I hate shopping. I hate managing the traffic, schlepping from store to store, comparing prices and products, and finally having to make a decision. The best example of this was this spring when we were searching for an outdoor dining set. I must have visited 15 stores and Craigslist trying to find something in my price range that was somewhat environmentally friendly and not teak. In the end we refurbished a friend’s set that was sitting in her garage collecting dust (plus it met all of my criteria: stylish in a retro sort of way, eco-friendly (ie. used), and well within my price range!

My current mission was to find new mattresses for my sons. It only occurred to my husband and me a few weeks ago that their mattresses were 12 and 14 years old, very lumpy and, frankly, stunk to high heaven. So, off I go again, this time to do some mattress research. The good news is I only had to visit four stores before I found exactly what I was looking for. The first two stores gave me the price range I was looking for, the last one gave me the more natural mattress choice I wanted.

My final stop was at the Soma store at Lawrence and Dufferin. I was interested in their “natural sleep systems” and it was there that I discovered Natura mattresses.

Natura makes five different lines of mattresses from completely organic to ones that are a blend of synthetic and natural material. The company is based in Kitchener-Waterloo, ON, and, if you have a look at their website, the company really focuses on the quality of their materials and practices green policies in their manufacturing facility too. The mattresses we bought were a combination of foam, latex, wool. The foam itself is a blend of regular (petroleum-based foam) and foam made from biOH Polys , the soy-bean derived oil that aims to replace petroleum in many different products. In fact, 30% of the foam in these mattresses is replaced by biOH Poly, which, at the moment is the most they can use for technical reasons. On top of the foam is two inches of natural latex, followed by 18 ounces of wool/sq. foot. Here are some of the advantages of this mattress:

  • It’s hypoallergenic so it’s good for kids (or adults) with allergies as well as a deterrent of dust mites
  • It’s bedbug resistant (with the recent rise in bedbugs in Toronto, that’s a very good thing)
  • It contains no toxic chemical fire retardants
  • It never needs to be flipped
  • It will last for at least 22 years

My son says it’s the best sleep he’s ever had. Good enough for me.

Old mattress disposal. Unfortunately, our old mattresses are bound for landfill. They are not in good enough shape to send off to Goodwill, although that would have been my preference. However, if you happen to live in Durham Region in Ontario, they have started a really interesting mattress recycling pilot project (valid until November 27, 2010). Pairing with a Montreal Company, Recyc-mattresses, they are collecting old mattresses from Durham residents, the mattresses are being broken down into their individual parts and the scrap materials are being resold and recycled.


BEC Green

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