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Mattress Dump: Effects of Regular Mattresses on Mother Nature

by | May 2, 2022 | Lifestyle

Purchasing a mattress is a significant investment. First and foremost, it must be comfortable. Do you prefer it to be light and bouncy or tough and more resistant? Then there’s the financial aspect to consider. It’s usually quite an expenditure, and hunting for a mattress online may take a long time because every website claims to be the “best” on the market. Besides these, there are many other factors to consider. But do you ever considered the impact your mattress has on the environment?

A] Effects of Mattresses on the Environment

Did you know that your mattress is probably not long-lasting? When you think about it, inexpensive mattresses, like cheap clothes, don’t survive very long and end up in landfills within a few years. Also, mattresses are a significant component of the waste stream – it is estimated that some 1.6‐ 1.8million mattresses are disposed of each year – representing approx. 51,000 tonnes per annum.

So, the effect of mattresses on the environment is a big question that must be considered when picking a new mattress.

  • Memory foam, also known as “visco-elastic polyurethane foam” in technical terms, uses an expanded polyurethane with added chemicals to improve its elasticity and viscosity.
  • Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) or polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are used as fire retardants in regular spring mattresses, which contribute to CFC emissions in the atmosphere.

The environment is significantly harmed by these substances. PBDEs are discharged into the air, water, and soil throughout the manufacturing process. Furthermore, they are not biodegradable, and while some do degrade (slightly) when exposed to sunshine, they eventually end up in lakes and rivers.

The rise of environment-conscious consumers has increased the availability of more ecologically friendly bedding solutions. The rubber tree produces natural latex, which is a renewable resource and biodegradable, unlike urethane.

Thus, make sure to buy a mattress produced from organic and eco-friendly materials to protect the planet’s health as well as your own.

B] What Distinguishes an Eco-friendly Mattress?

It should come as no surprise that what’s good for the environment is also excellent for your health. We’re here to show you how to sleep guilt-free on eco-friendly alternatives.

It’s all about environment-friendly production and purchasing from a firm that strives to reduce its carbon footprint. This is accomplished by utilising clean and natural materials such as bamboo, wool, and other biodegradable plant-based materials.

It’s all about environment-friendly production and purchasing from a firm that strives to reduce its carbon footprint. This is accomplished by utilising clean and natural materials such as bamboo, wool, and other biodegradable plant-based materials.

Pesticides and fertilisers ruin ecosystems. Therefore, how the natural materials were grown and harvested has an impact on how eco-friendly the mattress is.

Simply put, we haven’t had man-made materials in our ecosystems for hundreds of years. Hence, the ecosystems haven’t developed to break them down. Given the massive amounts of waste generated each year, a biodegradable/upcycled mattress would be fantastic for the environment!

Aspects like durability are particularly crucial to consider.

Have you truly succeeded in being environmentally conscious if you buy two eco-friendly mattresses in the span of ten years? The answer is no!

Because mattresses are built to last, and you should only buy from firms who claim a long life, if not a lifetime guarantee, for your mattress. To go green, both production and delivery must be long-lasting.

C] Points to Consider While Buying a New Mattress

Here are six things to keep in mind when shopping for a green mattress:

  • Are the materials safe and environment-friendly?
  • Is it true that they are biodegradable?
  • What is the healthiest mattress for you?
  • How long will it last?
  • Is there a return on investment from the organisation?
  • Shipping?

Although there are no scientific or official requirements for making a mattress environment-friendly, independent groups offer certifications that include extensive testing and regulations. When looking for an environment-friendly mattress, you should check for the following certifications:

  • Oeko-Tex Standard 100: Ensures that a textile product does not include any dangerous compounds to human health.
  • eco-INSTITUT: The product has been thoroughly tested to ensure that it meets greater safety standards than are legally required for low emissions and pollution management.
  • GOTS: Products must include 70-95% organic fibres, and production processes must meet strict environmental and social standards, according to the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS).
  • Greenguard: The product has passed strict chemical emissions criteria set by a third party.
  • Greenguard Gold: Meets more health-related requirements and needs fewer volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions than the ordinary Greenguard certification.


D] Choosing The Right Mattress

While choosing the right mattress for your home and your loved ones, try to look for mattresses that use natural, organic fibres and materials. Eco-friendly mattresses also provide greater health benefits

Manufacturers or growers of non-organic materials may have used pesticides, which can be toxic to the environment. Pesticides have a significant environmental impact, destroying ecosystems, polluting waterways, and putting numerous animal species in jeopardy. Traditional materials like polyurethane, vinyl, PVC, and chemical flame retardants are also dangerous in mattresses.

People can avoid the following when looking for an eco-friendly mattress:

  • Greenwashing is when a firm makes false claims about its product’s environmental impact. For example, they may use phrases like “eco,” “natural,” and “green” to imply an environment-friendly brand without providing any evidence.

  • Polyurethane foam mattresses, which may include dangerous volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and toxic flame retardants items with first-party certifications. This indicates the manufacturer certified themselves as environment-friendly.

Conclusion

If mattresses comprised of petroleum-based materials end up in a landfill, they can be detrimental to the environment. Make sure to buy a mattress produced from organic and eco-friendly materials to protect the planet’s health as well as your own. Organic, natural materials, third-party certifications, and the company’s environmental practices can all help you choose an eco-friendly mattress.

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