ll change.

In 1957 Charles Fritz and Harry Williams, the research associate and technical director, respectively, of the National Academy of Sciences’ Disaster Studies Committee, wrote a paper that sparked the field of disaster sociology. Their findings were counterintuitive then, and somehow remain so. People in disasters, they said, don’t loot and riot. They help each other. “The net result of most disasters is a dramatic increase in social solidarity among the affected populace during the emergency and immediate post-emergency periods,” they wrote. “The sharing of a common threat to survival and the common suffering produced by the disaster tend to produce a breakdown of pre-existing social distinctions and a great outpouring of love, generosity, and altruism.”

In a disaster, we help each other. The trick is recognizing the disaster. Through that lens, fixing the problem and protecting one another against its consequences isn’t merely inarguable. It’s human nature. We’re all in this together.

Keeping it Clean

by Destiny Hagest @ Avocado Green Mattress

Keeping it Clean | Reducing microplastics in our oceans.Read More ...

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The Best Non-Toxic Mattress on the Market (it feels great and you can afford it)

The Best Non-Toxic Mattress on the Market (it feels great and you can afford it)

SCD Lifestyle

In this article, I review the all-around best non-toxic mattress on the market. But is it safe, comfortable, and affordable? Yes, to all three!

Promotions and Discounts

by denverorganic @ The Natural Sleep Store

Promotions, Special Sales, and Discounts Available in store at The Natural Sleep Store’s Denver Organic Mattress Showroom Promotions: Get two free pillows with the purchase of any Green Sleep Mattress With every Savvy Rest mattress purchase (excluding the Savvy Baby) during the month of March, customers will receive two kapok pillows, a cotton mattress pad, […]

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Best Non Toxic Mattresses of 2018

by Ashley @ Nontoxic Reboot

This post contains affiliate links. Click here to read my affiliate policy. If you were to only pick one item to switch in your journey for a nontoxic reboot, I would say that you should get a nontoxic mattress. Why? It by far has the most impact out of any other single item on reducing […]


by denverorganic @ The Natural Sleep Store

The Natural Sleep Store Denver Organic Mattress Showroom Hours Please call 866.663.0859 or email to make an appointment. Store Hours : Monday-Friday: 10:00am – 12:30pm and 1:00pm – 6:00pm Saturday: 10:00am – 6:00pm Sunday: 10:00am – 6:00pm We close on Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas, and New Years Day. Denver Showroom Phone: 1.303.623.2261

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How To Buy A Non-Toxic Mattress (And An Inexpensive Alternative)

How To Buy A Non-Toxic Mattress (And An Inexpensive Alternative)


Hey mamas! Boy did you have questions after I posted on a possible link between sheepskins, mattresses and SIDS. Today I’ve compiled the most common ones in Q&A form. If you’re going to skim, make sure to check out question #6 for a confession about what I put my babies to sleep on. Hope you …

Tempur-Pedic: Outstanding Comfort from an Outstanding Company

by Madison Williams @ Urban Mattress

The secret is out, memory foam is changing the way the world sleeps. A major player in this market and one of our favorites at Urban Mattress is Tempur-Pedic; and not only because of the high-quality products, but because the core of the company is exemplary, from the quality of products all the way down […]

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Health Benefits of Using a Natural Mattress

by Dennis Hornick @ Organic Mattress Store

Did you know that “going organic” isn’t just limited to the food you eat? You can incorporate other organic products into your lifestyle as well. One important way to go organic is by choosing a natural mattress. Since you spend as much of a third of your life in bed,... Keep Reading

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POPs, Those Toxic, Manmade Persistent Organic Pollutants

by @ Green Home Library

But This Time It’s Nature Doing the Dirty Work!

In the late 1970s, the U.S. government banned a group of manmade chemical compounds known as PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) thanks to scientific evidence that they caused harm to both people and animals.

This group of toxins, along with DDT, PCBs, and PBDEs, are all classified as POPs, or persistent organic pollutants – chemicals with such serious side effects that nations around the globe joined to ban them in 2004 in what is known as the Stockholm Convention.

Nature Makes POPs, Too

It was a magnificent effort, but one that Nature herself may be undermining. According to some scientists, certain bacteria, fungi, plants and waterborne organisms may now be making their own, counterfeit versions of PCBs, PBDEs, and other banned compounds.

Scientists don’t yet know whether their production is part of a natural process or some response to the chemicals we have already introduced into earth’s biosphere. The most burning question, however, may be why Nature is reproducing these POPs?

Take a group of chemicals called organohalogens, which are being found in seabird eggs along both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, according to researcher Sheryl Tittlemier of Carleton University.

These organic halogen compounds are structurally very similar to manmade DDT, halogenated dioxins, and brominated flame retardants. In nature, they are produced by marine organisms such as the acorn worm, for example, and production is verified by carbon-14 dating – a highly conclusive method for anything less than 50,000 years old.

The list of naturally produced POPs currently approaches 6,000, and challenges the perception that humans have produced more of these toxic compounds than Nature!

Natural POPs Making Their Way Up the Food Chain

Most scientists support the idea that these Nature-made POPs are as harmful to species as the ones chemical companies like Monsanto, Dow and 3M once made.

Several studies – one from the University of Missouri – have found trace amounts of POPs in pet food (and, of course, pets). The worst offender is BPA, or Bisphenol A, found in the lining of far too many pet food cans. The most troubling aspect of this problem is that at least two of the manufacturers lied about the presence of bisphenol A in their cans.

Traces of hydroxylated PBDEs have also been found in humans. The greatest risk is to people eating a marine diet, including fish; shellfish like oysters, crabs and lobster; whales and dolphins; seaweeds and microalgae; squid; sea cucumbers; jellyfish; and frogs.

Women in the Faroe Islands, who commonly ate whale blubber, had traces of these “natural” PCBs in their breast milk. Unfortunately, these naturally produced compounds can’t be banned as easily as manmade PCBs, so scientists are using analytical techniques like genome sampling to figure out which organisms are synthesizing the chemicals, how they do it, and why.

So far, the worst culprits appear to be marine sponges, whose bodies harbor 10 percent or more (by dry weight) of polybrominated compounds! Good reason, if you needed one, not to buy bath sponges.

But Why?

The immediate question is what risk do these “Nature-made” chemicals present. The biggest question is why would Nature manufacture toxic chemicals man has already banned?

The answer, suggest scientists, is the result of chemical warfare, this time by bacteria.

“Bacteria use chemicals to protect themselves from threats and to taste bad to predators,” notes Vinayak Agarwal of the Georgia Institute of Technology.

The same aptitude that makes bacteria able to engage in chemical warfare may also make them highly adept at breaking down similar manmade chemicals in the environment. Take, for example, a General Electric Superfund site along the Hudson River in New York, where some naturally occurring microbes have learned to break down PCBs released into the river for three decades.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Nature could reverse our carelessness with chemicals? It might even make the extra body burden of persistent organic chemicals acceptable.

Or would it?

3 Small Business Green Savings

by @ Green Home Library

If you're a small business owner you know what it takes to keep afloat. You don’t have the luxury of Big Corp money pouring in to fund frivolous decisions, your business needs every penny in the right place, at the right time, all the time. This is why going green can sometimes be a challenge for small businesses. It requires switching a variety of choices that have been set in place to keep your company running at an even pace.

Changing a workable format is a risky venture but when it comes to going green, the numbers speak for themselves. These small business green savings show how you can integrate green products and green practices that just may, eventually, increase your bottom line.

B2B Reach Out

Business to business communication can be essential as a green money saving tip for small businesses. By reaching out to adjoining companies there is the possibility of working together for a variety of incentives.

European marketing company Imfuna reports that,

“By making environmental friendliness a priority of your business partnerships, you not only encourage other companies to reduce their carbon footprint, but also to reduce their own expenditures; and when companies with which you partner save money, those cost savings are passed along to you.”

Talk to your counterparts about:

  • Combine supplies - Combining green purchases, like industrial cleaning supplies in bulk, can make starting off together financially more feasible.
  • Patriotism - Joining with your suppliers, vendors and B2B neighbors to purchase and show USA made support can be a huge win, particularly when it comes to solar installations and wind power.
  • Beautification - When businesses band together in the name of the environment they must walk the walk, and it will show. Whether outdoor shopping or indoor building office space, the surroundings of your small business should have basic upkeep that you probably pay for, however, there are additional options.

You can work with other small businesses to install green extras such as:

  • Composting bins - Can be sold to local farms for profit.
  • LED public lighting - Saves everyone money on electric bills.
  • Solar powered garbage compactors - Saves on excess garbage costs and fossils fuel use.

Scale Down

Obtaining larger space may be a misstep when it comes to keeping your small business green. Lowering your carbon footprint means less consumption, yet startups and small thriving ventures  are often pressured to expand for more money and stature.

It may seem anti-business but keeping your company at a manageable level that embraces green practices, such as energy efficient lighting, wind or solar power, recycling and more, is a green money saving move. With less overhead you use less energy, create less waste and, if managed well, can increase profits on a low carbon footprint.

Happy Employees

Whether working at a zoo, an office, or any small business, employees that see how you run your company are apt to follow your lead. Moreover, if that lead is a positive message, like Eco-friendly practices, money saving benefits could very well follow.

CNBC reported that,

“A study by UCLA and the University of Paris -Dauphine found that employees at Eco-friendly companies are 16 percent more productive than average.

Professor Magali Delmas, an environmental economist at UCLA's Institute of the Environment and Sustainability and the UCLA Anderson School of Management commented on the study,

“Adopting green practices isn't just good for the environment, It's good for your employees and it's good for your bottom line. Employees in such green firms are more motivated, receive more training, and benefit from better interpersonal relationships. The employees at green companies are therefore more productive than employees in more conventional firms.”


As more small businesses, consumers and Big Corp. embrace the green movement, cost is finally coming around to a more conventional playing field. These small business green ideas show how jumping on the Eco-friendly band wagon can be good on all fronts.

Report: Keystone Pipeline Has Leaked Much More Than Expected

Report: Keystone Pipeline Has Leaked Much More Than Expected

by Molly Olmstead @ Slate Articles

The Keystone Pipeline has leaked far more and far more often than had been initially expected, according to a report from Reuters.

The pipeline, which runs more than 2,000 miles from Canada to the coast of Texas, has had three major oil leaks since 2010 when it began operating: one in North Dakota in 2011 and two more recently in South Dakota.

According to the documents Reuters reviewed, the chance of a large leak “of more than 50 barrels” was expected to be about once every seven to 11 years, and in South Dakota, where two of the major spills occurred, the documents expected no more than a spill “once every 41 years.”

The pipeline’s company, TransCanada Corp., had provided the documents—risk assessments done by a risk management company—to regulators before the pipeline began operating.

The latest incident, a more than 210,000-gallon spill in South Dakota, occurred less than a week before a Nebraska commission cleared a final remaining hurdle for the $8 billion Keystone XL expansion. TransCanada has estimated the Keystone XL will experience 2.2 leaks per decade, and that more than half of those would be very small, according to Reuters.

According to Reuters, members of South Dakota’s public utilities commission have said they could revoke the pipeline’s permit if an investigation into the oil spill from Nov. 16 showed TransCanada Corp. violated its terms. Those terms would include environmental safeguards such as regular inspections and construction standards.

Smoke From California’s Wildfires Will Only Get Worse

Smoke From California’s Wildfires Will Only Get Worse

by Eleanor Cummins @ Slate Articles

The Environmental Protection Agency’s air quality map of California is pretty scary looking right now: Rapidly disappearing green blobs show the last areas where the air is clear, while yellow, orange, and even red bubbles metastasize just north of Los Angeles, bringing irritants and toxic particles with them. The Rorschach image is the result of several wildfires ongoing in California, namely the record-breaking Thomas wildfire, which has been raging north of L.A. for a week and has already burned an area the size of New York City. In its wake, the Thomas blaze has left behind a plume of smoke—and the potential for health hazards that comes with it. Thanks to the prevailing winds, meteorologists say the air pollution is only going to get worse before it gets better.

Air quality maps are like a game of golf—the lower the score, the better the air. Right now, large swaths of Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, from the central valley down to the Pacific coast, have been assigned air quality index scores over 100, triggering public health warnings across the state. Fresno’s AQI, for example, was hovering around 119, so officials have labeled the air “unhealthy for sensitive groups,” which include children, pregnant people, and the elderly. Santa Barbara, meanwhile, has an AQI of 188, and the air has been labeled unhealthy for everyone.

But what’s actually so harmful about the wind? And what does someone living under the blanket of smoke actually do about it?

Smoke carries microscopic particles that, above a certain density, can harm human health. The biggest particles can cause irritation to your eyes and nose, which is unpleasant, but the smallest of these particles do a lot worse. Called PM2.5, these minuscule particles can be one-thirtieth the width of a human hair or smaller, allowing them to be inhaled deep into the lungs. There, they can embed themselves in the tissues and exacerbate all kinds of diseases. People with asthma and other respiratory diseases are the first to notice—their breathing becomes even more labored, often triggering a trip to the emergency room—but other people are at risk, too. When the air quality is bad enough, even healthy people can suffer wheezing, phlegm, and inflammation.

Unfortunately, there’s not much that can be done to clear the air. Cleansing the airspace over California will require time and the right winds. Right now, the opposite is happening, with winds coming in from the ocean and pushing the Thomas wildfire’s smoke up and over the state. But people can still take precautions. The EPA recommends people stay indoors as much as possible, with the windows closed and air conditioners, air filters, and air cleaners blasting. If you have to drive, it’s advisable to recirculate the air in the car by pushing that button in the center console of a car partially enveloped by a curving arrow. For people who elect to go outside, it’s recommended that physical activity is reduced. (Don’t go jogging outdoors right now.) And if you’re going to be out for a long time, wear a real particulate protection mask, because a surgical paper mask does absolutely no good.

Little Spring Pocket Coil Mattress

by Jehoiachin123 @ Organic Kids Mattress – Healthy Child

Lowest Price Guarantee!

Free Gift Card with Purchase over $250! See Details

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Weekend Reading: Everything We Knew About Non-Toxic Beauty Might Be Wrong

by Alden Wicker @ Ecocult

Hello from Panama! We just got back from our days deep in the jungle at the eco village Kalu Yala. I have much to say about it, but I must gather my thoughts. In the meantime, here is all the juicy news from the world of sustainability: Fashion The fashion label GANT, which has some sustainable pieces like organic cotton sweatshirts and lyocell blouses, announced a partnership with Waterkeeper Alliance this week. They’re starting with helping Riverkeeper expand their plastic collections in Costa Rica. | EcoCult inbox Knitted sneakers (and consumers’ love of natural materials) are fueling the record high price of wool. | The Business of Fashion In just four days, top fashion CEOs earn a garment worker’s lifetime pay. | Quartz How responsible is your cashmere, really? | Fashionista Kering and H&M were crowned the most sustainable fashion firms. | Retail Gazette  Why people forget that their jeans were made with child labor. | Moneyish Travel Tara Nolan at The Conscious Connoisseur wrote about 8 eco-conscious destinations for mindbodygreen, and she was nice enough to include my recommendation to visit Oaxaca! | mindbodygreen  Don’t you dare show up in a developing country and ask for handouts. It’s not clever or cool. | Quartz Hong […]

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Why Are Conservatives More Susceptible to Believing Lies?

Why Are Conservatives More Susceptible to Believing Lies?

by John Ehrenreich @ Slate Articles

Many conservatives have a loose relationship with facts. The right-wing denial of what most people think of as accepted reality starts with political issues: As recently as 2016, 45 percent of Republicans still believed that the Affordable Care Act included “death panels” (it doesn’t). A 2015 poll found that 54 percent of GOP primary voters believed then-President Obama to be a Muslim (…he isn’t).

Then there are the false beliefs about generally accepted science. Only 25 percent of self-proclaimed Trump voters agree that climate change is caused by human activities. Only 43 percent of Republicans overall believe that humans have evolved over time.

And then it gets really crazy. Almost 1 in 6 Trump voters, while simultaneously viewing photographs of the crowds at the 2016 inauguration of Donald Trump and at the 2012 inauguration of Barack Obama , insisted that the former were larger. Sixty-six percent of self-described “very conservative” Americans seriously believe that “Muslims are covertly implementing Sharia law in American courts.” Forty-six percent of Trump voters polled just after the 2016 election either thought that Hillary Clinton was connected to a child sex trafficking ring run out of the basement of a pizzeria in Washington, D.C., or weren’t sure if it was true.

If “truth” is judged on the basis of Enlightenment ideas of reason and more or less objective “evidence,” many of the substantive positions common on the right seem to border on delusional. The left is certainly not immune to credulity (most commonly about the safety of vaccines, GMO foods, and fracking), but the right seems to specialize in it. “Misinformation is currently predominantly a pathology of the right,” concluded a team of scholars from the Harvard Kennedy School and Northeastern University at a February 2017 conference. A BuzzFeed analysis found that three main hyperconservative Facebook pages were roughly twice as likely as three leading ultraliberal Facebook pages to publish fake or misleading information.

Why are conservatives so susceptible to misinformation? The right wing’s disregard for facts and reasoning is not a matter of stupidity or lack of education. College-educated Republicans are actually more likely than less-educated Republicans to have believed that Barack Obama was a Muslim and that “death panels” were part of the ACA. And for political conservatives, but not for liberals, greater knowledge of science and math is associated with a greater likelihood of dismissing what almost all scientists believe about the human causation of global warming.

It’s also not just misinformation gained from too many hours listening to Fox News, either, because correcting the falsehoods doesn’t change their opinions. For example, nine months following the release of President Obama’s long-form birth certificate, the percentage of Republicans who believed that he was not American-born was actually higher than before the release. Similarly, during the 2012 presidential campaign, Democrats corrected their previous overestimates of the unemployment rate after the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the actual data. Republicans’ overestimated even more than before.

Part of the problem is widespread suspicion of facts—any facts. Both mistrust of scientists and other “experts” and mistrust of the mass media that reports what scientists and experts believe have increased among conservatives (but not among liberals) since the early ’80s. The mistrust has in part, at least, been deliberately inculcated. The fossil fuel industry publicizes studies to confuse the climate change debate; Big Pharma hides unfavorable information on drug safety and efficacy; and many schools in conservative areas teach students that evolution is “just a theory.” The public is understandably confused about both the findings and methods of science. “Fake news” deliberately created for political or economic gain and Donald Trump’s claims that media sites that disagree with him are “fake news” add to the mistrust.

But, the gullibility of many on the right seems to have deeper roots even than this. That may be because at the most basic level, conservatives and liberals seem to hold different beliefs about what constitutes “truth.” Finding facts and pursuing evidence and trusting science is part of liberal ideology itself. For many conservatives, faith and intuition and trust in revealed truth appear as equally valid sources of truth.

To understand how these differences manifest and what we might do about them, it helps to understand how all humans reason and rationalize: In other words, let’s take a detour into psychology. Freud distinguished between “errors” on the one hand, “illusions” and “delusions” on the other. Errors, he argued, simply reflect lack of knowledge or poor logic; Aristotle’s belief that vermin form out of dung was an error. But illusions and delusions are based on conscious or unconscious wishes; Columbus’s belief that he had found a new route to the Indies was a delusion based on his wish that he had done so.

Although Freud is out of favor with many contemporary psychologists, modern cognitive psychology suggests that he was on the right track. The tenacity of many of the right’s beliefs in the face of evidence, rational arguments, and common sense suggest that these beliefs are not merely alternate interpretations of facts but are instead illusions rooted in unconscious wishes. 

This is a very human thing to do. As popular writers such as Daniel Kahneman, Cass Sunstein, and Richard Thaler have pointed out, we often use shortcuts when we reason, shortcuts that enable us to make decisions quickly and with little expenditure of mental energy. But they also often lead us astray—we underestimate the risks of events that unfold slowly and whose consequences are felt only over the long term (think global warming) and overestimate the likelihood of events that unfold rapidly and have immediate consequences (think terrorist attacks).

Our reasoning is also influenced (motivated, psychologists would say) by our emotions and instincts. This manifests in all kinds of ways: We need to maintain a positive self-image, to stave off anxiety and guilt, and to preserve social relationships. We also seek to maintain consistency in our beliefs, meaning that when people simultaneously hold two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values, one or the other must go. And so we pay more attention and give more credence to information and assertions that confirm what we already believe: Liberals enthusiastically recount even the most tenuous circumstantial evidence of Trump campaign collusion with the Russians, and dyed-in-the-wool Trump supporters happily believe that the crowd really was bigger at his candidate’s inauguration.

These limits to “objective” reasoning apply to everyone, of course—left and right. Why is it that conservatives have taken the lead in falling off the deep edge?

The answer, I think, lies in the interaction between reasoning processes and personality. It’s each person’s particular motivations and particular psychological makeup that affects how they search for information, what information they pay attention to, how they assess the accuracy and meaning of the information, what information they retain, and what conclusions they draw. But conservatives and liberals typically differ in their particular psychological makeups. And if you add up all of these particular differences, you get two groups that are systematically motivated to believe different things.

Psychologists have repeatedly reported that self-described conservatives tend to place a higher value than those to their left on deference to tradition and authority. They are more likely to value stability, conformity, and order, and have more difficulty tolerating novelty and ambiguity and uncertainty. They are more sensitive than liberals to information suggesting the possibility of danger than to information suggesting benefits. And they are more moralistic and more likely to repress unconscious drives towards unconventional sexuality.

Fairness and kindness place lower on the list of moral priorities for conservatives than for liberals. Conservatives show a stronger preference for higher status groups, are more accepting of inequality and injustice, and are less empathic (at least towards those outside their immediate family). As one Tea Party member told University of California sociologist Arlie Hochschild, “People think we are not good people if we don’t feel sorry for blacks and immigrants and Syrian refugees. But I am a good person and I don’t feel sorry for them.”

Baptist minister and former Republican congressman J.C. Watts put it succinctly. Campaigning for Sen. Rand Paul in Iowa in 2015 he observed, “The difference between Republicans and Democrats is that Republicans believe people are fundamentally bad, while Democrats see people as fundamentally good.”

These conservative traits lead directly to conservative views on many issues, just as liberal traits tend to lead to liberal views on many issues. But when you consider how these conservative traits and these conservative views interact with commonly shared patterns of motivated reasoning, it becomes clearer why conservatives may be more likely to run into errors in reasoning and into difficulty judging accurately what is true and what is false.

It’s not just that Trump is “their” president, so they want to defend him. Conservatives’ greater acceptance of hierarchy and trust in authority may lead to greater faith that what the president says must be true, even when the “facts” would seem to indicate otherwise. The New York Times cataloged no less than 117 clearly false statements proclaimed publicly by Trump in the first six months of his presidency, with no evident loss in his supporters’ faith in him. In the same way, greater faith in the legitimacy of the decisions of corporate CEOs may strengthen the tendency to deny evidence that there are any potential benefits from regulation of industry.

Similarly, greater valuation of stability, greater sensitivity to the possibility of danger, and greater difficulty tolerating difference and change lead to greater anxiety about social change and so support greater credulity with respect to lurid tales of the dangers posed by immigrants. And higher levels of repression and greater adherence to tradition and traditional sources of moral judgment increase the credibility of claims that gay marriage is a threat to the “traditional” family.

Conservatives are also less introspective, less attentive to their inner feelings, and less likely to override their “gut” reactions and engage in further reflection to find a correct answer. As a result, they may be more likely to rely on error-prone cognitive shortcuts, less aware of their own unconscious biases, and less likely to respond to factual corrections to previously held beliefs.

The differences in how conservatives and liberals process information are augmented by an asymmetry in group psychological processes. Yes, we all seek to keep our social environment stable and predictable. Beliefs that might threaten relationships with family, neighbors, and friends (e.g., for a fundamentalist evangelical to believe that humans are the result of Darwinian evolution or for a coal miner to believe that climate change is real and human-made) must be ignored or denied, at peril of disrupting the relationships. But among all Americans, the intensity of social networks has declined in recent years. Church attendance and union membership, participation in community organizations, and direct political involvement have flagged. Conservatives come disproportionately from rural areas and small towns, where social networks remain smaller, but denser and more homogeneous than in the big cities that liberals dominate. As a result, the opinions of family, friends, and community may be more potent in conservative hotbeds than in the more anonymous big cities where Democrats dominate.

The lack of shared reality between left and right in America today has contributed greatly to our current political polarization. Despite occasional left forays into reality denial, conservatives are far more likely to accept misinformation and outright lies. Deliberate campaigns of misinformation and conservative preferences for information that fits in with their pre-existing ideology provide only a partial explanation. Faulty reasoning and judgment, rooted in the interactions between modes of reasoning and judgment shared by all with the specific personality patterns found disproportionately among conservatives may also play a central role.

Habitat Furnishings All Natural Latex Mattresses: Designed By Customers, Not Two Guys In A Starbucks..

by Brooke Stern @ Habitat Furnishings

Is it time for a new mattress?  Are you tired of tossing and turning or sleeping in a giant crater?  Maybe you want to sleep more soundly or in a healthier chemical-free environment.  Then it’s time to take a look at forgetting about a traditional inner spring mattress and checking out an all natural latex […]

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Screen Time

by Destiny Hagest @ Avocado Green Mattress

Screen Time | How it's affecting your sleep schedule.Read More ...

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Memory Foam Mattresses: Are They Safe?

by Sleep Junkie @ Sleep Junkie

Memory Foam Mattress Ingredients: are the dangers real or exaggerated? Are the chemicals in your life freaking you out or have you found yourself wondering if products like memory foam mattresses are safe? If you’ve been looking into this type of mattress or any other, you may be wondering whether chemicals and odors could represent […]

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What is Natural Latex and What is a Natural Latex Mattress?

by Admin @ New Living

When most people think of latex, they think of synthetic latex. Synthetic latex, is completely man made from petrochemicals. It can be commonly found in rubber gloves, condoms, balloons, band-aids, medical equipment and surgical devices just to name a few. Some people can develop allergies to synthetic latex after just a few exposures. These allergic reactions […]

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Where Do You Rank on the Mattress Comfort Scale?

by admin @ Mattress World Northwest

In the classic children’s story “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” Goldilocks visits the bear family’s home while they are away. Being very tired after eating all their porridge, she heads upstairs to the bedroom. She lays down in the first bed, but it is too hard. So she moves to the second bed, but it […]

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Memory Foam or Latex: Which is the Best Mattress?

by The Best Mattress @ The Best Mattress

Memory foam and latex both have made a reputation as being the best in the market, but which is the best mattress? There are several factors that might indicate that one is better than the other, but the truth is that each offers a set of pros and cons that make them both terrific mattress […]

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All Natural Latex Mattresses: Can a Latex Mattress be Certified Organic?

by Brooke Stern @ Habitat Furnishings

Looking for a new mattress?  Perhaps you are looking at all natural latex mattresses.  Maybe you are confused about the terms… Some manufacturers and retailers call their natural latex mattress “organic.”  Can a natural latex mattress be certified as organic?  If so, how is a latex mattress deemed “organic?” Here’s the cold, hard truth on […]

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Guide to Finding Black Friday & Cyber Monday Mattress Deals

by What's The Best Bed @ What's The Best Bed

Black Friday Mattress & Cyber Monday Deals: When, What, Where Prepare to find the best Black Friday mattress deals with our guide to 2017 holiday shopping. We have compiled a list of tips that will help you find the lowest prices and select the best mattresses so you’re ready to hit the ground running the […]

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Biosteel Sneakers

by Destiny Hagest @ Avocado Green Mattress

"Spider Silk" Sneakers? | Adidas debuts shoes made from biosteel.Read More ...

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Nature is Good Medicine for Kids

by Jane Sheppard @ Healthy Child

Being in nature has proven benefits to the health and wellness of your whole family. Especially if you practice Shinrun Yoku (or Forest Bathing), which is a way to immerse all of your senses while walking in forests and other naturally healing environments. This weekend I had a wonderful experience of Forest Bathing. As I walked …Read More

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                            Mattress Recycling | MassDEP

Mattress Recycling | MassDEP

Energy and Environmental Affairs

Learn about how to recycle mattresses and box springs, and what the state is doing to help.

All About Hästens Natural Beds

by Hästens Los Angeles @ Hästens Los Angeles

At Hästens, our luxury mattress craftsmen have been designing and manufacturing mattresses out of durable, all-natural, non-toxic materials since 1852. Each one of our premium beds is crafted by hand out of the finest flax, cotton, wool, the highest quality Swedish pine, and genuine, hypoallergenic horsehair. Each one of our organic mattresses is naturally resistant […]

The Sleep Cure

by admin @ Sleeping Organic

Since sleep is so profoundly important, here are a few tips to help you ensure a resting night of restorative sleep: -Adopt a regular routine at night and make it a priority to stick to it. -Go to bed at the same time week nights and on weekends. -Don?t take naps during the day unless […]

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“Bamboo A Greener and More Eco-Friendly Lifestyle!”

by Marla @

Going green may sound totally impossible and not to mention, expensive. However adopting a greener, eco-friendly, and more environment-friendly lifestyle doesn’t mean you have to turn your world upside down to make a difference. All it takes are some minor changes in your lifestyle and a tweak in your decisions and you can reduce your carbon footprint. Keeping this in mind you might as well opt for some changes in your home or office space by adapting furniture pieces made with green materials like Bamboo. Not only have these been made widely available due to the advances in green technology, but they have also enabled more and more designers to utilize these materials into their designs without sacrificing quality and affordability. To enlighten you, House of Bamboo, a leading provider of sustainable indoor and outdoor solutions in Australia, presents this infographic that provides useful information and facts about bamboo. Company Bio: House of Bamboo is Australia’s trusted source of eco-friendly and high quality natural materials that can be integrated into contemporary setting. Our range encompasses high quality bamboo fencing, timber screens, privacy screens, decorative screens, ceiling panels, rattan cane webbing, fence panels, and pool certification. #NotJustBamboo

How To Choose A Mattress

by tracy @ The Mattress Lot

So, you are ready to buy a mattress. There are so many choices out there. How do you decide which Read More

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Have You Met HTX Made – Handmade Furniture?

by Admin @ New Living

We wanted to introduce you to our collaborators HTX Made. HTX Made is a local company that handcrafts the furniture you can shop at New Living in Rice Village. They are a micro production facility that produces clean socially conscious goods. Housed in the East End, this small company is all about environmental responsibility and […]

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8 Organic Charleston Restaurants Your Whole Family Can Enjoy

by admin @ Sleeping Organic

As an organic company who values sustainability, we care not only about the environment, but also about what we put in our bodies. Because it’s true what experts say about nutrition, you’ll feel much better day-to-day when you’re running on clean sustainable food as your fuel! But as a mattress store in Charleston, which is arguably […]

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Do I Put a Fitted Sheet over a Mattress Protector?

by Jillian Ashley Blair Ivey @ Sleepopolis

You spent good money on your mattress and you want it to last. One of the first lines of defense you can take to make your investment last is to purchase a mattress protector. Not only can it save your mattress from warranty-voiding stains and spills and keep dust mites and sweat from permeating your […]

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8 Cold-Weather Tips for Better Sleep

by The Best Mattress @ The Best Mattress

More than just a temperature change, cooler weather affects the air, habits, and even sleep. It’s time to pack away your flip-flops, and bring out the pumpkin spice lattes. Fall is here, and the colder winter temperatures are on their way. Besides staying warm, winter brings its own unique challenges for sleep. From dry air […]

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by Jessica Hann @ Avocado Green Mattress

Watermelon | Four health benefits and two hydrating drink recipes.Read More ...

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What Is The Best Natural Organic Mattress?

What Is The Best Natural Organic Mattress?

Ben Greenfield Fitness - Diet, Fat Loss and Performance Advice

Is your mattress slowly killing you? What is the best natural organic mattress?

Little Lamb Organic Kids Mattress Collection

by Jehoiachin123 @ Organic Kids Mattress – Healthy Child

Free Standard Shipping and Lowest Price Guarantee!

Free Gift Card with Purchase over $250! See Details

"Grow with Me" Sleep System with latex and organic cotton for healthy sleep throughout childhood.


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Ending the “War on Coal” Could Cause a Public Health Crisis

Ending the “War on Coal” Could Cause a Public Health Crisis

by Emily Atkin @ Slate Articles

This story was originally published by New Republic and has been republished here with permission from Climate Desk.

Of all the scenes of devastation in Puerto Rico caused by Hurricane Maria, one video has stood out. Shot from a balcony or rooftop, it depicts six seconds of horror: the city of Guayama, on the island’s southern coast, engulfed by a violent river. Deep, fast-moving water rushes through the streets, slipping over cars and picking up debris. The images would be jarring in any city, but they are particularly terrifying in this one. Guayama is home not just to 42,000 people, who are now struggling to survive, but also to a five-story-tall pile of toxic coal ash—another environmental catastrophe in the making.

Weeks after Hurricane Maria’s landfall, the status of Guayama’s coal-ash pile remains unclear. How much of this waste—the leftovers from burning coal—got into the floodwater or into the air? The company that owns the pile, AES Puerto Rico, did not respond to requests for comment. But scientific researchers have long raised concerns that the coal ash, which contains high levels of arsenic, mercury, and chromium, represents a massive health hazard—one that Maria has now likely exacerbated.

This is hardly an isolated issue. There are more than 1,000 coal-ash storage sites across the United States, from Wilmington, North Carolina, to Denver. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the coal industry generates 130 million tons of ash each year, making it one of the largest sources of industrial waste in the country. According to the Sierra Club, this waste has contaminated more than 23,000 miles of waterways—including nearly 400 bodies of water used for human consumption. Duke University scientists have found that coal-ash storage ponds consistently contaminate nearby water sources, threatening both wildlife and people.

The consequences for human health can be serious. Families living near a coal-ash pond in Belmont, North Carolina, for example, have reported abnormally high rates of cancer, and in 2015, the state advised residents not to drink tap water or cook with it. The coal industry hotly disputes the idea that coal-ash ponds are responsible, but environmentalists argue that the link appears clear. “We’ve had really high spikes in arsenic in our main drinking water source in the region, and it’s because for years we didn’t have enough regulation,” says Sam Perkins, the program director at the Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation, a nonprofit group based in Charlotte, North Carolina. “The last thing we need to be doing is adding any more coal ash to these sites.”

But in the name of ending the so-called war on coal, the Trump administration has been loosening environmental regulations designed to keep coal ash in check. The EPA has repealed restrictions on toxic waste from mountaintop-removal mining, which sends dangerous heavy metals tumbling into streams and rivers. And it has put on hold a regulation that restricted the levels of mercury, arsenic, and other pollutants coal plants can produce and that prohibited certain types of chemical-laden waste from being discharged into bodies of water. The EPA estimated that the policy would have decreased coal waste by 1.4 billion pounds each year—a huge benefit to public health. But the rule would also have cost the coal industry $480 million annually, due to the new treatment systems and other equipment coal plants would need to install.

In fact, one of the administration’s most recent decisions came via a request by AES Puerto Rico. Earlier this year, the company asked EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to pause a regulation regarding the monitoring and storage of coal ash. And in September—before Hurricane Maria hit—AES got what it wanted: Pruitt announced he would reconsider the Obama-era rule, which would have required coal companies to make sure their waste pits are not leaking or otherwise threatening human health. The regulation would have meant an existential threat for the industry. Forcing companies to monitor the pollution from their coal waste would have revealed just how great a health hazard coal ash truly represents—potentially exposing coal companies to costly class-action lawsuits that could result in payouts in the millions.

Environmentalists have consoled themselves with the knowledge that Trump can’t actually prevent coal’s downfall. Most analysts agree that coal can’t compete with alternative energy sources like natural gas, wind, and solar, which are easier and cheaper to produce. “The long-term prognosis for the coal industry in every region from now through 2050 is poor,” the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis has concluded. Even Robert Murray, the founder and chief executive of America’s biggest coal firm, Murray Energy, has said that Trump should “temper his expectations” when it comes to resuscitating the coal industry. “He can’t bring them back,” Murray has said of mining jobs.

But as the crisis in Puerto Rico suggests, even a short-term surge in coal production may have lasting repercussions. By dismantling regulations that limit the amount of waste these companies produce and that enable the government to hold them accountable for polluting, Trump is compounding a public health disaster that every powerful storm surge will compound further—and that will continue long after the last coal-fired power plant shuts down.

The Best Mattresses (and Ones to Avoid) 2018 Edition

by The Best Mattress @ The Best Mattress

We hear from people all the time that buying a new mattress is too confusing these days. Between the new brands available online and the seemingly endless models by traditional in-store brands, it feels like you need a college degree in beds just to make a decision. The Best Mattresses of 2018: 30-Second Summary We […]

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How to Buy an Eco Friendly Mattress

How to Buy an Eco Friendly Mattress


Buying a mattress free of harmful chemicals and gentle on the environment is no easy task. A mattress expert weighs in.

How Posh & Lavish’s Obsessive Engineering Made them One of Our Most Popular Brands

by Admin @ New Living

If you’ve stopped by New Living Healthy Bedroom Store lately, you may have tried Posh & Lavish. It’s one of our newest brands that we carry and one of the most popular. If you haven’t tried out a Posh & Lavish you must! The mattress is cozy and of the highest quality. And their company […]

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What Are The 	Benefits of An Organic Mattress?

What Are The Benefits of An Organic Mattress?

Organic mattress are eco-friendly, chemical free, have many health benefits. Are naturally anti-microbial, good for allergies, regulate body temperature.

Do I Need a Box Spring for My Mattress? Your Top Alternatives Revealed

by admin @ Sleeping Organic

If you’re in the market for a mattress and wondering if you need a box spring, then this article is for you… The short answer is no, you don’t need a box spring for your mattress! What you need is a foundation, which doesn’t necessarily have to be a box spring. In fact, you’ll be happier […]

The post Do I Need a Box Spring for My Mattress? Your Top Alternatives Revealed appeared first on Sleeping Organic.

Synthetic vs. Natural Latex

by admin @ Sleeping Organic

The rubber latex which is used for mattresses and toppers is all originally tapped from rubber trees. After tapping the rubber trees the latex is either manufactured into a consistent product through a Dunlop or Talalay process. Before the finished latex mixture is poured into the molds for these two processes, the latex can have […]

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How Local Business Philanthropy Works for You

by urbanmattressadmin @ Urban Mattress

It’s been said that a rising tide lifts all boats. At Urban Mattress, we choose to live by that philosophy with our focus on making local business philanthropy work for you and your community. Here’s how we do that, and why. How local stores, local sales staff, and local philanthropy go hand-in-glove We sell our […]

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Achieve Wellness for Body, Mind, and Emotions

by urbanmattressadmin @ Urban Mattress

To achieve a state of wellness, one must take into account the whole person – body, mind, and emotions. Each one of these is interwoven so that if one area suffers, the other areas will be impacted to some degree. Stress is one problem that tends to strike wellness at the root, effecting the emotions, […]

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Best Non Toxic Mattresses of 2018

Best Non Toxic Mattresses of 2018

Nontoxic Reboot

If you were to only pick one item to switch in your journey for a nontoxic reboot, I would say that you should get a nontoxic mattress. Why? It by far has the most impact out of any other single it…

What Is An Eco Friendly Mattress? Find out whether they're worth buying

What Is An Eco Friendly Mattress? Find out whether they're worth buying

Best Memory Foam Mattress Reviews 2018

Wondering what is an eco friendly mattress and whether to buy one? Find out all you need to know about what an eco friendly mattress offers.

Are Organic Mattresses Really Necessary?

Are Organic Mattresses Really Necessary?

Shape Magazine

Everyone knows the pros and cons of organic foods. Now the word "organic" has been popping up outside the grocery store. Do you need organic bedding?

Air Beds: Try One for an Extended Period in Your Own Home

by Brooke Stern @ Habitat Furnishings

Is it time for a new mattress?  Tired of tossing and turning to get comfortable?  Tired of sleeping in that crater in the middle of your old inner spring mattress?  Perhaps you’re interested in air bed but you’re afraid you may not like it.  What happens then?  How do you know if an air bed […]

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America Recycles Day #IWillRecycle Sweepstakes

by Admin @ Bye Bye Mattress | A Program of the Mattress Recycling Council

Have some fun when you drop your mattress off for recycling. This year, Keep America Beautiful, in celebration of America Recycles Day, is offering a chance to win one of four Apple Certified Refurbished iPad mini3s. You can enter by posting a photo of yourself recycling with the hashtag #IWillRecycle and #Sweepstakes on Twitter or […]

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“Risk-Free Ways to Enjoy Sun in Your Backyard!”

by Marla @

If you’re one of the lucky ones living in an area that gets a lot of sunshine, you’re probably quite familiar with all the benefits that living in such an environment brings. Chances are you spend much more time outdoors are probably more active than someone living in a region with a lot of rain and snow. However, the sun can be very dangerous, as you probably know all too well. Its harmful UV rays are the cause of many serious problems, usually related to skin, which means you have to be extremely careful and take protection seriously. Sunscreens and hats are great, but they are often not enough, especially if you wish to spend a lot of time in your backyard. So, what other forms of protection for you and your family do you need? Treetops   Logically, the more trees you have, the more shade you get. This natural way of protection is great, not only because it provides shade, but it can also serve as a form of protection from winds. It goes without saying that the air is much fresher and better if you’re surrounded with trees. Still, they have their limitations. If a tree is not native to your region, you might be disappointed with the result and it might not look anything like the image you have seen when you googled the particular type of tree. Also, even if you’ve planted the right tree, it usually takes years to fully grow and provide the kind of protection you need. Evergreen trees are a good option if your region boasts big differences in temperature between seasons, but they too usually take quite a while before they start protecting you from UV rays. Various shade structures   When choosing a shade structure, you need to be very careful when it comes to the material you’re going to use. Tiles, wood, metal and brick can provide 100% protection from sun rays, which is why many people choose to build patio roofs or have a gazebo installed in their backyard, but this largely depends on the size of your backyard. The bigger the backyard, the more options you have, but you shouldn’t even contemplate the idea to cover it completely, because you’d lose the feeling of having a lot of space. One solution could be awnings or sheet linen, used to create secluded pavilions, but the material they are usually made of, cloth, is not great at keeping UV rays at bay. Choosing a dark colour, such as black, is another very bad idea since it only makes the air underneath hotter. Another fine solution is the high performance cantilever umbrella, made from marine grade aluminium for longevity, boasting an elegant and simple-to-operate tilt system. There are also canopies, which look like gazebos, but are mobile. The problem with them is that they don’t provide such great protection as the sun moves on the horizon, unless you have some kind of side-shading option. Skin protection Even if you have trees and/or shade structures, you’ll be exposed to direct sunlight while moving between your house and the protected area. That’s why it’s vital that you apply good sun organic protection cream at all times. The rule is that the higher the SPF, the better you’re protected, but doesn’t mean you have to go for the most expensive option out there. A decent cream offering around 97% protection from UV rays is sufficient, if you combine it with light white-linen long-sleeved shirt, a sunhat and a pair of quality sunglasses. As you can see, there are quite a few options to enjoy sun and wonderful weather in your backyard, but you really need to be cautious. If you provide the right kind of protection, you’ll be able to enjoy the sun and have a lot of fun with your family and friends, which is another benefit that living in a warm climate can offer.

Guys, Glitter Is Not the Real Enemy Here

Guys, Glitter Is Not the Real Enemy Here

by Eleanor Cummins @ Slate Articles

I will be upfront: I’m no fan of glitter, also known as wearable garbage or that thing only rich people who don’t have to clean up after themselves can ever really enjoy. It’s both omnipresent and irksome, a mediocre marketing tool and probably outdated form of protest.

But still. The proposed global ban on glitter has spiraled out of control.

For a little background, on Nov. 16, Trisia Farrelly, a lecturer at Massey University in New Zealand with a focus on plastics, told British newspaper the Independent that glitter wasn’t just a glitzy pollutant but a serious environmental hazard: “I think all glitter should be banned, because it’s microplastic.” Inexplicably, some two weeks later, American outlets, including the decidedly un-bedazzled New York Times, started reprinting Farrelly’s statement, using it as the basis for entire articles with titles like “Scientists are trying to put a global ban on glitter” (that one’s courtesy of the New York Daily News). The theoretical ban quickly gained traction among Kesha critics and craft purists. In the midst of yet another brutal week, the impending glitter ban just felt like the right thing to talk about—no matter which side you were on.

The scientific rationale for a glitter ban is similarly simple: Microplastics, which Farrelly argues is a category that includes glitter, are fragments of plastics smaller than 5 millimeters in diameter. Microplastics can develop when larger pieces of plastic degrade, but they’re often also created from scratch. Microbeads, which were popular in exfoliants and other bath and beauty products, are a type of microplastics. When these bits and bobs end up in the ocean or other waterways—which each year millions of pounds inevitably do—they can be ingested by fish and other aquatic life and cause blockages, mutations, and other injuries.

The problems posed by microplastics have gripped the public consciousness in recent years. In 2015, the United States outlawed the production of microbead-containing cosmetics. Many countries, including the United Kingdom and Farrelly’s own New Zealand, have made similar efforts to stem this microplastic tide.

Still, Farrelly says, many other factors contributing to the current scourge of microplastics remain unregulated. That’s why she wants glitter banned, too, from both craft stores and Sephora. As yhr Independent notes, some cosmetic companies and craft stories have already replaced traditional glitter with more biodegradable alternatives, though the veracity of these companies’ claims is unclear. But apparently people want to go at least a step further with a global ban.

The problem is, while manufactured microplastics like microbeads and glitter certainly seem to be a threat, they’re an infinitesimal part of the enormous plastic problem. Degrading plastic, which is thought to be the source of the majority of ocean plastic pollution, is complicated and multisourced. Any plastic—from improperly discarded milk cartons to pesky plastic bags that flew away in the breeze—can be transformed by the beating sun, lapping waves, and the ticking of the clock into a fish-killing microplastic soup.

So yeah, we can go ahead and ban glitter. But no one should be fooled into thinking a war on glitter will really save the oceans. The end of the world seems close. Let it sparkle.

Portland Tribune Covers Our Sustainability Values

by tracy @ The Mattress Lot

The Portland Tribune wrote up an article covering our Sustainable and Eco-friendly approach, including our locally sourced products, our gimmick-free Read More

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Organic Mattresses Inc (OMI)

by Corinna @ The Natural Sleep Store

Committed to purity, Organic Mattresses Inc. known as OMI offers certified organic and pure products. The Natural Sleep Store carries the Rossa pocket coil organic mattresses unsurpassed in price and quality. Sale OMI Rossa Pocket Coil Organic Mattress Free Shipping! The Rossa certified organic pocket-coil mattress offers customizable comfort in the popular combination of latex […]

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Guide to 2017’s Memorial Day Mattress Sales from Top Brands

by What's The Best Bed @ What's The Best Bed

Compare the Best Memorial Day Mattress Deals of 2017 The 2017 Memorial Day mattress sales are coming up and we’ve got the scoop on where all the hot deals are. Innerspring, memory foam and latex beds from all kinds of retailers and brands will be marked down significantly on and around the holiday, so mark your calender. […]

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Rhode Island Plan Approved

by Admin @ Bye Bye Mattress | A Program of the Mattress Recycling Council

RHODE ISLAND RESOURCE RECOVERY CORPORATION APPROVES MATTRESS RECYCLING COUNCIL’S PLAN STATEDWIDE MATTRESS RECYCLING PROGRAM TO BEGIN MAY 1, 2016 ALEXANDRIA, VA – On January 13, 2016, the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation (RIRRC) approved the Rhode Island Mattress Recycling Plan proposed by the Mattress Recycling Council (MRC), a non-profit organization created by the mattress industry […]

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Mattress Pads vs. Mattress Toppers: What Should I Choose?

by Jillian Ashley Blair Ivey @ Sleepopolis

Is your bed a little less comfortable than it used to be, but you’re not in a position to buy a new mattress? Or, is your new mattress not as comfortable as you had hoped but returning it isn’t an option? In either scenario, you might find that a mattress pad or a mattress topper […]

The post Mattress Pads vs. Mattress Toppers: What Should I Choose? appeared first on Sleepopolis.

FTC says company didn’t have support for “organic” mattress claims

FTC says company didn’t have support for “organic” mattress claims

Federal Trade Commission

Dads and Moms want what’s best for their babies, so some companies feature adjectives like “organic” or “natural” in ads for infant gear.

Pillow Personalities

by Best Mattress Brand @ Best Mattress Brand

In the history of the discipline of psychology, dreams have enjoyed a prominent role. In the years since Freud published his influential “The Interpretation of Dreams” at the turn of the 20th century, researchers have sought to understand what our minds’ nocturnal ramblings mean. Whether our dreams are bizarre or banal, we’re eager to believe […]

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Actually, Snow in Florida Is Probably Caused by Climate Change

Actually, Snow in Florida Is Probably Caused by Climate Change

by Nathalie Baptiste @ Slate Articles

This story was originally published by Mother Jones and has been republished here with permission from Climate Desk.

The eastern United States is starting out 2018 the same way it ended 2017: bone-chillingly cold. Many New Year’s Eve revelers endured record-breaking low temperatures, and it’s only going to get colder. Thanks to a weather system known as a bomb cyclone, the entire East Coast is or will soon be subject to subzero temperatures, hurricane-force winds, snow, and ice—including Florida, the Sunshine State.

Snow and ice in Florida is pretty rare. Its capital, Tallahassee, hasn’t seen measurable snow in 28 years.

But despite how strange it is to spot snow on palm trees, the sight doesn’t disprove global warming.

Just like every other time it gets cold enough to require a winter coat, climate change deniers have seized on the chilly weather outside to argue that global warming can’t be happening. They’re wrong—the frigid temperatures might actually be happening because of global warming.

In 2016, Mother Jones reported on Rutgers researcher Jennifer Francis and other scientists who believe that global warming is playing a role in extreme cold snaps:

To understand how it works, it first helps to think of the jet stream as a river of air that flows from west to east in the Northern Hemisphere, bringing with it much of our weather. Its motion—sometimes in a relatively straight path, sometimes in a more loopy one—is driven by a difference in temperatures between the equator and the North Pole. Southern temperatures are of course warmer, and because warm air takes up more space than cold air, this leads to taller columns of air in the atmosphere. “If you were sitting on top of a layer of atmosphere and you were in DC, looking northward, it would be like looking down a hill, because it’s warmer where you are,” explains Francis. The jet stream then flows “downhill,” so to speak, in a northward direction. But it’s also bent by the rotation of the Earth, leading to its continual wavy, eastward motion. As the Arctic rapidly heats up, however, there’s less of a temperature difference between the equator and the poles, and the downhill slope in the atmosphere is accordingly less steep.
That shrinking temperature difference is what wreaks havoc on the jet stream. “When the jet stream gets weaker, it meanders more,” explained Francis in an interview this week. “It wanders north and south and when it gets into one of these wandering and wavy patterns, that’s when we see these pools of cold air pulled southward.”

It’s also important to remember that weather and climate are two different things. As the National Weather Service puts it, “Weather is what you get; climate is what you expect.” The daily temperature is weather, but the averages of those temperatures over long periods of time is climate. So even though much of the country finished out 2017 with record-breaking temperatures, it was still the second-hottest year on record. The clear, long-term trends are far more important than the snow Tallahassee residents are seeing outside today.

Brand Overviews: Bed In A Box Reviews

by Best Mattress Brand @ Best Mattress Brand

Mattresses that are shipping in a box are on the rise, as more people seek out convenient, affordable beds. If you’ve been considering a new bed recently, chances are you’ve stumbled across a few of these companies like Amerisleep perhaps. This new, convenient way to buy a new bed is actually changing the entire mattress […]

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Your Mattress Could Be a Health and Environmental Nightmare: Here Are 4 Safe, Eco-Friendly Options

Your Mattress Could Be a Health and Environmental Nightmare: Here Are 4 Safe, Eco-Friendly Options


You don't want formaldehyde in your bedding. Neither does the planet. The average person spends a third of their life sleeping, though few put much thought into where they lay their heads. As long as our mattresses are comfortable, not much else matters, right? Not so fast, say environmental and health experts, who warn that the chemicals used in some mattresses could be making us sick.  

Organic Mattress, Inc – Now at Mattress Lot

by Mattress Lot @ The Mattress Lot

Organic Mattress, Inc. (OMI) operates America’s only 100% certified organic mattress factory. Located in Northern California, the OMI plant operates Read More

The post Organic Mattress, Inc – Now at Mattress Lot appeared first on The Mattress Lot.

Downwind From the Fires

Downwind From the Fires

by Will Oremus @ Slate Articles

GOLETA, California—The sky is cloudless here, yet the sun shines dimly through a gray haze tinged with queasy shades of orange and pink. Flecks of ash drift aimlessly down and settle to form a thin layer on plants, cars, and the ground. The air outside tickles your nose and eyes, and wherever you go, it smells like you’re standing next to a bonfire. In many homes, it’s noticeably smoky even indoors. Local hardware stores are sold out of air purifiers.

As wildfires tear through Southern California, devouring homes and forcing evacuations, the danger to those who live and work in their direct path could hardly be clearer. But there’s another group of people who are feeling the fires’ effects in a subtler way—and their health is at risk in ways they may not fully understand.

I live near Santa Barbara, some 20 miles up the coast from the Thomas fire’s northern edge, as of Thursday afternoon. Most of the time, it’s paradise. And its residents feel fortunate even now, as it appears unlikely the fire will reach this far. The University of California–Santa Barbara has opened a shelter for evacuees from Ventura County. People feel relatively safe here.

But maybe they shouldn’t. For a combination of reasons having to do with topography and wind patterns, the smoke from the Thomas fire appears to have picked Santa Barbara and its environs as a place to settle. The result is that this sun-kissed city of 90,000—typically blessed with fresh maritime air—is experiencing its unhealthiest air quality in memory, with conditions comparable to some of the worst days in hyperpolluted Beijing. One difference is that this city and its residents are far less prepared.

People understand that when a fire is coming, they could die. But the risks posed by bad air quality are, well, murkier. Murkier still is what to do about it, and how Western cities like Santa Barbara—which may face more frequent forest fires in the future due to climate change—ought to prepare and keep their residents safe.

The Environmental Protection Agency considers an Air Quality Index of 100 or above to pose health risks. As of 1 p.m. PT on Thursday, Santa Barbara’s AQI for small particulates had climbed to 363—by far the worst in the country, according to the EPA site, and well into the maroon “hazardous” range, which is the most severe on its color-coded AQI chart. That’s higher even than the AQI in places like Ojai and Ventura that are actually on fire. It means that even perfectly healthy adults might suffer some effects, while those in vulnerable groups—small children, the elderly, and those with lung or heart conditions—could face serious risks. It’s close to the 400-plus AQI that Napa experienced during the fires there in October, and far worse than what the rest of the Bay Area saw.

Lyz Hoffman, spokeswoman for the Santa Barbara Air Pollution Control District, said she’s never seen anything like it here. Since the county began measuring AQI for fine particulate matter (known as PM 2.5) in 1999, the highest index on record was 124 in Santa Maria in 2001.* There was no predicting it before Thursday. And there’s no indication that it will improve Friday.

When the AQI is in the “unhealthy” or even “very unhealthy” range for a short time, recommendations are relatively straightforward: Stay indoors when possible and consider buying an air purifier. If you must go outside, consider wearing a special type of respiration mask (normal surgical masks won’t help). But in the “hazardous” realm for an extended period, there’s not a whole lot you can do. And what exactly might happen to you isn’t fully clear.

“We’re getting a lot of calls from people who are saying they’re experiencing smoke now inside their houses, or the smell of smoke,” Hoffman told me. “So that’s a concern because we’re advising people to stay indoors as much as possible. But If you can’t keep your indoors clean, it’s not going to be safe for you indoors either.” In that case, she said, her best advice would be for those vulnerable to air pollution to pack up and go somewhere else, if they can, until conditions improve.

The air quality district and public health departments took what precautions what they could Thursday, putting out press releases announcing the danger and setting up stations where people could come and pick up masks. But there was no mobile alert about air quality comparable to the ones sent about the fires themselves.

By Thursday afternoon, many of my neighbors made plans to leave town—and my family is doing the same. But as we pack up, it’s hard not to think about the many other folks who are still planning to work tomorrow, and who will sleep tonight in smoky homes. Not to mention all those sheltering in Santa Barbara as a refuge from the fires farther south.

Nothing Santa Barbara is going through compares to what those in and fleeing Ventura, Santa Paula, or Ojai are experiencing right now. Still, the situation here should worry public health officials and others planning for future wildfires, once the blazes are under control. (And, of course, the threat of wildfires is not confined to California. A 2016 study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that the area of the United States that’s subject to forest fires has doubled since 1984, and is likely to keep growing.)

When fires menace major cities, such as Los Angeles, local and state officials pour all their resources into protecting population centers. But there’s no stopping the wind—and if it were blowing the other way, it could be 13 million Angelenos at risk instead of 90,000 Santa Barbarans.

*Correction, Dec. 8, 2017: This article originally misstated that Santa Barbara County began measuring an Air Quality Index in 1999. It has been measuring an AQI for fine particulate matter since 1999, but had been measuring an Air Quality Index earlier. Also, due to an editing error, the headline misstated Santa Barbara was upwind from the fires. It was downwind. (Return.)

Crib Mattresses Emit High Rates of Potentially Harmful Chemicals, Cockrell School Engineers Find

Crib Mattresses Emit High Rates of Potentially Harmful Chemicals, Cockrell School Engineers Find

UT News | The University of Texas at Austin

Editor's note from UT Austin media relations office on funding: As noted in the release, this study was funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Nordic Research Opportunity program, a joint program between NSF and the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation (Tekes).AUSTIN, Texas  In a first-of-its-kind study, a team of environmental engineers from the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin found that infants are exposed to high levels of chemical emissions from crib mattresses while they sleep.

Choosing the Right Wool Mattress Toppers for Winter

by Dennis Hornick @ Organic Mattress Store

There’s a great deal of discussion in scientific circles about sleep, but generally, the experts agree that most adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep. They also tell us that we should make sleeping a priority. Sticking to a specific sleep schedule, practicing relaxing bedtime rituals, and exercising... Keep Reading

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Brand Overview: Tempurpedic Mattress Reviews

by Best Mattress Brand @ Best Mattress Brand

Weighing the pros and cons from Tempurpedic mattress reviews and seeing how this brand compares to others can be helpful if you are trying to determine if this brand is the best bet for you. Reviews allow real owners to express the opinions and share what they like and do not like about a particular […]

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Did Russians Find Alien Life Clinging to the International Space Station?

Did Russians Find Alien Life Clinging to the International Space Station?

by Neel V. Patel @ Slate Articles

A surprising number of people believe we already have proof aliens exist. But it’s very rare when that segment of the population overlaps with the segment that’s actually been to outer space. And yet, on Monday, Anton Shkaplerov, a Russian cosmonaut who has already spent two stints aboard the International Space Station and is gearing up for a third mission to launch on Dec. 18, told Russian state media that scientists have found living bacteria sitting on the exterior of the Russian segment of the ISS. He claims the bacteria is not from Earth—it’s extraterrestrial in origin.

According to Shkaplerov, cosmonauts aboard the ISS swabbed the hulls of the station during spacewalks, particularly in areas where fuel wastes were discharged and in obscure parts of the station’s surface where activity is low. Those samples were sent back to Earth for study, and, as Shkaplerov told the Russian media, “now it turns out that somehow these swabs reveal bacteria that were absent during the launch of the ISS module. That is, they have come from outer space and settled along the external surface.”

Shkaplerov goes on to say that this extraterrestrial bacteria has so far posed no danger and that it has been found to be distinct from other terrestrial bacteria also found on the ISS exterior. (That bacteria likely arrived via tablet PCs brought to the station.)

So is this evidence of aliens? I don’t think so. It’s unclear when or why these bacterial swabs were taken, or who has been studying them, or for how long. When asked for details, NASA referred Slate to Roscosmos, Russia’s space agency, and Roscosmos did not respond to requests for comment by press time.

What is clear, though, is that nobody should really take Shkaplerov seriously. From the outset, Russian state media is far from trustworthy, usually acting as a propagandist arm of the government. And Russian scientists have previously made similarly strange and unsubstantiated claims of life clinging to the ISS hull before, like that there’s sea plankton hanging on the station, which there is not.

But let’s ignore, for a second, how bonkers this story sounds and assume that Shkaplerov is not intentionally spreading misinformation. If there is unfamiliar bacteria on the ISS, what could it be?

Microorganisms tend to be notoriously resistant to extreme environments. That’s precisely why so many scientists looking for aliens are not deterred by ice-covered worlds like Jupiter’s moon Europa or Saturn’s moon Enceladus; nor do they shy away from the possibility that life might exist inside a little crevice on an atmosphereless asteroid or comet or within streams of space dust. Extremophile microbes could very well survive the vacuum of space. We already know that tardigrades (aka water bears) can survive space—which certainly opens up the possibility that other forms of life would be able to as well.

Moreover, the upper reaches of the atmosphere are home to their own array of undiscovered forms of life. Bacteria that has adapted to withstanding low-pressure, low-oxygen altitudes in the air as well as more intense bouts of UV radiation are already resistant to extreme conditions and could conceivably find a way to handle the environment outside the atmosphere itself. Airborne organisms are not very well catalogued, and there are probably more than a few species hanging around the upper reaches of the atmosphere that scientists have yet to discover.

Ultimately, an unknown microbe of some kind may have hitched a ride on one of the hundreds of spacecrafts flown up into the sky toward the ISS. The Russian scientists studying the bacteria might just be baffled by something they’ve never before studied.

Plus, space itself is capable of changing the biology of an organism. Between the sharp temperature fluctuations, the microgravity of orbital space, and the pummel of cosmic radiation, a familiar terrestrial bacterial species might have simply been transformed into something that can’t be well-recognized anymore.

These explanations don’t completely quash the hopes we’ve finally found aliens, but all things considered, it seems more than likely Shkaplerov is either masterminding a pretty weird joke, or is a hapless victim to some erroneous chatter moving through the grapevine.

2 in 1 Organic Cotton Ultra Mattress

by Jehoiachin123 @ Organic Kids Mattress – Healthy Child

Lowest Price Guarantee!

Free Gift Card with Purchase over $250! See Details

Waterproof on one side, quilted organic cotton fabric surface on the other.

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2017 Black Friday Mattress Sale Trends

by The Best Mattress @ The Best Mattress

Black Friday Mattress Sale 2017 Winter is here, and the year is coming to an end soon after. That means Black Friday mattress sales the best time to get a cozy new bed if you’re in the market for one. You won’t see sales like these until well into next year, so you don’t want […]

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Dallas Mattress Store - Organic Mattresses - Latex Mattresses

Dallas Mattress Store - Organic Mattresses - Latex Mattresses

Dallas Natural Mattress

Dallas TX's favorite mattress store and THE source for Natural & Organic Mattresses, Beds Accessories, and Green Living Furniture.

Wellness Strategies to Help You Stay Healthy This Fall

by urbanmattressadmin @ Urban Mattress

Fall is a great time of the year. The scents of cinnamon, cloves, and garlic fill the air along with crisp air, burning leaves, and pumpkin. The air is cooler, you’ve settled into your school year routine, and you’ve got a little breathing room before moving into the holidays. After the hustle and bustle of […]

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Get Some Sleep: Naturally

by AustinNatural @ Austin Natural Mattress

Everyone needs to get a good night of sleep. This is no surprise to anyone I’m willing to bet considering a lack of a good, healthy night of rest is easily to recognize, and when the opposite occurs, easy to bemoan. Getting up after a restless battle of tossing and turning can have the same effect as operating in a nearly intoxicated-like state. Sleep deprivation is often caused by stress from your job, a long day of work, or just your mind struggling to keep the tasks of tomorrow straight in your head. Sleep aids are nothing new and we’ve...

The post Get Some Sleep: Naturally appeared first on Austin Natural Mattress.

Can You Brew Beer in Space?

Can You Brew Beer in Space?

by Neel V. Patel @ Slate Articles

Last spring, Budweiser declared its intention to be the beer of choice for future Martian colonists seeking a cold one in space. The company will take one giant step for beerkind on Dec. 4, when a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will take Budweiser’s barley seeds from Cape Canaveral in Florida up to the International Space Station.

The seeds, a small part of a big cargo resupply mission to the ISS, are part of Anheuser-Busch’s (Budweiser’s parent company) plans to conduct two new experiments aboard the space station in order to examine how its barley seeds will behave in a microgravity environment as well as whether those seeds could actually germinate in space. The monthlong experiments, run in partnership with the nonprofit Center of Advancement of Science in Space, are the first part of Anheuser-Busch’s overall efforts to better understand what extraterrestrial environments do to the ingredients needed to brew beer.

What will beer brewing look like in space? Martian gravity, which is one-third as strong as Earth’s gravity, will do a number on the process as well as the ingredients necessary to the brewing process. (Those would be water, rice, barley, yeast, and hops.) The new pair of experiments is a good start to understanding how space will affect barley. NASA is already well on its way in investigating the effects of weightlessness on yeast growth. Yeast can only survive a very narrow range of temperature, but assuming that issue can be taken care of, microgravity so far doesn’t seem to pose much of a problem for yeast (no real surprise there, given how small the single-cell microorganisms are).

Growing hops on Mars would be complicated by the plants’ need of sunlight, which means we’ll probably need artificial growth lights, as would any other terrestrial plants future agriculturists might try to grow on the red planet.

Water is another issue. Though the world celebrated the discovery of liquid water on the surface of Mars in 2015, the limited amount of water flowing on the surface is thought to be extremely salty. Using it to brew beer would create a pretty bitter flavor, so we’d probably be wise to desalinate that water (just as we would if we wanted to drink it).

Speaking of which, taste is going to be an issue brewers will have to figure out when brewing space beer. Astronauts are notoriously famous for dumping hot sauce on their meals, because the lack of gravity allows body fluids to fill up nasal passages and annihilates their ability to taste properly. That effect won’t be as extreme on Mars as it is in outer space, but the taste of lighter beers will probably suffer a bit on the red planet.

If Budweiser is able to resolve all of those challenges, it will still be left with one issue: the foam. Earth’s gravity and pressure do a pretty great job making sure bubbles rise up, allowing froth to peak into a head and then settle down. Mars’ atmospheric pressure won’t accomplish this as well, meaning you could be left with a drink that’s much foamier than you expect. Even worse, the attenuated Martian gravity won’t pull liquids to the bottom of the stomach as readily, so you’ll be burping more than you’re used to.

Why go through all the hassle of making beer brewable on Mars? Humans have fermented beer since the dawn of civilization. It’s the oldest alcoholic beverage we’ve ever known. There is no way we’ll readily accept a future in space that is without it—especially on a planet as hellaciously cold and dry as Mars.

What Is the Point of a Solar Road?

What Is the Point of a Solar Road?

by Neel V. Patel @ Slate Articles

China has the strange distinction of being both the world’s biggest carbon dioxide emitter and the premiere solar energy producer (Trump being in office has really given them an opportunity to firmly solidify that second crown). On Thursday, the country took its latest solar energy leap by opening a new, kilometer-long solar highway in the northeastern Shangdon province. Despite some previous attempts by other countries, it’s being hailed as the “world’s first solar-powered highway.”

The roadway, made of a transparent concrete on top, solar panels underneath, and an insulation material as the base, covers about 5,875 square feet of total space. The engineers of the project claim it’s enough to generate about 1 gigawatt of energy over a year to be used to keep street lights running and a snow-melting system for the road charged up, with plans to power future charging stations for electric cars. There are two lanes plus an emergency lane for traffic to move through, and the pavement can purportedly handle 10 times more pressure than standard asphalt.

Cool, right? Well, kind of. Solar roads might seem like a novel idea—turning every road into a solar energy–generating platform seems downright utopic. But there are pitfalls inherent to the concept. If the goal behind such a scheme is to create energy infrastructure that’s sustainable, affordable, and safe, then the Shangdon project is a pretty robust piece of evidence for why solar roads miss the mark on all fronts.

Let’s start with cost. The road costs about $458 per square meter—far pricier than the $5 per square meter it costs to create an asphalt road. That creates a price tag of nearly $2.7 million for the Shangdon project—all to generate enough electricity to power roughly 93 American homes annually. Meanwhile, the average annual cost of electricity for a single American home is a little over $1,350—or $125,000 for 93 homes. So, no, it’s not a cost-effective project. Of course, it’s a pilot project, so maybe this is OK—particularly if it paves the way (pardon the pun) for more solar roads in the future.

Except solar roads aren’t particularly efficient. Ever wonder why so many solar panels are installed at an angle? The orientation helps optimize how much sunlight hits the panels. Solar road panels, of course, need to be laid flat. Light can’t pierce through shade created by nearby trees, or buildings, or dirt that covers up the pavement. The cars themselves are a major obstacle to the light anyway, especially during a traffic jam or rush hour. And lastly, solar panels need ventilation to keep cool and perform optimally. If they get too hot, they won’t generate as much electricity.

But even all this is moot compared to the single biggest issue that most people will raise if solar roads ever go vogue: safety. Solar roads mean driving on transparent surfaces. This could mean smooth glass, or something that mixes rock and glassy materials. The transparency required for light reduces the amount of gravel and rock that could give the road enough friction to help with smooth driving. The more glassy materials you add to the road, the more you risk cars losing traction on the surface, especially in rain or snow.

So then what’s the point of a solar road? It’s not totally clear. These initial testbeds, in China and elsewhere like France, might be key to making solar roads cheaper and efficient, and verifying the safety of these stretches. Solar power is clearly the future of renewable energy for the world, and China’s advances in the realm are laudable. And who knows, maybe a solar road will eventually lead to a discovery that pays off.

But I can’t help but feel that a solar road reeks of too much hype and spectacle, and not enough practicality. Lining up the sides of highways with solar arrays might seem quaint and boring, but there’s no question it’s a much more effective way to augment solar energy production.

Healthy Energy

by Destiny Hagest @ Avocado Green Mattress

Healthy Energy | The alternative energy drink you need to try.Read More ...

The post Healthy Energy appeared first on Avocado Green Mattress.

Best Organic Mattress Reviews 2018

Best Organic Mattress Reviews 2018

The Sleep Judge

Natural and organic mattresses are just what they sound like. The construction of some or most of the materials is made up of natural components such as wool and cotton. If you are prepared to make a sizable investment in a product that will feature some of the best quality materials in the industry, I'm excited to walk you through the various types of natural and organic mattresses on the market. There is a lot more to consider than meets the eye to help you find the best natural and organic mattress to meet your needs, so let's jump right in! Comparison Table Why the Popularity in Organic Mattresses? Highly Durable What Makes an Organic Bed? Check the Expiration Date on Certifications Latex and Control Union Common Organic Components Organic cotton Organic wool Understanding the Manufacturing Process Adhesives, Flame Retardants, and Other Man-Made Materials You Won't Find Organic vs. Non-Organic vs. Eco-Friendly Pros and Cons of Organic Mattresses Understanding Volatile

These “Healthy” Light Bulbs Promise To Improve Your Sleep

by Cody Gohl @ Sleepopolis

If you've already bought a great mattress and are still struggling to fall asleep at night, it might be time to upgrade your light bulbs.

The post These “Healthy” Light Bulbs Promise To Improve Your Sleep appeared first on Sleepopolis.

Best Reviewed Organic Mattresses 2018

Best Reviewed Organic Mattresses 2018

Mattress Clarity

Finding products that are all-natural or organic has become increasingly popular, and mattresses are no exception.  There have been some really good mattresses that fit into the organic category that have come into the market over the past couple of years.  I’ll go over a few of them that I like and explain why you …

Are There Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) In Your Mattress?

by Amber Merton @ PlushBeds Green Sleep Blog

What Are VOCs? Volatile organic compounds are chemicals that are used, in the manufacturing process, of many items found in our homes. The term “volatile” means that these are chemicals that can easily get into the air that you breathe each day and end up inside of your body. “Organic” means that they are carbon-based. U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) studies have discovered that VOCs Read More

Health Benefits of an Organic Wool Pillowtop

by Dennis Hornick @ Organic Mattress Store

Choosing the right mattress is one of the most important keys to getting a good night of sleep. That, in turn, can help you stay healthier and feel more rested during the day. Organic mattresses are designed with your comfort and safety in mind, and are prized as a healthy alternative to... Keep Reading

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“The Benefits of Having Solar Panels!”

by Marla @

The overall cost of fossil continues to increase due to the ever-increasing pollution concerns and the dwindling supply of fossil fuels. As a result, the world has begun to embrace alternative forms of energy such as solar energy. Solar energy is a perfect example of renewable forms of energy and has been gaining prominence in the recent past with solar panels being seen in many buildings. The following are some of the most notable benefits having solar panels in your home or business premises: Eliminates or Reduces Energy Bills It is interesting to know that a household of two adults and three kids can completely eliminate energy bills by installing solar panels. Such a household only needs an average amount of sun to have enough power for their daily consumption. In fact, solar panels can produce excess power during warm spring days. You only need two hours of sunshine to meet your daily power requirements. Therefore, individuals that live in cloudy locations are also guaranteed their daily supply of power. In fact, cloudy weather does not prevent solar panels from drawing energy. You can still power your home with diffused or indirect sunlight. Rebates and Tax Credits It is hard to believe that you can actually earn tax credits and rebates from power systems until you install solar panels. After installing solar panels, one qualifies for a federal tax credit of up to 30% when it comes to system costs. The system costs may include installation and equipment costs. As a result, one saves up to 30 percent of the actual cost of the solar system when they file their tax returns. In fact, the total cost can be cut by almost 50 percent when you include the Solar Renewable Energy Credits, local rebates, and state rebates. It is also good to know that you can sell some of the credits to utility companies for impressive returns. You only need to contact professionals like Sunshine Coast Solar Installers for your solar system installation before to benefit from the existing tax credits and rebates. Environmental Conservation Solar panels are good for the environment as they provide clean energy. Apart from reducing collective reliance on fossil fuels, installation of solar panels helps in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Traditional sources of energy like natural gas and coal emit harmful gases that contribute to global climate change, water pollution, and air pollution. Clean sources of energy such as solar power lead to reduced pollution hence improving public health. Long-term savings As mentioned earlier, installing solar panels eliminates or reduces energy bill, and this promotes long-term savings. In this case, annual energy expenditure in terms of residential energy and transportation is reduced significantly with the installation of solar panels. The sun is available for free and one ends up generating power at zero costs. Also, the resale value of a home can improve in a great way after the installation of solar panels. In summary, solar energy is an example of renewable forms of energy that are currently being adopted as a replacement for fossil fuels. Some of the benefits associated with installing solar panels in your home or business include; reduced energy bills, environmental conservation, long-term savings, as well as tax credits and rebates. Therefore, solar panels guarantee a clean, affordable, and reliable source of energy.

Which Mattress Is Highly Recommended By Chiropractors and Orthopedic Specialists?

by Amber Merton @ PlushBeds Green Sleep Blog

Restful sleep is essential for overall health and well being. It plays an important role in your physical health, mental health and quality of life. But, for many Americans, getting a good night’s sleep is a challenge, particularly for those with back pain, and particularly for those whose mattress is working against them, rather than for them. The American Chiropractic Association reports that at any Read More


by denverorganic @ The Natural Sleep Store

In Store Coupons for The Natural Sleep Store Coupon Take 15% off of one full priced product! Redeemable at 928 W 8th Avenue, Denver CO 80204. Valid only for in store customers. 15% off coupon valid only on full priced items. Can not be combined with other promotions or discounts. Can not be used on […]

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What’s an “Organic” Mattress, Anyway?

What’s an “Organic” Mattress, Anyway?


Shoppers searching for a mattress want the safest option they can afford. Attracted by labels claiming that products are “eco-friendly,” “natural,” “certified” or “organic,” many are willing to pay more for them. But what do the labels really mean?

Top Black Friday Mattress Sales of 2017 Compared

by Best Mattress Brand @ Best Mattress Brand

If you are looking for a mattress this winter, Black Friday mattress sales are one of the best times of the year to save. This year’s deals will likely be at their height on Friday, November 24th, but will be happening on and around that date. During the holidays, retailers clear out inventory to make […]

The post Top Black Friday Mattress Sales of 2017 Compared appeared first on Best Mattress Brand.

Superior Importers recalls mattresses sold exclusively through

by BedTimes @ BedTimes

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, New Brunswick, New Jersey-based Superior Importers voluntarily has recalled about 6,200 mattresses that failed to meet the mandatory federal flammability standard for mattresses, posing a fire hazard. No injuries have been reported in connection with the mattresses. The recall involves Basic 6-inch and Basic 8-inch Home Life […]

The post Superior Importers recalls mattresses sold exclusively through appeared first on BedTimes.

Top 5 Serta Adjustable Mattresses

by Star Newcomb @ The Sleep Judge

Wake Up Well: Brighten White Sheets Without Harsh Chemicals

by Madison Williams @ Urban Mattress

It is arguable that there are few things more euphoric than clean sheets. Waking up in bright white sheets helps us start the day feeling peaceful and energized. That means we want to keep our white sheets bright white and heavenly soft for as long as possible. At Urban Mattress we take the oath to natural […]

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90-Day Comfort Guarantee

by Corinna @ The Natural Sleep Store

If the numerous swapping options and overall flexibility don't bring you ultimate comfort and satisfaction, we offer a 90-day comfort guarantee on Bella Sera organic mattresses. While some manufacturers offer a latex-exchange policy, we have a much better option: For the price of other manufacturers' latex exchanges, we will sell you a brand-new layer of […]

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Green Business Spawns More Green Jobs

by @ Green Home Library

They said it would happen and now it is coming to fruition. Starting with small business ventures and then catching the eye of Big Corp., green entrepreneurship and activist movements have begun spawning more green jobs in America and throughout the globe.

Although the current administration is supporting coal production, the need is no longer there. Since mechanization, coal industry jobs have diminished putting many out of work. The average number of employees at US coal mines dropped by 12% in 2015, according to the Energy Information Administration.

However, there is more demand elsewhere to put workers back on the map in the green sector. According to The Department of Energy's Energy and Employment Report it is predicted that green energy employment will have a 9% growth rate over the next 12 months — higher than any other energy sector.

Currently, Europe and Asia are taking the helm as the US trails, but hangs on to, green sector job growth until hopefully the White House comes to its senses, or succumbs to change.

They’re Blowing in the Wind

That’s right, wind energy jobs have increased from 3.4 million in 2011 to just over 4 million in 2017 according to a report published by the Environmental Defense Fund's Climate Corps program.

Business Insider writes,

“The report estimates that solar and wind jobs are growing at a rate 12 times as fast as the rest of the US economy and suggests that 46% of large firms have hired additional workers to address issues of sustainability over the past two years.”

If you have a small business, look into a wind energy choices from your local electric company. It is required in most states for the consumer to be able to choose their electricity source.

Smart Cities

With the steady growth of smart technology and smart homes, smart cities are on the parallel. Europe has recently reported of a “green jobs for a greener future” initiative citing several urban applications that will inevitably take over many conventional careers.

Some of these include:

  • Municipality - “We have identified, especially from the municipalities side, that there is a need to create new skilled jobs for the creation of specific cross-department teams to work on defining action plans for cities, supporting the design of solutions and an understanding of the needs," says Miguel Garcia, from the REMOURBAN project, which is pioneering new approaches to urban regeneration in the Spanish city of Valladolid, Nottingham in England, and Tepebasi/Eskisehir in Turkey.” (reported by Phys.Org)
  • Building Retrofit - Perfect for green small business startup jobs, retrofitting buildings with clean energy options and fixes has risen in demand due to money saving incentives.
  • Electric Car Infrastructure - As the alternative energy infrastructure rises in demand, more people are becoming electric car charging station installers and maintenance workers.
  • Solar Installation - As solar technology falls in price more commercial and residential installations have been sought after.


It's unfortunate that many will profit from man’s decades long environmental abuse, yet that is exactly what is happening. Certain sectors, small businesses, local organizations and even Big Corp. have finally wrapped their heads around the lucrative potential for green beautification, waterway cleanup, non-toxic cleaning, pure air initiatives and so much more.

One example that was originally considered a job killer is a mandate to cut pollution flowing into the Chesapeake Bay by 25 percent by 2025. A study of potential cleanup for 6 bay states that includesDelaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, Virginia and West Virginia stated,

“If history is any guide, environmental regulations will once again nourish job creation, not bury it,


As more small businesses go green it will inevitably lead the way for business to business and consumer to business green job increase. Add in activist movements and environmental cleanup for more job opportunities and, regardless of antiquated, bottom line only thinkers, more people will see and reap the job benefits of Eco-friendly opportunities.

Why Organic

by admin @ Sleeping Organic

Going organic helps you avoid toxic and synthetic chemicals that are detrimental to human health and to the health of the environment. Going organic helps fight climate change, prevents damage to valuable water resources, promotes diversity and reduces your carbon footprint. According to, Organic is the most heavily regulated and closely monitored system in […]

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Press Conference Held Today to Launch Bye Bye Mattress

by Admin @ Bye Bye Mattress | A Program of the Mattress Recycling Council

Sacramento, CA – Today, government officials, municipal and solid waste representatives and the mattress industry gathered at the state Capitol building to commemorate the launch of the state’s new mattress recycling program. “For too long, abandoned mattresses have blighted our communities,” said Sen. Loni Hancock, D-Oakland, author of the measure that created California’s mattress-recycling program. […]

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Labor Day Mattress Sale Preview: 2017’s Best Buys

by Best Mattress Brand @ Best Mattress Brand

Curious to see what 2017 Labor Day mattress sale events have in store? We scoured the latest ads, investigated on the internet and looked at past holiday sales to bring a preview of what you can expect for the upcoming sales. Here are our top picks this summer: Labor Day sales are a big deal in […]

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Breakfast to Go

by Destiny Hagest @ Avocado Green Mattress

Breakfast to Go | 13 make-ahead breakfast recipes.Read More ...

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Tips for Choosing the Right Mattress Support for Your Aches and Pains

by Hästens Los Angeles @ Hästens Los Angeles

Being able to get a good night’s rest is important to many people, especially to those who suffer from arthritic pain or aching muscles. Chronic pain can make your life miserable, so you don’t want to worsen the situation by sleeping on an uncomfortable and unsupportive bed. With all the bedding options on the market […]

Organic Latex Mattress

by rjarvis @ Organic Kids Mattress – Healthy Child

Organic Latex Mattress Comfortable and supportive, the Organic Latex Mattress is a Soaring Heart classic. Handcrafted in Seattle from a single piece of 100% GOLS certified organic dunlop latex for unrivaled durability and purity.  Latex is surrounded by a thin layer of soft organic wool. This organic latex mattress is as resilient as it is comfortable. 100% …Read More

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About Our Natural & Organic Latex

by admin @ Sleeping Organic

100% Natural latex is better for your body, and for the earth! Our 100% Natural Latex products are created from milk sap from South East Asian rubber trees. The inherent properties of latex create a breathable, elastic surface that molds to the body and relieves pressure. 100% Natural latex is hypoallergenic, and naturally resistant to […]

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150,000 Mattress Diverted From Landfill in Connecticut

by Admin @ Bye Bye Mattress | A Program of the Mattress Recycling Council

Last week, the Mattress Recycling Council (MRC) presented its inaugural Annual Report of the Connecticut Bye Bye Mattress Program to Connecticut municipal leaders and state regulators. The report summarized the Program’s performance from its inception in May 2015 through the end of the state’s 2016 fiscal year (June 30). The Program has already exceeded, met […]

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Best Mattress Picks of Summer 2017

by What's The Best Bed @ What's The Best Bed

Summer 2017’s Best Beds: 30-Second Summary First things first, here are the best rated mattresses of the year in each category, based on our research and survey data about what consumers care about most when looking for a new mattress. Read on to uncover expert tips in our buying guide and for more detailed comparisons […]

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Caglia Environmental - Cedar Avenue Recycling & Transfer - Bye Bye Mattress | A Program of the Mattress Recycling Council

Caglia Environmental - Cedar Avenue Recycling & Transfer - Bye Bye Mattress | A Program of the Mattress Recycling Council

Bye Bye Mattress | A Program of the Mattress Recycling Council

Business types Event Locations Created by Gregor Črešnarfrom the Noun Project Event Locations Free, one-day special collection events. Residency restrictions and unit limits may vary. Collection Site Created by Gregor Črešnarfrom the Noun Project Collection Site Free drop-off locations. Residency restrictions and unit limits may vary. Recycling Facility Created by Gregor Črešnarfrom the Noun Project …

How Natural Mattresses Help Your Health

by Hästens Los Angeles @ Hästens Los Angeles

The “green” movement has helped motivate a lot of people to make smarter decisions about the products they use and consume, which has also lead to people generally feeling better and leading healthier lives as a result. All-natural cleaning products and chemical-free foods are a great place to start, but don’t overlook the importance of […]

There Is No Ban on Words at the CDC

There Is No Ban on Words at the CDC

by Daniel Engber @ Slate Articles

On Friday, the Washington Post reported that the Trump administration had banned  certain scientific words from use at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to an unnamed, outraged CDC source, higher-ups instructed staffers to avoid seven phrases in budget documents: vulnerable, entitlement, diversity, transgender, fetus, evidence-based, and science-based. In the days since, editorials have likened this to censorship in China, Cuba, and Belarus; to Polish laws prohibiting certain language to describe the Holocaust; and to the totalitarian regime described in 1984.* Follow-up reports said the “irrational and very dangerous” policy on budget language might put “millions of lives in danger” with its “an astonishing attack on reality-based medical treatment.”

But if reality is indeed in danger here, it’s not because of Donald Trump. The story of the language rules at CDC has quickly broken free of underlying facts. Despite what you may have heard, the alleged “ban” of seven words does not reveal a secret “War on Science” carried out by thought police in Washington; nor is it some evil plot to “enforce a political and ideological agenda,” as the Washington Post editorial board suggested. A more sober measure of this soggy crumb of news—one that’s, well, evidence-based rather than reflexive—suggests it should be understood as a byproduct of the Trump administration’s much-less-secret war on science funding. It appears that the ban is an attempt by bureaucrats to save their favorite projects from unforgiving budget cuts.

That explanation would be consistent with what’s been reported to this point. According to CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald, “There are no banned, prohibited or forbidden words at the CDC—period.” Meanwhile, anonymous sources at the Department of Health and Human Services told the National Review’s Yuval Levin this week that any language changes did not originate with political appointees, but instead came from career CDC officials who were strategizing how best to frame their upcoming budget request to Congress. What we’re seeing, his interviews suggest, is not a top-down effort to stamp out certain public-health initiatives, like those that aim to help the LGTBQ community, but, in fact, the opposite: a bottom-up attempt by lifers in the agency to reframe (and thus preserve) the very work they suspect may be in the greatest danger.

Reports about the seven dirty words at CDC should be understood in light of that budgetary process. Right now, the Trump administration is in the middle of preparing its fiscal 2019 request, to be submitted to Congress this coming February. It’s likely that the staffers at each agency at HHS have already submitted their proposals for how much money they think they need, for which specific projects, along with “budget narratives” explaining why. These, in turn, have probably been passed up to the budget team for the whole department, aggregated and sent on to the Office of Management and Budget in the White House. Now the OMB is trying to combine proposals from across the federal government into one colossal document to be reviewed by lawmakers.

There are internal negotiations at each step, says Stuart Shapiro, professor of public policy at Rutgers University and a former OMB employee. The OMB may demand steeper cuts from budget staffers at HHS, for example; HHS may send specific feedback down to CDC with suggestions for where and how to trim. This scrutiny is likely to be extra intense this year, given the Trump administration’s extraordinary steps to reduce government spending. In its first budget request delivered last May, the White House called for cuts of $1.2 billion from the CDC, $5.8 billion from the National Institutes of Health, and $2.5 billion from the Environmental Protection Agency. (For comparison, the last Republican president, George W. Bush, proposed increasing NIH funding by $2.8 billion in his first budget request and cutting funds for the EPA by $500 million.)

HHS staffers have been telling those at CDC and other agencies that it would be better to avoid any phrases that might attract extra notice from the budget-slashers higher up the chain. This is tactical advice: They want to bolster the CDC’s position during these negotiations. Levin suggests that words like vulnerable, entitlement, or diversity might annoy Republicans in Congress and make them less inclined to grant requested funds. But it seems more likely that the same advice is meant to ward off cuts from OMB Director Mick Mulvaney and his team of budget hawks; after all, they’ve been more tight-fisted than even congressional Republicans. (The latter rejected the Trump administration’s most dramatic cuts to science spending earlier this year.)

While back-and-forth discussions about budget documents may be normal, Shapiro says current staffers’ wariness of potential trigger words such as entitlement seems like something new. It’s also indicative of where we are today: Given this administration’s zeal for shrinking government and the radical polarization of political debate, it makes sense that bureaucrats would be doing whatever they can think of to protect their work from scrutiny. That is to say, their censorship is both strategic and self-imposed.

That may help explain why the list of forbidden phrases is so peculiar. Its haphazard composition hints at something other than a secretive attempt to stifle free expression in the government; to me, it reads more like some left-leaning functionary’s best guess about the words that might be banned by the White House, if the White House were to bother banning words. A few entries on the list make sense: It’s easy to imagine the Trump administration pushing back on uses of transgender, for example. But what about a word like fetus? That would seem to be a pretty useful term to have at your disposal, whatever your position on the ethics of abortion. And what of science-based and evidence-based? Those phrases don’t support any one political agenda; if anything, they’re maddeningly generic and easily abused by either side. (According to the Post, one senior CDC official told the staff that science-based and evidence-based should be abandoned because they’ve been overused.)

Some will argue that censorship can still be dangerous, even when it’s not imposed. That’s clearly not the case in this scenario. What we’re seeing from the CDC is not an effort to suppress unwelcome research, but rather an effort to conceal it under euphemism. If there is a secret plot at work in any of these lexical decisions, it’s aimed at simple-minded White House hacks and ideologues in Congress. Staffers have been advised to swap out the phrase science-based, for instance, for a more elaborate and confusing sentence: “CDC bases its recommendations on science in consideration with community standards and wishes.” Similarly, we’ve learned in recent months that staffers at the EPA have been rebranding satellites that help keep track of climate change as those that study “weather,” and that they’ve elected to replace the phrase “climate change” with “climate resiliency” in documents. We’ve heard that a director at the Department of Agriculture advised her team that carbon-sequestration and greenhouse-gas reduction should instead be described as “building soil organic matter” and “increasing nutrient use efficiency.” “We won’t change the modeling,” the director told them, “just how we talk about it.”

It matters that this bullshit has been bubbling up from within the rank-and-file instead of raining down upon them. That is to say, it’s the scientists who have been using doublespeak to manipulate their bosses, not vice-versa.

Yet journalists have reported on these middle-management directives as if they were new and shocking evidence of the Trump administration’s sneaky plan to interfere with scientific research. In a follow-up story published Thursday, the Post puts the ban on words at CDC in the context of “a linguistic battle [waged] across official Washington, seeking to shift public perception of key policies by changing the way the federal government talks about climate change, scientific evidence and disadvantaged communities.”

The invocation of a secret war on science, or “1984-ish thought control,” doesn’t fit the fact that many of the language changes are coming from the lifelong bureaucrats and not their political overlords. Even when these changes are delivered from on high, it’s not clear how far the practice strays from that of prior administrations. Thursday’s story in the Post points out that directed euphemisms are the norm in Washington: Barack Obama’s budget team, for example, swapped out the “global war on terror” for what it called “overseas contingency operations.” It may be that the Trump team’s efforts in this area have been more aggressive (or cartoonish) than those that came before—but they’re all related.

In any case, it’s not like no one knows what our current president has been up to in the broader sense. You don’t have to search for secret anti-science signals in agency proceedings when he’s putting climate-change skeptics in control at the EPA, the Department of Energy, and the Department of the Interior, and leaving one-third of the most important science posts vacant. And there’s not much point to parsing adjectives in budgetary language when the most recent budget calls for cuts to science by the billions.

For all the blatancy of this administration, we’re still obsessing over red-alarm reports about its use of scientific language—which words are in and which are out. In October, for example, the Nation reported on the DOI’s new strategic plan. Surely it would have been jarring simply to describe that plan’s instrumental view of nature, with its firm avowal of “American energy dominance” and suggestion that millions of acres of public lands and waters may soon be auctioned off for oil and gas development. Yet in keeping with the trend for extraneous lexicographical analysis, the Nation story notes right up near the top that the new document makes no mention whatsoever of climate change, while the phrase turned up 46 times in a version put out under Obama; and also that it mentions conservation 25 times, compared to 74 in the Obama plan.

I agree it’s telling, in some way, that the department tasked with protecting America’s natural resources won’t even mention global warming once in its strategic plan, but does this information really add anything to what we knew already? Same goes for all that  news—so much news—about the Trump administration’s efforts to excise every use of “climate change” or “global warming” from its official websites. We’ve heard these words have been “purged” from; that they’ve been “deleted” from; that they’ve been “scrubbed” from If we claim those purges and deletions are informative, then what should we make of the fact that one can still find those phrases, climate change and global warming, on several of the sites from which they’ve supposedly been erased? Would we then conclude that the Trump administration is not perhaps as hostile toward the science of the climate as we’d thought?

Rather than endlessly track these proxy measures of corruption, we’d be better off closely watching things that happen in plain sight: the drastic paring back of environmental regulations; major cuts to public-health and science funding; rampant conflicts of interest in science leadership; and a blatant disregard for scientific expertise. These actions should freak you far more than any list of seven words self-censored by the CDC.

Correction, Dec. 22, 2017: This story originally stated that Polish laws that enforce Holocaust denial. The laws dictate that specific language be avoided in discussing the Holocaust. (Return.)

Why Is Monsanto Inviting This Alt-Right Hero to a Fireside Chat on Farming?

Why Is Monsanto Inviting This Alt-Right Hero to a Fireside Chat on Farming?

by Kavin Senapathy @ Slate Articles

On Sunday, during the annual American Farm Bureau Federation conference in Nashville, Tennessee, Monsanto’s director of millennial engagement, Vance Crowe, will host a fireside chat with University of Toronto psychology professor Jordan Peterson, addressing “The Danger of Allowing Ideologies to Grow Unopposed.” The topic makes sense, given the agrichemical company’s stake in agricultural genetic engineering and the fearmongering and errors driving the non-GMO movement. Monsanto and American farmers should explore why people embrace false narratives about food. It’s the guest choice that raises questions.

Peterson is a clinical psychologist studying social, abnormal, and personality psychology. But he is best known for the YouTube channel that has made him a “belle of the alt-right,” as described in a November 2017 profile in Canada’s Maclean’s magazine. His “lectures about profound psychological ideas” became hugely popular following his swift rise to notoriety in the fall of 2016, when he refused to comply with university policy on addressing students with preferred gender pronouns. Missing from these videos—which net him more than $50,000 a month on Patreon according to a July report from the Toronto Star—is any commentary on agriculture. Rather, Peterson’s oratory cloaks bigotry in pseudointellectual arguments, revealing a chillingly detached dismissal of civil rights.

Crowe, who has worked as Monsanto’s director of millennial engagement since 2014, described Peterson as a “compelling speaker.” Crowe explained his impetus for the talk on his LinkedIn page: “It is my sincere hope that [Peterson] can help farmers develop an understanding of how to speak truth in a complex world where speaking up can make you a target,” Crowe wrote. “I asked Dr. Peterson to address how farmers can prepare their children to go to college with the skills needed to push back effectively on bad ideologies.” He echoed that language in an email to Slate, writing that “an invitation was extended to Dr. Peterson so that he could offer insights from outside the agriculture and genetic engineering communities. His expertise is wide ranging, but he was selected for his research into why people believe what they do and how those beliefs drive actions.”

Why people believe what they believe is a wide topic that many psychology professors investigate. And while Peterson’s lectures certainly do tend to focus on the idea of “pushing back,” the contents of them raise questions about whether the bad ideologies are the ones he’s rejecting or the ones he espouses.

Consider, for instance, Peterson’s insistence that our culture is doomed because physical violence is forbidden when conversations with women move “beyond the boundaries of civil discourse.” As Peterson declared in an October 2017 video, “I know how to stand up to a man who’s unfairly trespassed against me. The reason I know that is because the parameters for my resistance are quite well-defined, which is we talk, we argue, we push, and then it becomes physical.” A man who wouldn’t fight another man under any circumstances deserves “absolutely no respect,” according to Peterson, because the “underlying threat of physicality is always there,” serving to “keep things civilized to some degree.”

That society is “increasingly dominated by a view of masculinity that’s mostly characteristic of women who have terrible personality disorders and who are unable to have healthy relationships with men,” isn’t men’s crisis to solve, Peterson suggests. “[I]t’s sane women who have to stand up against their crazy sisters and say, ‘Look, enough of that, enough man-hating, enough pathology, enough bringing disgrace on us as a gender.’ ” The fact that “sane women” have so far failed to successfully accomplish this has meant that there is no “regulating force for that—that terrible femininity” and that we are “undermining the masculine power of the culture in a way that’s, I think, fatal.”

Peterson seeks to eliminate women’s studies, ethnic studies, sociology, and other swaths of the humanities and social sciences, which he calls “postmodern neo-Marxist” “indoctrination cult classes,” from being taught in universities—an interesting philosophy for someone who “plans to provide his own perspective on how farmers can prepare their children to go to college and be open to new ideas while resisting the temptation to view the world through over-simplified ideologies,” as Crowe wrote in his email to Slate. Peterson also often rails against “political correctness” and “identity politics,” framing these issues as a “war against free speech” and positioning himself as a martyr. (“If they put me in jail, I’ll go on a hunger strike,” he told a TVOntario panel in 2016.) Particularly chilling is the professor’s amusement (and the audience’s chuckles) as he offers his take on “identity politics and the Marxist lie of white privilege,” asking, “What if you're gay and black and female, well then, what if you’re not very bright and gay and black and female, and then what if you're ugly and not very bright and gay and black and female?” The “game,” as he describes marginalized people’s attempts to bring light to social inequity, can be played an infinite number of ways. Peterson describes the idea that there is such a thing as marginalized groups as “comical.”

In an October 2016 letter to the professor, which was also shared with the media, members of the University of Toronto administration acknowledged Peterson’s right to “express and debate views that may be discomfiting or even offensive to others,” but admonished that his rights “are not without limitation.” Fellow University of Toronto faculty have condemned Peterson’s statements on nonbinary and transgender people. (He is still listed as a professor at the university.)

Monsanto declined to comment further when we reached out, instead referring us to Crowe’s comments. In our questions, we asked whether, given Monsanto’s boasting of its rating as one of the “Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality” and its “inclusive environment where employees of all genders, ethnicities, backgrounds, and orientations feel welcome and able to contribute,” hosting Peterson ran counter to its stated ethos. Crowe said the company was “proud” of that distinction and noted that Monsanto is “the most diverse and inclusive” place he’s ever worked. He added that “At Monsanto, creating an inclusive environment where employees of all genders, ethnicities, backgrounds and orientations feel welcome and able to contribute is core to creating a great place to work.”

That is why it’s even more baffling that the company would choose to bring an alt-right darling to address, of all things, how dangerous ideologies spread. Crowe noted that “While Monsanto’s position[s] on certain topics may not align with those of everyone[’s], including Dr. Peterson[’s], we have a deep culture of respect of those who hold different views and are willing to listen. It is important for all of us to have meaningful and constructive conversations with numerous parties in order to better understand different points of views.”

But Monsanto is not just listening to these views. It is inviting them into a fireside chat, the result of which will promote Peterson, his work, and, by extension, the offensive views he espouses on his YouTube channel. It’s hard to see what good that will do for encouraging more understanding toward GMOs—and that’s a shame, because more open conversation around GMOs is necessary.

DreamCloud Mattress Review

by Logan Block @ Sleepopolis

I’m super excited about today’s review because I’ll be taking a look at one of the newest beds on the market: the DreamCloud hybrid mattress. This bad boy combines high-density foam with encased coils for a sleeping experience that promises to be as luxurious as it is supportive. To see how well this hybrid lives […]

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Products on Display

by denverorganic @ The Natural Sleep Store

Organic Mattresses: On The Natural Sleep Store’s Denver Organic Mattress showroom floor, we are currently featuring organic mattresses from the following manufacturers: Green Sleep (Dolcezza and Ergo Concept 8), Bella Sera (Nove 3 and Nove 3 Pillowtop), Savvy Rest (Organic Serenity), Royal-Pedic (Natural Cotton With Wool Wrap), Suite Sleep (Little Pocket Spring), Naturepedic (2 in […]

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Hilding Anders purchases Feather & Black

by BedTimes @ BedTimes

Mattress manufacturer and retailer Hilding Anders International, with world headquarters in Malmö, Sweden, has bought the business and certain assets of U.K. retailer Feather & Black. It will continue to operate as F&B, which specializes in bedroom furnishings, mattresses and sleep accessories. Retail veteran Paul Sweetenham was hired as F&B’s interim chief executive officer. He […]

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5 Reasons to Avoid Sleep Loss

by AustinNatural @ Austin Natural Mattress

We all neglect sleep sometimes, whether for our jobs or for movie marathons, but many of us don’t fully understand the seriousness of sleep deprivation. Lack of sleep obviously decreases vitality and makes you more irritable, but sleep loss can affect much more than that. Sleep loss can severely harm your memory, health, reasoning skills, and even ability to lose weight. Here are 5 reasons to get a good night’s sleep every night. 1. Sleepiness leads to serious accidents. Chernobyl – what some consider to be the world’s worst nuclear disaster – was caused by lack of sleep. Three Mile...

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A Mattress With Customized Firmness and Support Is Best

by Amber Merton @ PlushBeds Green Sleep Blog

  Buying a mattress is a very personal choice. There is not one mattress thickness, firmness and support which is perfect for everyone. Therefore, it’s important that you are able to customize your mattress, so that it is perfect for your particular sleeping pattern and body type. One of the wonderful things about PlushBeds 100% natural latex mattresses is that they are hand crafted and customized Read More

Why Isn’t the Bond Market More Worried About Climate Change?

Why Isn’t the Bond Market More Worried About Climate Change?

by Henry Grabar @ Slate Articles

Early this month, when the annual king tide swept ocean water into the streets of Miami, the city’s Republican mayor, Tomás Regalado, used the occasion to stump for a vote. He’d like Miami residents to pass the “Miami Forever” bond issue, a $400-million property tax increase to fund seawalls and drainage pumps (they’ll vote on it on Election Day). “We cannot control nature,” Regalado says in a recent television ad, “but we can prepare the city.”

Miami is considered among the most exposed big cities in the U.S. to climate change. One study predicts the region could lose 2.5 million residents to climate migration by the end of the century. As on much of the Eastern Seaboard, the flooding is no longer hypothetical. Low-lying properties already get submerged during the year’s highest tides. So-called “nuisance flooding" has surged 400 percent since 2006.

Business leaders are excited about the timing of the vote in part because Miami currently has its best credit ratings in 30 years, meaning that the city can borrow money at low rates.* Amid the dire predictions and the full moon floods, that rating is a bulwark. It signifies that the financial industry doesn’t think sea level rise and storm risk will prevent Miami from paying off its debts. In December, a report issued by President Obama’s budget office outlined a potential virtuous cycle: Borrow money to build seawalls and the like while your credit is good, and your credit will still be good when you need to borrow in the future.

The alternative: Flood-prone jurisdictions go into the financial tailspin we recognize from cities like Detroit, unable to borrow enough to protect the assets whose declining value makes it harder to borrow.

The long ribbon of vulnerable coastal homes from Brownsville to Acadia has managed to stave off that cycle in part thanks to a familiar, federally backed consensus between homebuyers and politicians. Homebuyers continue to place high values on homes, even when they’ve suffered repeated flood damage. That’s because the federal government is generous with disaster aid and its subsidy of the National Flood Insurance Program, which helps coastal homeowners buy new washing machines when theirs get wrecked. Banks require coastal homeowners with FHA-backed mortgages to purchase flood insurance, and in turn, coastal homes are rebuilt again and again and again—even when it might no longer be prudent.

But there’s another element that helps cement the bargain: investors’ confidence that coastal towns will pay back the money they borrow. Homebuyers are irrational. Politicians are self-interested. But lenders—and the ratings agencies that help direct their investments—ought to have a more clinical view. Evaluating long-term risk is exactly their business model. If they thought environmental conditions threatened investments, they would sound the alarm—or just vote with their wallets. They’ve done it before—cities like New Orleans, Galveston, Texas, and Seaside Heights, New Jersey were all downgraded by rating agencies after damage from Hurricanes Katrina, Ike, and Sandy. But all have since rebounded. There does not appear to be a single jurisdiction in the United States that has suffered a credit downgrade related to sea level rise or storm risk. Yet.

* * *

To understand why, it helps to look at communities like Seaside Heights, the boardwalk enclave along the Jersey Shore whose marooned roller coaster provided the definitive image of the 2012 storm.

Seaside Heights was given an A3 rating from Moody's in 2013, meaning “low credit risk.”* Ocean County, New Jersey—the county in which Seaside Heights sits—has a AAA rating. In the summer of 2016, before Ocean County sold $31 million in 20-year bonds, neither Moody’s Investor Services nor S&P Global Ratings asked about how climate change might affect its finances, the county’s negotiator told Bloomberg this summer. “It didn’t come up, which says to me they’re not concerned about it.”

The credit rating agencies would deny that characterization—to a point. They do know about sea level rise. They just don’t think it matters yet. In 2015, analysts from Fitch concluded, “sea level rise has not played a material role” in assessing creditworthiness, despite “real threats.” Hurricane Sandy had no discernible effect on the median home prices in Monmouth, Ocean, and Atlantic Counties, which make up New Jersey’s Atlantic Coast. The effect on tourism spending was also negligible.

"We take a lot from history, and historically what’s happened is that these places are desirable to be in,” explains Amy Laskey, a managing director at Fitch Ratings. “People continue to want to be there and will rebuild properties, usually with significant help from federal and state governments, so we haven’t felt it affects the credit of the places we rate.”

There are three reasons for that. The first is that disasters tend to be good for credit, thanks to cash infusions from FEMA’s generous Disaster Relief Fund. “The tax base of New Orleans now is about twice what it was prior to Katrina,” Laskey says, despite a population that remains 60,000 persons shy of its 2005 peak. “Longer term what tends to happen is there’s rebuilding, a tremendous influx of funds from the federal and state governments and private insurers.” Local Home Depots are busy. Rental apartments fill up with construction workers. Contractors have to schedule work months in advance. Look at Homestead, Florida, Laskey advised, a sprawling city south of Miami that was nearly destroyed by Hurricane Andrew. Today it is bigger than ever. “If there was going to be a place that wasn’t going to come back, that would have been it.”

What emerges from the destruction, for the most part, are communities full of properties that are more valuable than they were before, because they’re both newer and better prepared for the next storm. Or as a Moody’s report on environmental risk puts it, “generally disasters have been positive for state finances.” But this is entirely dependent on federal largesse: After Massachusetts brutal winter of 2015, FEMA granted only a quarter of the state’s request for aid. Moody’s determined that could negatively impact the credit ratings of local governments that had to shoulder the cost of snow and ice removal.

Second is that people still want to live on the shore. “The amenity value of the beach is something you can enjoy every day of the summer,” says Robert Muir-Wood, the chief research officer at Risk Management Solutions. “People may say, ‘The benefits of living on the beach to my health and wellbeing outweigh the impact of the flood.’” That calculus is strongly influenced by affordable flood insurance policies, but it has not changed. In a way, despite the risks, the sea is a more dependable economic engine for a community than, say, a factory that could shut its doors and move away any minute.

Most bonds get paid off from property taxes. If property values remain high, bondholders have little to worry about. If, on the other hand, property values fall, tax rates must rise. If buildings go into foreclosure, or neighborhoods undergo “buy-outs” to restore wetlands or dunes, more of the burden to pay off that new seawall falls on everyone else.

Third: Most jurisdictions are large. New Jersey’s coastal counties also contain thousands of inland homes whose risk exposure is much, much lower. Adam Stern, a co-head of research at Boston’s Breckinridge Capital Advisors, argues that the first credit problems will come for small communities devastated by major storms.

Still, Stern said, his firm looks at these issues. “One of the things we try to get at when we look at an issuer of bonds that’s on the coast: Do you take climate change seriously? Are you planning for that?” Still, he said, bond buyers—like everyone else—discount the value of future money, and hence future risk. When could the breaking point for the muni market come? Stern predicts that will happen when property values start to discernibly change in reaction to climate risk. It’s a game of chicken between infrastructure investors and homeowners.

“I think we’re in territory that’s changing right now,” says John Miller, an engineer studying climate change and credit risks at Wharton’s Risk Center. He pointed to Sea Bright, a barrier-island borough of New Jersey just south of New York Harbor. A municipal analysis concluded that by 2050, one in five of the borough’s parcels will be underwater—amounting to 17 percent of the total value of all Sea Bright real estate. Under 2050 SLR predictions, a 100-year flood would put 99 percent of parcels underwater. That year, 2050, is just beyond the 30-year frame used to sell both homes and bonds.

Generally, though, if you are looking for financial markets to start enforcing the risks of climate change, don’t look at towns on the rebound. Those places—whether they’re building seawalls or simply enforcing building codes on reconstructed properties—are better prepared. “The places you’re going to see the biggest disasters,” Muir-Wood predicts, “are the ones that haven’t been hit.”

*Correction, Oct. 31, 2017: This piece originally misstated that Miami has a double-A bond rating. The city’s credit rating varies between agencies and types of debt: Moody’s rating for the city of Miami, for example, is A1 for tax-backed debt and A2 for revenue-backed debt. (Return.) The piece also misstated the firm’s rating of Seaside Heights, which was A3, not AAA—“low credit risk” rather than “minimal credit risk.” (Return.)

What Is the Best Time to Go to Sleep?

by admin @ Mattress World Northwest

There are few words that are inseparable as “elusive” and “sleep.” Despite all the advances in science, the question of when it’s best to turn in is still debated across the world.  Most people tend to sleep during the hours that are most practical for their professional and personal lives. Their alarm clock goes off […]

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Guide to 2017’s Best Labor Day Mattress Sale Events

by What's The Best Bed @ What's The Best Bed

Find the Best Labor Day Mattress Sale of the Summer Want to find the best Labor Day mattress sale this year without wasting hours hunting through dozens of ads and locating specs? WTBB has you covered with our 2017 guide to Labor Day mattress deals. Labor Day mattress sales are a perfect time to save on […]

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Easy New Year Resolutions

by @ Green Home Library

You probably know that most New Year’s resolutions never make it to spring. However, if it is an easy fix that you can incorporate into your busy life, it usually lasts longer. When it comes to the planet, there is no better way to practice some simple adjustments for a green impact no matter how insignificant you may think it might seem.

These easy Eco-friendly New Year’s resolutions give some practical options to simply do your part without a lot of fuss. You can keep it at this level or use it to propel you deeper onto a green path that continues to support a clean environment for you as well as future generations.

Bottled Water Reversal

There is no reason to purchase, let alone produce, plastic bottled water anymore. By now most people are educated on the ravages this product is having on our oceans, land and even air quality. Not to mention the approximately twenty-million barrels of oil per year used to make these bottles. Yet, the greed machine continues produce bottled water taking advantage of an assumed uneducated public.

It is time to stand up to poor manufacturing; poisoning your planet and your body. Stopping your  consumption of bottled water and switching to a recycled steel, plastic, aluminum, glass or wood water bottle is a simple step you can take. Simply fill with clean water from an at-home filtration system or tap (many cities and states are proud of a clean, safe municipal water record) and take it wherever you go.

If carrying around a personal water bottle is out of the question, at least use them at home rather than fill your fridge with evil plastic waste. When on the road, look for more friendly packaging such as boxed water options or compostable bottles.

Paperless Towels

Another perverse depletion of natural resources is lumber used for the manufacturing of paper towels. Over fifteen billion pounds of these one-wipe wastes are found in landfills daily. Instead, using cotton cloths in place of paper towels saves trees and gets the job done at the same time.

Some argue that the water used to launder cotton cloths is a greater Eco-threat than felled trees which are replanted. However, the technological Eco-friendly upgrades to appliances such as washers and driers save more water and electricity than ever before. Add in non-toxic cleaning supplies and your cotton cloth replacements easily remedy the environmental atrocities of paper towel production.

Fix Phantom Power and Old Bulbs

Make this year your Eco-experiment by eliminating phantom power. Phantom power is the constant electrical drain on your home appliances even when they are shut off. The National Resource Defense Council put out this list in 2015 to give the homeowner an idea of the accumulated financial waste due to phantom power:

Annual cost of “phantom power”

  • Water recirculation pump - $93
  • Desktop computer - $49
  • TV - $38
  • Cable set-top box - $30
  • Audio receiver/stereo - $22
  • Printer - $11
  • Furnace - $8
  • Coffee maker - $6
  • Dryer - $4
  • GFCI outlets - $1 each

You can easily save money and energy by implementing simple home improvement fixes such as:

  • Installing smart power strips
  • Unplugging appliances until needed
  • Installing a digital power timer
  • Adjusting appliance settings such as shutting off power hogging “quick start” options

In addition, swapping out incandescent lightbulbs and replacing with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), and/or light emitting diodes (LEDs) can also save money as well as reduce significant energy waste. The US Department of Energy estimates that, “green lightbulbs” can save upwards of 65%-80% energy usage as compared to incandescent bulbs.


Try these Eco-friendly New Year’s resolutions to start of your year with an Eco-bang. They are simple ways to save money and the planet all at once without you exerting yourself all that much. Then, when you realize how much extra energy you have you can join an activist association and travel the world fighting the good fight, or just go to work and be happy you're doing your part.


It’s Surprisingly Easy to Lose a Satellite, Even One Worth Millions

It’s Surprisingly Easy to Lose a Satellite, Even One Worth Millions

by Neel V. Patel @ Slate Articles

SpaceX and Northrop Grumman are not having a good week. On Sunday, SpaceX launched a secret military satellite called Zuma from Florida into orbit. But the satellite, built by Northrop Grumman and owned by the U.S. government for classified purposes, was nowhere to be seen once SpaceX’s rocket carried the payload into space. At this point, the one thing that is clear is that Zuma failed to make it to orbit.

SpaceX quickly denied blame, with company COO Gwynne Shotwell releasing a statement saying its flagship Falcon 9 rocket “did everything correctly on Sunday night.” This is supported by the fact that the payload adaptor that works to release the satellite into orbit was not provided by SpaceX (as is common for most of the company’s missions), but by Northrop Grumman.

So if the adaptor failed to release the payload, then the upper stage of the Falcon 9 rocket dragged the satellite back through Earth’s atmosphere unwittingly, and Northrop Grumman would be the party to blame for losing a government satellite reportedly worth as much as a billion. (For its part, the company has not publicly commented on the Zuma debacle, except to say: “This is a classified mission. We cannot comment on classified missions.”)

The mystery of who’s to blame makes for a nice bit of drama that’s often missing from the space industry, but the truth is that while the failure of this mission cannot be understated, it’s actually not really that surprising. And that really comes down to the fact that getting to space is hard.

There were 91 launch attempts in 2017, and six were failures. That’s not high, but it’s significant. Imagine booking a flight and knowing there was a 6.6 percent chance it might crash. You’d probably cancel your trip and go back to binge-watching The Crown.

And that’s because there’s an incomprehensibly long list of things that could go wrong during launch, which SpaceX is no stranger to after a Falcon 9 exploded in midflight in 2015 and a launch pad test in 2016 destroyed both a rocket and a half-billion dollar Facebook satellite. Both of those events are quick examples of how small anomalies or flaws can cascade into disastrous results. And that’s understandable, because the sheer nature of launching things into space is a literally explosive process.

In addition, this is far from the first time an expensive satellite has been lost. Russia, the country whose Sputnik 1 was the first satellite ever launched, lost contact with a $45 million satellite just last year, and that’s just the latest in a long string of launch failures to plague the country in recent years. Japan lost contact with a $250 million astronomy satellite a month after launch in 2016. Closer to home, the U.S. military lost contact with a reconnaissance satellite in 2006 shortly after launch and had to shoot it down two years later.

Sunday’s failure is going to hurt a lot more than those other losses, but perhaps it’s the high-profile development that might push the space industry forward in the long run. Rocket scientist and Mars Society founder Robert Zubrin told NBC News he compares the risks of spaceflight today to the risks of air travel in its infancy and that running more launches and missions will inevitably help teach all launch parties how to conduct safer space travel.

In addition, this might also be the incentive we need to push for more radical approaches to satellites. The advent of 3-D printing technology means we might soon just build our satellites directly in space and avoid the potential mess (and insane costs) that come with a rocket launch and payload deployment.

Nevertheless, the risks to any satellite will never fully go away.
Earth’s orbit will always be an unstable region for any object, thanks to continued atmospheric drag, solar wind, gravitational influences from outside Earth, the nuanced physics we still have a shaky grasp of. When it comes to space, there will always be a host of factors that can turn a routine mission into an aggravating setback.

“How to Improve Energy Efficiency at Home!”

by Marla @

If you’re like many of the homeowners, you probably like to save money. Ironically, many homeowners are still contented with paying huge monthly energy bills. However, lowering your energy bills is easy as you’ve never imagined. In this article, we look at some of the simple and effective tips of that will bring down your energy bills to a bare minimum. Read on. 1. Fans/Controlled Ventilation Fans are the perfect alternative solution to the costly air conditioning system. Aside from saving you from your monthly HVAC bills, fans are also superb at cooling your home. Since energy efficient homes are tightly sealed, any homeowner should give serious consideration to ventilating their homes in a controlled way. Mechanical air control prevents the risk of air pollution, reduces the risk of moisture infiltration and offers a comfortable atmosphere. Some of the areas that you need to give serious consideration about mechanical ventilation include your kitchen, bathroom, furnaces and any air exhaust system. 2. Advanced Framing Also referred to as optimum value engineering, advanced framing is an approach where a structurally sound home is built using less wood material. Aside from saving the homeowner from material costs, advanced framing saves energy, leads to more insulation and the generation of less waste which needs to be disposed of, consequently preserving the environment. 3. Non-traditional Roofs The cool roofs are a type of roof that is constructed using a reflective material such a tile. Contrary to your regular roof, which absorbs energy from the sun, the reflective nature of the cool roof bounces the light from the roofing surface, therefore resulting in a cooler interior. 4. Skylights To many homeowners, skylights are synonymous with beauty. However, skylights are more than just an aesthetic roofing tool. If you install a skylight, your home will be treated to better lighting, better ventilation, and improved heating. 5. Exterior Doors Exterior doors play an integral role in enhancing the energy efficiency of your home. Before you pick a door for your home, you should also factor in its energy rating. The door’s energy rating allows you to understand how well your door can preserve energy in your home by either trapping air heat or cool air inside. 6. Window Treatments Similar to doors, window plays a crucial role in enhancing your home’s energy efficiency. Window treatments such as curtain and blinds, for instance, can regulate the amount of light, and heat entering your home. Therefore when choosing window treatments, ensure that you pay special attention to their colors, materials, density, along with how it opens and closes. 7. Exterior Type The color of your home greatly impacts on the energy efficiency, since light can either absorb or reflect heat. For instance, a room colored in light and reflective color will experience a cooler atmosphere. On the other hand, a dull and dark color is superb at absorbing and maintaining heat. The ideal exterior color type should respond to your home’s exterior design. For instance, if you live a colder climate, darker exteriors are ideal. Conversely, light-colored and reflective colors are ideal for a warm climate. 8. Insulation Insulation is one of the vital aspects of maintaining heat in your home. If done correctly, insulation helps in trapping heat in your home. Therefore, you’ll not have to pay unnecessary heating costs. While property owners have a choice in the type of insulation to place in their property, it’s recommended that they first consult a Freeman Surveying Commercial EPC key Facts, since there are insulation types that have been specifically designed for certain types of structures. Energy efficiency at home is more than just conserving electricity bills. Firstly, remember that most people spend their time locked indoors, and having an energy efficient building provides quality air flow, moderates temperature and maintains humidity. This is vital for keeping all the occupants feeling comfortable and improving their indoor experience. Similarly, energy efficiency means doing more with less. This is beneficial in different aspects; it will save you a lot o money, improve the economy and even have a positive impact on the environment. Therefore, if you`ve not yet implemented energy saving measures in your home, it`s high time that you do so.

How do I customize my firmness level?

by Corinna @ The Natural Sleep Store

You can choose whether you want your two (for Organic Tranquility), three (for Organic Serenity), or four (for Organic Serenity Pillowtop) layers of natural latex to be soft, medium, or firm.  Additionally, if you are purchasing a Queen or King size mattress, you can customize each side to have different firmness layers.  After you have […]

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Talalay vs. Dunlop Latex

by admin @ Sleeping Organic

Types of Latex: Organic Rubber Latex -Synthetic Latex -Or a Combination of the Two Organic Latex: Organic latex is made from the sap of the rubber tree which is processed (see manufacturing process for Dunlop and Talalay). A mattress made from organic latex does not contain any chemicals, synthetics, pesticides, herbicides, or other man-made products. […]

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What to Look for When Purchasing a King Size Organic Mattress?

by Dennis Hornick @ Organic Mattress Store

The king size mattresses will be one of the most important purchases you will ever make, especially if you need to replace your current mattress. A cheap synthetic foam mattress may make sense to you and your budget now, but it will not be the smartest choice in the long-run.... Keep Reading

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Ocean State Waves Hello to Bye Bye Mattress

by Admin @ Bye Bye Mattress | A Program of the Mattress Recycling Council

On Sunday, Rhode Island becomes the third state in the nation with a free recycling program for mattresses and box springs. The program, known as Bye Bye Mattress, has established free collection points in cities and towns across the state. Rhode Island residents can find their nearest participating collection site or recycling facility at […]

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Texas Mattress Makers Environmental Efforts - Texas Mattress Makers

Texas Mattress Makers Environmental Efforts - Texas Mattress Makers

Texas Mattress Makers

Throughout the course of our 35 years of making mattresses by hand, we have always kept the environment in mind. As a manufacturer, it is our responsibility to make sure we use the Earth's resources wisely and reduce waste as much as possible so our children can one day live in a world that is [...]

The Power of Napping

by AustinNatural @ Austin Natural Mattress

As most of us know, it’s very difficult to fit in the recommended 8 hours of sleep per night. However, there is a great substitute for this that a lot of us tend to overlook: napping! This little nugget of luxury is something that gets thrown by the wayside upon adulthood. It’s unfortunate since adequate sleep provides so many benefits and even contributes to longevity. Research by NASA shows that naps escalate performance. Their pilots who took 25 minute naps were twice as focused and more attentive than those who didn’t. NASA also found that taking naps enhanced reaction times...

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This Winter Commit to Your Optimal Health

by @ Green Home Library

With a nationwide freeze in play, now is a great time to start an activity program that will tighten and tone so when the snow starts to melt, you are ready to hit-the-ground-running. From yoga, to sports, or cycling there are a variety of activities you can utilize to propel your mind and body toward a more optimal health status. Find your inner passion activity that inspires you to get moving, and commit to your optimal health.

A Stressless Slide

Whether it's a New Year’s resolution or an, “I’m gonna do it this time” attitude, you just may be putting too much stress on yourself. This is why high numbers of good intentions quickly fall short particularly when it comes to diet and exercise. This winter, take the time to commit to something you really want to do for all the right reasons. If you are joining a gym just to lose weight you could be putting more pressure up front than you should. Instead, approach an activity commitment with as much passion as you can add to it. For instance, if you love playing softball then join or form a team and spend your time at the gym revolving around softball training. Maybe you need more peace and solitude in your life so why not choose a yoga class to get you there. Try and keep trying until the class or activity is a fit for you. There is no need to follow the pack just because it's easy, instead, think outside the box and find an activity that makes you look forward to it, not dread it in your gut simply to shave off a few pounds.

Keeping it Green

As you embark on finding your inner passion activity, take some time to consider the tools you will choose to get you there and keep you going. Whatever activity you choose, there’s an Eco-friendly accessory that can accompany it. No need to succumb to wasteful trends that use petroleum based rubbers and plastics. No need to purchase sneakers, workout clothes, and other essential gear manufactured in conditions that don't support fair wages and rights. Now, you can choose products that will support your inner goals while reinforcing a healthy planet at the same time. For instance, carry your own water bottle made from recycled steel; it that will stand up to the rigors of everyday wear and tear while being sustainable and supporting your health.

Science Daily reports on a study by Concordia University in Montreal which found that companies manufacturing green gear are sought after by consumers like you. Published in the Journal of Retailing, co-author of the study Maryam Tofighi commented, “Our findings indicate that consumers expect products with ethical attributes -- be they environmentally friendly, sustainably sourced or fair trade -- to come with a higher price tag. Companies would be wise to take advantage of those expectations,”


Don’t let the winter blues pull you down but rather look at this season as an opportunity to re-shift and reboot. From the balance of yoga, to the excitement of a team sport, this spring could be the new start you are looking for. Take your time to find the right activity you are passionate about, choose your green gear, and then enter your new path, fully loaded with a steadfast commitment to the most important

Sleeping in Hotels

by Destiny Hagest @ Avocado Green Mattress

Sleep Better in Hotels | Seven ways to get a better night's rest in a hotel room.Read More ...

The post Sleeping in Hotels appeared first on Avocado Green Mattress.

2017 Labor Day Mattress Deals & Adjustable Beds from Major Retailers

by The Best Mattress @ The Best Mattress

If you happen to be thinking of a new bed this fall or winter, upcoming Labor Day mattress deals present one of the best opportunities to get a good deal. In this guide, we’ll go over the details of the this year’s sales and compare the top beds by category to save you a little time and […]

The post 2017 Labor Day Mattress Deals & Adjustable Beds from Major Retailers appeared first on The Best Mattress.

Brentwood Home Cedar Mattress Discount Code

by Logan Block @ Sleepopolis

It’s easy to save 15% on your purchase of a Cedar mattress by Brentwood Home. Just follow these simple steps Head over to Select the size Cedar mattress you would like Confirm the items for purchase Enter SLEEPOPOLIS15 promo code in the “Gift card of discount code” section and click Apply You just saved […]

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Leesa vs Lull Mattress- What You Need To Know

by Frank Apodaca @ The Sleep Judge

Organic Mattress in St Louis

Organic Mattress in St Louis


Looking for an Organic Mattress in St Louis STL Beds has them on display to try with many models and the best prices available.

Air Beds That Offer Highest Owner Satisfaction According To Respected 3rd Party Source

by Brooke Stern @ Habitat Furnishings

Time for a new mattress?  Want to find a comfortable air bed? Need independent adjustability on both sides of your bed?  Maybe you are thinking about an adjustable air bed,but who wants to pay thousands for a quality air bed?  Don’t worry… You can get a high-end air bed for about half the price of […]

The post Air Beds That Offer Highest Owner Satisfaction According To Respected 3rd Party Source appeared first on Habitat Furnishings.

Natural Latex Mattresses: Health and Environmental Benefits of an All Natural Latex Mattress - Habitat Furnishings

Natural Latex Mattresses: Health and Environmental Benefits of an All Natural Latex Mattress - Habitat Furnishings

Habitat Furnishings

Time for a new mattress?  Maybe you’re thinking about an all natural latex mattress… Not only is an all natural latex mattress extremely comfortable, but it offers health and environmental benefits too. Health and Environmental Advantages of Using Natural Latex Mattress is a great topic for an article, but it’s important to note that when …

Earnhardt Manufacturing reorganizes top management

by BedTimes @ BedTimes

Earnhardt Manufacturing LLC, a supplier of knitted FR barrier fabrics and zippered mattress covers based in Roebuck, South Carolina, has named Frank Earnhardt chief executive officer and Jesse Beasley president. The company also has hired Michael Diemer for a newly created position of manufacturing general manager.  Earnhardt, previously president, started Earnhardt in 2006. Beasley, who has […]

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What Is The Best Eco-Friendly Way To Clean Your Mattress?

by Amber Merton @ PlushBeds Green Sleep Blog

Is It Important To Clean Your Mattress? You spend one-third of your lifetime sleeping on your mattress, so it’s important to keep it clean and fresh. Cleaning your mattress, in the best eco-friendly way, may seem complicated. However, it’s actually a lot easier than you might think. Many people don’t realize the importance of cleaning their mattresses regularly, even though there may be dirt, dust Read More

What's Really 'Green'? A Look at Mattresses, Part II

What's Really 'Green'? A Look at Mattresses, Part II

Triple Pundit: People, Planet, Profit

By Jonathan L. Gelbard, Ph.D. In my previous post, I took a look at examples of greenwashing that just about anybody on the hunt for a 'green' mattress is

What’s the Best Mattress For Adjustable Beds?

by What's The Best Bed @ What's The Best Bed

Finding the best mattress for adjustable bed bases is an important part of getting a sleep system you will be happy with and comfortable on. In our last article, we discussed how owners’ adjustable bed satisfaction averaged around 85%.  However, average mattress satisfaction is much lower, around 65-75% depending on the source. This means choosing […]

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How to Find the Most Comfortable Mattress

by Sleep Junkie @ Sleep Junkie

What’s The Most Comfortable Mattress Type? So you want to know what the most comfortable mattress is? The quick answer: The mattress that best suits your needs will prove to be the most comfortable. This isn’t a cop-out, it’s just the quick answer. The truth is, there is no magic mattress that is best for […]

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Do Mattresses Really Double in Weight in 10 Years?

by admin @ Mattress World Northwest

The claim is often made that a mattress doubles in weight after 10 years due to the accumulation of dust mites (pictured, left), dead skin cells, dust, sweat and other unpleasant things. Is it an urban myth invented by marketers, or based on fact? The truth is not so black and white. A lack of […]

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Your Guide To Sustainably Farmed Flowers For Valentine’s Day

Your Guide To Sustainably Farmed Flowers For Valentine’s Day

by Katherine Oakes @ The Good Trade

Opt out of the traditional bouquet of roses this year and instead choose sustainably-grown flowers for your Valentine's sweetheart. By choosing fair trade, organic and sustainably-grown bouquets, you'll be making less of a negative impact on the planet and a very positive impact on your loved ones. Here's our guide to what to look for and where to shop!

We’ve Improved Our Recycling Locator – Check it Out!

by Admin @ Bye Bye Mattress | A Program of the Mattress Recycling Council

We’ve said “Bye-Bye” to our old recycling locator technology. Getting rid of your mattress is hard enough, searching our site shouldn’t add to that frustration. We hope you’ll agree that these improvements have made a big difference. Personalized Map Display – No, we don’t know where you live, but you might think we do, because […]

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What’s the Best Mattress for Back Pain?

by Sleep Junkie @ Sleep Junkie

Learn how to find the best mattress for a bad back. Are you trying to find a good mattress for back pain? One of the hardest medical conditions to cure and treat are those relating to chronic back pain, and it’s something that affects millions of people around the world every day. Over and over, […]

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Los Angeles Often Burns in the Movies. Now It’s Burning in Real Life.

Los Angeles Often Burns in the Movies. Now It’s Burning in Real Life.

by Laura Bliss @ Slate Articles

This story was originally published by CityLab and has been republished here with permission from Climate Desk.

You’ve seen Los Angeles burning in the movies. But a video shot from a car on the Interstate 405 early Wednesday morning was as apocalyptic a view of my city as in any disaster film.

Along the dry edge of the Sepulveda Pass, where the country’s busiest freeway bridges the Santa Monica Mountains, a brush fire is roiling acres of houses, museums, and religious centers. Thousands have evacuated; many structures are already in flames. A few miles downhill, in the San Fernando Valley, soot is dusting my childhood home.

Dubbed the Skirball Fire, this is the fourth major blaze in the greater L.A. area this week; it arrives two months after fires in Northern California wine country claimed 44 lives and $3 billion in property damage. Now, ferocious flames in Southern California’s Santa Clarita, Sylmar, and Ventura areas are destroying homes and driving out thousands of residents; they will rage for days to come. Drought and record-breaking heat, driven by a changing climate, are making both ends of the state more fire-prone. It’s been months since L.A.’s hills have had a good soak.

But the main culprit of these fires is the Santa Ana winds—powerful, withering gusts of air that lash down from the high desert to the coast nearly every autumn. They turn embers into high-intensity blazes notoriously difficult to battle. This year, surface temperature changes in the Pacific have created a pressure gradient especially conducive to the winds. Southern California experienced twice as many Santa Ana days as usual in October; December typically brings 10 such days, and by the end of this week, the region will have already had six.

For all the praise of its “perfect weather,” L.A. is often seen as a city created in defiance of the laws of nature. Before flooded Houston acquired a similar reputation, critics argued that parched, hilly, quake-prone Los Angeles should never have been built where it is: The land is too dry, the earth too unstable. In pop culture, the hubris of its existence brings spectacular punishment—witness L.A. split open by earthquakes, destroyed in alien attacks, consumed by fire. Dubbed the “Devil Winds” in legend and literature, the Santa Ana is an old fixture of this trope, mythicized as a force of insanity, murder, and suicide. “The violence and the unpredictability of the Santa Ana affect the entire quality of life in Los Angeles, accentuate its impermanence, its unreliability,” Joan Didion wrote in Slouching Towards Bethlehem. “The wind shows us how close to the edge we are.”

Some viewers will find it hard to separate the freeway footage of the Skirball Fire, and the multimillion dollar homes it is burning to the ground (including, yes, Rupert Murdoch’s), from these strong cinematic associations. For those in East Coast cities in particular, perhaps, it will stir up a certain moralism about where cities should and should not be—reminiscent, perhaps, of how hurricane damage was often characterized as karma for overdevelopment in Florida and Texas. Why were people living there to begin with?

Undoubtedly, California’s fires have lessons for urban planners: Some of the foothill communities burning this week have recently developed further into the wild-land interface, inserting homes into fire-prone areas. Zoning and other land-use policies may need to be re-examined, among other ways leaders must prepare for and mitigate the effects of an always-burning future, as the warming atmosphere fans Santa Ana flames.

But today, as the world watches Los Angeles burn, the view is not only familiar from the movies. Every city is now examining itself in the face of climate change and its companion threats of sea-level rise, devastating storms, and extreme heat. Where should we be building and rebuilding? Who gets to live here, and how should we live? These are no longer questions that haunt only residents of L.A., where a rapprochement with catastrophe has long been part of the civic contract. New York, Boston, D.C., and the rest are looking at themselves in the mirror, too; in a sense, all cities are defying nature now.

Once despised by so many urbanists for its “uncultured,” car-centric sprawl, L.A. has become an unlikely leader in this dialogue, with ambitious plans to transform its transportation networks, densify the city, and reduce climate impacts. Los Angeles is burning, but now there is a Devil Wind blowing around the world. The hubris, and the responsibility to act, is everyone’s to share.

“Natural Hair Remedies for Healthy and Gorgeous Hair!”

by Marla @

We all want to have beautiful, shiny, and healthy hair! Our hair is part of our identity and what we do with it and what products we put in an on our hair affects our whole body. If you are using shampoos, gels, conditioners, or other hair products that have chemicals in them that can and will evidently cause harm to your body! Chemicals that we apply to our skin and hair accumulate in our bodies and add to the toxin burden that build up over time and can cause many health issues. So why burden your body with all those chemical when Nature provides natural hair remedies that work better than buying all those expensive hair products.  If we want healthy hair you need to stop using toxic chemicals that is bad for our health, the environment, and are quite expensive. You need to start considering what you are eating because the truth is healthy hair starts from the skin out.  We have one body so we need to take the best care of it as possible. In fact, when we eat healthy and wholesome foods and we are not burdening our bodies with toxic chemicals from personal care products or other sources we have the assurance that our body will be able to fight diseases. In fact our entire well-being – the body, mind and spirit — will be much healthier and happier! The infographic below has great tips to give is thick and gorgeous hair, DIY hair masks that cost only pennies, and foods that help keep our hair look naturally beautiful and your whole body healthy.  So take your time and study this infographic to see how easy it is to have beautiful shiny locks that you can be proud of and look your very best. These tips are easy to follow and to implement into your daily or weekly routine.    Please include attribution to with this graphic.  

What's the most environmentally friendly way to dispose of old mattresses?

What's the most environmentally friendly way to dispose of old mattresses?


During the excitement of having your new mattress delivered, you might not care what happens to that old, back-pain-inducing one once it's hauled away – but you should. Although it can sometimes be a bit difficult to do, there are environmentally friendly ways to dispose of your old mattress.

Instead of Fighting Sea Level Rise, This Town Is Embracing It

Instead of Fighting Sea Level Rise, This Town Is Embracing It

by Ashley Dejean @ Slate Articles

This story was originally published by Mother Jones and has been republished here with permission from Climate Desk.

Superstorm Sandy hit the quiet beach community of Tottenville on Staten Island hard. Two of the more than 14,000 people who lived there were killed when the storm surge sent waves up to 16 feet high destroying homes. Five years later, many haven’t been rebuilt.

Disasters often spark efforts to prevent similar problems in the future. When it comes to the flooding of coastal communities during hurricanes, the approach typically has been to keep water out by either erecting sea walls or encouraging residents to move inland. In contrast, planners preparing for the next big storm in Tottenville are creating a project that, instead of keeping water out, “embraces” it. The project is called Living Breakwaters, and it’s designed to substantially reduce the size of massive and destructive waves during major storms by creating a barrier that protrudes out of the water. That barrier contains an oyster reef that will, in turn, establish an ecosystem further protecting the coastline and diminishing the power of the waves.

Sandy hit in October 2012, causing more than $70 billion worth of damage. At least 117 people died from the storm, and 650,000 homes in New York and New Jersey were damaged or destroyed. Government officials scrambled to respond to the devastation and prevent such destruction in the future. The Federal Emergency Management Agency administered checks for emergency repairs and brought food, fuel, and water into hard-hit areas. The Environmental Protection Agency helped fix damaged sewage treatment plants and assessed the condition of drinking water. Even the Army Corps of Engineers and Homeland Security were involved in the recovery effort.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development was responsible for giving localities money to work on longer-term recovery efforts through the Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Program. In the past, most of that effort focused on rebuilding damaged areas, but after Hurricane Sandy, HUD also prepared for the future. The agency invested nearly $1 billion in a competition aimed at finding creative ways to do just that.

The Rebuild by Design competition was launched by the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, headed by former Obama HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. Ten teams designed innovative resiliency plans for specific communities with financial support from private sources such as New York University’s Institute for Public Knowledge, which supports research into areas of public concern, and the Rockefeller Foundation. In 2014, HUD awarded six projects a total of $920 million through the community block grant disaster recovery program. The competition led to the creation of a private organization called Rebuild by Design, which now works with communities around the world to develop projects focused on resilience.

The project, which received $60 million from HUD, was designed by Kate Orff, the first landscape architect to be awarded the MacArthur fellowship. Sandy damaged not just homes and businesses, but also Staten Island’s entire southern shoreline, which had already been receding. She explains that her firm, Scape, wants “to literally make this a living piece of infrastructure.” Oysters would not only have a habitat but “could help the breakwater become more of an artificial reef that can grow and expand with climate change.” The breakwaters will attract sea life and seawater will be further purified by the presence of the oysters—creating a healthier ecosystem. She describes this approach as “the value of nature-based infrastructure.” Over an extended period of time, she explains, offshore ecosystems have the potential to “help to reduce wave action and erosion.”

The Tottenville community has generally been positive about this project, says Jim Pistilli, who heads the Tottenville Civic Association. But some neighbors worry it will bring in too many visitors, and others doubt whether a novel, untested approach will even work. But Pistilli says the more traditional approach of building a sea wall wouldn’t make sense. “We don’t want something out in the ocean that’s jetting up, obstructing the view,” he says. “In Tottenville we look very favorably toward the breakwaters—doing the job but at the same time being aesthetically and ecologically very pleasing.”

The project was approved in 2014, and the past three years have been spent in an intensive permitting and environmental review process, which Dan Greene, a lawyer in the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery in New York state, describes as one of the most rigorous he has ever seen.

“Innovative projects are looked at with a high degree of scrutiny by regulatory agencies,” he says, “because they have responsibility for permitting these permanent structures in our waterways and nobody wants to get it wrong.”

For Greene, the breakwaters illustrate an important shift in infrastructure planning. Instead of having an unattractive and potentially ineffective gray barrier protecting Tottenville, the breakwaters will potentially be an aesthetically pleasing project that revitalizes an ecosystem in the water, restores the shoreline, and helps connect the community with the water. “These are intended to be model projects that can be replicated elsewhere,” he says. The construction process is slated to begin in 2019 and finish sometime in 2021.

Pippa Brashear, director of planning and resilience at Scape, tells Mother Jones that breakwaters aren’t supposed to work alone in reducing risk along the shoreline. “The breakwaters provide a first layer of defense upon which other elements can be layered,” she explains. HUD’s Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Program is also funding another resiliency effort to build dunes, which Brashear describes as “a second line of defense,” near the shoreline.

Living Breakwaters also invoke the past to reconnect residents with the water. In the 19th century, Tottenville was known as “the town the oyster built” because its economy and culture developed from oyster fishing. Pistilli can imagine the future, with a shoreline that will have not only “enriched … the people on the beach, but will have provided an enriched sea line for the entire community to enjoy.”

The Benefits of a Natural Mattress

by Hästens Los Angeles @ Hästens Los Angeles

If you’re looking for a non-toxic mattress that will improve your sleep and your health, you should consider purchasing an organic, natural mattress. Natural mattresses are crafted from non-toxic, chemical-free materials, like cotton, wool, or horsehair. Here is a look at the primary benefits of a natural, organic mattress. A Natural Mattress is Supportive and […]

Bed in a Box made from Organic Cotton, Latex & Wool

Bed in a Box made from Organic Cotton, Latex & Wool

Handcrafted from organic materials, the Happsy bed in a box delivers premium comfort at a price you can afford. Start your 120 night free trial today!

All Natural Latex Mattresses: Natural vs. Synthetic

by Brooke Stern @ Habitat Furnishings

Thinking about a new mattress?  Maybe you are thinking about an all natural latex mattress.  Perhaps you have some questions about all natural latex mattresses and how they are made.  Are all latex mattresses in the marketplace completely and 100% all natural?  No, typically they are not.  Read on… A completely all natural latex mattress […]

The post All Natural Latex Mattresses: Natural vs. Synthetic appeared first on Habitat Furnishings.

Contact Us

by denverorganic @ The Natural Sleep Store

Contact Us at the Denver Organic Mattress Showroom Customer Service: 1.866.663.0859 toll free Denver Showroom Direct Phone Line: 1.303.623.2261 Email us: Please feel free to contact us about any organic mattress or bedding questions.  If you are unable to visit our Denver showroom, The Natural Sleep Store’s knowledgeable sales staff is happy to help […]

The post Contact Us appeared first on The Natural Sleep Store.

Green Business Security

by @ Green Home Library

When it comes to security, there are several alternative green options that are just as efficient as conventional ones which currently support pollution and waste.

Green Hacker Security

These days it is essential to hire an online security company to protect your small business computer system. The problem is that many of the energy sources from these huge servers are a significant drain on natural resources, threatening water conservation, clean air and global warming.

When shopping for or switching to an online security company ask if they support any alternative energy platforms to run their business. Whether solar or wind, hydro or hydrogen fuel, there are no more excuses why non-alternative would be a better choice.

Lock it Smart

Smart locks are taking over the security industry, reducing material waste and extra energy use. You may not think of keys as a problem but like any raw material they are a small part of excessive steel production.

By using smart locks you do not need a key or even a card to enter and exit, instead access is granted via computer or smart phone, speeding up production and increasing revenue. No more lost keys, broken doors or long gas guzzling drives to open a lock or handoff a key.

Work in Motion

Installing motion detectors can significantly cut back on wasted light energy. Rather than a light that burns for hours straight, a motion detector only illuminates when the security beam is breached. This saves energy as well as elongates the life of your light bulb. Many motion detectors are solar powered storing enough energy during the day to operate throughout the night.

Get an Umbrella

Most insurance companies offer full coverage which includes vehicles, property and damage. By bundling all of these under the same plan your financial security becomes a financial and environmental win. This is because it requires less office supplies, power and so many other intricacies which would most likely double if you had separate plans. If a security team is needed, ask if your insurance company provides and covers this part of your small business as well.

Utilize AI and VR

The future is practically on top of us as artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality (VR) permeate beyond gaming and into the medical, transportation and military sectors as well. When it comes to environmental benefits, these two technologies are poised to be the ruling factor on how you run your life, business and what carbon footprint you emit.

AI is currently taking over the home improvement industry with the smart home application by controlling temperature, lighting, and appliance usage. This is now being applied to small businesses and is showing a significant impact. Whether kitchen adjustments, bathroom water utilization or office space energy control, AI has taken the guesswork out of energy use, automatically saving resources and money. When it comes to small business security, AI offers real time audio alerts regarding intrusion, both physical or online and brings more user ease for smart lock applications as well.

VR is offering an opportunity for the small business and/or consumer user to enter worlds that are both engaging and educational showing front and center how global warming, pollution and lack of social consciousness is affecting our planet. This can be a consumer draw as it is capable of “wowing” customers while at the same time keeping them in your space.

VR is also being used to reduce small business ordering waste by allowing “virtual stock” to determine space allocation as well as reordering prompts. On the security platform, VR brings night vision as well as bird’s eye and around corner viewing. Add in drones to the mix and VR combined with AI can cover security for small businesses that include zoo layouts, large warehouses or farm spaces.

Loud and Clear

Any green addition to your small business is also an opportunity to alert your consumers or clients to how you are on-board with sustainable solutions. It has already been studied how a large subset that is rapidly turning mainstream embraces and supports green businesses, especially small businesses. By utilizing and advertising your green security system you are adding to your potential future business while helping save our planet at the same time.


Green business security is changing for the better. It offers environmental benefits as well as bottom line increase, consumer draw and peace of mind.

DreamCloud Mattress Giveaway

by Logan Block @ Sleepopolis

It’s time for another giveaway, this time the luxury hybrid DreamCloud mattress! I just recently reviewed the DreamCloud, and boy is this winner lucky! Great feel and great support for all sleeping positions – plus winner chooses the size! DreamCloud Mattress Giveaway DreamCloud is a thick hybrid mattress that I found to be a bit […]

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Naturepedic Quilted Organic Cotton Deluxe Mattress

by Jehoiachin123 @ Organic Kids Mattress – Healthy Child

Free Standard Shipping and Lowest Price Guarantee!

Free Gift Card with Purchase over $250! See Details

Safe, Non-toxic and Economical!

The post Naturepedic Quilted Organic Cotton Deluxe Mattress appeared first on Healthy Child.

Natural Latex Foam Mattresses: Outshining All Others

by Brooke Stern @ Habitat Furnishings

All natural latex mattresses are becoming more and more popular as people learn about their comfort and benefits.  An all natural latex mattress is not only comfortable, but it’s extremely durable and hypoallergenic too.  No wonder they are becoming so popular! If We Look At the Bigger Picture – Latex Foam Mattresses Do Outshine All […]

The post Natural Latex Foam Mattresses: Outshining All Others appeared first on Habitat Furnishings.

Top 4 Things You’ll Love About Your New Memory Foam Mattress

by Jacky Gale @ Mattress World Northwest

Many satisfied Mattress World Northwest customers regard memory foam as essential for a good night’s sleep. Originally developed by NASA chemists, memory foam is a blend of polyurethane and a few other ingredients to improve its support capabilities. Today, as the material has become more common and its cost has decreased, you can find memory […]

The post Top 4 Things You’ll Love About Your New Memory Foam Mattress appeared first on Mattress World Northwest.

Organic Cotton

by admin @ Sleeping Organic

Organic cotton bedding is becoming increasingly popular because it is more environmentally safe and healthier than non-organic or synthetic bedding. Organic cotton is pesticide free, pigment free, and hypoallergenic. Organic cotton is extremely comfortable and soothing because it absorbs moisture and wicks it away from the body, keeping the sleeper dry during the night. Organic […]

The post Organic Cotton appeared first on Sleeping Organic.

10 Best Mattress Reviews of 2018 and 10 Worst-Rated Beds to Avoid

by Best Mattress Brand @ Best Mattress Brand

Curious about who has the best beds this year and which brands are duds? See which models have the best mattress reviews in 2018 in our updated guide, and learn what to avoid. Every year brings new beds, technologies and trends claiming to be the best. Though it can be a lot to keep up […]

The post 10 Best Mattress Reviews of 2018 and 10 Worst-Rated Beds to Avoid appeared first on Best Mattress Brand.

Study: Netflix Before Bed Harms Sleep

by Cody Gohl @ Sleepopolis

Movie and TV streaming could be the cause of America’s sleep problem, at least according to a new study from Amerisleep.  The mattress company made this assertion in its recent deep dive into the sleeping habits of 1,300 Americans, which aimed to figure out just how many of us are getting our recommended 7-9 hours […]

The post Study: Netflix Before Bed Harms Sleep appeared first on Sleepopolis.

Dream On Me Recalls Crib And Toddler Mattresses

by BedTimes @ BedTimes

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Piscataway, New Jersey-based Dream On Me voluntarily has recalled 23,400 crib and toddler mattresses that failed to meet the mandatory federal flammability standard for mattresses, posing a fire hazard. No injuries have been reported. The CSPC web page lists 10 recalled models. They include spring and foam […]

The post Dream On Me Recalls Crib And Toddler Mattresses appeared first on BedTimes.

At the Bonn Climate Talks, Many Americans Are Desperately Separating Themselves From Trump

At the Bonn Climate Talks, Many Americans Are Desperately Separating Themselves From Trump

by Oliver Milman @ Slate Articles

This story was originally published by the Guardian and has been republished here with permission from Climate Desk.

Deep schisms in the U.S. over climate change are on show at the U.N. climate talks in Bonn, Germany, where two sharply different visions of America’s role in addressing dangerous global warming have been put forward to the world.

Donald Trump’s decision to pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate agreement has created a vacuum into which dozens of state, city, and business leaders have leapt, with the aim of convincing other countries at the international summit that the administration is out of kilter with the American people.

The counter-Trump movement in Bonn is being spearheaded by Jerry Brown, the governor of California, and Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York City. Brown, in particular, has assumed the role of a de facto U.S. leader, scheduling more than two-dozen events to agitate for renewable energy and emissions cuts to combat what he has called an “existential crisis.”

A U.S. Climate Action Center has been set up for delegates in Bonn, representing the climate change priorities of several thousand U.S. cities, states, tribes, and businesses. Corporate giants Mars, Walmart, and Citi are expected to push for action on climate change. The center is in lieu of an official U.S. presence—for the first time, the U.S. government won’t have a pavilion at the annual U.N. climate summit.

At the razzamatazz opening of the alternative U.S. center on Thursday, California state Sen. Ricardo Lara told the audience: “Greetings from the official resistance to the Trump administration.” Pausing for cheers and applause, he said: “Let’s relish being rebels. Despite what happens in D.C., we’re still here.”

Guests were served free jelly doughnuts and coffee. “It’s the least we can do after Trump’s announcement that we are leaving,” said one U.S. activist.

At 2,500 square meters, the alternative U.S. dome—which is marked with the hashtag #wearestillin—is the biggest pavilion at the climate talks. Organizers say it is probably the biggest for any U.S. group in the history of climate conference.

“It’s nice that it’s hard to miss. This is big because our movement is big,” said one of the organizers, Lou Leonard of WWF. “Here we show energy, momentum, and confidence. It would slow negotiations down if people in the halls were thinking the U.S. is not with them.”

Following recent decisions by Nicaragua and Syria to join the Paris pact, the U.S. stands alone as the only country in the world to oppose the deal.

“The U.S. is now split, and world opinion is going with the state and local players, rather than the federal player,” said Jonathan Pershing, who was the U.S. government’s special envoy on climate change until last year.

“The U.S. is at odds with every other country in the world, and yet we see it represented by a federal government as well as competing governors, mayors, and members of Congress. It reflects an enormous tension in the U.S. political system over climate change.”

The Trump administration has sent a delegation to Bonn, with the U.S. still officially engaged in implementing the Paris deal until it is able to exit in 2020. Thomas Shannon, an experienced state department diplomat who has previously voiced concern about climate change, is leading the U.S. delegation, assisted by Trigg Talley, who was Pershing’s deputy.

The White House has confirmed that the U.S. will promote the “efficient” use of coal, nuclear energy, and natural gas as an answer to climate change in a presentation to delegates in Bonn. Trump has vowed to revive America’s ailing coal sector, but this message is likely to provoke outrage on the global stage.

“It will raise hackles,” said Pershing. “It’s not an argument that people will accept internationally.”

Differences may sharpen next week when countries start to discuss financing plans, but so far observers say it has mostly been business as usual.

“We are seeing 196 parties trying to move forward and put the Paris accord into effect. They don’t want to let the U.S. impede that progress,” said David Waskow of the World Resources Institute.

But participants from other nations said the change is already apparent.

“It’s as though the U.S. negotiators have been dipped in aspic,” said one delegate. “They are scared stiff of upsetting the White House. They try to be constructive, but they don’t want that known.”

Another delegate said: “We have lost the leadership the U.S. used to provide. They have the best negotiating team, and they usually put forward strong arguments, but in talks this year, they have been quiet. You can feel they are a little lost. It must be so hard for them now. I sympathize.”

“I think it’s all going to be a little awkward,” said Sue Biniaz, a former state department official who was the lead U.S. lawyer at climate negotiations for two decades.

“In the past the U.S. was the leader and brought a lot of ideas to the table. That will be a loss. But other countries, rightly or wrongly, think the U.S. may stay in under some circumstances, so I wouldn’t expect too much hostility.”

A coalition of 14 U.S. states, including California and New York, have said they are on track to meet the U.S. target of a 26-28 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2025, compared with 2005 levels. The goal was set by Barack Obama’s administration as part of the Paris agreement between 195 nations to avoid dangerous global warming of more than 2 degrees Celsius.

Brown has raised his profile in recent months by meeting China’s leadership to discuss clean energy technology and becoming a special adviser for states and regions during the Bonn talks.

On Tuesday, he met EU leaders in Brussels as a prelude to talks on how to link California’s cap-and-trade emissions system with the similar emissions mechanism used by the 28-state bloc. California has a legislated goal to cut its emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.

“We are truly facing a challenge unprecedented in human history,” Brown said in a speech to the European Parliament. “We have to completely transform to a zero-carbon world. We have to do it faster than most people are probably thinking about. 2050 is too late.”

In a nod to the clout of large U.S. states, Brown later included two of them when naming countries that could do more on climate change—“the United States, Texas, California, Russia, India.”

European leaders welcomed Brown’s words.

“The approach of Mr. Trump is not necessarily as helpful as it might be. But we are delighted to have Gov. Brown here because it shows there is a strong commitment from the U.S.,” said Antonio Tajani, the president of the European Parliament.

However, governors such as Brown or Andrew Cuomo, his New York counterpart, cannot officially take the place of the U.S. president in U.N. climate talks. Their emissions pledges do not supersede the official U.S. position, and in any case, the 14 committed states only have influence over around half of total U.S. emissions.

Analysts have warned that without national leadership, the U.S. is in danger of missing its emissions reduction goals and will jeopardize international efforts to stave off 2 degrees Celsius of warming, which would lead to elevated sea level rise, intensified droughts, heat waves, and wildfires.

Brian Schatz, a Democratic senator from Hawaii who is attending the Bonn talks, said members of Congress, including Republicans, were concerned over how the withdrawal has hurt America’s standing in the world.

“If you show up at a climate conference to talk about coal, you’re likely to be ignored,” he said. “I think the ‘We Are Still In’ delegation will get more attention than the executive branch.

We’ve gone from the indispensable leader to being the only country not engaged in climate change. Many people in Congress are troubled not only from a climate standpoint but a geopolitical standpoint. China is happy to take that leadership from us.”

$200 Off DreamCloud Promo Code

by Logan Block @ Sleepopolis

It’s easy to save $200 on your DreamCloud purchase by using the Sleepopolis coupon code. Just following these steps to get the discount: Head over to Choose the size DreamCloud mattress you would like to purchase. Confirm your cart is correct and apply SLEEPOPOLIS200 promo code. That’s it, you just saved $200!

The post $200 Off DreamCloud Promo Code appeared first on Sleepopolis.

Why do we sleep?

by admin @ Sleeping Organic

[iframe src=”” width=”100%” height=”1500px” scrolling=”yes”] More theories on why we sleep can be found here:,9171,1009765-1,00

The post Why do we sleep? appeared first on Sleeping Organic.

The 20 Best Organic and Fair Trade Coffee Shops in NYC for Meetings

by Stephanie Sica @ Ecocult

It's hard to find a coffee shop that makes a solid cup of organic or Fair Trade coffee, has a great atmosphere, and is conducive to conversation. But these are, in my humble opinion, the best places to have a productive meeting with the conscious coffee set.

The post The 20 Best Organic and Fair Trade Coffee Shops in NYC for Meetings appeared first on Ecocult.

Getting Better Rest on Vacation

by urbanmattressadmin @ Urban Mattress

Vacations are supposed to be restful, right? You don’t have to be at work. Most people don’t even have to set an alarm clock while they’re on vacation. You have long, peaceful days to spend in the location of your choice, whether you’re lounging on the beach, hanging out by a lake, or taking the […]

The post Getting Better Rest on Vacation appeared first on Urban Mattress.

Organic Mattress | PlushBeds Green Sleep Blog

Organic Mattress | PlushBeds Green Sleep Blog

PlushBeds Green Sleep Blog

Are there toxins and chemicals lurking under your covers? Chances are, if you're sleeping on a conventional mattress, there are. According to the Environmental Working Group, polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDEs), are found in a variety of everyday products used in the home, including mattresses. "Long-term exposures to PBDEs may pose a human health risk, especially to infants and toddlers who are more likely to ingest household dust or acquire these chemicals through mother's milk," said Margarita Curras-Collazo, an associate professor of cell biology and neuroscience in an article for Science Today at the University of California. This is actually stuff of nightmares, rather than pleasant dreams. For this reason and to decrease their environmental impact, people choose natural bedding, such as an organic mattress. Why Purchase an Organic Mattress? First and foremost, an organic mattress provides a healthier alternative to a traditional synthetic mattress. Most conventional

Statewide Mattress Recycling Program Debuts In California December 31

by Admin @ Bye Bye Mattress | A Program of the Mattress Recycling Council

Tomorrow, California becomes the second state in the nation with a statewide recycling program for used mattresses and box springs. The program, known as Bye Bye Mattress, allows California residents to drop-off used mattresses at participating collection sites and recycling facilities for free. California residents can find their nearest participating collection site or recycling facility […]

The post Statewide Mattress Recycling Program Debuts In California December 31 appeared first on Bye Bye Mattress | A Program of the Mattress Recycling Council.

Find the Best Mattress for Hip Pain

by Sleep Junkie @ Sleep Junkie

Learn about reducing pressure points and how to find the best mattress for hip pain. Are you looking for a good mattress for hip pain? It can be hard to find the information you need to find the right mattress for your body. Here are some pointers to get you on the proper mattress and […]

The post Find the Best Mattress for Hip Pain appeared first on Sleep Junkie.

Why Did 20 Octopuses Recently Wash Up on a Wales Beach?

Why Did 20 Octopuses Recently Wash Up on a Wales Beach?

by Gavan Cooke @ Slate Articles

This article originally appeared on The Conversation and has been republished here with permission.

A beach in Wales recently faced an eight-armed invasion. Over 20 octopuses were reportedly seen crawling up New Quay beach on the west coast of the country, with many later being found dead after failing to make it back to the sea.

Strandings of octopuses and other cephalopods (squishy, intelligent creatures including squid and cuttlefish) are pretty rare, and the exact truth of why this happened may never be known. But there are several theories that might help us to better understand this unusual event.

1. They became stranded like whales do.

Whale strandings are often put down to failures in the animals’ natural navigating abilities, which involve sending out sonar signals and sensing the direction of the Earth’s magnetic field. Sometimes the shoreline is too complex for these abilities to work, or there may be interference from human activities or even magnetic space weather.

But similar explanations aren’t likely to apply to the octopuses as they don’t navigate this way (instead we think they use a mental map like humans). Their hearing and auditory organs are comparatively simple and they can only hear at very narrow frequencies, which are not thought to be used for navigation.

2. A storm blew them ashore.

This is quite an appealing idea. Octopuses are (relatively) small and it’s easy to imagine them being caught in the forceful waves and washing up in large numbers. The coast of Britain has certainly been battered by storms recently.

There was also a high tide at around the time the octopuses are thought to have started appearing—so could a storm surge have dropped them on the beach? A sandy beach is not where you would expect these rocky seabed animals to be, so something unusual must have taken them to it.

3. They were looking for food.

While there have been anecdotal reports of octopuses leaping from rock pool to rock pool at low tide to grab a snack, this hasn’t included the curled octopus (Eledone cirrhosa) found on New Quay beach. Although they do eat crabs, this species is normally found at much greater depths. We can’t rule this theory out but we also know that, instead of undergoing a frenzied feasting period, this species eats less in these waters at this time of year.

4. The octopuses were senile.

As silly as this sounds, it is a plausible option. Like nearly all cephalopods, these octopuses are strictly semelparous, meaning they breed once and then die. October is the last hurrah for this species, and adults go through a period known as “senescence” after breeding.

This final stage of their lives causes the animals to rapidly deteriorate and behave very oddly. Many of the videos showing giant squid behaving weirdly in the shallows can probably be explained by this old-age senility.

This was my first thought, but a major reservation about this hypothesis is that these older octopuses normally show signs of physical deterioration. For example, their skin goes white and peels, cataracts can be common, and the animals generally appear to be in poor condition and get skin diseases. So far, I have not seen any evidence of this poor body condition normally associated with senescence.

5. Octopus numbers may be increasing.

One apparently encouraging implication to this sad tale is that it might indicate an increase in the numbers of octopuses in the sea. All year, I have been seeing reports of greater and greater numbers of all cephalopods in U.K. waters, especially octopuses. At the end of the summer, my social media feed was comparatively buzzing with videos of excited bathers spotting octopuses in rock pools, something not seen much before in U.K. waters. I’ve also seen many videos of huge groups of cuttlefish, a cephalopod species usually found in much smaller groups.

There are several possible explanations for this. Overfishing might be reducing numbers of cephalopod predators. The increase in sea temperatures related to climate change could be helping southerly species, such as Octopus vulgaris, “invade” our waters.

Another intriguing aspect of this event is that so many were found in the same place. Octopuses generally are thought to be solitary creatures, including Elodone cirrhosa. But a recent finding suggests we may have to reevaluate much of what we know regarding the sociability of these animals. Perhaps these octopuses had gathered for mating and got caught up in a powerful set of waves.

In the longer term, and at a more global scale, human interference may benefit some species rather than others. We joke that rats and cockroaches will inherit the Earth, but cephalopods may also be a benefactor. We overfish their predators and they possibly do not suffer from ocean acidification like other invertebrates. If this is indeed a happy note in a time of generally bad news for marine life, I for one welcome our new cephalopod overlords.

What Is An Organic Mattress (And Why Should I Buy One?) - Sleeping Organic

What Is An Organic Mattress (And Why Should I Buy One?) - Sleeping Organic

Sleeping Organic

Many benefits of organic mattresses exist... But in the long run, are there enough positives to make buying one for your bedroom worth it? The answers may...

Non-toxic vs. Organic Mattress Review | Wellness Mama

Non-toxic vs. Organic Mattress Review | Wellness Mama

Wellness Mama®

There are many organic mattress choices but not all are really chemical free and sometimes a non-toxic mattress may be better (& cheaper!)

Why It’s Important To Sleep On A Chemical-Free Mattress

by Amber Merton @ PlushBeds Green Sleep Blog

You spend one-third of your lifetime sleeping in your bed. If you think about it, that’s a lot of time spent snuggling up to your mattress. Your bed should be your sanctuary, allowing you to get the rest your body and mind need, without putting your health at risk. Unfortunately, not all mattresses are healthy to sleep on. Today, all U.S. mattresses must meet federal Read More

“What Should I Look For In A Tree Removal Company?”

by Marla @

Trees are part of the beauty of Nature. They serve us well with providing shade, sometimes they bring back fond memories of our childhood, or they were planted as a memorial of a loved one, but there comes a time when they too have to be cut down to keep our environment healthy and safe. You will know when the time comes when you see dead and brittle branches, or the base of the tree is split or starting to rot. Whether the tree is dying from old age, disease, or has been hit by lighting and it has become a hazard to your property or the environment you need to call a professional tree removal services. When and why you know you need to a tree removed:  A dead tree draws pests such as; termites, carpenter ants and other wood-boring insects that can cause havoc throughout you property These bugs will quickly multiply, which means that other trees or even your house could be in danger of being infested Rats and mice find refuge in dead trees and you can be sure they will invade your house sooner or later for food and shelter. Certain types of disease in trees can spread to other trees throughout your property or your neighbor property.  Dead or diseases trees are unsightly and dangerous – they can fall on your house or other buildings and physical harm and  expensive property damage.     Removing a tree is can be very dangerous work and to avoid hurting yourself or others on or around your property, you should work with someone who is very experienced.  Whether you need the tree removed for commercial or residential purposes make sure that you obtain assistance from the most qualified, competent individuals on the block. To ensure that you can find the best tree removal company on the block, be sure to look for a team of professionals who possess all of the following attributes: 1. Multiple Services. One attribute you should look for in a tree removal company is multiple services. Finding a company that can offer multiple services is important because doing so can prevent you from having to do research on a new business every time you find yourself in need of maintenance or restoration services. Note that the professionals of DKI Services are pleased to provide clients with emergency tree removal services in conjunction with assistance for other issues like water damage, fire damage, and storm damage. 2. An Exemplary Reputation. In addition to seeking out a tree removal company that can offer you multiple services, make sure you locate industry experts who have an exemplary reputation. Taking this step is important because it empowers you to ensure that you’re doing business with reputable people who place primacy on treating their customers with respect and getting things done in a very proficient manner. There are many strategies you can deploy to determine whether you’re dealing with reputable people. One of them is taking a trip to the company in question and interfacing with their representatives in a live setting. Doing so will empower you to communicate with the company’s professionals in a face-to-face environment through which you’ll be able to use factors like body language and mode of speaking to determine whether the representatives in question will treat you in a personable yet professional manner which involves getting things done quickly and correctly. In addition to visiting the tree removal company in person, you might consider the value of checking their online reviews. Over 80% of consumers believe that these reviews provide people with a clear indication of whether the company in question is consistently offering individuals reputable products and services. A third resource you could utilize to learn more about the tree removal company’s reputation is the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Visit the BBB website at to determine whether the company in question has attained rating or accreditation. Your fourth option in determining the reputation of the tree removal company is thoroughly reviewing the business website. Taking this step is important because it can provide you with key information such as how long the company has been in operation and what types of awards or recognition they have attained.   3. Fair Prices. One final factor you should consider when attempting to select the right tree removal company is whether they offer fair prices. Ethical, reputable companies do not overcharge clients simply because they can. Rather, they carefully analyze the products and services they sell before determining what type of pricing would be both reasonable and profitable for them. With all of this in mind, make sure that you do research to determine what a reasonable rate would be for the specific tree removal services you’re seeking. Conclusion If you’re ready to obtain great tree removal services, now is the time to put the company search process in full effect. Use some or all of the techniques outlined above to ensure that you can locate the perfect company!

The Different Types of Mattresses: Shop Only the Best One that Suits You

by Douglas Belleville @ STLBeds

Mattresses come in all sizes, shapes, and styles, which can make shopping for one quite a task. It is easier to choose one when you learn the differences between each type. Guide to Better Understand the Different Types of Mattresses Firmness vs. Softness All of the extra layers that are sewn onto the top of…

What do you really know about your baby’s crib mattress?

by admin @ Sleeping Organic

Fact: Conventional crib mattresses can contain a toxic mix of chemicals Parents everywhere go to great lengths to buy safe strollers, car seats, cribs and clothing to protect their babies but seldom consider the dangers associated with exposing their infant to toxic chemicals commonly found in crib mattresses. Most conventional crib mattresses are waterproofed with […]

The post What do you really know about your baby’s crib mattress? appeared first on Sleeping Organic.

Organic and Eco-Friendly Mattress Reviews - Sustainable Slumber

Organic and Eco-Friendly Mattress Reviews - Sustainable Slumber

Sustainable Slumber

Shopping for an organic or eco-friendly mattress can be an overwhelming experience. Our advice is to do your research before making this investment and Sustainable Slumber is here to help! The following companies offer organic or natural mattresses and we have summarized the most important features of their products.   Nest Bedding The Q3 Natural …

How to Pick a Pillow

by tracy @ The Mattress Lot

Did you know that your  pillow can account for about 30% of your overall sleep satisfaction?  At Mattress Lot, our Read More

The post How to Pick a Pillow appeared first on The Mattress Lot.

Our New Guide, 5 Secrets To Buying The Right Latex Mattress

by Brooke Stern @ Habitat Furnishings

We talk with people all the time that are confused about buying a latex bed.  That is why I have put together a new guide to help you sort through this confusion and find the right latex mattress for you — all the comfort you need, and without the risk of losing your money if […]

The post Our New Guide, 5 Secrets To Buying The Right Latex Mattress appeared first on Habitat Furnishings.

Cure Anxiety Naturally

by Jessica Hann @ Avocado Green Mattress

Treat Anxiety Naturally | The best essential oils for anxiety.Read More ...

The post Cure Anxiety Naturally appeared first on Avocado Green Mattress.

Guide to 2017 4th of July Mattress Sales

by The Best Mattress @ The Best Mattress

Looking for a new bed during this year’s 4th of July mattress sales? In this guide, we’ll go over the basic details of this summer’s savings and compare the top mattresses by category to save you some time. We’ve collected all the deals we could find from major national retailers, from ads, retailer websites, news releases, deal […]

The post Guide to 2017 4th of July Mattress Sales appeared first on The Best Mattress.

Bad Headaches? It Could Be Your Mattress

by Ali Long @ Mattress World Northwest

Tension headaches, cluster headaches and migraines can be debilitating. Depending on the type, headaches may be characterized by a dull throbbing all over the head, a piercing pain behind the eyes, or an intense throbbing accompanied by nausea and visual disturbances. Most people experience this malady at one time or another, but those that suffer […]

The post Bad Headaches? It Could Be Your Mattress appeared first on Mattress World Northwest.

Why Are Hotel Beds So Comfortable?

by Jacky Gale @ Mattress World Northwest

Hotels know that the top priority of exhausted travelers is getting a good night’s sleep, which is why high-end hotels spare no expense when purchasing beds and bedding. If you long for the hotel bed experience, but would rather not live at the Marriott, head over to Mattress World Northwest. Our showrooms in the Portland […]

The post Why Are Hotel Beds So Comfortable? appeared first on Mattress World Northwest.

LOL Something Matters

LOL Something Matters

by Daniel Engber @ Slate Articles


Ten years ago last fall, Washington Post science writer Shankar Vedantam published an alarming scoop: The truth was useless.

His story started with a flyer issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to counter lies about the flu vaccine. The flyer listed half a dozen statements labeled either “true” or “false”—“Not everyone can take flu vaccine,” for example, or “The side effects are worse than the flu” —along with a paragraph of facts corresponding to each one. Vedantam warned the flyer’s message might be working in reverse. When social psychologists had asked people to read it in a lab, they found the statements bled together in their minds. Yes, the side effects are worse than the flu, they told the scientists half an hour later. That one was true—I saw it on the flyer.

This wasn’t just a problem with vaccines. According to Vedantam, a bunch of peer-reviewed experiments had revealed a somber truth about the human mind: Our brains are biased to believe in faulty information, and corrections only make that bias worse.

This supposed scientific fact jibed with an idea then in circulation. In those days of phantom Iraqi nukes, anti-vaxxer propaganda, and climate change denialism, reality itself appeared to be in danger. Stephen Colbert’s neologism, truthiness—voted word of the year in 2006—had summed up the growing sense of epistemic crisis. “Truth comes from the gut,” Colbert boasted to his audience. “Anyone can read the news to you. I promise to feel the news at you.”

Back then it seemed as though America had slipped the moorings of her reason and was swiftly drifting toward a “post-fact age.” Scholar Cass Sunstein blamed the internet for this disaster: Online communities, he argued, could serve as “echo chambers” for those with shared beliefs. Then came Vedantam’s piece, with real-life data to support the sense that we all were flailing in a quicksand of deception and that the more we struggled to escape it, the deeper we would sink into the muck.

Writing in Slate last year, former professional fact-checker Jess Zimmerman remembered Vedantam’s article as “my first ‘lol nothing matters’ moment,” when she realized her efforts to correct the record might only make things worse. Another nothing-matters moment followed one week later, when Vedantam told WNYC about a different study. A pair of political scientists had given 130 students a mocked-up news report on a speech about the invasion of Iraq that described the country as “a place where terrorists might get weapons of mass destruction.” Half the subjects then read a correction to that news report, noting that the CIA had found no evidence of such weapons in Iraq. For students who were politically conservative, the correction didn’t work the way it should have; instead of making them more suspicious of the idea that Saddam Hussein had been hiding WMDs, it doubled their belief in it.

News about this research made its way to Slate, the Wall Street Journal, This American Life, la Repubblica in Rome, and several hundred other media outlets around the world. Sunstein cited the result—an “especially disturbing finding,” he declared—in his next book on the nature of extremism.

The study of corrected news reports, like the work on vaccine myths, helped provide a scientific framework for our growing panic over facts. Now we had a set of interlocking theories and experiments on which to hang the claim that truth was being vanquished from democracy—that the internet divides us, that facts will make us dumber, and that debunking doesn’t work. These ideas, and the buzzwords that came with them—filter bubbles, selective exposure, and the backfire effect—would be cited, again and again, as seismic forces pushing us to rival islands of belief.

Ten years on, the same scientific notions have now been used to explain the rise of Donald Trump. The coronation of the man who lied a thousand times, a champion of “alternative facts,” had brought us from the age of truthiness to the era of post-truth—2016’s word of the year. In a span of several weeks after Trump’s inauguration, Slate announced that “It’s Time to Give Up on Facts,” Rolling Stone declared “The End of Facts,” the New Yorker told us “Why Facts Don’t Change Our Minds,” and the Atlantic ran through “the facts on why facts alone can’t fight false beliefs.” These lamentations continued unabated throughout 2017. Just two weeks ago, Facebook said it would no longer flag phony links with red-box warnings, since pointing to a lie only makes it stronger. The truth, this move implied, does more harm than good.

But there’s a problem with these stories about the end of facts. In the past few years, social scientists armed with better research methods have been revisiting some classic work on the science of post-truth. Based on their results, the most surprising and important revelations from this research—the real lol-nothing-matters stuff—now seem overstated. It may be that the internet does not divide us, that facts don’t make us dumber than we were before, and that debunking doesn’t really lead to further bunk.

In fact, it may be time that we gave up on the truth-y notion that we’re living in a post-truth age. In fact, it may be time that we debunked the whole idea.


We didn’t need some lab experiment to tell us that the truth is often unpersuasive and that it’s hard to change a person’s mind. But that’s not what the end-of-facts researchers were saying. Their work got at something far more worrisome: a fear that facts could blow up in all our faces and that even valid points might reinforce a false belief.

This is not a small distinction. If the truth were merely ineffective, then all our efforts to disperse it—through educational websites, debunking flyers, and back-and-forths on Facebook—would be at worst a waste of time. But what if the truth had a tendency to flip itself around? In that case, those same efforts might be tugging people in the wrong direction, pulling them apart. Even if the tugs were very slight, the effect could multiply in terrifying ways—a million tiny forces from a million tiny arguments that added up to a tidal wave of disagreement.

In 2007, an example of this boomerang phenomenon seemed to be unfolding in real time. Polls showed Americans were more likely to describe then–presidential candidate Barack Obama as a Muslim than a member of any other faith. A related set of smears had oozed across the country via Fwd: Fwd: emails, asserting that Obama joined a Christian church to hide his madrassa past, that he wouldn’t say the Pledge of Allegiance, and that he’d been sworn into the Senate on a copy of the Quran.

In the face of all this faulty information, journalists tried redoubling their focus on the facts. Two weeks before Vedantam wrote his Washington Post piece on the dangers of debunking, the Tampa Bay Times’ Bill Adair launched PolitiFact. Two weeks after, the Post’s Glenn Kessler started his weekly “Fact Checker” column, with its Pinocchio rating scheme. Yet the checkers sensed that certain lies about Obama were resistant to their efforts or were maybe even fueled by them. “The number of Americans who believe Obama is a Muslim has gone up,” a nonplussed Adair told NPR in March 2008. “It was 8 percent back in November. The latest poll, it’s up to 13 percent.”

How could this be happening? Norbert Schwarz, the psychologist whose work on dispelling myths about the flu vaccine had been described in Vedantam’s piece, thought he had the answer. Based on the data he’d collected with his postdoc Ian Skurnik, it seemed to him Obama’s denial of a Muslim past would only make the rumors worse.

Schwarz helped draft a memo to the Obama campaign, sharing this advice. By that point he’d joined a secret panel of advisers to the candidate, a group that included Sunstein as well as several winners of the Nobel Prize. This group—which would later be dubbed an “academic dream team”—had been formed to supply Democratic candidates with cutting-edge research on the psychology of messaging. “In no case should you say that Obama is not a Muslim, since repeating it will only cause a backlash,” Schwarz says he advised the campaign. Instead, Obama should emphasize the fact that he is a Christian and that he brings his family to church.

The dream team never got explicit feedback on this memo, but it did seem to Schwarz that the campaign was heeding his advice. In early 2008, Obama began to focus on pronouncements of his Christian faith and his devoted membership in Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ. This would backfire in spectacular fashion: In mid-March, a controversy erupted over unpatriotic sermons from that church’s pastor, Jeremiah Wright.

Schwarz recounts this wistfully, as “an interesting illustration of what can happen when you make the correct recommendation in a world that you have no control over.” In any case, after the election, the boomerang theory of debunking was established as a rule of thumb. In November 2011, a pair of cognitive psychologists in Australia, Stephan Lewandowsky and John Cook, published an eight-page pamphlet they called “The Debunking Handbook,” on the “difficult and complex challenge” of correcting misinformation. They cited work from Schwarz and Skurnik, among others, in describing several ways in which debunkings can boomerang or backfire. Arriving when it did, in the middle of the post-fact panic, their handbook satisfied a pressing need. Chris Mooney, author of The Republican War on Science, called it “a treasure trove for defenders of reason.” The liberal website Daily Kos said it was a “must read and a must keep reference.” Its text would be translated into 11 languages, including Indonesian and Icelandic.

“The existence of backfire effects” have “emerged more and more over time,” Lewandowksy told Vox in 2014. “If you tell people one thing, they’ll believe the opposite. That finding seems to be pretty strong.”


If you tell people one thing, they’ll believe the opposite. This improbable idea had been bouncing around the academic literature for decades before Schwarz and others started touting it. The first hints of a boomerang effect for truth emerged in the early 1940s, as the nation grappled with a rash of seditious, wartime rumors. Newspaper fact-check columns, known as “rumor clinics,” sprang up in response to the “fake news” of the time—the claim, say, that a female munitions worker’s head exploded when she went to a beauty parlor for a perm. The rumor clinics spelled out these circulating falsehoods, then explained at length why they were “phony,” “sucker bait,” or “food for propageese.” But experts soon determined that these refutations might be dangerous.

By January 1943, mavens at America’s “rumor-scotching bureau,” the Office of War Information, told the New York Times that debunkers could “make a rumor worse by printing it and denying it in the wrong manner.” Shortly thereafter, an Austrian émigré and sociologist named Paul Lazarsfeld published the results from his seminal study of Ohio voters. Lazarsfeld, who was based at Columbia University’s Office of Radio Research, found these voters had been awash in a “flood of propaganda and counterpropaganda” about the candidates running for president in 1940—but that they’d mostly filtered out the facts they didn’t care for. Like-minded voters tended to communicate only among themselves, he said, which in turn produced “a mutual strengthening of common attitudes,” to the point that even rival facts might only “boomerang” and reinforce their original views.

More examples of the boomerang effect would be presented in the years that followed. In 1973, for example, psychologists presented evidence that the social message of the TV sitcom All in the Family had backfired. The show’s creators aimed to skewer and rebut the attitudes of its central character, the bigot Archie Bunker. But when scientists surveyed high school students in a Midwest town, they found that the most prejudiced teenagers in the group were the ones most likely to be watching Archie every week. “The program is more likely reinforcing prejudice and racism than combating it,” the researchers concluded.

Another famous study, published in 1979, found a boomerang for environmental messages. Researchers in Arizona passed out flyers at a public swimming pool that featured one of three messages: “Don’t Litter,” “Help Keep Your Pool Clean,” or “Obey Pool Safety Rules.” The “Don’t Litter” message seemed to backfire and make the garbage problem worse: Half the people who received that flyer tossed it on the ground, as compared with just one-quarter of the people who’d received the other messages.

In a classic paper, also out in 1979, Stanford psychologists Charles Lord, Lee Ross, and Mark Lepper got at the related concept of motivated reasoning. For that study, which has since been cited thousands of times, they presented undergraduates with conflicting data on the efficacy of the death penalty. They found that the exact same information would be interpreted in different ways, depending on how the subjects felt before the research started. The net effect of their experiment was to make the students more convinced of their original positions—to polarize their thinking.

Thirty years later, as a fresh array of boomerang or backfire effects made its way to print, psychologists Sahara Byrne and Philip Solomon Hart reviewed the science in the field. Their paper cites more than 100 studies of situations where “a strategic message generates the opposite attitude or behavior than was originally intended.” The evidence they cite looks overwhelming, but as I sorted through the underlying literature, I began to wonder if some of these supposed boomerang effects might be weaker than they seemed.

Take the Archie Bunker paper. When the same psychologists ran their survey on a second group of people up in Canada, they did not find the same result. And going by subsequent research on the TV show, published in the 1970s, it seemed that Archie’s antics on All in the Family may have helped diminish prejudice, not increase it.

The study of the poolside flyers, which Byrne and Hart called “one of the most famous research examples of the boomerang effect,” also seemed a little flimsy. The original paper goes through three versions of the same experiment; where the first one seems to show a real effect, the others look like replication failures, with no clear evidence for backfire.

As I poked around these and other studies, I began to feel a sort of boomerang effect vis-à-vis my thinking about boomerangs: Somehow the published evidence was making me less convinced of the soundness of the theory. What if this field of research, like so many others in the social sciences, had been tilted toward producing false positive results?

For decades now, it’s been commonplace for scientists to run studies with insufficient sample sizes or to dig around in datasets with lots of different tools, hoping they might turn up a finding of statistical significance. It’s clear that this approach can gin up phantom signals from a bunch of noise. But it’s worse than that: When researchers go out hunting subtle, true effects with imprecise experiments, their standard ways of testing for significance may exaggerate their findings, or even flip them in the wrong direction. Statistician (and Slate contributor) Andrew Gelman calls this latter research hazard a “type-S” error: one that leads a scientist to assert, with confidence, a relationship that is actually inverse to the truth. When a scientist makes a type-S error, she doesn’t end up with a false positive result so much as an “anti-positive” one; she’s turned the real effect upside down. If she were studying, say, the effect of passing out flyers at a public pool, she might end up thinking that telling people not to litter makes them litter more, instead of less.

It’s easy to imagine how these type-S errors might slither into textbooks. A scientist who found an upside-down result might go on to make a novel and surprising claim, such as: If you tell people one thing, they’ll believe the opposite; or facts can make us dumber; or debunking doesn’t work. Since editors at top-tier scientific journals are often drawn to unexpected data, this mistake might then be published as a major finding in the field, with all the press reports and academic accolades that follow. Gelman, for his part, thinks type-S errors might not be the problem here—that the real issue could be that different people might respond to something like a “don’t litter” flyer in different ways in different contexts, for reasons researchers don’t understand. But no matter the underlying reason, in an environment where surprising data thrive and boring studies wither in obscurity, a theory based on boomerangs will have a clear advantage over other, more mundane hypotheses.


The first study highlighted by the Post’s Vedantam—the piece of research that helped kick off the modern wave of post-fact panic—is a mess of contradictions.

In late 2004 or early 2005, Ian Skurnik showed a set of undergrads the CDC’s poster about flu vaccine “facts and myths.” According to a data table from a draft version of the study posted on the website of co-author Carolyn Yoon, Skurnik found the students’ memories were very good when they were tested right way: They labeled the flyer’s “myths” as being true in just 3 percent of their responses. Thirty minutes later, though, that figure jumped to 13 percent. By that point, they’d grown foggy on the details—and the flyer’s message backfired.

This made sense to Skurnik and his colleagues. He already knew from prior research that the more you hear a thing repeated, the more reliable it seems: Familiarity breeds truthiness. Now the study of the flyer suggested this effect would hold even when the thing you’ve heard before has been explicitly negated. Imagine a debunking like one shown on the CDC flyer: The flu shot doesn’t cause the flu. Over half an hour, Skurnik’s study argued, the word doesn’t fades away, while the rest of the message sounded ever more familiar—and thus more true.

His CDC flyer data suggested this all happens very quickly—that debunking can boomerang in minutes.

But that notion didn’t fit with data from another study from the same researchers. For that earlier experiment, published in the Journal of Consumer Research in 2005, Skurnik, Yoon, and Norbert Schwarz looked at how college students and senior citizens remembered health claims that were labeled either “true” or “false.” The team found no sign of backfire among the college students after 30 minutes or even after three days. (They did find a boomerang effect for older subjects.)

Meanwhile, the study of the CDC flyer never made its way into a peer-reviewed academic journal. (The research would be summarized in an academic book chapter from 2007.) Vedantam’s write-up for the Post, which claims the study had just been published in a journal, seems to have conflated it with the paper published two years earlier, saying the CDC flyer had been presented both to younger and older subjects and at both a 30-minute and three-day delay.

I asked Skurnik, who’s now an associate professor of marketing at the University of Utah, why his famous flyer study never ended up in print. He said that he and Schwarz had submitted it to Science, but the influential journal decided to reject it because the work had already been described by the New York Times. (I could find no such story in the Times.)

As Skurnik moved along in his career, he says, he allowed “that line of research to get on the back burner.” When others tried to reproduce his research, though, they didn’t always get the same result. Kenzie Cameron, a public health researcher and communications scholar at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine, tried a somewhat similar experiment in 2009. She set up her study as a formal clinical trial; instead of testing college undergrads as Skurnik, Yoon, and Schwarz had done, she recruited a racially diverse group of patients over the age of 50, selecting only those who hadn’t gotten vaccinated in the prior year. She mailed each of her subjects a version of the CDC flyer a week before they were due to come in for a checkup. Some of these flyers listed facts and myths in simple statements, others listed only facts, and still others gave specific refutations of the false information.

Cameron had her subjects tested on their knowledge of the flu vaccine on two occasions, once before they’d seen the flyers and again when they came in to see their doctors. She found that every version of the flyer worked: Overall, the patients ended up more informed about the flu vaccine. In fact, the version of the CDC flyer that was closest to the one that Schwarz and Skurnik used ended up the most effective at debunking myths. “We found no evidence that presenting both facts and myths is counterproductive,” Cameron concluded in her paper, which got little notice when it was published in 2013.

There have been other failed attempts to reproduce the Skurnik, Yoon, and Schwarz finding. For a study that came out last June, Briony Swire, Ullrich Ecker, and “Debunking Handbook” co-author Stephan Lewandowsky showed college undergrads several dozen statements of ambiguous veracity (e.g. “Humans can regrow the tips of fingers and toes after they have been amputated”). The students rated their beliefs in each assertion on a scale from 0 to 10, then found out which were facts and which were myths. Finally, the students had to rate their beliefs again, either after waiting 30 minutes or one week. If Skurnik, Yoon, and Schwarz were right, then the debunkings would cause their answers to rebound in the wrong direction: If you tell people one thing, they’ll believe the opposite. But the new study found no sign of this effect. The students’ belief in false statements dropped from a baseline score of 6 down to less than 2 after 30 minutes. While their belief crept back up a bit as time went by, the subjects always remained more skeptical of falsehoods than they’d been at the start. The labels never backfired.

A second study from Ecker and Lewandowsky (along with Joshua Hogan), also out last June, found that corrections to news stories were most effective when they repeated the original misinformation in the context of refuting it. This runs counter to the older theory, that mere exposure to a lie—through a facts-and-myths debunking flyer, for example—makes it harder to unseat. The authors noted that the traditional logic of “effective myth debunking may thus need to be revised.”

In other words, at least one variation of the end-of-facts thesis—that debunking sometimes backfires—had lost its grounding in the data. “I’ve tried reasonably hard to find [this backfire effect] myself, and I haven’t been able to,” Ecker told me recently. Unless someone can provide some better evidence, it may be time to ask if this rule of thumb from social science could represent its own variety of rumor: a myth about how myths spread.


Brendan Nyhan and Jason Reifler described their study, called “When Corrections Fail,” as “the first to directly measure the effectiveness of corrections in a realistic context.” Its results were grim: When the researchers presented conservative-leaning subjects with evidence that cut against their prior points of view—that there were no stockpiled weapons in Iraq just before the U.S. invasion, for example—the information sometimes made them double-down on their pre-existing beliefs. It looked as though the human tendency to engage in motivated reasoning might be worse than anyone imagined. (Eventually this would form the basis for another section of “The Debunking Handbook.”)

With an election looming in the fall of 2008, Nyhan and Reifler’s work went viral in the media. (The final version of their paper would not be published in an academic journal until 2010.) Vedantam wrote up their findings for the Post, and the story spread from there. It soon became the go-to explanation for partisan recalcitrance. “Perception is reality.
Facts don’t matter
,” wrote Jonathan Chait in the New Republic, linking up the new research to presidential candidate John McCain’s “postmodern” disregard for truth. “If [Nyhan and Reifler’s] finding is broadly correct,” Chait wrote, “then the media’s new-found willingness to fact-check McCain will only succeed in rallying the GOP base to his side.”

Political scientists were just as taken by the Nyhan-Reifler findings. A pair of political science graduate students at the University of Chicago, Tom Wood and Ethan Porter, found the study dazzling. “It really stood out as being among the most provocative possible claims” about the science of public opinion, Wood told me in a recent interview. He and Porter had been reviewing old research on how we’re more responsive to the facts that support our pre-existing points of view. The new paper took this idea a full step further. “It said that your factual ignorance could actually be compounded by exposure to factual information,” Wood says. The implications for democracy were calamitous.

By the time he and Porter had funding for their own study of this phenomenon, in 2015, the idea had grown in scope. Aside from all the media coverage, papers had by then been published showing that the facts could boomerang when Republicans were told that Obamacare’s “death panels” didn’t exist or that climate change could lead to more disease. And the original Nyhan-Reifler paper had become a “citation monster,” Wood says. “It’s four times as cited as any comparably aged paper from the same journal.”

He and Porter decided to do a blow-out survey of the topic. Instead of limiting their analysis to just a handful of issues—like Iraqi WMDs, the safety of vaccines, or the science of global warming—they tried to find backfire effects across 52 contentious issues. Their study would provide corrections of false statements from Hillary Clinton on the effects of gun violence, for instance, and from Donald Trump on the rate of crimes committed by undocumented immigrants. They also increased the sample size from the Nyhan-Reifler study more than thirtyfold, recruiting more than 10,000 subjects for their five experiments.

In spite of all this effort, and to the surprise of Wood and Porter, the massive replication effort came up with nothing. That’s not to say that Wood and Porter’s subjects were altogether free of motivated reasoning.
The people in the study did give a bit more credence to corrections that fit with their beliefs; in those situations, the new information led them to update their positions more emphatically. But they never showed the effect that made the Nyhan-Reifler paper famous: People’s views did not appear to boomerang against the facts. Among the topics tested in the new research—including whether Saddam had been hiding WMDs—not one produced a backfire. “We were mugged by the evidence,” says Wood.

Meanwhile, Columbia University graduate students Andy Guess and Alex Coppock were chewing over a similar idea: If you tell people one thing, will they end up believing the opposite? Guess and Coppock had come across the 1979 study by Lord, Ross, and Lepper, which showed that adding facts to a discussion of the death penalty only curdles students’ disagreements. But when the grad students looked more closely at that old paper, they were appalled. “We realized it was not a properly randomized experiment,” says Guess.

“We thought it was BS,” says Coppock.

In 2014, the two of them updated the classic study using what they thought was better methodology. Where Lord, Ross, and Lepper tested 48 undergrads on their views about capital punishment, Guess and Coppock assessed that question with the help of 683 subjects recruited via the internet. For follow-up experiments, they tested how different kinds of evidence affected the views of another 1,170 subjects on the minimum wage, and 2,122 more on gun control. In none of these conditions did they find evidence that people grew more stubborn in their views when presented with disconfirming information.

Instead, the studies showed what Coppock calls “gorgeous parallel updating,” by which he means that people on either side of any issue will adjust their beliefs to better fit the facts. If boomerangs occur, he says, they’re the exception, not the rule. The backfire effect “is a truth-y hypothesis,” he told me. “It feels right, that arguing with idiots just makes them stupider.”

Guess also began to wonder about a third axiom of truthiness: Is it really the case that the internet divides us?

For all the influence of the echo chamber theory, Guess found there was not a lot of real-world data to support it. In 2015, he gained access to a potent data set from an online polling firm, which included three weeks’ worth of website tracking for almost 1,400 individuals, tagged with their demographic info and political affiliations. That meant Guess could test the echo chamber theory in the wild—and he found it didn’t hold. Other recent studies—one by Levi Boxell, Matthew Gentzkow, and Jesse M. Shapiro; another by Jacob L. Nelson and James G. Webster—have supported this result: News consumption on the internet does not appear to be as fractured as we thought.

It wasn’t that the standard work on “partisan exposure” had been wrong. Like-minded people do tend to congregate on social networks, said Guess, and they tend to gab about whatever suits their group. But this clumping up and screening out is not unique to online settings; it happens just as much when we get together in the offline world, watch TV, or scan headlines at the newsstand.

Nor are the basic facts about persuasion all that controversial. Yes, people do engage in motivated reasoning. Yes, it’s true that we prefer to cling to our beliefs. Yes, we do give extra credence to the facts we’ve heard repeated. But each of these ideas has also spawned a more extreme (and more disturbing) corollary—that facts can force the human mind to switch into reverse, that facts can drive us even further from the truth. It’s those latter theories, of boomerangs and backfires, that have grown in prominence in recent years, and it’s those latter theories that have lately had to be revised.


Even as new facts accumulate in the science of post-facts, the field will likely be slow to change its course. Norbert Schwarz, for one, has been a vocal critic of the replication movement in social psychology, comparing those who question old ideas to global warming denialists: “You can think of this as psychology’s version of the climate-change debate,” he told Nature in 2012, when doubts emerged about research into social priming. “The consensus of the vast majority of psychologists closely familiar with work in this area gets drowned out by claims of a few persistent priming skeptics.”

Skeptics of the boomerang effect have also run afoul of consensus thinking in their field. Guess and Coppock sent their study to the same journal that published the original Lord, Ross, and Lepper paper in 1979, and it was rejected. Then it was passed over four more times. “We’ve reframed it over and over,” Coppock says. “It’s never rejected on the evidence—they don’t dispute the data. It’s that they don’t believe the inference, that backlash doesn’t happen, is licensed from those data.” As a result, their work remains in purgatory, as a posted manuscript that hasn’t made its way to print. (Guess has only just submitted his paper re-examining the echo chamber theory; it’s now under review for the first time.)

Wood and Porter’s study also faced a wall of opposition during the peer review process; after two rejections, it was finally accepted by a journal just last week.

I asked Coppock: Might there be echo chambers in academia, where scholars keep themselves away from new ideas about the echo chamber? And what if presenting evidence against the backfire effect itself produced a sort of backfire? “I really do believe my finding,” Coppock said. “I think other people believe me, too.” But if his findings were correct, then wouldn’t all those peer reviewers have updated their beliefs in support of his conclusion? He paused for a moment. “In a way,” he said, “the best evidence against our paper is that it keeps getting rejected.”

While some colleagues have been reluctant to believe that backfire effects might be rare or nonexistent, there are some notable exceptions. Nyhan and Reifler, in particular, were open to the news that their original work on the subject had failed to replicate. They ended up working with Wood and Porter on a collaborative research project, which came out last summer, and again found no sign of backfire from correcting misinformation. (Wood describes them as “the heroes of this story.”) Meanwhile, Nyhan and Reifler have found some better evidence of the effect, or something like it, in other settings. And another pair of scholars, Brian Schaffner and Cameron Roche, showed something that looks a bit like backfire in a recent, very large study of how Republicans and Democrats responded to a promising monthly jobs report in 2012. But when Nyhan looks at all the evidence together, he concedes that both the prevalence and magnitude of backfire effects could have been overstated and that it will take careful work to figure out exactly when and how they come in play.

Nyhan has been a champion of the replication movement and of using better research methods. He’s written up the newer data on debunking, and the evidence against the echo chamber theory, for the New York Times. And he’s the one who pointed me to the work from Guess and Coppock, calling it “impressive and important.” In terms of reckoning with recent data, says Nyhan, “it would be ironic if I dug in my heels.”

Yet even if boomerangs turn out to be unusual, he says, there’s little cause for optimism. Facts are, at best, “sometimes mildly effective” at displacing grabby lies, and corrections clearly aren’t working “if the standard is getting rid of misperceptions in the world.”

Ullrich Ecker, the debunking expert who failed to reproduce Schwarz and Skurnik’s finding on the boomerang effect for facts and myths, agrees with Nyhan. “If there’s a strong motivation to hold on to a misconception, then often the corrections are ineffective. Whether or not they backfire, that’s up for debate,” he says. “But look, if it’s ineffective, that’s pretty much the same story as if there’s a small backfire effect.”

There’s a vast difference, though, between these two scenarios. In a world where fact-checking doesn’t work, we may get caught in knots of disagreement. In a world where facts can boomerang, those knots may tighten even as we try to pull away. One is frustrating to imagine. The other is horrifying.

Why, then, has the end-of-facts idea gained so much purchase in both academia and the public mind? It could be an example of what the World War II–era misinformation experts referred to as a “bogie” rumor—a false belief that gives expression to our deepest fears and offers some catharsis. It’s the kind of story that we tell one another even as we hope it isn’t true. Back then, there were bogie rumors that the Japanese had sunk America’s entire fleet of ships or that thousands of our soldiers’ bodies had washed ashore in France. Now, perhaps, we blurt out the bogie rumor that a rumor can’t be scotched—that debunking only makes things worse.

Or it could be that our declarations of a post-truth age are more akin to another form of rumor catalogued during the 1940s: the “pipe dream” tale. These are the stories—the Japanese are out of oil; Adolf Hitler is about to be deposed—we tell to make ourselves feel better. Today’s proclamations about the end of facts could reflect some wishful thinking, too. They let us off the hook for failing to arrive at common ground and say it’s not our fault when people think there really is a war on Christmas or a plague of voter fraud. In this twisted pipe-dream vision of democracy, we needn’t bother with the hard and heavy work of changing people’s minds, since disagreement is a product of our very nature or an unpleasant but irresolvable feature of our age.

It’s time we came together to reject this bogus story and the ersatz science of post-truth. If we can agree on anything it should be this: The end of facts is not a fact.

When a Hurricane Takes Your Home

When a Hurricane Takes Your Home

by Nathalie Baptiste @ Slate Articles

This story was originally published by Mother Jones and has been republished here with permission from Climate Desk.

Five years ago, Superstorm Sandy—a monstrous post-tropical cyclone with hurricane-force winds—struck New York, bringing record-breaking wind gusts and deadly flooding. In New York City, 53 people diednearly half of them were from Staten Island. The Ocean Breeze, Midland Beach, and Dongan Hills communities were especially hard hit, with 11 fatalities.  A few months after the storm, WNYC reporter Matthew Schuerman described the square mile that makes up parts of these communities as “the most dangerous place to be in New York City” during Sandy.

Joe Herrnkind, a middle-aged man who moved to Ocean Breeze in 2000, remembers those days, as he walks through the deserted streets of his once tightknit beach community. Most of the homes have been torn down, and a few are boarded up waiting to be demolished. The homes that do remain are surrounded by empty plots of land where wild turkeys wander. Unlike many other New York victims of Sandy, who have rebuilt their communities, those from these neighborhoods knew that rebuilding was not the best option. Some sold their land to developers, and a few others, like Herrnkind and his neighbors, sold their land to the governor’s office so it can be returned to its natural state.

“We’re a low-lying community,” he says. “We had constant flooding and wildfires. You hear all this and you’re saying, ‘Why would you want to live there?’ ”

Recent hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria have all raised the same question: What is to be done with the dozens of towns and cities in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico that have developed infrastructure on vulnerable flood-prone land that routinely requires massive cleanup and rebuilding efforts after each disastrous storm? Altogether, the recent storms could cost up to nearly $400 billion in damages. But some communities and local leaders are starting to realize that this model won’t break the cycle. In Ocean Breeze, instead of rebuilding on vulnerable flood plains, some residents have chosen to leave old neighborhoods behind and let nature take its course.

In 2012, when Sandy approached New York, then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg ordered evacuations of nearly 375,000 people in low-lying communities ahead of the storm. Herrnkind gathered his two dogs and left to stay with a friend in New Jersey. Most of his neighbors followed the evacuation orders, but eight or nine families stayed behind. Two of his neighbors died.

Sandy’s peak winds were recorded at 115 miles per hour, and Staten Island saw wind gusts of up to 80 miles per hour. Father Cappodano Boulevard, the main road separating Ocean Breeze from the Atlantic, rose several feet above the side streets. Sandy’s unprecedented 16-foot surge overtopped the roads and poured into homes. A few days later, when Herrnkind was able to return, he had no idea whether his home was going to be standing. The city estimated that more than 300,000 homes were damaged by the storm’s flood.

“An officer told me ‘You can’t go down there,’ ” Herrnkind recalls. When he finally arrived, the water was still nearly waist deep. “It’s still there,” he remembers thinking when he first saw his house. “I have something to work with.” The watermark on a lamppost today shows that the storm surge reached far above his head, which explains why his furniture and all his personal belongings were gone.

Local leaders struggled to respond to the crisis. New York City created Build It Back, a program for rebuilding destroyed and damaged homes. There are more than 8,000 participants and by 2017, the mayor’s office estimates 87 percent of those who enrolled have received compensation, completed construction, or had their homes acquired by the city. But the program has come under criticism. Many homeowners dropped out due to delays. City Comptroller Scott Stringer and City Councilman Mark Treyger, who represents parts of Brooklyn, have been fierce critics of the program. In a letter to Build It Back director Amy Peterson, the two wrote that the number of dropouts “raises serious questions about our City’s ability to mount an efficient and effective recovery operation in the event of a future disaster.” Herrnkind jokingly refers to it as “Build It Wrong.”

After six months of living in his car, which he had parked in front of his abandoned house, and being disappointed by the city’s program, Herrnkind realized “the land itself should never have been built on.” Much of the region was a salt marsh, particularly vulnerable to storm surge and floods. “It was a very low, natural, spongy salt marsh, and it was filled to create homes,” Robert Brauman, a project manager for the New York City Department of Environmental Protection told Curbed New York in 2016, “and that was where the problems started.”

Another option for some homeowners was a program from the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery, which has been buying houses that were destroyed or substantially damaged and transforming them to open space and wetlands. The goal is to create a natural coastal buffer that can protect communities from future storms. In late 2013, more than a year after the storm, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that Ocean Breeze would join Oakwood Beach as a town eligible for state buyouts, and Herrnkind’s entire block was included. Reluctant to “put someone else in harm’s way,” Herrnkind concluded that he and his neighbors should take advantage of the state buyout program. He was able to sell his home to the state at pre-storm value and move elsewhere on the island.

So far, more than 600 homes have been purchased through the buyout program. Once the sale goes through, the state government demolishes the home and lets nature reclaim the land. Today, Ocean Breeze is mostly empty, but complicating matters are the residents who refuse to leave. In Oakwood Beach, where most of the land is going back to nature, remaining residents struggle with lack of trash pickup and crumbling roads. One of Herrnkind’s former neighbors who stayed behind is an elderly woman who feared her children would put her in a nursing home if she left. Some opted out of the program because they didn’t have the proper paperwork required to sell their homes. Others didn’t want to give up their homes in a community they loved.

But staying behind comes with a cost. According to the New York Times, flood insurance premiums could rise up to 25 percent for homes that were damaged by Sandy.

On Herrnkind’s section of the street, only one home remains out of eight. “Around here, 90 percent of each block went,” he says, “and only one or two people stayed.” Just down the street from where Herrnkind used to live, more turkeys mill about on empty lots where homes used to be.

Herrnkind’s former neighbor Frank Moszczynski, a tall man with a large presence, took the state buyout and moved to another neighborhood on Staten Island. He doesn’t have much sympathy for someone who willingly stays in a vulnerable area. “Why should … emergency workers have to go out and risk their lives for someone who chose to stay in harm’s way?” he asks pointedly. Today, the only thing protecting Ocean Breeze from another storm is a 4-foot hill of sand.

Across the street from the vacant lot he used to call home, Herrnkind stands on the beach looking at the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and Brooklyn’s Coney Island, a view he used to be able to see from his bedroom window. “If it weren’t for Sandy,” he says, “I’d still be here.”

Mattress Recycling

by tracy @ The Mattress Lot

Mattress Lot is committed to keeping old mattresses out of landfills. We offer mattress recycling to our customers who need Read More

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Mattress Reviews: Where and How to Find the Best Beds Online

by What's The Best Bed @ What's The Best Bed

There are quite a few opinions out there on what makes a bed good or bad, but knowing how to find and sift through mattress reviews can be a helpful skill to have on your next search. In one of our previous guides comparing the best memory foam beds, we factored consumer reviews into our decision fairly heavily, […]

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How to Shop for a Natural Latex Mattress

by Dennis Hornick @ Organic Mattress Store

You may have heard about the environmental benefits of shopping for natural latex mattresses. Since there are no coils or other manmade material, you’re creating less waste. You may not know that there are several health benefits as well. Latex conforms to your body and supports it well, cushioning your... Keep Reading

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Organic Latex Shikibuton

by rjarvis @ Organic Kids Mattress – Healthy Child

4 inches thick, easily folded and stored!

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by denverorganic @ The Natural Sleep Store

Financing is Available!   Get your new organic mattress and bedding now, and pay later! No payments and 6 months no interest for qualified buyers.  Apply today!

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Pesticides in the bedroom

by admin @ Sleeping Organic

Imagine this: You spend months picking out the perfect mattress. You pay a sum that should have been a deposit on a Ford Mustang. And you take your new investment home for your first night of pure bliss. You wake up the following morning to itchy running eyes, a congested head, a minor wheeze, and […]

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Chorus Certified Organic Mattress

by Jehoiachin123 @ Organic Kids Mattress – Healthy Child


Free Standard Shipping and Lowest Price Guarantee!

Free Gift Card with Purchase over $250! See Details

Individually wrapped microcoils prevent body impressions and provide comfortable, supportive pressure point relief.

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Let’s Celebrate! We’ve Created the First Certified Non-Toxic Sofa in the US

by Admin @ New Living

We’ve got big news that we are so excited to share! Our very own Tilly Sofa is officially the first certified non-toxic sofa in the USA! At New Living, we care about health and not only feature organic and natural mattresses from lots of health conscious brands, we also create pieces with our partners HTX […]

The post Let’s Celebrate! We’ve Created the First Certified Non-Toxic Sofa in the US appeared first on New Living.

2016 Guide to Finding The Best Black Friday Mattress Deals

by What's The Best Bed @ What's The Best Bed

Best Black Friday Mattress Deals for 2016 Shopping for sweeter dreams this holiday season? What’s The Best Bed is researching and comparing this year’s sales to identify the best Black Friday mattress deals of 2016. This is one of the best times of the year to shop for a mattress and with this guide you will […]

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Could the 17-Foot Python Swallow the Avocado as Big as Your Head?

Could the 17-Foot Python Swallow the Avocado as Big as Your Head?

by Matthew Dessem @ Slate Articles

It’s hard to keep track of all of the signs that we’re living in the Biblical End Times lately, but there are two recent, seemingly unrelated developments worthy of special notice. First, as the Miami Herald reports, snake hunter Jason Leon captured a 17-foot Burmese python in the Florida Everglades early Monday morning. The python is an invasive species which has been preying on small mammals in the area, and the South Florida Water Management District has been offering a bounty for these snakes; Leon’s snake is the largest caught in the hunt so far. It’s a really big snake:

Meanwhile, West Hawaii Today reports that Kealakekua resident Pamela Wang has discovered an avocado the size of a human head. The avocado, a mammoth example of the Daily 11 variety, weighed in at 5.23 pounds; if its weight is verified by Guinness, it will smash the previous world record for heaviest avocado, a now-puny-seeming 4 pounds, 13.2 ounces. According to Wang, half of one half of the avocado was sufficient to feed ten people. It’s a really big avocado:

Beyond the omens-and-portents quality of giant snakes and giant avocados appearing in the same week—and really, what doesn’t seem like a sign of impending doom these days?—the simultaneous appearance of a giant serpent and a giant avocado raises one very important, very scientific question: Could the 17-foot Burmese python swallow the gigantic avocado?

My initial inquiries into this crucial matter were, unfortunately, inconclusive. Google Scholar revealed a shocking lack of peer-reviewed research into the matter:

It’s not for me to speculate as to whether this gap in scientific knowledge stems from a deliberate cover-up on the part of Big Avocado or Big Python. Rather, my mission was a simpler one: to bring the correct answer to Slate’s readers before a plague of avocado-eating pythons devastated the country, particularly avocado-loving millennials.

As modern science offered very little hard research on the subject of 17-foot Burmese pythons eating avocados the size of a human head, I decided to consult sources from a time when science was a less timid about asking the tough questions: the thirteenth century. Deep within the British Library’s collection of illuminated manuscripts, I discovered a long-forgotten text (Harley MS 3244, written sometime between 1236 and 1250) with an illustrated bestiary that, I hoped, would some light on the matter. Almost immediately, I found exactly what I was looking for:

As Medieval scholars well knew, but we have apparently forgotten, serpents, including the Burmese python, have long, dog-like ears and enjoy flying through the air over open flames, calling out merrily to their fellow snakes, presumably in Latin. Although this did not have a direct bearing on the question of Burmese pythons swallowing avocados the size of human heads, it is difficult to explain the tell-tale bulge in the serpent’s belly as anything other than an avocado (or, perhaps, several avocados). Conveniently, this also explains why human-head-sized avocados were such a rare ingredient in medieval cooking: the flying, talking, dog-eared Burmese pythons ate them all!

With this scientific and historical breakthrough in mind, I consulted H. Bradley Shaffer, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California, Los Angeles, and director of the La Kretz Center for California Conservation Science. Jealous of credit, I did not share the fruits of my research into medieval knowledge of avocado-eating pythons, but I did ask directly whether or not a 17-foot python could eat an avocado the size of a human head. The professor responded immediately and definitively:

Based on what I saw in the video and my knowledge of large snakes, I’d estimate that a 17 foot Burmese has a head about 8 inches long. That means it can essentially ingest something roughly 16 inches in diameter, more or less. The avocado looks to me to be about 6–8 inches in diameter. Its shape makes it much easier for a snake to eat—if it were the same volume, but a sphere, it would be a lot harder.
My opinion:
- No problem for that snake to eat that avocado
- However, snakes are purely carnivores. It would never, ever eat an avocado. Or a watermelon or a head of lettuce.

You’ll notice that Professor Shaffer’s response does not rule out the possibility that the flying, talking snakes of the thirteenth century enjoyed eating giant avocados, so expect my findings on that matter to be published in a leading scientific journal soon. However, the 17-foot Burmese python recently discovered in Florida, according to Professor Shaffer, could eat the human-head-sized avocado recently discovered in Hawaii, but would choose not to as a matter of personal preference. Lending credence to Professor Shaffer’s theory is one additional piece of evidence: the 17-foot Burmese python was shot in the head upon capture, and is reportedly dead. Although research in the matter is not definitive, scientists have long argued that dead snakes don’t eat much of anything at all, not even delicious, enormous avocados.

Which raises another question, even more important: could the avocado the size of a human head eat the 17-foot Burmese python? Probably not, at least not that particular avocado: it’s already been picked and eaten. However, especially in the case of dead 17-foot Burmese pythons, it seems plausible that an avocado tree could, in a sense, eat the python, by absorbing nutrients from its corpse as it decomposed and was reabsorbed in the soil. According to the California Avocado Commission, the plant’s roots are only six inches under the surface, making them ideal for sucking up every last bit of nutrition from dead, 17-foot Burmese pythons, and it seems plausible that a well-irrigated, python-rich soil would help produce more avocados the size of human heads. Advantage: avocado!

The results, then, are clear and irrefutable: avocado growers should immediately wrap dead, 17-foot Burmese pythons around the trunks of each of their avocado trees near the base, water normally, and wait patiently for a crop of human-head sized avocados. Burmese python problem: solved. Tiny avocado problem: solved. Flying, talking, fire-loving serpent problem: not an actual problem. As the odor of rotting snakes wafts over the human-head-sized avocado orchards of tomorrow, we should all remember who to thank: science.

Spring Savings: 2017 Memorial Day Mattress Sale Trends

by The Best Mattress @ The Best Mattress

Spring is in full swing and it’s time again for May’s Memorial Day mattress sale events — great news if you’re in need of a better bed this year. Although known for kicking off summer and outdoor fun, this holiday weekend is one of the best times of the year to buy furniture and beds. If you […]

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5 Ways to Get Rid of Lower Back Pain

by Jacky Gale @ Mattress World Northwest

Lower back pain is one of the most common reasons for visits to the doctor’s office. It’s also a top cause of lost work time and disability. The best way to deal with lower back pain is to see your doctor, especially if the pain is severe, lasts longer than a few days, or is […]

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“Eco-Friendly Product Purchasing Guide!”

by Marla @

Since the Industrial Revolution in the 1800s, consumerism has become engrained into American culture. We’re constantly buying things we don’t need, throwing away things we don’t need and repurchasing things we don’t need. As Americans become aware of how consumerism impacts the environment negatively, more people are looking to make conscious and well-thought-out purchases, choosing eco-friendly brands, companies and products. When you’re making your next purchase, take a second to consult this eco-friendly product purchasing guide. Indoor Air Quality Certification Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are chemicals typically used to maintain: Building materials Cleaning products Interior finishing products  Personal care products.   As many of these products are used in a workplace or classroom setting, they possess high concentrations of VOCs that can pose hazardous risks to children, adults and the environment. When you see a product that is VOC certified, that product contains extremely low levels of VOCs making them nonhazardous to humans, Smarter Surfaces explains. VOCs also contribute to the production of ozone, which at the ground level is considered harmful, and excessive ozone levels can interfere with plant growth, crop yields, flora and fauna degradation, and contribute to global warming, Ultralast says. Avoiding products with VOCs or at least looking for VOC-certified products will reduce the amount of VOCs entering the atmosphere, and will result in a healthier environment for all inhabitants of this planet. Energy Star Certification Nothing is better than an eco-friendly product that saves the environment and saves you money. Energy Star-certified products — appliances, electronics, office equipment, lighting, water heaters and building materials — do just that. The Energy Star symbol is backed with guarantees for energy efficiency, credibility and unbiased information for consumers and businesses. The federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ensures every single product will protect the environment by cutting energy and water use while saving you money in the long run. Homes that have Energy Star products are usually 15-30 percent more efficient than new homes that don’t go green. Energy Star has also helped states and respective local governments reach and exceed their climate goals by preventing an additional 2.8 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, that would have been otherwise released, between 1992 and 2015. Fair Trade Certified When you see the Fair Trade certificate on a product, you can rest assured you’re supporting: A sustainable and ethical model of trade that puts people and the planet first. Aside from empowering and promoting the well-being of individuals and communities, Fair Trade ensures that the long-term impacts of environmental practices on livelihoods, communities and the planet is a positive one. These impacts include over 700 social, economic and environmental protections to protect farmers, workers, fishermen and the environment. Eco-Friendly Brands & Companies Support companies that run on sustainable energy. Have eco-friendly packaging or have committed to environmentally friendly practices. Opt to buy from brands that provide their consumers with eco-friendly product buying guides and provide a clear explanation of ingredients and materials sourced. Green options can be found for almost any product in every industry — not knowing about an eco-friendly option doesn’t mean that they’re not out there. Mattresses, for example, are not immediately thought of as an eco-friendly product. However, by avoiding mattresses with VOCs and other harmful chemicals, and carefully reading the list of materials and where they were sourced from, you will be better equipped to make an eco-friendly purchase.

Does Lack of Sleep Really Cause Bags Under the Eyes?

by Jacky Gale @ Mattress World Northwest

“Gosh, you look tired today.” This is a line you’ll likely hear quite often if your uncomfortable, lumpy mattress is keeping you awake at night. Even if you manage to get sufficiently caffeinated to stifle your yawning, your family and friends can intuitively pick up on the physical changes in your appearance that indicate a […]

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“Live Greener With These Eco-Friendly Foodie Tips!”

by Marla @

I’m sure that most of you already know the basics of leading an environmentally friendly life. You know the kinds of things; things such as trying to use only renewable energy sources or recycling all of your old packaging. But did you also know that it’s important to be more eco-conscious about the food that you eat? The food industry has a huge impact on the environment and climate change, largely down to all the industrial farming that takes place. If we all try to live greener through our food, we could do our bit in improving the world’s environment and climate. Here are some great eco-friendly tips for all you foodies out there. Think About Where Your Food Comes From The only way you can completely know that your food is 100% eco-friendly and organic is to grow and produce it yourself. Unfortunately, growing and making enough food for you and your whole family will be extremely time consuming. Instead, you need to put your faith in farmers, producers, and manufacturers. So, you need to do your research to make sure your food is coming from suppliers that use ethical and green production methods. You could contact suppliers directly to find out about their production methods. It’s also a good idea to look at trade publications for some insider info. Boil Efficiently One of the things that can really waste a lot of energy in cooking is boiling food and ingredients. Leaving a pan of cold water to boil on the stove will take a considerable amount of time and energy. Thankfully, though, there are ways to reduce all of this. First of all, you should use a pan that is just the right size. Using one that is too big will take up too much water, which will increase boiling time. You should also pre-boil the water in a kettle. Kettles use a lot less energy than your stove does, and this will drastically cut down boiling time on the stove. Try using a pressure cooker or even better try using an Instant Pot which saves you loads of time and energy. Go Meat-Free Did you know that livestock and the meat industry has a really negative impact on the environment and climate change? This industry produces a huge amount of emissions each year because of the various methods of farming. Because of this, quite a few people are now trying to reduce their weekly meat intake in their diets. If you are interested in cutting down your own meat intake, you might want to start taking part in meat-free Mondays. This is a new intiatives that encourages people to have one day without any meat. It is also extremely important to make sure you buy organically raised grass fed meat and not factory farmed.  Buy your meat from a local farmer if possible to ensure you know what it is fed and how they are raised. Make sure the meat you eat is the not loaded with hormones and fed GMO grains.  Be Careful With Eating Out Once you are careful about the food you cook in your own kitchen, it’s important that you don’t trip out whenever you eat out. After all, not every eatery will be as bothered about eco-friendly food as you will. Generally speaking, most vegetarian and vegan restaurants will be safe to eat in, but it’s always important to fully research everywhere you plan to visit. Hopefully, this has whetted your appetite for some eco-friendly organic food! Do you have a eco-friendly foodie tips that can help us live greener and help keep our environment safe? Leave your ideas and suggestions in the comment section and please share this article!

Finding The Perfect Bed For Your Needs

by urbanmattressadmin @ Urban Mattress

Sleep is vital, both allowing your body to rest and recover and giving you energy. Getting good sleep is hugely important to your overall health, and good sleep starts with good beds. When you buy a new bed, thinking about all the choices and options you have can easily become overwhelming. But once you look for in terms […]

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What is the Best Mattress for Side Sleepers?

by The Best Mattress @ The Best Mattress

There are a number of beds in the market that claim to be the best mattress for side sleepers. Many side sleepers may be unaware that the type of mattress that they choose will greatly influence whether or not they can get a good night’s sleep and wake up without any muscle pain. The reasons […]

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Free Delivery — Cyclists or Bus Riders

by tracy @ The Mattress Lot

Mattress Lot’s owners and team members are committed to alternative transit options which help reduce carbon emissions. We encourage our Read More

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Did Ryan Zinke Give Florida an Offshore Drilling Exemption Because of Mar-a-Lago?

Did Ryan Zinke Give Florida an Offshore Drilling Exemption Because of Mar-a-Lago?

by Neel V. Patel @ Slate Articles

The Trump administration announced plans last week to lift Obama-era prohibitions on offshore drilling, potentially opening up thousands of miles of coastline to companies interested in extracting oil and natural gas from the ocean floor. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, whose department oversees and regulates coastline leasing, called the five-year plan “a new path for energy dominance in America,” which is a strange way to refer to an investment in nonrenewable resources with a finite future.

Environmental groups, Democrats, and even some Republicans swiftly decried the move for its potential to devastate marine ecosystems and the health and safety of coastal communities. Governors from New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, California, Oregon, and Washington all oppose offshore drilling, and all requested exclusion from the plan last year.

Interestingly, Zinke decided to remove one state from the new standard—one that didn’t even originally ask for an exemption. But after the announcement, Florida Gov. Rick Scott, an ally of the Trump administration’s, released a statement saying, “I have asked to immediately meet with Secretary Zinke to discuss the concerns I have with this plan and the crucial need to remove Florida from consideration. My top priority is to ensure that Florida’s natural resources are protected.”

On Tuesday, Zinke granted him his wish, exempting Florida’s coastlines from offshore drilling. Zinke released a statement that called Scott “a straightforward leader that can be trusted,” and declared support for “the governor’s position that Florida is unique and its coasts are heavily reliant on tourism as an economic driver.”

The problem with this explanation, though, is that everything he says to justify Florida’s exemption applies to every other coastal state. Florida is certainly special in uniquely Floridian ways, but warm beaches that attract tourists and generate in-state revenue are everywhere. There’s the Jersey Shore; Rehoboth Beach in Delaware; Charleston, South Carolina; the Outer Banks in North Carolina; Virginia Beach; Los Angeles and San Diego, and on and on and on.

Now, state leaders are forcing Zinke into a corner with his own words.

Even New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, another Trump ally, made it clear he wanted an exemption for his state as well.

What could be going on here? Perhaps this is a case of not-in-my-backyard exceptionalism. After all, Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort, where he’s absconded to 10 times since inauguration, sits on the beach in Palm Beach, Florida. Would he want to deal with an unsightly view and accompanying cacophony of an offshore drill platform? Probably not! Not to mention the fact that offshore drilling produces a pretty disgusting slew of pollutants, including muds, brine wastes, and runoff water that threaten to decimate the pristine beauty you’d expect at a beachside home.

If Zinke can’t find a real reason Florida should be exempt and other states should not, the entire plan might be dead in the water anyway. Good riddance.

Compare Black Friday and Cyber Monday Mattress Sales: Macy’s, Sears, Mattress Firm & More

by Sleep Junkie @ Sleep Junkie

Are you prepared for the insanity of the 2017 Black Friday mattress sales? Though they can get a little crazy, these sales are a great time to get the most for your money. Mattresses tend to be one of the larger purchases made in households, so getting a good deal can go a long way. […]

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2018 Tempurpedic Mattress Reviews

by The Best Mattress @ The Best Mattress

If you are looking for information on Tempurpedic mattress reviews, take a few minutes to browse our 2018 report and analysis. You’ve no doubt heard of the nearly ubiquitous mattress company. In this guide, we’ll take a look at their current lines and how the products are faring across several categories. Tempur-pedic, for the most […]

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Surprising Causes of Hip Pain

by Jacky Gale @ Mattress World Northwest

Achy, creaky hips are strongly associated with age, but age certainly isn’t the only contributing factor. In fact, young patients may be susceptible to many conditions and diseases that can cause hip pain. Everything from early onset arthritis to gynecological problems may cause hip pain. Since it’s impossible to tell, without medical guidance, whether lingering […]

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How to Choose the Right Natural Wool Pillow Top

by Dennis Hornick @ Organic Mattress Store

Choosing the right pillow top mattress can take some time, because there are lots of different options to choose from. It’s best if you can try them out yourself to find out what it feels like to you, since mattress preferences are very personal. Additionally, you should consider these 5... Keep Reading

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A Natural Latex Mattress: The Only Choice if You Have Allergies

by Brooke Stern @ Habitat Furnishings

Do you need a new bed?  Have environmental allergies?  Then an all natural latex mattress is probably the best choice for you.  Read on to learn why. An all natural latex mattress is extremely comfortable.  It’s also antimicrobial, dust mite free, and resists mold and mildew.  This is what makes it ideal for those with […]

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Where to Look to Find the Finest Quality Organic Mattresses in Pennsylvania

by Dennis Hornick @ Organic Mattress Store

Many factors will affect the quality of your sleep, and one of these is the quality of your mattress. To experience a comfortable and refreshing slumber, you may need to start looking for a high-quality organic mattress in Pennsylvania. Look up a reputable retailer that specializes in carrying a wide... Keep Reading

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Shark With Head of a Snake and 300 Teeth Found Swimming Off Coast of Portugal

Shark With Head of a Snake and 300 Teeth Found Swimming Off Coast of Portugal

by Eleanor Cummins @ Slate Articles

The world may seem like it’s in shambles, but ocean scientists are having quite a run. Over the last year, the ocean has periodically belched up prehistoric deep sea creatures for photographing, studying, and nightmaring over. The latest find? The brutishly ugly and scientifically storied frilled shark.

On Thursday, scientists trawling Portuguese waters caught one of these snake-bodied beasts. The photos are, naturally, making their way around the internet. Revered as one of the last living fossils, the spade-faced swimmer, which can grow over 6 feet long, has been floating through the fossil record for the last 80 million years.

In addition to its unusual shape, the frilled shark has a number of other noteworthy features. For one, it has more than 300 teeth, in 25 orderly rows. This impressive dental array is useful when it comes to devouring its prey, which includes octopus and smaller sharks. Similarly, like a snake, the frilled shark can open its “beak” wide enough to swallow prey whole. However, its hunting patterns—and much else about the shark’s life—remain mostly a mystery. The shark usually lives deeper in the bottomless depths of the ocean, making human–frilled shark interactions rare.

And the frilled shark isn’t even the rarest sea sighting this year. In June, scientists encountered a faceless fish that hadn’t been seen since 1873. Like a tight-lipped—and gelatinous—demogorgon, the little guy reemerged in Sydney’s harbors after an absence that’d been stretching out over a century. Other researchers also found the world's largest bony fish, which weighs in at a whopping two tons, and a new species of seafloor-loving sponges.

In the immediate aftermath of these discoveres, people tend to feel a lot of reverence for the mysteries of the ocean, as they should. But the real excitement is slowly revealed in the resulting days and months of lab research. Scientists learned, for example, that the “faceless fish” really does have a face (sort of), it's just buried underneath its skin. What they’ll learn about the frilled shark, though, is anyone’s guess.

Exchanging Zzz’s for A’s

by Best Mattress Brand @ Best Mattress Brand

If there is one thing all college students know, it’s that sleep is a hot commodity that many want but few get. Keeping your eyes open in the hopes of learning something is a struggle many college students face. To earn better grades, students have been known to pull all-nighters and down coffee like water. […]

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DIY Cream Blush And Lip Tint Recipes

DIY Cream Blush And Lip Tint Recipes

by Heather @ Mommypotamus

If you love the fresh, dewy glow of cream blush but not the slew of parabens and phthalates that are used to achieve it, I think you’ll love these simple DIY cream blush and lip tint recipes. They create a dewy finish that makes skin glow, and are made with 100% non-toxic, natural and/or organic ingredients. Also, […]

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Climate Litigation Needs to Become a Mass Movement

Climate Litigation Needs to Become a Mass Movement

by Ketan Jha @ Slate Articles

Things are not going well for the Earth. It goes well beyond the Trump administration’s decision to eventually leave the Paris Agreement and Scott Pruitt’s purge of the Environmental Protection Agency’s scientific experts. Even non-American efforts to curb climate change aren’t going so well: Newly released data from the World Meteorological Organization reveal a record increase in average global concentrations of CO2 between 2015 and 2016. The United Nations Environment Programme recently issued its annual synthesis report on the emissions gap, which is the difference between country-specific plans and reductions suggested by scientific consensus. One of the salient findings is that domestic carbon-reduction policies for the 168 countries that have ratified the Paris Agreement amount to just one-third of what is necessary to limit global temperature rise to the Paris boundary of “well below 2 degrees Celsius.”

At the same time, and perhaps in response, litigating to protect the climate is on the rise. If climate litigation is construed broadly, the past 20 years have seen 654 cases tried in the United States and at least 230 in other jurisdictions.

Is readying our collective casebooks and heading for the courthouse actually the best solution? Litigation, after all, is typically an inefficient method of achieving policy reform. The flagship public-interest law efforts during the civil rights movement provide instructive lessons here, particularly when academics and activists are increasingly extending historical parallels between environmental protection and racial justice to climate change. Even where many of the necessary conditions for successful legal reform strategies are present—as with some of the landmark cases tried by NAACP lawyers—there is a strong argument that lawsuits constrained by narrow legal doctrines and limited remedies will rarely be able to produce the kinds of sweeping economic changes required to combat the approaching climate catastrophe.

And yet, even though the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (the parent treaty to the Paris Agreement) was drafted 25 years ago, we still do not have coherent global or local plans to limit destructive warming. The Paris Agreement was certainly the right direction after international law’s failure to achieve binding targets, but bottom-up targets only work when national commitments are extremely ambitious. So, in sum, it seems that litigating to reform energy policy is both utterly inefficient and entirely necessary.

These climate cases are not new, but the types of claims at stake are changing. The first wave of momentous actions in the United States chiefly involved efforts by state governments to compel either the executive or private entities to take action, either by forcing agencies to regulate emissions or forcing companies to steadily abate them. Other legal actions by local interest groups and environmental nongovernmental organizations sought to make agencies take climate change into account in relation to species-specific issues, such as the effect of global warming on food security for grizzly bears. More recent American suits tend to tackle specific deregulation plans or administrative omissions and delays. Success rates for local issues vary, and they are a vital part of an effective mass litigation strategy. However, since an ambitious suit calling power companies to account was unanimously shot down in the Supreme Court in 2011, high-impact litigation efforts slowed considerably while temperature-rise projections accelerated. The early American cases failed to unify scientific narratives, the stories and voices of people affected by climate change, and opportune legal moments.

Climate litigation in other countries, however, tells a different story. Here, it is a story about seizing the law as a means of collective action instead of leaving an elite cadre of lawyers to represent the concerns of a few activists and scientists. That narrative begins with the Urgenda case. A Dutch NGO, headed by one of the professors who first suggested the 2 degrees Celsius target, enlisted almost 900 claimants and alleged that government action was insufficient. Urgenda argued, among other things, that even if the Dutch government was bound by EU emissions targets, commitment did not immunize them from legal liability resulting from human health risks posed by climate change. In 2015, the court ordered the government to cut its emissions by 25 percent by 2020. The argument advanced by Urgenda is particularly relevant in light of the new emissions-gap data—governments cannot rest on the laurels of existing targets to deflect the need for comprehensive action.

Even still, the global impact of Urgenda is as much about the form and optics of litigation as the substantive arguments. Urgenda paved the way for multiclaimant lawsuits that highlight the importance of climate action by giving platforms to those who stand to suffer disproportionate harms. Put differently, this nascent wave of climate litigation is about forcing governments to see climate change as a collective human-rights issue and to take action that reflects the dire picture painted by scientists about climate risks to human health.

A similar claim filed by 450 Swiss women, all at least 65 years of age, is currently pending. Like Urgenda, the claimants argue that existing legal targets are insufficient to safeguard their rights under both the European Convention on Human Rights and Swiss constitutional law.

In Belgium, a lawsuit that closely mirrors Urgenda advertises that citizens can become claimants through their website in just two minutes. That case now has nearly 32,000 co-claimants. The NGO responsible for the claim, Klimaatzaak, has enlisted a range of celebrity ambassadors to bolster its legal campaign through social media.

A group of Portuguese schoolchildren, all from a region plagued by destructive forest fires, is suing 47 countries in the European Court of Human Rights to compel similar emissions reductions in the first instance of multistate climate litigation. In just over a month, they have raised about $35,000 from more than 700 donors through CrowdJustice, a platform that connects ordinary people to public-interest lawsuits.

In the United Kingdom, where I’m based and also the ancestral home of the American common law, our case at Plan B.Earth implores the British government to amend their carbon targets to reflect the need for a net-zero emissions policy. The claimants, aged 9–79, include a rabbi concerned about the imminent humanitarian crisis, university students scared for their future, and a supporter with Mauritian heritage who represents the risk of small island states being submerged. In parallel to Urgenda, the U.K.’s current targets fall short of what climate science tells us is necessary to stop dangerous warming.

These European suits bolster the case for unifying social movements mobilized around climate change with legal ones: We can fight political reluctance with grassroots legal actions around the globe. Environmental lawyers in the United States are not oblivious to this opportunity: Juliana v. United States broke new legal ground by enlisting youth plaintiffs, attempting to repurpose a Roman legal doctrine of contested historical provenance, and alleging a constitutional right to a stable climate. In the first rejection of the government’s argument to throw out that case, Judge Thomas Coffin referred to Urgenda as proof that courts can redress climate change.

Old uncertainties about the climate system are fading. Litigation in Australia has helped force the financial sector to consider climate risks that the oil industry has known about for decades. Litigation in Pakistan has helped remedy profound governmental inaction even where legislation had already been passed. These cases make clear that for all the cozy rhetoric, Champagne, and cheering, legislative and executive branches are not doing enough. We need more legal actions engaging citizens in every country to pressure governments to secure a habitable planet for future generations. A number of these lawsuits could be a hollow hope, but they might be all we have left.

Mattress Lot Makes Colleges Dreams a Reality for 2017 Graduates

by tracy @ The Mattress Lot

Mattress Lot has awarded it’s 2017 “Dream Big” college scholarships to seven East-Side Portland graduating seniors. This year Mattress Lot Read More

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Hunting Coyotes in Cities Only Makes Coyote Populations Grow

Hunting Coyotes in Cities Only Makes Coyote Populations Grow

by Neel V. Patel @ Slate Articles

Cities have a coyote problem. As the New York Times reported on Tuesday, hunters are increasingly trying to manage the urban coyote populations that have merged with human communities as the latter has spread throughout the continent.

There are plenty of concerns about how wise it is to carry hunting rifles into densely populated cities to shoot canines. But beyond the risks to innocent bystanders and the debate over whether growing urban coyote populations even pose a serious threat to humans, there’s one critical fact that we must keep in mind when deciding if we should hunt urban coyotes: Doing so will likely just make the problem worse.

According to the Times:

Some carnivore ecologists argue, though, that moving the hunt into cities will be self-defeating. They say it replicates the very tactics that have allowed coyotes to prosper despite a concerted onslaught against them. In an adaptation that biologists call fission-fusion, when coyotes come under pressure from hunters, their packs split up into lone animals and pairs, they start producing much larger litters, and they migrate into new areas.

Coyotes are notorious for rapidly adapting to changing circumstances. Rather than retreating into natural environments as cities and suburbs grew, many coyote populations have simply adapted to city life, establishing populations in Tucson or San Francisco or New York City or Washington. As nocturnal animals, they’ve learned to hunt for rats, mice, squirrels, and other urban prey at night. They generally avoid contact with humans.

This adaptability is why ecologists doubt that hunting these creatures will make much of a difference to their urban presence. As the theory of fission-fusion suggests, coyotes have no problem abandoning their normal packs to split up into smaller groups or start hunting as individuals. And when populations are pressured, litter sizes double or triple from the norm of about five or six pups. Families use their nighttime howling and yips to basically take a census of the regional population. When howls go unanswered, the biological response in these animals is to generate a litter that could be as large as 16 pups. Trying to hunt down a family of coyotes might reduce numbers for a season, but it essentially creates a scattering effect that yields more families in more places, with higher brood numbers the following year.

We can see the results of this adaptation in real time. Eradication efforts currently kill up to half a million coyotes a year, but coyote populations have continued to rise to all-time highs. The animals continue to be the biggest killer of livestock in western North America. Plus, urban coyotes seem to be experiencing higher life expectancies than their rural counterparts.

Coyotes are far from endangered. They don’t need our protection, so hunting them is arguably an ethical choice. But given what we know about fission-fusion, hunters who claim they are doing a community service by hunting urban coyotes are fooling themselves and the cities they claim to help. Even if coyotes pose an aggressive danger to people (a debatable premise), hunting them will simply exacerbate the problem. This time around, hunters can’t use conservation management as a legitimate reason for their sport. Perhaps we should try to learn to live with them instead.

5 Things You Can Do To Be A Conscious and Ethical Consumer This Holiday Season

by Amber Merton @ PlushBeds Green Sleep Blog

You have the power to make a meaningful impact on humanity’s greatest challenges, particularly during the holiday season. There are things you can do that will make your purchases better for the planet and humanity, as you shop. Shop Local and Small Businesses There are many benefits to gain when you choose to shop from local and/or small businesses. Local shops and small businesses tend to carry Read More

Trump’s New NASA Chief Controls One of the Most Important Parts of Climate Science

Trump’s New NASA Chief Controls One of the Most Important Parts of Climate Science

by Neel V. Patel @ Slate Articles

President Donald Trump has made no effort to hide his vehement disbelief that climate change is real: He’s chosen to pull the country out of the 2016 Paris Agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and he’s found egregious ways to dismantle much of former President Barack Obama’s moves to combat it, too. And now, NASA, it seems, will not escape Trump’s disdain of sound environmental policy. Trump’s nominee for the agency’s new administrator is Rep. Jim Bridenstine, R-Okla., a man who’s been vying for the job since the election, and who is also no friend to climate science.

In 2013, for instance, Bridenstine said matter-of-factly on the congressional floor that global temperatures “stopped rising 10 years ago”—a pretty bold statement for someone with no real scientific background. His explanation? “Global temperature changes, when they exist, correlate with sun output and ocean cycles.” Needless to say, that’s not quite how it works.

On Wednesday, the Senate’s science committee held a hearing to finally question Bridenstine on his qualifications, and the Democratic members of the committee raced to grill him on his scientific literacy. For his part, the congressman told the committee his views of climate change have evolved.

“I believe carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. I believe that humans have contributed to carbon dioxide in the atmosphere,” he said. Bridenstine said that he “absolutely” believes climate change is real and that it was creating tangible problems in the form of increased rain and storm formation. “All that is very real and happening.”

It is, of course, good that he could get behind a true statement like that, but it’s extremely disheartening that his reputation necessitated such a statement to be made in the first place. Even more disheartening was that he copped out on the question of whether human activity was the leading cause of climate change—something the vast majority of scientists say is true. “We’re just scratching the surface,” he said, defecting to the classic denialist line that more studies were needed.

Obviously Bridenstine should join us in the year 2017 and accept that humans are causing climatic havoc, but hey, if he actually does think we need to learn more, NASA’s the perfect place to start.

Although NASA’s a powerhouse name thanks to its space travel exploits, it also plays a critically underrated role in the world of Earth science research. One of the reasons why climate scientists are so good at their jobs is because they’re able to utilize the data observed and collected by a variety of NASA’s orbital satellites, taking real-time measurements of the Earth’s temperatures, atmospheric chemistry, fluctuations and changes in ocean currents and air movements, and glacier melts. The world’s scientists are given unimpeded access to that data, so they can translate those raw numbers into trends and conclusions that help us understand the world that we inhabit. That’s one of the reasons we know the Earth is getting warmer, the sea levels are rising faster, and humans are to blame. NASA’s tools and minds are essential to tracking this phenomenon.

A lot of this is in the form of imagery. Those state-of-the-art cameras on those satellites are some of the best tools used in showing people much of the Arctic has been lost in the past few decades; the extent to which coastlines are now becoming inundated by flood waters and rising tides; the loss of fertile, green land to extended drought; and more. Moreover, this isn’t work other government agencies could easily pick up. Besides how crucial it is to have NASA engineers at the helm in designing, building, and operating these forms of equipment, there’s an institutional knowledge and expertise that would be lost by trying to shuffle these investigations into other places.

Trump clearly doesn’t care about this work. The administration’s proposed 2018 budget—hypothetical, yes, but meaningful when it comes to discerning intent—would put the kibosh on five different Earth science missions, including a pernicious move to needlessly end an Earth-imaging mission that’s already ongoing. It’s proposed as a cost-saving measure, but in government terms, the savings are not huge—$191 million in 2018 and $850 million over four years amounts to a fraction of NASA’s overall annual budget of about $19 billion.

Bridenstine said Wednesday he wants to continue NASA’s Earth science work, but it’s entirely unclear how aggressive he’ll work to this end. Those five missions Trump wants to nix were meant to replace a fleet of old climate satellites that are on their last legs, and currently there’s no real plan to replace them. Moreover, while Bridenstine has said he intends to lead NASA apolitically and will not seek to punish or reassign Earth science researchers for their views, it’s incredibly doubtful NASA’s personnel will have much confidence in Bridenstine’s ability to protect NASA from Trump’s brash whims.

Instead, Bridenstine’s nomination feels a lot like another recurring theme of the new administration: disarm the clout of federal agencies from the inside by appointing heads who will toe an adversarial line. He seems to be a softer cut of that strategy but part of the plan nonetheless.

Why we carry Naturepedic Organic Crib Mattresses.

by AustinNatural @ Austin Natural Mattress

When Does “No Flame Retardants” NOT Actually Mean “No Flame Retardants”? Many commonly used flame retardant chemicals are being connected to health and developmental issues. Want a mattress without flame retardant chemicals? Get one that’s certified organic from your mattress store. Otherwise, flame retardants will probably be in that mattress, even if greenwashing marketing suggests otherwise, and you’re going to need to guess what they are. It’s not easy to find out what flame retardants are in your mattress. Let me explain with a little compare and contrast. We say “Naturepedic mattresses meet all government flammability standards...

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Natural Latex Mattresses: How to Get Great Sleep and Help the Planet

by Brooke Stern @ Habitat Furnishings

Thinking about an all natural latex mattress?  Maybe you’ve heard how comfortable they are or how they are great for those with allergies or asthma.  Natural latex mattresses are chemical-free, but there’s one other thing an all natural latex mattress does… It is 100% recyclable and won’t fill our planet and landfills with garbage and […]

The post Natural Latex Mattresses: How to Get Great Sleep and Help the Planet appeared first on Habitat Furnishings.

Baby Mattresses & SIDS

by admin @ Sleeping Organic

For the first six months, newborn babies sleep 14-18 hours a day in their crib. SIDS, a terrifying acronym for mothers and fathers alike, is the sudden, unexpected and unexplainable death of a child under the age of 1. Ninety percent of SIDS deaths happen to babies who are under the age of six months. […]

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Our walking tour through mattress showrooms

by BedTimes @ BedTimes

BY BARBARA T. NELLES Beth English and I spent four days touring Winter Las Vegas Market last week. Scroll down to see a gallery of product images that we took, from creative angles. In the closeups, you’ll get an idea of some of the detailing that went into the latest crop of mattresses from a […]

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How To Make Non-Toxic Granite Cleaner

How To Make Non-Toxic Granite Cleaner

by Heather @ Mommypotamus

I love the bright, crisp scent of this Lemon & Lavender All-Purpose Cleaner, but vinegar is too acidic for granite and can cause etching over time. Store-bought options often contain problematic ingredients – frequently earning a rating of C or even F from the Environmental Working Group – and can cost anywhere from $7-$27 dollars. […]

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10 Green Ways to Get Through Winter’s Days

by @ Green Home Library

Winter is here in full swing and sometimes it can take its toll both physically and financially. It can also become so uncomfortable for some that remaining green is difficult while just trying to forge through inclement weather, stay warm, or cope with the lack of sunlight. Obviously the Northeast and Midwest do get the brunt of it, however, even if you are in a warm weather belt winter changes are relative to what you are used to. Below are 10 green ways to get through winter’s days which may hopefully remind you to stay the course as well as possibly give you some new info.

Layer Up

Before you run to the heat dial, crank it up and deal with the high utility bill later, put on some layers. So many people get used to the convenience of traipsing around in light, comfortable clothing they forget that a few layers will save money, save energy and keep you healthy as blood circulation stays warm and flowing.

Do Not Retire the Bike

Most folks store away their bicycle until better weather emerges. Why? Save gas all year round and winterize your ride with fatter tires, slip-free pedals and tight, warm, riding duds.

Be Nice When You De-Ice

Don’t pollute the environment with toxic chemical de-icing salts. Use calcium magnesium acetate or calcium chloride instead.

Have Non-Electric Fun

Sitting home and using more energy than you need can have you lethargic and gaining weight in no time. Get out and sled, ski, snowshoe, anything physical.


Winter is the best time to change all your incandescent light bulbs and replace them with bright, vapor-free LED bulbs. Bright white or cool blue can help the dark doldrums that come with winter.

Feel the Seal

Any simple sealing of drafty spots will go a long way in keeping expensive energy in.

Keep it Cold

Some estimate that upwards of 90% of washing machine energy is used to heat the water for a hot wash. Plus, in the winter months it takes more energy due to frigid water temperature.

Essential Aroma

Being indoors during the winter means smelling more odors. Don’t succumb to land filler, chemically treated, electricity depleting room deodorizers– get some essential oils. Sprinkle such scents as lavender, jasmine, lemon, peppermint and more on old porous wood (driftwood works great) or even dab on cotton and place in a tea strainer. Your room air will naturally blossom.

Get Board

After your outdoor activities, get out the board games and stay off the electronics even longer.

Empty the Fridge

If a bunch of glass and plastic containers are eating up your refrigerator space, use the cool outdoors to do the work.

Why make the winter an energy guzzling world of boring hibernation. Keep the television to a minimum and connect through everyday green practices as well as coming up with some of your own. There is always an opportunity to embrace our planet.

It’s Not the Heat. It’s the Humidity.

It’s Not the Heat. It’s the Humidity.

by Neel V. Patel @ Slate Articles

“It’s not the heat that kills you. It’s the humidity.” As climate change progresses, this is likely to become gruesomely true, according to a new study published Friday in Environmental Research Letters. Climate change–induced increases in humidity could actually exacerbate the effects of heat to the point of making certain places in the world uninhabitable later this century. By 2080, the researchers predict, we’ll see measurements of heat and humidity that go far beyond safe thresholds in which individuals can still function normally. For individuals too poor to afford cooling systems, who have no housing, or anyone with poor health already, the humidity could be lethal.

Humans shed heat by sweating and letting the evaporating moisture carry excess heat away. But when humidity is too high, your sweat doesn’t evaporate as fast, because there’s already tons of moisture in the air. The cooling process is stymied, and your body can’t lower its temperature. Every part of you starts to feel tired, and if you can’t get inside to climate-controlled conditions, heat exhaustion or a heat stroke could take effect.

There are only a handful of studies that have investigated humidity and climate change. This new study investigates the scenarios in which global temperatures rise between 1.8 and 2.2 degrees Celsius. It makes use of a calculation that suggests that when humidity is at 100 percent, temperatures around 85 degrees Fahrenheit actually feel as hot as 107.5 degrees Fahrenheit on the heat index. At 100 percent humidity, 89 or 90 degrees Fahrenheit can feel like 132 degrees Fahrenheit on the heat index, and previous experiments show that this is the limit for what most humans can withstand before they start to fall apart from the one-two heat-humidity combo—and really, many people would fall apart way before that. Currently, those kinds of temperatures hit the southeastern U.S. about one or two days a year and occur about three to five days in places in South America, Africa, India, and China. They’re conditions that very few people in the world have ever experienced.

The study’s model predicts that in many places in the world, under worse estimates for global warming rates, those temperatures could stretch for up to 100 to 250 days a year by 2080. The most devastating effects would happen in northern India, eastern China, the coastal Middle East, and in parts of the Amazon rainforest. Furthermore, hundreds of millions could experience a staggering 95 degrees Fahrenheit at 100 percent humidity—which is literally off the charts on the heat index. In “dry” heat terms, this would feel like 170 degrees Fahrenheit.

The most recent instance of any real weather conditions coming close to this was on July 31, 2015, when Bandar-e Mahshahr in Iran, a city of 100,000 on the coast of the Persian Gulf, found itself hit with a heat index temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Residents kept cool inside, thanks to good infrastructure and cheap electricity. But that could be far from possible for many communities. And even if the heat itself doesn’t kill, the effects could wreak havoc on water reserves, cooling infrastructure, agriculture, and basic technologies. The inability to travel through such ravaging heat could make it extremely difficult for people to get supplies.

To cope, Radley Horton, a climate scientist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and a co-author of the study, says communities may need to rely more on automation for labor, shift many activities to overnight hours, and revamp clothing. “Access to fail-safe air conditioning could become a matter of life or death in a growing number of places,” he says, “although we could see growing reliance on ‘cooling pools’ as a source of short-term protection.”

Do You Sleep on an "Organic" Mattress?

Do You Sleep on an "Organic" Mattress?

Dr. Axe

We spend close to one-third of our lives sleeping, yet for most of us it's on a mattress that turns out to be pretty toxic, let alone often uncomfortable. I wrote up this article all about the common ingredients in most mattresses — caution, it might freak you out — plus how exactly to pick the healthiest bed to your sleep and health go hand-in-hand like they should.

Mattress Sales: The Best Reviews on Sale Priced Mattresses and Memory Foam Mattress Sales

by Sleep Junkie @ Sleep Junkie

Are you looking for the best online mattress sales, including those on memory foam? Depending on the time of year, there are some incredible deals offered by various manufacturers that should help you narrow down your choices. If you plan on taking advantage of mattress deal prices, it’s also important to consider the overall value […]

The post Mattress Sales: The Best Reviews on Sale Priced Mattresses and Memory Foam Mattress Sales appeared first on Sleep Junkie.

Are Fire Retardants Harmful Toxins?

by admin @ Sleeping Organic

(CBS) For decades, Americans have depended on special chemicals to protect them from fire. But now, there are serious questions about the safety of those chemicals. Two states have already banned them, and six more are considering it. CBS News correspondent Wyatt Andrews has this exclusive report. Be sure to tune in to tonight?s CBS […]

The post Are Fire Retardants Harmful Toxins? appeared first on Sleeping Organic.

“Simple Ways To Create A Meditation Space In Your Garden!”

by Marla @

If you’re spending too much time indoors, you’re missing out on all the physical and mental health benefits that being in nature can give you. According to research, being outdoors not only helps to lower stress levels, but it can also reduce inflammation, eliminate fatigue, and fight depression and anxiety. If you need a break from the demands of work without spending too much money, you can make a haven of peace in your home by creating a meditation space in your garden. Meditation has lost its hippie connotation and is practiced by many individuals all over the world as it has been proven to improve quality of life in different ways. Not only can the practice put your mind at ease, but it can also increase happiness and may even slow the aging process. To enjoy the sunshine and fresh air in your outdoor space, try these simple tips to create a meditation space in your garden. Separate your meditation space from other areas of the garden   For your meditation space, you may want to pick a shady spot that’s a few meters away from foot or street traffic. Observe the sound levels and see if you might need to create some buffers to block sound and keep you away from the hustle and bustle of daily garden activity. To separate your meditation space from other areas of the garden and to give you a semblance of privacy while you’re in there, consider using potted plants or large palms. You can also use a natural privacy screen for a subtle and stylish way to get some privacy while you’re meditating. Install a water fountain To give your serenity space a Zen feel, try installing a bubbling outdoor water fountain in your garden. The sound of running water can be incredibly soothing to a frazzled mind and it can help you relax after a long day at work. An Asian-inspired or spherical water fountain can give your garden a spa-like feel. If you want a more traditional fountain, choose a wall or a tiered water fountain. Think about varying your surfaces Varying the surfaces in your meditation space can make it more relaxing and inviting. Avoid anything too hard or cold, such as concrete, as it won’t contribute to the soothing environment that you’re trying to create. Pick natural bricks, sand, fine gravel, or soft green grass to add interest and texture to your meditation space surface. Add a soft meditation cushion for added comfort and to help you sit in proper alignment while you’re meditating. Follow these tips to build a meditation space in your garden. Creating a peaceful space in your home can be the key to your health, wellness, and happiness.

What are Bamboo Pillows Really Made of?

by admin @ Sleeping Organic

Bamboo pillows, bamboo sheets… Bamboo has recently taken over the bedding market, but why? In particular, bamboo pillow products seem to be the new rage   They’re advertised as a natural luxury-class pillow yielding a miracle sleep, but are these pillows truly a cool, healthy, sustainable, comfortable alternative to conventional pillows? To answer this question, we […]

The post What are Bamboo Pillows Really Made of? appeared first on Sleeping Organic.

Here’s the Expertise Scott Pruitt Is Removing From the EPA’s Advisory Boards

Here’s the Expertise Scott Pruitt Is Removing From the EPA’s Advisory Boards

by Lila Thulin @ Slate Articles

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has made yet another frightening decision that seems likely to further untether the agency he leads from sound environmental science. The former attorney general of Oklahoma announced Tuesday that scientists receiving EPA grants for their research would no longer be eligible to serve on committees that provide his agency with expert scientific input, including the Scientific Advisory Board, the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee, and the Board of Scientific Counselors. In a memo that echoed a recent speech at the Heritage Foundation, Pruitt outlined the unprecedented rules as a way to guard against conflict of interest (no comparable rules prohibit committee members from having ties to industry) and “promote fresh perspectives” (likely Pruitt’s own personal euphemism for incorporating climate change denialism). The EPA head also reprised the controversial decision he’d made this June to not renew contracts for the Board of Scientific Counselors: Incumbent committee members who have only served one three-year term will not be asked to return to the agency, even though it has recently been routine for them to serve two terms, according to the New Republic.

This roster slashing allows Pruitt, who has extensive ties to the energy industry, to fill 21 of the 42 seats on the Scientific Advisory Board. According to a list procured by E&E News—but unconfirmed by the EPA—Pruitt loaded the panel with male scientists from the Midwest and South, several with ties to industry or local government (he also recently decreased its annual number of meetings through a new charter), and announced that Michael Honeycutt, who has expressed doubt over the health dangers posed by ozone, would chair the committee.

The move to limit scientists who receive grants is particularly worrisome. As Ana Diez Roux, the just-replaced chairwoman of the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee, said in an email to Science magazine, “The top scientists, the ones most qualified to provide objective and transparent scientific advice to EPA, are of course the scientists who will likely be most successful at obtaining highly competitive federal grants. … It would be a disservice to the American public to exclude those most qualified from serving on these panels.”

By comparing the leaked list of Pruitt’s nominations to current rosters that included term limit data, Slate compiled a list of the scientists whose expertise the EPA will no longer benefit from because these changes cut their time on its advisory boards short:

The Scientific Advisory Board provides reports on scientific topics (like fracking or toxic chemicals) that pertain to EPA regulations. Here are the members whose terms will not be renewed:

Deborah Hall Bennett (first term slated to end in 2019) of the University of California, Davis, an expert on pollutants and environmental epidemiology

Kiros Berhane (first term slated to end in 2018) of the University of Southern California, an EPA-funded expert on using statistics to analyze the health impacts of climate change, air pollution, and occupational exposure

Sylvie Brouder (first term ended in 2017) of Purdue University, an expert on crop nutrition, soil fertility, and agricultural systems

Ana Diez Roux (former CASAC chairwoman, first term on SAB ended in 2017) of Drexel University, an expert on race and neighborhood-related health disparities.

Robert Johnston (second term slated to end in 2018) of Clark University, an expert on the economics of flooding and sea level rise. When asked about the new rules, Johnston said to Politico Pro, “I think it’s really unfortunate that that role is now being politicized in a way that it never has before under any administration.”

Catherine Karr (second term slated to end in 2018) of the University of Washington, an expert on children’s environmental health.

Francine Laden (second term slated to end in 2018) of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, an EPA-funded expert on environmental risk factors for cancer and respiratory disease. Laden told Politico Pro she has “serious concerns about the motivations and implications of this decision.”

Denise Mauzerall (first term ended 2017) of Princeton University, an expert on air pollution policy

Kari Nadeau (first term slated to end in 2018) of the Stanford University School of Medicine, an expert on allergy and asthma immunology

Jeanne VanBriesen (second term slated to end in 2018) of Carnegie Mellon University, an expert on environmental systems and the impacts of energy extraction

Elke Weber (first term ended 2017) of Princeton University, an expert on decision-making and risk analysis in financial and environmental choices

Charles Werth (first term ended 2017) of the University of Texas at Austin, an expert in clean energy, water treatment, and pollution

Robyn Wilson (first term slated to end in 2018) of Ohio State University, an EPA-funded expert in land management decision-making and risk analysis. Wilson tweeted:

On the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee, a smaller panel that offers insight on air pollution standards and health effects, these members will be leaving their positions earlier than anticipated:

Donna Kenski (first term slated to end in 2019) of the Lake Michigan Air Directors Consortium (an EPA-funded nonprofit), an expert on air quality monitoring. Kenski told the New York Times, “The really galling part of this is that it’s all in an effort to avoid conflict of interest, but they pretend that the industry people who are being offered up positions on the panel are somehow unbiased because they’re not getting money from EPA.”

Ronald Wyzga (second term slated to end in 2018) of the Electric Power Research Institute, an expert on the health effects of air pollution

If there’s any silver lining to be had, it’s this: Pruitt didn’t seem to rely on his panel of experts much anyway. In September, outgoing board chairman Peter Thorne wrote to the administrator that “the SAB stands ready to serve and encourages you to take full advantage of the vital resource we can provide,” but then, the Washington Post notes, “Pruitt never met with the group.”

Unfortunately, given Pruitt’s history, it seems quite likely that he’ll make better use of the board once he’s stocked it with industry insiders.

Mattress Recycling Press Conference in Los Angeles

by Admin @ Bye Bye Mattress | A Program of the Mattress Recycling Council

Los Angeles, CA – As of December 30th, California became the second state in the nation with a statewide recycling program for used mattresses and box springs. The program, known as Bye Bye Mattress, allows California residents to drop-off used mattresses at participating collection sites and recycling facilities for free. Today, government officials, municipal and […]

The post Mattress Recycling Press Conference in Los Angeles appeared first on Bye Bye Mattress | A Program of the Mattress Recycling Council.

Buy Natural Organic Mattresses | Natural Latex Mattress & Soy Mattress

Buy Natural Organic Mattresses | Natural Latex Mattress & Soy Mattress

Austin Natural Mattress

Why not buy a natural latex mattress, soy mattress or just an all natural mattress? Typical mattresses have chemicals in them that off-gas harmful vapors.

Should You Ditch Your Chemical Mattress?

Should You Ditch Your Chemical Mattress?

Mother Jones

Good night, sleep tight—don't let the volatile organic compounds bite.

5 Myths About Latex Mattresses

by Sarah Klein @ Mattress World Northwest

Latex mattresses get a bad rap. Consumers who are uneducated about natural latex mattresses may have misconceptions about latex in particular, given its associations (latex hospital gloves, latex condoms, etc.), and latex mattresses in general. Even the word “latex” sounds synthetic – closer to the word “plastic” than “natural,” which may be the source of […]

The post 5 Myths About Latex Mattresses appeared first on Mattress World Northwest.

How to Listen to and Support Victims of Sexual Trauma

How to Listen to and Support Victims of Sexual Trauma

by Jonathan Foiles @ Slate Articles

Before Sigmund Freud founded psychoanalysis, he was a neurologist whose growing interest in psychiatry led him to study hysteria. “Hysteria” was a catch-all term for a number of symptoms, both physical and mental, believed to only affect women; the term itself derives from the Greek word for uterus. Women who were diagnosed with hysteria tended to faint, have trouble breathing, developed physical maladies with no organic cause, lost all interest in food or sex, were nervous, and were generally considered to be troublemakers. Hysteria had been an object of fascination since ancient Greece, and of the variety of treatments proposed to treat it, most failed to help.

Hypnosis was the treatment of choice in Freud’s day, but he soon deviated from that trend to develop his own method. Freud was one of the first practitioners to actually listen to patients with hysteria, and as he developed his “talking cure,” he was struck by the pervasiveness of childhood sexual trauma in his patients’ histories. In The Aetiology of Hysteria (1896), he proposed that “at the bottom of every case of hysteria there are one or more occurrences of premature sexual experience.” This was an explosive assertion, and Freud soon began to backpedal. If his patients were to be believed, rape, molestation, and incest were not uncommon occurrences but instead happened at a depressing frequency. Freud found this to be unbelievable, so he slowly began to shift these reports of premature sexual experience to the realm of fantasy, giving birth to the Oedipus and Electra complexes and so forth.

The history of the psychological treatment of trauma is strewn with such false starts and missteps. When soldiers in World War I began to exhibit unfamiliar psychological symptoms, doctors initially believed they resulted from the concussive impact of exploding shells, hence “shell shock.” When this theory was disproven, those afflicted were seen as “moral invalids” not capable of handling the rigors of warfare. When the same phenomenon was observed in World War II, the military developed procedures to rapidly stabilize impacted soldiers and returned them to the front as quickly as possible. According to one report, 80 percent of American soldiers experiencing acute stress were returned to the front lines within a week, 30 percent of those to active combat units. It wasn’t until Vietnam that things began to change, and that was only because the Vietnam War went on for so long that veterans were able to return and talk about the horrors they had witnessed while the conflict was still ongoing, causing a public reckoning. At the same time, feminists were bringing to light the pervasiveness of sexual violence and reframing rape as a crime of power rather than of misdirected passion. It was these parallel efforts that actually spurred the creation of the diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder, which was added to the third edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in 1980.

These stories help illustrate the depth of a problem most people understand through their own lived experience: Trauma is uncomfortable to confront. Indeed, for most of human history we’ve done all we could to avoid it. Unfortunately, even after these misfires, mental health professionals like myself still haven’t quite corrected the problem. My graduate program in social work, for example, offered one class on the treatment of trauma, capped to only a handful of students. The DSM-V diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder remains flawed: The symptoms of PTSD better match an individual who experienced one traumatic incident rather than someone who has endured multiple traumatic events, and the number of criteria required to merit the diagnosis far exceeds that of most other mental disorders.

From time to time, events arise that force us to reconsider this legacy. The revelations of Harvey Weinstein’s years of unchecked predatory behavior is one of those times. Indeed, it has opened the floodgates to reveal a myriad of other such stories. It’s common to observe a snowball effect in the disclosure of trauma. The multiple disclosures made by Weinstein’s victims coupled with the fact that their accusations brought about some form of justice enabled others to come forward, and as the #MeToo phenomenon has demonstrated, this is not limited to celebrities.

It is in the face of such suffering that we are often most tempted to look away. Of course, this sort of intentional ignorance is precisely what enables predators to continue their abuse. As Judith Herman notes in Trauma and Recovery, “It is very tempting to take the side of the perpetrator. All the perpetrator asks is that the bystander do nothing.” Most of us can agree that we do not want to do this. We know that the prevalence rate of false reports of sexual assault is low. It’s actually extremely low, at about 2 percent. It’s far more common for sexual violence to simply go undisclosed; only about a third of all rapes are reported, and of those, only 2 percent result in a conviction.

So what should we do? It is easy to feel overwhelmed by the number of stories. Given the unfortunate prevalence of sexual trauma, most of us know several survivors. I suggest that we start by simply choosing to believe all survivors. As someone who works with trauma survivors daily, I cannot count the number of patients who were retraumatized when someone near them disbelieved their disclosure. Those who have not yet shared their private pain may very well be looking for an ally, and they will be watching how we speak about survivors of sexual assault to determine whether or not it is safe to open up.

If someone chooses to open up, just listen. If they get overwhelmed, take a break. It is human to want to try to make it better, whether that’s by trying to problem-solve the situation or relativize their pain (“well, at least he didn’t …”). Avoid these urges at all costs. It is enough to be present and to offer the occasional “I’m so sorry that happened to you.” Thank them for sharing their story with you. Suggest that they find a therapist, and if they are nervous or unsure, offer to accompany them to their first appointment.

Freud abandoned his initial findings regarding trauma because they were simply too much for him to bear. In later years, trauma survivors would be made to bear the blame of what happened to them, if their claims were believed at all. Society has made some progress since those times, but the temptation to look away remains. The Harvey Weinsteins and Louis C.K.s of the world depend upon us doing just that. We can do better—indeed, we know we must do better. The easiest place to start is by listening.

Why the Raw Water Movement Is So Obnoxious

Why the Raw Water Movement Is So Obnoxious

by Christine Manganaro @ Slate Articles

The belief that “natural” is better has animated many food and health trends in recent memory, with natural as a shorthand denoting purity, a lack of processing, or rejection of modern medicine: raw foodism, enthusiasm for raw dairy, the paleo diet, and organic evangelism. Next up: “raw water.”

The raw water trend takes naturalness to its extreme: Proponents boast that it comes from “off the grid,” celebrating its freedom from government taint. Cody Friesen, CEO of Zero Mass Water, which is marketed not as raw water but as “pure water,” disparages municipal water. His $4,500 Source system draws water from the air we all breathe. (Raw water comes from pristine springs.)* As reported to the New York Times, “The goal, Mr. Friesen said, is to make water ‘that’s ultra high quality and secure, totally disconnected from all infrastructure.’ ”

There are so many things that are obnoxious about the raw water trend that it seems entirely possible that it is in fact the most obnoxious Silicon Valley disruption project yet. It’s instructive to go beyond the gut-level reaction against raw water to consider exactly why it’s so frustrating.

There’s the greed. Silicon Valley entrepreneurs have found a way to market drinking water up to $36.99 for a 2½-gallon bottle and refills for $14.99—that’s about 30 times the cost of regular bottled water, which itself costs between 300 and 2,000 times the cost of municipal drinking water. Essentially, they’ve turned one of the requirements for sustaining life into a lucrative commodity and luxury good. Live Water founder Mukhande Singh (né Christopher Sanborn) sells his product through delivery service and in natural food stores like the Rainbow co-op in San Francisco, where Live Water is frequently sold out.* Other vendors, like Liquid Eden in San Diego, capitalize on the “water consciousness movement” to the tune of 900 gallons a day in sales.

Then there’s the stupidity. Raw water enthusiasts trespass on private land, at night, to harvest from secret springs. These people are not only risking legal consequences, they’re risking contracting a bacterial infection or parasite, as physicians and public health experts have warned. This water fetching trades on fantasies about an environment that doesn’t exist and nostalgia for water purity that never existed. Spring water is not necessarily free of elements that harm health. All water sources are part of the environment and are not isolated from “industrial age contamination,” as described by the Live Water guys. The idea that Americans drank abundant pristine water before the industrial age, in the first half of the 19th century and earlier, is not supported by the historical record. There is a reason that everyone including children drank so much hard cider and beer during the 1700s and 1800s: because waterborne illness was prevalent, and alcoholic beverages were safer than many sources of “raw water.” This was especially true in proximity to towns whose water sources and sewage systems were not well differentiated.

And then there’s the bad science. Like erroneous claims that drinking fresh juice cleanses the body of toxins, claims about the healthfulness of untreated water are based on belief rather than evidence. Raw water purveyors either lack the scientific literacy to interpret the available research or intentionally misrepresent science to support health claims about their product. The Live Water website cites an inconclusive study to support its claim that “raw spring water has vast healing abilities.” The linked journal article claims that there is a correlation (which is not causation, as the saying goes) between the skin-regenerating effects of topical application of water from Italy’s Comano spring and the presence of nonpathogenic bacteria in the water. No untreated water was consumed by anyone in the course of this study.

But what’s most obnoxious about this phenomenon is its misanthropy. Most infuriating of all is perhaps how the raw water movement underscores the increasing realization that tech-bro Silicon Valley fetishists have abandoned the rest of society.

It is not hard to see how twisted it is for a group of privileged people with access to safe municipal drinking water to spurn it in favor of something more dangerous when people in largely black and poor Flint, Michigan, are being poisoned with lead and people in largely black rural Alabama are contracting hookworm from untreated water. By claiming that tap water is “toilet water with birth control drugs,” that fluoride is a “mind control drug,” and that treated water lacks probiotics supposedly present in untreated water, purveyors of “raw water” incite mistrust in municipal water safety—in places where the water has been proven safe to drink, no less—and perpetuate cynicism about regulations that protect public health. (Conversely, when people making fun of raw water frame all untreated water as giardia juice, they betray their ignorance about the number of Americans living in rural areas who get their water from perfectly adequate wells.)

The raw water trend is consistent with other asocial behaviors by venture capitalists using their wealth to eschew civic responsibility and insulate themselves from social problems. If raw water evangelists actually think treated water is poisoned by fluoride and prescription drugs, that water safety is threatened by industrial pollution, and that a lack of good bacteria found in our water is really a significant cause of malnourishment, then they ought to be moved to activism on what should be understood as a matter of civil and human rights. Instead, they’ve created expensive untreated bottled water, a market solution and form of conspicuous consumption. The raw water movement doesn’t only reveal how gullible and unscientific this community is—it also secures its place as our modern-day moneyed overlords who care little about the serfs down below.

*Correction, Jan. 8, 2018: This story originally misstated that Doug Evans is the CEO of Live Water. He is just a customer. (Return.)

*Update, Jan. 8, 2018: This paragraph has been updated to clarify that Zero Mass Water, which collects its water from water vapor using a $4,500 system, does not consider itself part of the raw water movement. (Return.)

Bye Bye Mattress Is Springing Up In Your Area This Earth Day

by Admin @ Bye Bye Mattress | A Program of the Mattress Recycling Council

We are springing into action with various appearances at Earth Day events in our operating states. Come say hello to Bye Bye Mattress in: CALIFORNIA In Northern California we’ll be participating in several family-friendly events aimed at educating these communities about recycling, sustainability and preserving the planet. Meet our team and learn how and where […]

The post Bye Bye Mattress Is Springing Up In Your Area This Earth Day appeared first on Bye Bye Mattress | A Program of the Mattress Recycling Council.

Sleeping Through Pregnancy

by urbanmattressadmin @ Urban Mattress

Pregnancy is an exciting time in anyone’s life. From getting a nursery ready to shopping for all those itty-bitty baby clothes, nothing could be more thrilling. Unfortunately, growing and preparing for a baby is exhausting work, and many times the symptoms of pregnancy can leave expecting women unable to get the sleep they need to […]

The post Sleeping Through Pregnancy appeared first on Urban Mattress.

The Advantages of Organic Innerspring Cross-Section Mattresses

by Dennis Hornick @ Organic Mattress Store

There is an organic revolution happening across the United States. One such area you may not have considered is investing in an organic mattress! To pique your curiosity, here are some key advantages of organic mattresses over the alternative. Avoid Toxicity from Your Mattresses There is a growing sensitivity from... Keep Reading

The post The Advantages of Organic Innerspring Cross-Section Mattresses appeared first on Organic Mattress Store.

More Concern About Bed Bug

by admin @ Sleeping Organic

A USA Today article released recently brought more awareness to an already prevalent growing problem:Bed Bugs. Bed bugs are mostly found in hotel rooms and have been found to travel make it from a hotel room via luggage into your bedroom. The typical concerns with bed bugs are having to have them exterminated and then […]

The post More Concern About Bed Bug appeared first on Sleeping Organic.

Latex Resilience-How well does latex hold up?

by admin @ Sleeping Organic

We often get the question How well does latex hold up over time?? and Will the latex eventually leave an indentation over time?? Below I have posted the results of our 100% Natural Latex resilience test showing just how well it holds up over time. I will attempt to break down these numbers so you […]

The post Latex Resilience-How well does latex hold up? appeared first on Sleeping Organic.

The Coolest Mattress in Austin: Pure Latex Bliss

by AustinNatural @ Austin Natural Mattress

Everything You Need to Know from Latex Bliss on Vimeo. If you are searching for a mattress in Austin, you owe it to yourself to come in and take a look at Austin Natural Mattress. Yes, we pride ourselves on natural & organic mattresses, because they are non-toxic, and just smarter. You are not giving anything up by buying a cleaner product. But outside of that, it should be mentioned that our mattresses are also on the cutting edge of technology and quite simply the highest quality mattresses on...

The post The Coolest Mattress in Austin: Pure Latex Bliss appeared first on Austin Natural Mattress.

13 Eco-Conscious Athletic Wear Brands To Keep You Moving

13 Eco-Conscious Athletic Wear Brands To Keep You Moving

by Staff Guide @ The Good Trade

Here at The Good Trade, we're always on the lookout for ethical fashion companies that employ responsible labor standards and environmental practices. With fair-trade and ethical labor practices, natural and recycled fabrics, USA made and limited and conscious production, these brands are doing their part to provide consumers with high performance activewear while protecting both people and planet.

Best Natural Organic Mattress | Sleepopolis

Best Natural Organic Mattress | Sleepopolis


Natural mattresses are super popular! But why? In this guide we'll discuss the benefits, processes, & the best natural organic mattresses available today.

It’s Time to Let Go of Our Dreams of Going to Venus

It’s Time to Let Go of Our Dreams of Going to Venus

by Neel V. Patel @ Slate Articles

The most recent time NASA launched a mission to Venus was in 1989. The Magellan orbiter lasted four years, transmitting data back to Earth that had to be recorded onto physical tapes. These were archaic times.

The generation-long drought of missions solely intended to study Venus was extended further last Wednesday, when NASA selected two projects as finalists for a mid-2020s science mission. None of the three Venus projects were chosen. One did receive additional funding for more research and development, but it will have to wait till the next application cycle to contend again for mission selection.

The general public might be more or less ambivalent to such a decision, but within the scientific community, there’s plenty of lamenting that Venus continues to draw the short straw when it comes to NASA’s science program.

But NASA is right. It’s time to let go of Venus.

There have always been good reasons to conduct missions to Venus: Earth and Venus share comparable sizes, densities, and overall geographies, and many scientists believe Venus represents a sort of glimpse into an alternate reality of what Earth could have turned out to be. While our planet is a warm, loving environment that’s allowed life to evolve and thrive, Venus is an 850 degree Fahrenheit extraterrestrial hell, covered in a dense atmosphere of sulfuric acid and surface pressures that we only see on Earth at depths of about 1 kilometer underwater. When previous missions have gone to Venus, they’ve been searching for clues that could explain how some planets transform into habitable worlds, and others don’t. That information could be very useful for understanding what other worlds and directions we ought to focus our attention on.

But there are two major reasons it’s time to move on from Venus. The first is cost and accessibility. Jim Green, the director of NASA’s Planetary Science Division, told reporters last Wednesday that going to Venus is still an incredibly difficult venture. The planet’s hellacious environment is a destructive force. Spending millions or billions of dollars on a lander that can’t last more than a few hours is a hard sell against projects that can study other worlds for several years on end, like Mars or Saturn’s moon Titan. Scientists are making strides in computer chips and technologies that could handle Venus, but a working lander or rover is still very far in the future. We could stick to orbiters and be safe, but there’s only so much you can learn about a place from high above.

The second reason to ignore Venus harkens back to what NASA is more interested in these days: extraterrestrial life. NASA is pivoting its science program deeper into astrobiology to find worlds that could be habitable to life—be it by humans or aliens. Mars, for instance, is a place we will certainly set foot on one day, and there are high hopes we could find signs of past or present microorganisms on the planet. Ocean worlds, like Saturn’s moons Titan and Enceladus and Jupiter’s moon Europa, also possess subsurface liquid oceans that might be breeding grounds for lifeforms. And even though these worlds are freezing, habitat technologies that keep colonists warm and fuzzy are already conceivable. If we can eventually perfect terraforming technologies, we could warm these worlds up so they’re more amenable to future denizens.

Venus is not like that. It’s almost certainly lifeless in its current state. We can’t even get simple instruments on Venus to survive for more than a few hours before they melt and combust. It’s almost unthinkable humans will ever set foot on the surface. And terraforming as we currently think about it means warming a planet up (which we’re pretty experienced at!), not cooling it down. If Venus ever decides to chill out, it will be millions or billions of years from now, as a natural process.

It’s sad to say, but Venus is more of a sideshow when it comes to planetary science these days. It might be time to accept we won’t be visiting the yellow planet for quite a long time. Let’s give ourselves a moment to mourn, and move on.

What’s the Best Mattress for Plus-Size People?

by What's The Best Bed @ What's The Best Bed

Tips and comparisons to help you choose the best mattress. Every person has unique set of considerations when it comes to finding the best mattress, including sleep position, health concerns, firmness preferences, and personal size and shape. The best mattress for a plus-size person will account for these differences, while still providing comfort and durability. […]

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The 10 Best All-Natural and Organic Mattress Sources

The 10 Best All-Natural and Organic Mattress Sources

Apartment Therapy

Buying a new mattress is a big investment, and knowing where to go to find the best options for your health and for the planet—not to mention for a sound night's sleep— is key

What Chemicals are In Your Mattress?

by Admin @ New Living

We think of our home a sanctuary. It’s a comfortable place where we are safe. But unfortunately toxins can lurk all around us in hidden places. Bedding, mattresses, sofas, and household cleaners and paints may be a hidden place for these chemicals. Here is a list of the chemicals that can be found in common […]

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Organic Wool

by admin @ Sleeping Organic

Sleeping Organic practices sustainable and environmentally conscientious business practices. We use 100% organic wool for our wool mattress toppers and other wool products because it’s comfortable, it’s holistic, and it’s ethical. The organic wool process starts with taking care of the sheep and ends with taking care of you. Wool is an unequivocally comfortable textile […]

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Admin Only Products

by Corinna @ The Natural Sleep Store

The post Admin Only Products appeared first on The Natural Sleep Store.

4 Ways You Can Help in Your Community

by urbanmattressadmin @ Urban Mattress

No matter where you live, there are likely things you love about your community and other things you wish were a little different. While one person may not be able to change the entire community alone, your efforts combine with the efforts of others around you can make a difference. If you are looking for […]

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Bella Sera Organic Materials

by Corinna @ The Natural Sleep Store

Our mattress cover consists of a layer of carded organic wool quilted between two layers of organic cotton. Then we place natural dunlop latex between the organic cotton and wool quilted cover. Please email us with your name and address if you'd like a sample of our materials. Organic Cotton We use only 100% certified […]

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Tips for Buying a Royal-Pedic Inner-Spring Mattress

by Dennis Hornick @ Organic Mattress Store

Royal-Pedic is a 71-year-old luxury organic mattress company, renowned the world over for quality and comfort that lasts for generations. They have created a pair of firm inner-spring mattresses exclusive to The Organic Mattress Store. Both beds are hand-crafted in the United States, using only the finest organic materials—Certified Organic... Keep Reading

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Importance of Green Baby Bedding

by @ Green Home Library

You have been living in progressive times with technological, medical and industrial advances happening practically daily. Yet, with all this forward movement, when it comes to pollution, health, and safety, some free-enterprise ventures remain off course.

Serious health risks are now connected to the toxins from many plastic products which, studies are confirming, have continuously leached into our lives creating accumulative effects linked to disease. Now, plastic toxin exposure is showing to be a threat to our children which is why the importance of green baby bedding is an essential protective first step.

Off-Gassing Risks

When home improvement materials such as paints and plastics are manufactured, the risk of dangerous fumes subtly emitting from some of these products should be concerning. These off-gassed fumes are volatile organic compounds or VOC’s such as PBDEs (polybrominated diphenyl ethers), phthalates and phthalate alternatives. Breathing VOC’s could cause the body to embed toxic residue in muscles and other tissue. Due to an underdeveloped immune system and fragile state, new and existing data show that infants are the most vulnerable groups for contracting these off-gassed toxic emissions.

In a study by researchers at the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin, published in Environmental Science & Technology (12/16/14), the abstract states,

“In infant sleep micro-environments, an increase in the temperature of the mattress can cause a significant increase in emission of phthalates from the mattress cover and make the concentration in the infant's breathing zone about four times higher than that in the bulk room air, resulting in potentially high exposure.”

Phthalates and phthalate alternatives are linked to causing disorders of hormonal regulation which may include health conditions such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Early puberty
  • Infertility
  • ADHD
  • Cancer

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) interviewed Dr. Brandon E. Boor, an assistant professor of civil engineering at Purdue University who commented that,

“We need innovative research to come up with manufacturing practices and ingredients that put children’s health first and ensure that we don’t end up with a new toxic chemical.There is now a real movement on the state and federal level to reduce Americans' exposure to flame retardants in furniture, foam and other items, because research shows that these chemicals accumulate in the bodies of people, increase the risk of cancer and can harm hormones”


Mainstream consumerism is continuously bombarded with slick advertising and many manipulated words such as “natural” and “safe.” In reality, most people have no idea that many products they trustingly purchase are ticking time bombs of off-gassing exposure.

When it comes to merchandise for baby and kids, thinking twice about utilizing “off-the-grid” manufacturers, especially for crib mattresses and bedding, could be life saving.

Off-the-grid products come from unconventional companies that offer a variety of alternative options beyond the possible dangers associated with mainstream choices. These might include materials like:

  • Hemp
  • Bamboo
  • Organic cotton
  • All-natural green tea
  • Organic Merino wool

Many green crib mattresses are also made in the USA and meet the same fire safety standards as synthetic choices. Be sure and ask questions when purchasing a green crib mattress such as:

  • Is it organic?
  • Has flame retardant been added to this material?
  • Is this material a good deterrent for mites, bedbugs, etc.?
  • Are there any levels or citations that confirm the authenticity and safety of this mattress?


Baby furniture, bedding and blankets do not need to be a danger zone for your child. The importance of green baby bedding is imperative and can only start with you. It offers peace mind that your child is starting out on the right foot before they can even walk.

REI Shouldn’t Get Anti-Consumerist Credit for #OptOutside

REI Shouldn’t Get Anti-Consumerist Credit for #OptOutside

by Matthew Klingle @ Slate Articles

This story was originally published on the Conversation and was republished here with permission.

While shoppers scramble for Black Friday bargains this year, outdoor retailer REI is closing its 154 U.S. stores. This is the third consecutive year that the Seattle-based company will ignore the frenzy that traditionally marks the start of the holiday shopping season. REI’s nearly 12,000 employees will get a paid holiday and will not process any online orders.

Instead, REI exhorts workers and customers to get outside with family and friends. #OptOutside, a Twitter hashtag that REI coined to promote its anti–Black Friday, has been widely adopted by outdoor lovers, as well as environmental groups and businesses that partner with REI to promote this event.

The campaign has drawn international praise from the advertising industry and has become a yearly phenomenon. State parks from Oregon to Indiana, often in concert with local nonprofits, offer free admission and other perks on Black Friday. This year REI is launching an “experiential search engine” where users can share photos and video of their favorite outdoor destinations, augmented with information, such as directions to trailheads or events celebrating our nation’s public lands.

Many observers have praised REI for mixing business savvy with crunchy acumen. But how did REI and other outdoor companies align themselves with conservation? How do they square selling expensive apparel and promoting carbon-spewing tourism with their customers’ love for the outdoors? And how radical is “Green Friday,” especially if the Opt Outsiders are carrying backpacks stuffed with the latest gear made from precious petroleum, rare metals, and pricey fibers?

The answer is that shoppers have long expressed their affection for nature in what they buy. Consumption and environmental concerns, past and present, fit together as snugly as a foot in a beloved hiking boot.

The paradoxes of modern outdoor retailing have deep roots in the American conservation movement. Nineteenth-century trailblazers such as John Muir grew alarmed as they saw wildlife decimated, forests denuded, and scenery despoiled. Among the loudest protesters were affluent outdoorsmen, such as Theodore Roosevelt, founder of the Boone and Crockett Club, and William Temple Hornaday, first director of the New York Zoological Society.

By calling to protect nature, these conservationists also protected their own hunting and fishing entitlements. They attacked the rural poor, immigrants, and minorities, who Hornaday once called the “regular army of destruction” because they took fish and game for subsistence or sale. They used their money and power to license hunters and anglers, limit harvests and ban equipment. Some of these measures protected nature (and still do), but they also intentionally reserved nature for those who could consume it properly by the standards of wealthy conservationists.

Class differences pervaded other forms of outdoor recreation too. People with means vacationed at posh resort hotels. Middling Americans took more rustic routes. Outdoor groups such as the Appalachian Mountain Club, founded in Boston in 1876, and the Mountaineers, founded in Seattle in 1906, taught woodcraft to middle-class urbanites who yearned for authentic escapes.

Others chafed against even these austere types of play, seeing outdoor recreation as a costly privilege. They mobilized leisure as political protest. Seattle’s Co-Operative Campers, launched in 1916 as a cheaper alternative to the Mountaineers, pledged to “make our mountains accessible through co-operative camps” for the city’s blue-collar citizens. Socialist activist Anna Louise Strong was the Co-Op Campers’ first president. She and the Co-Op Campers often clashed with the Mountaineers over politics and camping techniques until the club disbanded during the 1920s Red Scare.

REI took root in this contested consumerist soil. Lloyd Anderson, an REI founder, conspired with other members of the Mountaineers to promote riskier activities, such as rock climbing. He quickly learned that they did not have the requisite gear. Influenced by other local co-ops, Anderson organized REI in 1938 to pool members’ annual fees so the group could purchase quality equipment from Europe at affordable prices.

As costs for lightweight materials such as aluminum and nylon fell after World War II, REI attracted a burgeoning following locally and nationally. And it continued to trade on its founders’ cooperative and environmental vision. In 1976, a year after opening its first retail store outside of Seattle, it launched an environmental grants initiative, and in 1989 the firm co-founded the Conservation Alliance, a group of outdoor businesses dedicated to environmental protection.

Yet REI’s #OptOutside campaign can seem superficial compared with more radical stances. Patagonia, founded in 1973 by Yvon Chouinard as a spinoff from his self-named climbing equipment company, has promoted recyclable clothing and applied tough sustainability standards to its global supply chains. In its 2013 “Don’t Buy This Jacket” campaign, Patagonia even encouraged customers to make do with less.

Critics have accused Patagonia of playing the snob card and promoting chic travel to imperiled and faraway places. Chouinard himself freely accepts these accusations. As he cynically admitted in a recent New Yorker profile, “everyone’s just greenwashing,” because “growth is the culprit.”

In this context, REI’s Black Friday campaign can look like an unabashed marketing ploy that ignores the fundamental source of our environmental problems: humans’ overuse of the Earth’s resources.

Maybe Chouinard is right: We are all being greenwashed.

But is this a bad thing to admit? Perhaps. To deny the inherent contradictions of Green Friday is to ignore how affection for nature collides with our longing to consume it. By asking customers to think about what they are buying, Patagonia tries to foreground the environmental and social ethics of buying a new fleece jacket. REI, by contrast, asks us to take a one-day shopping holiday to help the planet. At best it is a lighter-green vision.

REI and its competitors are businesses, and none of these efforts supersede retailers’ bottom lines. Greenwashing is just the latest term for an old phenomenon: tethering consumption to environmental values. And consumers have proclaimed their environmental values through purchasing power since the dawn of the conservation movement.

Ultimately, there is no such thing as truly green consumption. Consider Cyber Monday, just after Thanksgiving, when retailers seek to entice consumers to spend online with early holiday discounts. Is internet shopping better for the environment than driving to the mall? It may keep us off the road, but online shopping does not eliminate environmental costs—it just diverts them to the data warehouses that power retailers’ mail-order divisions and to the planes and trucks that deliver the goods to consumers.

Moreover, is hitting the trail really escaping “the Internet of Things” when hikers can share their every move and thought by mobile phone or other wireless devices?

This Thanksgiving, take time to remember the late biologist Barry Commoner’s famous aphorism: There’s no such thing as a free lunch.

Editor’s note: This is an updated version of an article originally published on Nov. 18, 2016.

We Wanted to Believe

We Wanted to Believe

by Neel V. Patel @ Slate Articles

If you wanted to believe, 2017 was the year to do it. Thanks to an explosion of new discoveries of potentially habitable planets outside our solar system, a better understanding of how life might evolve on other worlds, and not inconsequentially a shift in the culture, aliens are no longer regarded as just another realm of paranormal craziness. We now have a modern-day NASA that is explicitly directed to look for life, billionaires pouring money into the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, and a Department of Defense that admits it was studying UFO sightings for some time.

Sandwiched between the 10th and 11th seasons of The X-Files, 2017 felt like the year aliens finally, actually, for real this time went mainstream. Nearly 61 percent of the world’s population believes alien life exists somewhere in the universe. That’s little surprise when you think about how much happened this year.

For starters, NASA scientists began the year with the announced discovery of seven potentially habitable exoplanets in the TRAPPIST-1 star system, 40 light-years away. It’s going to take more some powerful instruments to really determine whether any of those planets possess the essentials for life (liquid water, an atmosphere that keeps things warm and fuzzy, a star that isn’t spewing out violent radiation in every direction), and the system is way too far for anyone to even dream about sending a spacecraft there before we’re all dead and gone. But the system’s discovery is a critical sign that potentially habitable worlds are probably much more common—and closer—than we had ever imagined.

Let’s not forget some of the other exoplanets that stoked our hopes of finding extraterrestrial neighbors. Ross 128 b, 11 light-years away, is probably our best chance at finding living aliens thanks to its quiet host star (the detection of strange radio signals fed hopes that an alien civilization was living nearby). GJ 237 b, a little over 12 light-years away, is a “super-Earth” that could support life as well (SETI scientists actually beamed a musical message over to the system to make contact with any intelligent lifeforms in the neighborhood). And 39 light-years away, astronomers found evidence that an Earth-sized bugger called GJ 1132 b had an atmosphere to potentially allow life on the surface to thrive.

Within our own solar system, NASA found new hopes that aliens might actually just be a quick hop away, living on worlds like Jupiter’s moon Europa or Saturn’s moon Enceladus. These rocks possess underground liquid oceans that could be the perfect mixing pots for the evolution of extraterrestrial life. The knowledge that even Earthbound life can withstand extreme environments is spurring the potential greenlight for missions to Saturn’s moon Titan or to a nearby comet to look for life or the ingredients for life—part of what looks like the agency’s new emphasis of astrobiology missions.

Could we one day find lifeforms that are as smart or smarter than our own species? There’s no shortage of sharp minds pondering the question. New theories are being pitched that maybe the aliens aren’t actually all dead—they’re just in a deep sleep. Maybe it’s actually better off this way? Movies like Alien: Covenant and Life were good reminders that not all lifeforms are peaceful. Maybe we should just count our blessings and stay quiet until we figure out how we might be able to defend ourselves from a hostile alien invasion.

There’s little chance of that actually happening. A strange interstellar asteroid decided to stop by the solar system for a visit, and one of the first things scientists decided to do was see whether it was actually an alien ship. It wasn’t, of course, but it just goes to show you that even the most implausible explanation wouldn’t go uninvestigated in 2017. In the future, however, we’ll probably just let the intelligent machines handle the hard work.

But all of these developments were at least grounded in the processes and logic that define scientific research. There was another facet to this year’s obsession with aliens that hewed closer to what most of us have heard before: UFOs and government involvement. Hacking collective Anonymous got things heated in the middle of the summer when it claimed NASA was about to reveal the existence of aliens. That didn’t happen—perhaps because the agency decided it to hold off on such a bombshell announcement, or almost definitely because it has never found evidence of aliens.

OK, so a bunch of hackers turned out to be wrong about aliens. That’s nothing special. What is special, however, is the New York Times publishing a piece detailing the government’s five-year, $22 million program to investigate UFOs. It’s been a few weeks, and the media is still trying to make sense of it all. Only in 2017 could the craziest news of the year not be that the Pentagon actually admitted that such a program once existed.

(Also, I still can’t believe Tom DeLonge was onto something real.)

And less than a week after the New York Times piece was published, SpaceX’s final launch of the year turned Southern California’s skies into an eerie scene out of an alien-invasion movie. It wasn’t a UFO, of course, but the timing couldn’t have been better.

If 2017 was a banner year for talking about aliens and UFOs with earnestness and enthusiasm, 2018 seems poised to take all of those conversations to new heights. The rapid advancement of new technology and the circulation of new data—combined with increasingly favorable odds that something is out there—means that as time passes, our search for cosmic companionship will only get more intense.

Verse Organic Mattress

by Jane Sheppard @ Organic Kids Mattress – Healthy Child

Free Standard Shipping and Lowest Price Guarantee!

Free Gift Card with Purchase over $250! See Details

Healthy, firm certified organic mattress with encased coils - ideal for your growing child or teen!

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Will Buying an Organic Twin Mattress Improve My Child’s Sleep?

by admin @ Sleeping Organic

We could cite every scientific sleep study in the world and I’m sure you’d agree with that before even reading them… But how much sleep do kids need? And what else about their sleep environment matters? According to the University of Michigan Medical School, children need between 9.5 and 11.5 hours of sleep every night, […]

The post Will Buying an Organic Twin Mattress Improve My Child’s Sleep? appeared first on Sleeping Organic.

The Best Memory Foam Mattress for Staying Cool

by The Best Mattress @ The Best Mattress

Nothing feels better than slipping into cool sheets on a hot night, and many mattress shoppers concerned about coolness wonder if a memory foam mattress can fit the bill. Within the memory foam industry, there are a variety of formulas and iterations that can affect coolness. Reviews can help highlight differences between brands and models, […]

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How to Find a Nontoxic and Sustainable Mattress - Ecocult

How to Find a Nontoxic and Sustainable Mattress - Ecocult


I have something admit. My mattress is not eco-friendly. Well, it is in the sense that I bought it used. Three years ago, I was sleeping on the Ikea mattress I had bought off the girl who lived in my room before me. When a downstairs neighbor had to abruptly move out and sell all his furniture, I picked up a Tempur-Pedic mattress for $300 (! They usually start at $1,600). That mattress is now covered with organic sheets, pillows, and pillow covers. But I never seriously considered getting a new one, even though I know most mattresses contain fire retardants, volatile organic compounds, and formaldehyde which offgas into our air while we sleep on them. Hours a night. Almost every night. For years. In fact, my mattress must be the most toxic thing in my home. And yet, mattresses are expensive. And getting rid of my current mattress would entail throwing it out – because of bed bugs, nobody wants to buy or even take an old mattress. But now that you can recycle your mattress in New York City, I might be ready to switch mine out. But buyer beware: Not all mattress companies who bill themselves as eco-friendly …

Organic Baby Products | Baby Mattress | The Organic Mattress Store® Inc.

Organic Baby Products | Baby Mattress | The Organic Mattress Store® Inc.

Organic Mattress Store

The Organic Mattress Store&reg Inc. is your trusted source for safe, natural, non-toxic, natural latex and innerspring baby mattresses and stuffed animals for kids. Check us out today!

Non-toxic Mattress Guide | Gimme the Good Stuff

Non-toxic Mattress Guide | Gimme the Good Stuff

Gimme the Good Stuff

Conventional mattresses typically contain various petrochemicals, plastics or vinyl, flame retardants, which releases VOCs that are linked to cancer.

NFL Coach Matt Patricia Keeps a Mattress In His Office. Is It His Secret to Football Success?

by Cody Gohl @ Sleepopolis

NFL coaches pull some seriously long work days, and Matt Patricia of the Patriots (and soon to be of the Lions) blurs the line between bedroom and office.

The post NFL Coach Matt Patricia Keeps a Mattress In His Office. Is It His Secret to Football Success? appeared first on Sleepopolis.

NASA Is Pivoting to Astrobiology

NASA Is Pivoting to Astrobiology

by Neel V. Patel @ Slate Articles

On Wednesday, NASA announced its selection of two robotic mission concepts as the top finalists for a launch to be held in the mid-2020s: an exploration of Saturn’s moon Titan and a trip to a comet to retrieve compound samples for lab testing. While the missions are radically different in what they’ll investigate, both underscore a larger pivot in NASA’s allocation of time, resources, and manpower toward extraterrestrial worlds in the hopes of one day finding a planet or moon capable of hosting life—or already hosting, yes, aliens.

The mission to Titan, called Dragonfly, would send a dronelike spacecraft out to the moon to study the world’s chemistry and potential habitability. Titan is thought to possess a subsurface liquid ocean that could be a breeding ground for biological life. Along with Titan’s dense atmosphere, its conditions are extremely encouraging for scientists hoping to stumble on signs of extraterrestrial life within our solar system.

The other mission, the Comet Astrobiology Exploration Sample Return, or CAESAR, would expand on the European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission to assess the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. CAESAR would take a step forward and study the comet’s origin and history in hopes of learning more about how comets could be the delivery boys of materials essential to the evolution and support of life, such as water and other organic compounds.

NASA will select one mission sometime in spring 2019 for continued development, ostensibly for launch sometime in the next decade. But more importantly, the selection of these two missions, over 12 others, is key evidence that NASA is pivoting its science missions toward astrobiology. This is a purposeful pivot that makes sense given recent history.

In just a few years, for example, NASA will launch its Mars 2020 rover to the red planet with the explicit goal of investigating whether Mars was once habitable and home to extraterrestrial organisms. The Juno spacecraft currently orbiting Jupiter is surveying the planet’s atmosphere to learn whether gas giants are a sort of chemical lab for materials essential to life. Some agency experts are making the case for why other ocean worlds orbiting Jupiter and Saturn, like Enceladus or Europa, are worthy destinations for the search for alien life, too.   

Outside the solar system, scientists already suspect nearly every star in the galaxy possesses a planet. Rough estimates suggest the vast majority of those aren’t gaseous giants like Saturn or Jupiter but rocky like Earth. Many of them, we’re learning as we tally up our exoplanet discoveries, sit in regions around their stars where they might be capable of possessing an atmosphere and liquid surface water—meaning life could make a home there. Of the 3,504 exoplanets scientists have found and confirmed, 53 are thought to be potentially habitable. And when you remember space is literally infinite, it seems bonkers to bet against the possibility life exists somewhere.

Additionally, the more we learn about life here on Earth, the more it seems possible that even in harsh environmental conditions, alien life could still evolve and learn to survive. The ability of tardigrades to survive the vacuum of space itself feels like proof of that.

There’s more reason to believe the astrobiology push is a permanent fixture of NASA’s vision for its future. Just this week, New Scientist reported on NASA’s ongoing efforts to develop plans for a robotic mission into interstellar space by 2069 (the 100-year anniversary of Apollo 11). The plan is to send a spacecraft to investigate the nearest exoplanet to Earth, Proxima b, located just 4.24 light-years away. Although those plans are far in the future and will require a massive upgrade in space propulsion technology, it’s clear the agency wants to be at the forefront of what is possibly the most exciting scientific endeavor of the century. (Russian billionaire Yuri Milner is already throwing $100 million to that goal in the form of his Breakthrough Starshot project, which aims to send ultralight nanocraft to explore the same region that’s home to Proxima b.)

This year, Congress told NASA to “search for life’s origin, evolution, distribution, and future in the universe.” It seems the agency is taking that directive to heart and pivoting to astrobiology.

Organic on a Budget

by Destiny Hagest @ Avocado Green Mattress

Organic on a Budget | Eat organic without breaking the bank.Read More ...

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Find the Best Labor Day Mattress Sale in 2017 from Sears, Macys & More

by Sleep Junkie @ Sleep Junkie

See what major retailers have in store for Labor Day mattress sale events… This summer holiday seems synonymous with the end of summer, barbecues and a lazy three-day weekend, but as it marks changing seasons it also brings big deals in retail, including Labor Day mattress sale events. As one of the biggest shopping holidays […]

The post Find the Best Labor Day Mattress Sale in 2017 from Sears, Macys & More appeared first on Sleep Junkie.

5 Healthy & Eco-Friendly Ways To Reduce Plastic In Your Everyday Life

5 Healthy & Eco-Friendly Ways To Reduce Plastic In Your Everyday Life

by Courtney Jay Biebl @ The Good Trade

Plastic does not biodegrade and plastic gives off toxic chemicals that when ingested or worn, can have long lasting consequences. We're beginning the quest to open our minds to alternatives, in both what we use and what we throw away. If we ask more questions and look deeper, we can change our approach to plastic use and chase the negative impact we may have on our environment and ourselves.

Mattress Certifications, Standards, Seals, Tags and Labels

Mattress Certifications, Standards, Seals, Tags and Labels


Editor’s note: This article is intended as an overview of some of the most commonly sought voluntary certifications available for finished mattresses, component parts and sleep accessories. It is not intended as a definitive guide and does not include discussion of mandatory federal flammability standards, which have been covered extensively in past issues of BedTimes …

Thanks for Signing Up

by Corinna @ The Natural Sleep Store

Thanks for signing up for our newsletter! You're almost done, just click the link in the email we just sent you. Our Best Sellers Naturesoft Organic Flannel SheetsThe Naturesoft Organic Flannel Sheets are made from a 165 gsm flannel and are a natural color. Made from GOTS ...Read More$82.00 – $112.00Select optionsSale Nomad Furniture Bed […]

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We Just Discovered Another New Planet That Could Host Life

We Just Discovered Another New Planet That Could Host Life

by Neel V. Patel @ Slate Articles

On Wednesday, a team of European scientists announced the discovery of an Earth-size exoplanet orbiting a star just 11 light-years away. In reporting their findings in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, the scientists added yet another option to the blossoming list of “planets outside the solar system that could be potentially habitable to life,” with this latest world being touted as one of the best chances—possibly the best chance—for finding extraterrestrial life yet.

Why is it so promising? In part because the new planet, called Ross 128 b, orbits what seems to be an inactive red dwarf star. These specific circumstances give it better odds for sustaining a more stable environment amenable to life.

The hype surrounding Ross 128 b may also be due to its similarity to another exoplanet, Proxima b, which orbits red dwarf Proxima Centauri a mere 4 light-years away. Proxima b’s discovery made an incredibly loud splash in the world of astronomy and astrobiology. Not only was it the closest exoplanet ever found, but it was sitting in the habitable zone of its host star—the region around a star where scientists believe the conditions are opportune for a rocky planet to sustain liquid water on its surface. And of course, where there’s water, there’s the potential for life.

The problem, unfortunately, was that the relationship between Proxima Centauri and Proxima b wasn’t the most serene. As astronomers paid more attention, they began realizing that Proxima Centauri, like many red dwarfs, was probably incredibly active in its youth, spewing intense amounts of stellar radiation that would have almost certainly bludgeoned the small planet. Proxima b hugs its star tightly, and that close orbit means that radiation might have been enough to strip it of any atmosphere it may have developed. That’s obviously bad news for the survivability of life.

Meanwhile, Ross 128, the host star of Ross 128 b, is an exceptionally quiet star. Even though the planet is 20 times closer to its star than Earth is to the sun (the orbit is just 9.9 days), chances are much better Ross 128 b is temperate, particularly when compared with Proxima b. The research team estimates that Ross 128 b receives just 38 percent more radiation than Earth does and should have equilibrium temperatures between minus 76 degrees Fahrenheit and 69 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s a big range, sure, but on either extreme it’s still within the realm in which life can exist.

Moreover, although the star system is 11 light-years away right now, it’s actually moving toward our solar system. In just 79,000 years, Ross 128 b will be closer to us than Proxima b. (We’ll all obviously personally be dead by then, but maybe life will still exist on Earth?)

Still, while Ross 128 b is a fascinating discovery, it’s way too early to say anything definitive about its potential. The new findings have plenty of shortcomings of their own. For one, the European Southern Observatory team has no idea yet whether the new exoplanet sits in Ross 128’s habitable zone. As with every other exoplanet we like to call “potentially habitable,” there’s no indication whether the planet has water on its surface. There isn’t even any sign as to whether the planet possesses other elements essential to life as we know it, like atmospheric oxygen. So unfortunately, it would be a stretch to label Ross 128 b as “potentially habitable.”

Also, the discovery was made using the ESO’s planet-hunting High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planet Searcher instrument in Chile, but it hasn’t been observed with any other instrument yet. No observation in science is worth taking seriously if it can’t be verified or replicated.

Some of these questions could be resolved relatively soon. The ESO’s Extremely Large Telescope could find out whether Ross 128 b possesses oxygen or other chemical markers that could be signs of habitability or extant life. But others, such as the presence of water, are going to require more advanced instruments that we have yet to develop. Maybe we’ll have them by the time the planet gets closer.

9 Female Poets That Empower & Ignite Change With Their Words

9 Female Poets That Empower & Ignite Change With Their Words

by Emily Torres @ The Good Trade

There are countless volumes of poetry written by women who deserve our praise and adoration, but we took some time to select some of the ones most inspiring us at this moment in time. These nine impactful poets range from the late 1800s all the way to the modern digital age, each with a different message that will inspire you to take action in your own life, to ignite social and political change, or to take a stand for the environment we all share. 

American Textile adds experienced IT exec Carlo Morgano

by BedTimes @ BedTimes

Duquesne, Pennsylvania-based American Textile Co., a producer of name-brand and nonbranded mattress protection products, pillows and bedding, has named Carlo Morgano to the new position senior vice president of information technology.  Most recently, Morgano was with CIO Ventures, where he consulted with technology incubators and venture capital firms, in addition to advising startups in various industries, including […]

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8 Beautiful Spots to Catch The Sunrise in Charleston, SC

by admin @ Sleeping Organic

Yes, we all love sunsets, but there’s something special and different about watching a Charleston sunrise that you just can’t get from sunsets. It’s not only feeling of accomplishment from getting up early, but it’s the opportunity to take time for yourself to set your intentions for the day. With the summer months quickly approaching, the […]

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PlushBeds Coupon Code

by Logan Block @ Sleepopolis

You can save $50 on your PlushBeds purchase by using the discount code “SLEEPOP5” at checkout. Just follow these simple steps: Head over to Select the mattress you would like to purchase Confirm your order is correct Enter the promo code in the Coupon Code box found on the checkout page and click Apply […]

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Gold Certified Sustainable Mattress Store

by tracy @ The Mattress Lot

Mattress Lot gets the gold! The neighborhood owned mattress store is Portland’s first ever mattress store to earn the prestigious Read More

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Rise and Grind

by Best Mattress Brand @ Best Mattress Brand

Waking up for work in the morning is a struggle many Americans know all too well. From pressing snooze and desperately needing that cup of joe to rising early and beating rush-hour traffic, morning routines vary. While some individuals take the leisurely route, leaving themselves time to catch up on the news or relax in […]

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Find Your Best Mattress Reviews: The Top 10 and Worst 10 Beds of 2018

by Sleep Junkie @ Sleep Junkie

If you’re shopping for a new bed, learning about the best mattresses of 2018 is a good way to make sure you choose a good one. It’s also helpful to know which ones don’t fare so well in order to avoid the duds. New mattress models come out every year from a growing number of […]

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Why You Should Buy an Organic Mattress

by Dennis Hornick @ Organic Mattress Store

  You spend roughly one-third of your life sleeping. Combine that with the times that you tend to just hang out on your bed to watch TV or surf the internet, and you’ll begin to realize that you spend a significant portion of your lifetime on your mattress. If you’re... Keep Reading

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Organic Mattress Guide • Insteading

Organic Mattress Guide • Insteading


Prices for 2016's top organic and eco-friendly mattresses. Read on if you want to sleep without chemicals and synthetic fabrics next to you.

Sleep and Health

by admin @ Sleeping Organic

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Choosing an Organic Kids Mattress

by Jane Sheppard @ Healthy Child

  One of the most important decisions a parent can make is choosing an organic kids mattress. Sleep is critical to your child’s health and well-being, and since kids spend more than one third of their lives in direct exposure to their mattress materials it’s crucial to their health that those mattress materials be safe, …Read More

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Debt’s Effect on Sleep

by Best Mattress Brand @ Best Mattress Brand

Across the country, 80 percent of Americans are in debt today – a reality that could be hurting more than just their wallets. Research has shown Americans who experience mental health issues are more likely to be in debt. This can also lead to physical health concerns, like high blood pressure and the potential for […]

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Mattress Lot Awards 2016 College Scholarships

by tracy @ The Mattress Lot

Neighborhood owned Mattress Lot awarded its’ annual Dream Big scholarships to eight Eastside graduating seniors this past Spring. Four students earned $1000 Read More

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Environmental Toxins May Contribute to Aging

by AustinNatural @ Austin Natural Mattress

Chronological age is determined by birth date. Biological age is established by physiological and molecular cells within the individual. The latter is influenced by the exposure of damaging substances in the environment, such as chemicals, cigarette smoke, or even stress (gerontogens). Aging occurs when the body goes through a biological mechanism called senescence. During this process, healthy cells become impaired and they lose their ability to divide. Over a period of time, these impaired cells begin to compile, using resources and releasing hormones with inflammatory characteristics. This majorly contributes to aging and age related diseases. Someday, scientists hope that blood...

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Sapira Mattress Discount Code

by Logan Block @ Sleepopolis

You can save $200 on any size Sapira mattress by using the Sleepopolis exclusive promo code! All you have to do is follow these steps: Select the size Sapira you would like to purchase and add it to your cart Once you have confirmed your cart is accurate click Checkout Enter SLEEPOPOLIS in the Discount […]

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What Actually Is “Clean” or “Renewable” Energy?

What Actually Is “Clean” or “Renewable” Energy?

by Meg Charlton @ Slate Articles

In his ongoing quest to dismantle his predecessor’s signature achievements, President Trump is threatening to repeal the Clean Power Plan. On its face, the news is discouraging: The law’s state-by-state carbon emissions guidelines and strict regulations on coal-fired power plants were on track to have a huge impact. By 2030, the bill’s guidelines would reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the utility sector to below 2005 levels, which would have enabled America to meet its commitments to lowering carbon dioxide emissions made in the Paris climate accord. Losing it would seem to be an enormous blow.

But the panic seems to be premature. Many states, including California, home to nearly 40 million power-consuming people, are on track to exceed their emissions goals with or without the bill’s help. The bill would have hastened changes in states that are more reluctant, but the U.S. is, according to the most recent numbers, still on track to meet the emissions goals the bill set forth. That’s because cities and states have a large amount of autonomy to fight climate change on their own. In the wake of Trump’s election, many local and state governments have taken the power (excuse the pun) into their own hands. There has been a burst of mass movements—from the coalition of states pledging that they’re “still in” the Paris Agreement to the cities resolving to run on 100 percent renewable energy—to make sure they’re providing clean energy to their residents.

Unfortunately, this patchwork of pledges and coalitions highlights one of the most basic issues with the pursuit of “clean power” as a policy goal—we have no real, common definition of what “clean” actually means in this context. Calling a power source “clean” is kind of like calling a food “all natural.” As a consumer who both regularly buys “all natural” food and has supported “clean energy” projects, I will tell you that branding works, at least on me. It sounds so wholesome, so virtuous—but it also tells me very little about the product itself.

Even the term renewable doesn’t have a strict definition. Everyone can agree that wind and solar are renewable, but beyond that, things can get contentious. Is a brand-new large-scale hydroelectric dam “renewable”? (According to the U.S. Conference of Mayors, no.) What about wood pellets? (According to the EU, yes.) Municipal waste? (Depends whom you ask.) Each rule defines the terms afresh and allows for different fuel sources to be anointed accordingly. And the documents that make these distinctions are, of course, political, subject to the same last-minute maneuvering and local interests as any other industry.

Take Burlington, Vermont, the archetype of lefty governance. In 2015, it became the first city in America to run entirely on renewable energy—fossil fuel free, residents said—and the city was widely celebrated for the accomplishment. But some environmental advocates quickly pushed back, pointing out that the fuel source that put it over the edge was biomass, or really, just lumber. While much of one plant’s wood was coming from wood waste, some advocates pointed out that there were trees specifically logged for the purpose of being burned at the power plant. The pushback was sharp enough that it led to an editor’s note being added to an otherwise glowing PBS report on the city’s transition. And just over the border in Massachusetts, mere miles away, biomass is far more heavily restricted and regulated. (Another crucial part of Burlington’s energy portfolio was large-scale hydroelectric, the future development of which would be verboten under the aforementioned U.S. Conference of Mayors resolution.)

Even wind and solar aren’t necessarily as “clean” as you might expect. Germany’s Energiewende strategy was launched in 2010 with the express goals of lowering its carbon output well below its 1990 levels and shifting its electric grid toward wind and solar. By 2016, the country had seemingly achieved its goal; for a brief and shining moment that year, Germans were getting a staggering 90 percent of their power from renewables. But during this same heady period, their carbon emissions actually rose and have proved stubbornly high in the year since.

The reasons for Germany’s rising emissions are multifold—it has shifted away from nuclear and also just started consuming more energy in general. But at least one is related to the mechanics of power grids: Wind and solar (at least for now) still need backup power sources that can run when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing. Power grids are designed to have a constant perfect match of supply and demand and—because we don’t yet have the battery technology available at an industrial scale for storage of wind and solar energy—we are reliant on backup power systems to keep the system running consistently. Germany’s backup power is, overwhelmingly, coal. And although coal’s share of the German power grid is declining, the country is still, in essence, doubling up, with an older, more polluting system running by necessity alongside a newer, less polluting one.

These are just two examples of our understanding of “renewable” or “clean” going awry. I’m not suggesting the places that tried to enact them were purposefully misleading their public, nor even that their policies were misguided. I am just saying that when it comes to assessing carbon life cycles, things get complicated quickly.

So what do we do about it? We could certainly try to create better definitions or standards for each, but it seems almost inevitable that we will never have a perfect definition of what constitutes “clean” or “renewable.” Technologies will continue to improve, emerge, and evolve. And, just as today’s do, those changing technologies will have their own trade-offs. Instead, we as power consumers and citizens must be proactive and look behind those virtue-signaling labels to have the complicated conversations about emissions. After all, our federal government has ensured that this critical work is not its problem—now it’s up to all of us.

Waterbed Terminology Explained: Simple Word Guidance for You

by Douglas Belleville @ STLBeds

Many people decide to ditch their mattress and box spring to return to a waterbed for its natural comfort and contouring to your body. This may seem like an easy task; however, the market has evolved to include many new items. Learning the waterbed terminology will help you to make decisions on a new waterbed.…

What is a Vegan Mattress

by admin @ Sleeping Organic

A vegan is someone who refrains from consuming animal products, whether they be in food, clothing, or household items. You may have never considered the fact that conventional mattresses are manufactured with a variety of animal-based products. However, Sleeping Organic is excited to offer an alternative! Our vegan mattress is made of a natural latex […]

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Review of Top Adjustable Bed Brands

by Best Mattress Brand @ Best Mattress Brand

The Top Adjustable Bed Frame: Amerisleep Amerisleep – 4.5/5 Great health benefits and prices that makes sense! This was the top ranking brand overall. Amerisleep offers one adjustable bed: their signature Amerisleep Adjustable Bed. Reviews averaged at 4.8/5, on over 95 reviews. The website publishes their prices online and costs are in line with features. […]

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Holistic Wellness: 11 Ways to Change Your Health And Lifestyle

by urbanmattressadmin @ Urban Mattress

Thanks to the age of information and an almost overwhelming amount of free educational resources on the internet, more people are discovering ways they can lead a healthy lifestyle and detox the body and mind. If you have wanted to revamp your life and start thinking holistically about your well-being, take it one step at […]

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Brentwood Home Oceano Mattress Review

by Jessica Jones @ The Sleep Judge

How to Find the Best 4th of July Mattress Sales in 2017

by What's The Best Bed @ What's The Best Bed

The summer is upon us and with it are the incredible 4th of July mattress sales, but they won’t last long. So, hurry and start comparing the deals to get yourself into the bed of your dreams. Independence Day is a time for celebrating our nation’s freedom, barbecues and quality time with the loved ones. […]

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5 Reasons to Support Eco-Friendly House Removal!”

by Marla @

Pollution from carbon dioxide – or CO2 – is not just bad for the environment. It’s bad for human health too. That’s one reason why “going green” as a lifestyle choice has become so popular amongst so many people today. Sadly, carbon emissions are a necessary part of moving home. But that doesn’t mean we can’t do anything about it. Let’s face it. Moving house can be very time-consuming. Especially in a world where we’re working long hours, looking after the kids, dealing with exchanging contracts, legal fees, estate agents and the like. So it’s easy to feel like making your move eco-friendly is a bit of a luxury. But there are some simple ways to move in a greener way, and this article reveals 5 reasons why you should.   1. Help fight global warming As global warming becomes more and more of a mainstream concern, more of us are looking at ways we can combat it. Most climate scientists say that CO2 is a major contributor towards the greenhouse effect that is making the Earth’s climate rise. Of course, this is bad for the environment and for farming. Along with meat farming, vehicle engines are a major CO2 producer worldwide. So as well as choosing to eat less red meat and recycle more, it’s a good idea to choose removal companies that use more fuel-efficient vehicles. Greater fuel efficiency means lower CO2 emissions. Some removal firms even use vehicles that run on green fuel. But these are still rare, so there are other things you can do too, such as insulating and using eco-friendly home design, and cleaning with green and basic natural cleaners. 2. Improve your health Actually, it’s not just your health, but everyone’s that will improve when carbon emissions are reduced. CO2 has been linked to breathing problems and worse, so the less of it there is in the air, the better. 3. Save money With most of us being time poor – and many struggling with household bills and other expenses – we don’t want to spend too much when we move. Using a reputable comparison website such as buzzmove to compare removal companies means you can see who is eco-friendly and who isn’t. Plus, comparing companies in one place means you can avoid being overcharged for your move. 4. Emit less CO2 There are now a host of ways to reduce carbon emissions around your move. For example, for a large move, it’s still common for a removal firm to visit your house to assess the move and give a quote. But today you can do the same on your smartphone. A removal company calls you, you shows them around your place using the camera on your phone, and they can record the video and price up the job. This saves them from having to visit you in your home, and it saves the planet by also cutting down on the carbon emissions of those visits. Now that’s a win-win! 5. Choose an eco-friendly removal company There are many ways that removal companies can be more eco-friendly. They can recycle more. They can use more efficient vehicles that emit less CO2. But many of them also plant trees to offset the carbon they emit in the year. One way to check is by reviewing carbon neutral removals sites like this, which shows UK removal companies who have planted trees to offset their emissions.

Mattress Lot featured in 48 Hour Film Festival entry

by tracy @ The Mattress Lot

Directed by Mattress Lot Delivery Manager Casey McFerone, “Flirting Interrupted” is a clever romance/drama short film produced entirely on-site in Read More

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The Natural Sleep Store's Denver Organic Mattress Showroom

The Natural Sleep Store's Denver Organic Mattress Showroom

The Natural Sleep Store

Denver Organic Mattress and Bedding Showroom. Featuring Organic Mattresses, Bedding, and Natural Beds. The Natural Sleep Store's Denver Showroom

We've Recycled One Million Mattresses!

by Admin @ Bye Bye Mattress | A Program of the Mattress Recycling Council

The Mattress Recycling Council’s Bye Bye Mattress program announced that it has recycled its one millionth mattress. This means that Bye Bye Mattress has diverted nearly 25,000 tons of materials from landfills in the three states that MRC serves – California, Connecticut and Rhode Island. Each state enacted its own mattress recycling law to reduce […]

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