Naturepedic Awarded Practice Greenhealth Champion For Change

May 19th, 2015 by Brittney Teasdale

 
Naturepedic Practice Greenhealth Award Naturepedic announced the company is the 2015 recipient of Practice Greenhealth’s Champion for Change award for its successes in sustainability. This specifically honors businesses who have not only taken steps to improve their internal green practices, but who help their customers and employees expand their sustainable practices as well.

“Naturepedic is wholeheartedly committed to becoming ever more sustainable and reducing our environmental footprint,” said Barry Cik, Naturepedic Founder and Technical Director. “We are proud to be recognized by Practice Greenhealth as a pioneer in sustainability and will continue to adapt and enforce new practices to lessen our environmental impact even more.”

By using organic over conventional cotton, Naturepedic eliminates 2,000 pounds of synthetic pesticides annually from production. This figure only includes organic cotton filling and does not take into account the large amount of organic cotton fabric Naturepedic also uses for its products. Naturepedic’s healthy, non-toxic crib mattress and mattress pad designs feature certified organic cotton fabric and filling, and never include polyurethane foam, vinyl/PVC, phthalates, flame retardants or DEHP.

The Practice Greenhealth Environmental Excellence Awards were presented in Portland, Oregon, May 14, at the CleanMed Conference and Exhibition, a national environmental conference for leaders in health care sustainability.

About Naturepedic: Naturepedic is the nation’s leading manufacturer of certified organic mattresses and bedding products for the whole family. A leader in environmental stewardship, the company also supports sustainable practices in the U.S. and abroad. Naturepedic sources its organic materials according to strict environmental and labor standards, and it is one of the only mattress companies in the U.S. to be certified to the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). Naturepedic also actively supports the local Amish community.

About Practice Greenhealth: Practice Greenhealth is the nation’s leading health care community that empowers its members to increase their efficiencies and environmental stewardship while improving patient safety and care through tools, best practices and knowledge. To learn more about Practice Greenhealth visit practicegreenhealth.org.

Earth Month Q&A: Debra Lynn Dadd, Author

April 28th, 2015 by Brittney Teasdale

Debra Lynn DaddTo celebrate Earth Month, we interviewed environmental thought leaders to find out more about their passions and perspectives with respect to our Planet. If you haven’t already, meet Debra Lynn Dadd. As an internationally recognized consumer advocate, she’s devoted her career to toxic-free living; authored numerous books on the topic; and, runs the website Live Toxic Free.

With more than 30-years of experience finding consumer products that are free from toxic chemicals, Dadd has become an influential voice on all-things “non-toxic” and was dubbed “Queen of Green” by The New York Times. Dadd authored Toxic Free: How to Protect Your Health and Home from the Chemicals That Are Making You Sick in 1984, the first book about toxins in consumer products, and has since published seven more books on the subject. Dadd also hosts Toxic Free Talk Radio every weekday, where she interviews guests who are working to create a toxic-free world.

How and why did you get interested in the environment?
I became interested in the environment in 1987.

In 1985, after a lifetime of living in suburbia and the city, I suddenly wanted to go live out in a forest. I lived there alone in a small cabin for two years.

In 1987, a friend took me to Mt Shasta and I drank water from a mountain spring for the first time. The water tasted so different than any other water I had ever drunk, and it felt so good in my body. And I just had this moment where I realized that THIS was the water I should be drinking, directly from nature, with no pollutants, unchanged. And I saw in that instant how industrial my life was and how far from nature our culture is. In that moment I wanted to come back to the natural world, protect it, restore it, consciously participate with it and be aligned with it. And I’ve been going in that direction since.

What was the first personal lifestyle change you made to live more sustainably?
I think it was to eat organic food. That was so long ago. It was the step I could do. Organically grown food was available in my area even then. I remember when I first ate organic oranges. They tasted divine. They didn’t smell like supermarket oranges. I later learned what I thought was “orange” smell was actually fungicide sprayed on commercial oranges. That Christmas I gave everyone bags of organic oranges so they could smell and taste the difference.

In your opinion, what’s the biggest challenge environmental movements face?
I think the biggest challenge environmental movements face is that most people have no awareness of the environment. In the first book I wrote about the environment, I referred to “my local forest.” The editor couldn’t understand that concept.

Before we can take care of something, we need to know it’s there and love it. We take care of children because we know them and love them and want the best for them. When we get to know the ecosystems in which we live and they become real to us—the plants and animals and waterways and weather patterns—we then come to love those too and want to care for them.

Why is protecting the Earth so important?
Protecting the Earth is so important because without it, we humans could not live. EVERYTHING that sustains our lives comes from the Earth: the air, the water, the food, all the raw materials that are used to to make all the products we use every day…all these come from the Earth. As I sit at my desk writing this, I see the sand in the glass bottle, rain in the water I’m about to drink, an oak tree in the desk I am sitting at, a chicken in the soup I just ate. Everything comes from the Earth. We need to keep the systems going that produce all this, or we as a species will not survive.

How can we teach the younger generations to respect the Earth?
Take them outdoors so they can experience Nature first hand. Introduce them to plants and animals, so they experience other species as friends. Help them grow food in the backyard so they can see the cycle from seed to stomach. Teach them they are part of the whole cycle of life.

What is one thing everyone can change in their normal routine that will help the Earth?
Just one thing??? I would say in general reduce using toxic chemicals, because every toxic chemical we use in our homes harms the environment in manufacture, use, or disposal. One way to start is to use vinegar and water (half and half) to wash your windows instead of ammonia. Though there are many other things we can do, in my opinion, eliminating toxins are the most important because they are killing and deforming so many inhabitants of the natural world.

What is something you do regularly to help protect and respect the Earth?
Almost everything is my personal home is free of toxic chemicals. The only exceptions are products I need where a toxic free option is not available. If it were, I would use it instead. But these are very few.

Be sure to check out Debra Lynn Dadd’s interview with Naturepedic founder Barry Cik and tune into her radio show Toxic Free Talk Radio which airs weekdays at noon ET. Have you started eliminating toxins from your life? We want to know where did you began and how. Tell us in the comments section below. A big ‘thank you’ to Dadd for participating on our Earth Month questionnaire! This series will live-on after Earth Month concludes. Check back regularly for interviews with more environmental thought leaders!

Read the first installment in this series: Earth Month Q&A: Denise Hamler, Green America

Naturepedic Celebrates Earth Day by Planting Butterfly Garden

April 22nd, 2015 by Rachel Vanarsdale

 
Naturepedic Butterfly Garden

On Earth Day 2015, the Naturepedic team gathered together to plant a butterfly garden at company headquarters. Once lush, the garden will be a place for butterflies and other insects to migrate to, as well as an oasis for them to pollinate from flower to flower and sun on rocks—butterflies love to sun!

“Naturepedic focuses on well-being and understands a healthy planet is essential to healthy living,” said Dale “Sebastian” Luckwitz, Sustainability Officer at Naturepedic. “Plus, can you imagine a world without butterflies?”

We planted purple coneflowers, black-eyed susans, bee balm, late blooming Joe-Pye weed, and oxeye daisy. Once our second shipment of seeds arrive, we’ll also plant common milkweed and swamp milkweed, which both provide food for Monarch caterpillars.

The garden, certified by the North American Butterfly Association, is free from pesticides or other sprays and will remain naturalized, like a meadow.

Naturepedic Butterfly GardenOur garden would not be possible without our friends at Lowe’s Greenhouses, Florist & Gift Shop, a family-operated greenhouse in Bainbridge, Ohio. Lowe’s greenhouses provided consulting, land preparation and plants for our garden. Soil was provided by Sagamore Companies.

Lowe’s Greenhouses recently launched Friends of Bees + Butterflies, an initiative aimed to encourage Northeast Ohio businesses and individuals to plant butterfly and bee gardens. Other area companies who made butterfly gardens on Earth Day including Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve Company.

Check out more photos from our Earth Day butterfly garden event.

Pledge to Help Save Butterflies in Your Community!

Naturepedic Butterfly Garden PledgeYou can also do something that will have lasting effects on your community this Earth Day. Commit to the #NPButterflyGarden pledge and we’ll send you eco-friendly butterfly seed paper. This recycled paper is embedded with a colorful variety of non-invasive wildflower seeds that will grow just about anywhere. Butterflies, especially monarchs, are having a tough time finding flowers to migrate on due to weed control and the loss of natural meadows in populated areas.

Give butterflies a flower to land on by making the #NPButterflyGarden pledge today.

Additional Reading:

What’s Orange and Black and Travels 2,500 miles to Winter?

4 Simple Steps for Planting a #DIY Butterfly Garden

4 Simple Steps for Planting a #DIY Butterfly Garden

April 20th, 2015 by Brittney Teasdale

 
Butterfly GardenThis Earth Day, we’re gathering our gardening gloves and spades and planting a butterfly and bee habitat at Naturepedic headquarters! Because of weed control and other human-led endeavours, butterflies—especially monarchs—are having a tough time finding flowers to migrate to. For more information, read the first blog in our mini series about why we need to save monarch butterflies.

Naturepedic’s butterfly and bee habitat, certified by the North American Butterfly Association (NABA), will be in essence a tiny meadow featuring native plants suited to Ohio’s soil and climate that also offer tasty treats to butterflies and bees alike. Plants are randomized rather than planted with a tall-plants-in-the-back, short-plants-in-front planting order. Also different than a formalized planting, soil erosion is stabilized with annual rye grass rather than being controlled mulching around each plant.

The idea is to offer a planting rich in biodiversity and beauty and then, and here is the best part, leave it alone! With no spraying, mowing, or weeding, the naturalized habitat allows plants and insects to develop naturally. Of course prior to planting, the ground was adequately prepared, removing the upper dense growth of weeds and amending with a thick top dressing of topsoil and organic matter. Prepping the soil in advance is essential!

You want your garden to be a sanctuary for butterflies to seek solace, for caterpillars to feed and grow, and for plants to thrive. “To do this, you will need to choose plants that fall into two groups: nectar plants that will provide adult butterflies with energy and caterpillar food plants that will feed caterpillars,” according to NABA. “With careful selection from these two groups, your garden will provide for the entire life cycle of butterflies”

4 Simple Steps (adapted from NABA’s “How to Start a Butterfly Garden”):

  1. 1. Choose native plants: plants that are suited to your state and climate are going to be hardier and will require less watering, so check with your local greenhouse to find out which plants are native to your location or visit this native plant database. Different butterflies and caterpillars eat different plants; for example, monarch caterpillars solely eat milkweed, but monarch butterflies wille at a variety of different plants.
  2. 2. Choose planting area: make sure your garden had good sun exposure but also a place nearby for butterflies to take shade to cool off, as well as rocks to sun themselves on. A general rule of thumb is, “the larger the flower the more sunlight the plant needs,” so research the needs of the particular plants you’re putting in your butterfly garden.
  3. 3. Prepare soil: After you’ve chosen the types of plants that will be in your garden, choose your soil. Make sure your choice is nutrient rich and organic.
  4. 4. Plant seeds and flowers, water: Butterflies need water, but not very much. Nectar, dew, and tree sap provide butterflies with moisture, as well as puddles and moist dirt or sand.

 
Arguably the most important thing to remember is to not spray your garden! Pesticides and other substances are lethal for butterflies.

So what’s in the Naturepedic butterfly and bee habitat? Either being planted on Earth Day or being added later in the season, Naturepedic’s butterfly and bee habitat features flowers that not only attract butterflies but also look great. Some of the many plants include purple coneflowers, black-eyed susans, bee balm, common milkweed and swamp milkweed (both which provide food for Monarch caterpillars), late blooming Joe-Pye weed, and oxeye daisy. It will also include rocks for the butterflies to sun themselves upon. Behind the habitat is a drop off which provides cover and protection from wind.

To get you started, commit to the #NPButterflyGarden pledge and we’ll send you eco-friendly butterfly seed paper—a fun and simple way for your kids to help in the garden! This recycled paper is embedded with a colorful variety of non-invasive wildflower seeds that will grow just about anywhere.

Pledge to save butterflies this Earth Month by clicking here.

Earth Month Q&A: Denise Hamler, Green America

April 14th, 2015 by Brittney Teasdale

In honor of Earth Month, Naturepedic interviewed environmental thought leaders to find out more about their passions and perspectives with respect to our Planet. First up, Denise Hamler, Director of Green America’s Green Business Network.

Hamler co-founded Green America (formerly Co-op America) in 1982, which helps people green their lives, green their businesses, and support high-impact campaigns to change the way America does business. The organization aims to advance a green economy that works for people and the planet, social and economic justice and for community and environmental health.

Denise Hamler, Green America

How and why did you get interested in the environment?
I think being raised on a family farm in Ohio, during the 1950-60s, instilled in me a love for being outside with plants and animals. I still spend a couple hours a week walking in the woods without my cell phone. Living in the Washington DC area I am blessed to be surrounded by so much green space – hiking along an urban trail or kayaking on the Anacostia River is within minutes of my home. This keeps me connected to what is really important and reenergizes me for the hard work to save our planet. And now that I am a first time Grandmother my work has taken on a new urgency.

What was the first personal lifestyle change you made to live more sustainably?
During college I was part of the initial movement to start local food coops, organic gardening/farmer markets and was blessed to start my post college career on a 53 acre organic farm homestead outside Athens, Ohio. It was during those years that I started experimenting with growing our own organic food, starting green businesses, alternative healing and home birth and building passive solar homes. I discovered that this was how I wanted to spend my life and be my work! It was also at that time that I became aware of the social justice issues of migrant workers in California and I became active in the work of Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers. It was this work that first opened my eyes to the ‘people’ in my environmental work.

In 1982, I was fortunate to meet Paul Freundlich, who asked me to join in launching Co-op America (which became Green America in 2008). I left my beloved farm and have been working with Green America ever since – bringing green living to the mainstream and making strides toward more justice and sustainability.

In your opinion, what’s the biggest challenge environmental movements face?
Making green products/options accessible and affordable. At Green America it’s all about talking to people where they are and giving them options to have safe food, to end child labor, buy clean energy & tackle climate change, stop corporate abuse and support local communities. You can see how we do that at www.greenamerica.org and www.greenbusinessnetwork.org.

Why is protecting the earth so important?
It’s simple – we only have one!

Densie Hamler Destiny Arts

How can we teach the younger generations to respect the earth?
I am so inspired by young people – I feel they get it and are often our teachers. We hear so many wonderful stories everyday about what is happening across the country – I love to tell their stories. Tomorrow I will spend my Saturday in our community garden with over 30 high schoolers and their families. This is part of a very successful program to advocate for healthy eating – active living in our diverse community. Also a recent winner of Green America’s People and Planet Award is Green Beginning Community Preschool they are a model program for pursuing zero waste and adopting green initiatives that educate children/families in developing awareness of the impact they have on our planet.

What is one thing everyone can change in their normal routine that will help the earth?
My personal favorite thing is that every Earth Day I resolve to take on one new EARTH DAY RESOLUTION and embrace that one thing all year. It makes it easy and doable to change your behavior. If you do this every year before you know you will have made huge changes in your life in making greener choices. It’s easy to choose to make your own green cleaners or reduce your energy use or use your car less. One green step at a time adds up.

What is something you do regularly to help protect and respect the earth?
Learn something new! I suggest that people visit our homepage once a week – it always includes a new thing to embrace or recent victory that will inspire you. For example this week’s headlines lead with: Hershey’s Kisses GMO Sugar Goodbye; 8 Items Made with Sweatshop Labor; and Apple Could Easily Pay a Living Wage.

When it comes to driving the economy to greater justice and sustainability, the change always starts with YOU and Me voting with our dollars. As the ‘demand’ side of the marketplace, we are the pressure point for economic change.

All the past victories with Home Depot, Nike, Starkist, Dell, Apple, Hershey, General Mills and General Motors have one thing in common. They made significant change because consumers, you and me, demanded sustainable lumber, sweatshop-free sneakers, dolphin-free tuna, responsibly recycled computers, smartphones without poisoning workers, chocolate minus child-labor, GMO’s out of Cheerios and more hybrids and electric cars.

But we still have work to do. There are still too many products made in ways that cause a world of hurt – human suffering, communities torn apart and environmental destruction. On this Earth Day, use your power to turn the world into one that works for all.

Be sure to check out Green America and the great work the organization is accomplishing. What is something you do regularly to help protect and respect the earth? Tell us in the comments section below. And big ‘thanks’ to Denise Hamler for participating on our Earth Month questionnaire! Check back April 28 for our next Q&A featuring internationally known consumer advocate and author Debra Lynn Dadd.

What is Orange and Black and Travels 2,500 miles to Winter?

April 13th, 2015 by Brittney Teasdale

 
Monarch Butterfly on Milkweed

Nearly a billion monarch butterflies have vanished over the past 25 years, a loss of over 90 percent of its population. That’s right—90 percent. The iconic orange-and-black winged insect experienced its lowest recorded population from 2013 through 2014, and if nothing is done to combat their decline the numbers will continue to fall. One cause of the species near extinction? Weed control, along with the loss of prairies, especially along the its migratory routes.

And after a winter spent in central Mexico or coastal California, monarchs are on the move again. “Fluttering 25 to 30 miles a day, the insects are headed north and east toward breeding grounds that by mid-summer will stretch from coast to coast across the United States and as far north as southern Canada,” said Laura Tangley in National Wildlife®.

Ninety-nine percent of North America’s monarch population live in Mexico’s oyamel fir forests throughout the winter months. According to National Wildlife, “[s]cientists estimate that in the winter of 2014 to 2015, these forests housed 56.6 million monarchs—up 69 percent from the previous year’s survey.” The remainder of the continent’s monarchs winter in California. The same number of monarch were recorded this year as last year; 234,732 butterflies at 185 sites.

Milkweed

This species lays its eggs exclusively on milkweed. Conversion of prairies into cropland and the increasing use of weed killer-resistant crops have greatly reduced the extent of milkweed, officials said. The federal government announced February 9, 2015 to pledge $3.2 million this year to help save the monarch butterfly. About $2 million will go toward conservation programs, with the balance to go to the Monarch Conservation Fund, to be administered by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

A petition to list the monarch as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act is under review by the Department of the Interior.

For almost 2-million years, the monarch’s lucid orange and black colors have warned predators not to touch, that they are poisonous. This inherent self-defense mechanism, however, does not protect against their top predator, the one responsible for their decline: homo sapiens.

Monarchs, although seemingly dainty are in many ways mighty. From their migration efforts to what they teach us about metamorphosis, aposematic coloration, and mimicry, their extinction would be a huge loss for our Planet’s ecosystem.

You can help reverse the damage. This spring, create a monarch butterfly habitat in your backyard or community garden. Naturepedic is building a butterfly habitat at company headquarters on Earth Day, April 22, 2015. We will be planting flowers and seeds, such as milkweed, for the monarch’s that live in and fly through Northeast Ohio.

Here’s a how-to guide for planting your own butterfly garden.

Naturepedic loves how YOU reduce your carbon footprint!

April 10th, 2015 by Brittney Teasdale

 
Naturepedic You Earth Month Giveaway 4Our Naturepedic You ‪#‎EarthMonth‬ giveaway is underway and we’re LOVING the submissions so far! If you haven’t already heard about our giveaway, here’s the gist. It’s up to us to respect and protect the Earth, right? So let’s start talking about how we can all do our part!

Each week, we are asking a question on this topic and it’s your job to share your thoughts. In doing so, you’ll automatically qualify to win a bundle containing amazing (and green) products from some of our favorite Earth-friendly brands like Molly’s Suds, Earth Mama Angel Baby, and Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve (worth over $400 each!).

Check out the awesome way some of our fans are reducing their carbon footprint:

  • Cassandra E. Something small, but keeping our tires properly inflated helps improve gas mileage which increases our fuel efficiency!
  • April G.G. Just traded in my big horn dodge ram and am loving my car:) I try to always Combine errands to make fewer trips also this includes shopping local when at all possible. Using cruise control. My husband is in the hvac field so having high efficiency ac system and programmable thermostat. Energy start appliances. My daughter knows (3) cut off lights were not using. Also this year we started our own garden all organic non gmo seeds :)) was fun to go out and pick some lettuces for lunch the other day :))
  • Tiffany C. Holtzinger Breastfeed, buy local and organic whenever possible, use reusable containers especially when packing lunches, use an old push mower to mow grass, hand down clothing to our younger boys, keep light usage at a minimum, and open the windows to allow the breeze to cool the house. #EarthMonth
  • Liz T. I do everything I can from recycling to really making an effort to buy from brands I know that our doing something to reducing their carbon footprint as well. As a mom I think we definitely care about the world our kids and their kids will live in so it’s important to do everything we can to make sure they’ll have a world they can enjoy like we’ve had too.
  • Kim M. My husband carpools the 25 km each way to work to reduce our gas consumption. We buy in bulk, recycle, pass clothes, toys and equipment down from one child to their younger siblings, etc. our kids also have litter less lunches 99% of the time.
  • Tiffany L. We use fluorescent light bulbs and reusable shopping bags. To reduce water, we turn off the faucet when brushing or shaving. We try to purchase locally and compost in our own backyard.
  • Sarah D.K. We recycle, use cloth (diapers, pads,lunch containers, shopping bags, etc.) instead of disposables as much as possible, drive a hybrid for fuel savings, grow veggies, use eco-friendly/homemade cleaners and I really want to start composting soon!
  • Elise J. I buy only organic produce and as much organic food as possible. I buy as much local as possible and I use only completely all natural cleaning products and Molly’s Suds laundry detergent. I also bought a water filter this year and have been drinking tap water and using glass bottles to carry with me saves $$ and of course its so much more efficient/better for our beautiful green and blue planet.
  • Laurie Susan S.J. We grow our own veggies, have chickens roaming in the back yard for our eggs, we recycle everything we can. Save scraps for the compost pile. Have a water saving washing machine.
  • Lorraine C. Conscientious about our electricity usage- turning off lights when we are not in the room. Teaching my sons early on to be conscientious and thoughtful about using resources – good to teach them early and develop the habit. We use cloths as much as possible vs paper napkins/towels. And plenty more!
  • Eileen A. A group of my momma friends & I all “recycle” our baby clothes & gear, passing clothing, swings, strollers, bassinets, you name it, around to one another. It saves money and the earth!

 
Check out the ways in which some of our fans plan to change their everyday routines to help better the ‪#‎Earth‬:

  • Jet S. Will plant extra this year and give it away to our friends and neighbors and those in our local library who would like to start gardening. It’s a simple action but I think the effect is great.
  • Katie S. We JUST planted our garden last night. Still have more to do. We recycle as often as we can. Also, we have camel backs water jugs that we have started using to reduce the use of water bottles!
  • Kristen G. What I’ll do different this year? Plant a garden and bike more instead of drive!
  • Ellen S. I am in the process of switching to all natural bath and beauty products. I have already changed my cleaning, and laundry supplies to eco-friendly.
  • Alicia Nicole M. To cloth diaper my 7 month old son, composting, recycling, plant a garden and use rainwater that I catch in my big barrels to water my garden and recycle everything I can. And use hand me downs on all my 4 boys.
  • Lisa H. We are planting a garden ( we always do) and take shorter showers and we recycle what we can.
  • Miranda J. Stop using paper plates and plasticware.
  • Angela D.T. We currently do a lot around our home already. But, we need to get our garden started again. I slipped up this year after the baby was born and haven’t been using my reusable coffee cup as much. I want to use little to no disposable paper products for coffee and drinks when out and about.
  • Amanda T. I want to start composting! I have a neighbor who does and hoping she can teach me the tricks!
  • Michelle L. We are doing our own little garden on our balcony since we live in an apartment. We reuse our leftover water from steaming veggies, boiling pasta and use it on our plants. We also use our own reusable totes for when we shop and recycle any plastic ones we use. I also plan on using cloth diapers when our next baby comes.
  • Katie H. B. We are building manure composting bins for our horse manure. Instead of having it hauled away every month we will have nutrient rich soil to add to our garden! We are also putting up a clothes line!!
  • Nicole W.P. We are planting a garden this year, as well as planting wildflowers for the bees!

Naturepedic You Earth Month Giveaway

Here is ‘Question 4’: What is your favorite thing about our amazing ‪‎Earth‬? Comment on this post to enter! ‘Giveaway 4’ closes on Sunday, May 3 at 11:59PM EST. We will announce our fourth Earth Month giveaway winner on Monday, May 4. We will be releasing four questions total, which means you have two more chances to WIN!

Special thanks to Molly’s Suds, Earth Mama Angel Baby, and Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve for partnering with us for this giveaway. Be sure to like their Facebook pages to learn more about these awesome ‪#‎Earth‬ loving brands. Be sure to enter ‘Giveaway 4’ here; http://on.fb.me/1GA3XTp you have until 11:59PM EST May 3.

For official giveaway rules, please visit: http://bit.ly/1CKFGpk

Enter to Win: #NaturepedicEarthDay Photo Sweepstakes

April 9th, 2015 by Brittney Teasdale

Naturepedic Earth Day Sweepstakes

Earth Day is almost here! Although this important day happens once a year, we can and should respect the Earth every day. We want to see how you teach (or plan on teaching) your kids to LOVE and RESPECT the Earth!

Do you take your children on nature walks, teach them how to recycle, maintain a garden together, or even upcycle your arts and crafts projects? Share a photo with us on social media for your chance to win one of 12 Earth-friendly daily prize bundles AND a grand prize Naturepedic sleep bundle.

Entering is easy.
1. Upload a photo showing how you teach your kids to love and respect the #Earth to our Facebook page: http://bit.ly/naturepedicearthday
2. Or submit one via Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #NaturepedicEarthDay.

Good luck!

The giveaway is limited to one photo submission per person; you only need to submit on one social platform to be entered into each daily giveaway remaining at the time of entry, as well as the grand prize drawing!

We will pick one winner each day starting today, April 9, through April 20! That means the sooner you enter the more chances you will have to win. We will draw 1 Grand Prize Winner April 21 to conclude the sweepstakes.

Naturepedic Earth Day Prize Bundle

12 Earth-friendly daily prize bundles (valued at over $400!):

Naturepedic Earth Day Sleep Bundle

Naturepedic sleep bundle GRAND PRIZE (valued at over $500!):

  • 1 Naturepedic Lightweight Organic Cotton Classic 2-stage crib mattress
  • 1 Naturepedic Organic 4 Sided Contoured Changing Pad
  • 1 Naturepedic Crib Fitted Organic Waterproof protector pad
  • 1 Naturepedic PLA Toddler Pillow
  • 1 Naturepedic tote bag
  • 1 Naturepedic nightlight

 
Meet some of our favorite, Earth-friendly brands:

Earth Mama Angel Baby Calming Lavender Shampoo and Body Wash

Earth Mama Angel Baby® uses green and toxin-free business practices because they have a company-wide commitment to honor the earth and her valuable resources. Founded by Melinda Olson, a nurse, herbalist, and real mother who believes mamas, babies and families have a right to safe, herbal, zero toxin product. Earth Mama Angel Baby sources ingredients from plants grown with respect for the Earth, the soil, the farmer,and you, the consumer. Their castile soaps not only clean from head to toe, but also from bathtub to kitchen—without harmful chemicals for your or Earth’s balanced eco-system!

The company stands by their certified organic farms who adhere to strict standards, growing crops without the use of harmful pesticides or the usual dose of toxic chemical fertilizers. And because Earth Mama’s mission is to support and protect mamas and babies, they undertake the monumental process of organic certification to assure the purity of each ingredient, through every stage of manufacturing.

Happy Family S2 Spinach Apple Kale Pouch

Happy Family was created after founder and CEO Shazi Visram learned of a friend struggling to find healthy food options for her baby—ones that didn’t involve hours in the kitchen. Happy Family products are certified organic and contain non-GMO ingredients, providing children with tasty foods grown without the use of harmful chemicals and synthetic pesticides.

You can count on Happy Family to offer items made without any yucky additives, like high fructose corn syrup or trans fats, and in packaging that’s made without using BPA. They are also committed to protecting our environment: they work with sustainable farmers to source the organic fruits and vegetables in their products; often use post-consumer recycled materials for packaging; and, whenever possible, offer recyclable packaging. Learn more about Happy Family’s social responsibility efforts here.

Cherub's Blanket Three Pack Little Cloths

Cherub’s Blanket offers certified organic baby blankets and natural baby items. The company is not only committed to providing healthier options for your baby, but also to using sustainable products and practices in all of their business operations. Cherub’s Blankets are presented in recycled and recyclable packaging materials and made using local materials The company also supports office initiatives that reduce, reuse and recycle, as well as local, national and international groups that focus on organic initiatives as well as children in need.

All Cherub’s Blanket products are made with unbleached cotton and are dye-free, and are also machine-washable. The company says, just like a cotton shirt, you can wash their blankets in the regular cycle and then throw them in the dryer. There will be a little shrinkage, but not much, and the blanket will even get softer over time.

Calming Newborn Tote from California Baby®

California Baby® was started amidst as one new mom’s quest for natural baby shampoo. Founder Jessica Iclisoy turned her kitchen into a chemistry lab and not too long after introduced Calming Shampoo & Bodywash to consumers in 1995. “In my early 20s, as a top buyer for a French fashion designer in Beverly Hills, I was constantly on the go. So when I became pregnant with my first child, it didn’t occur to me to slow down. Some say I sped up,” said Iclisoy on the company’s website. “Like many expecting moms, I started scrutinizing my lifestyle. Okay, I admit, I took it farther than most! I initiated what has become an ongoing endeavor to purify body, home, and way of life with a mission to raise my family in a natural, eco-friendly environment.”

California Baby has since grown into a collection of more than 80 pediatrician and dermatologist-recommended hair and skin care products for babies, kids, and sensitive adults. California Baby products are natural, organic, and and do not contain sodium laurel sulfate or gluten. This company is obsessed with purity and sustainability, from ingredient selection and manufacturing to packaging and beyond.

Green Toys Dump Truck

Green Toys® products are classic children’s toys constructed using recycled plastic and other environmentally friendly materials in the state of California. All raw materials used in Green Toys are not shipped from overseas—this helps reduce fossil fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions, improving the overall health of the Earth.

Green Toys are made from recycled milk containers as well as recycled post-consumer recycled materials. They are packaged exclusively in 100% recyclable cardboard, with no twist ties or plastics that must be discarded into landfills. They contain no traceable amounts of Phthalates or BPA, and are designed without any external coatings.

It’s such an honor to partner with some of our favorite Earth-loving brands for our inaugural #NaturepedicEarthDay Sweepstakes! Don’t forget, we will pick one winner each day starting today, April 9, through April 20! The sooner you enter the more chances you will have to win.

Enter via the form below or submit a photo via Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #NaturepedicEarthDay.

We cannot wait to see your PHOTOS!

Then & Now: Environmental Leaders You Need to Know

April 8th, 2015 by Brittney Teasdale

As a society, the United States is more environmentally conscious now than ever before. We’ve come a long way, but this doesn’t mean we don’t have a long way to go. There’s much work to be done to ensure our planet remains beautiful for generations ahead.

The environmental movement took force in the 1940s with leaders like organic visionary J.I. Rodale and marine biologist Rachel Carson. These leaders paved the way for future generations, and set a crucial precedence: the Earth is vital and important, but it’s not invincible. In honor of #EarthMonth, we’ve highlighted four environmental leaders we think you need to know. This list is not exhaustive, as there are many environmental influencers, but it’s a good start. There are reasons these four individuals are still making waves decades later.

J.I. (Jerome Irving) Rodale (1898 – 1971)

J.I. (Jerome Irving) Rodale

Photo Credit: Rodale News

The word “organic” is commonly thought to mean grown without pesticides, and that definition is largely because of publishing magnate J. I. Rodale. Rodale was an early organic visionary advocating a return to sustainable agriculture, founding the Rodale Organic Gardening Experimental Farm in 1940. In 1942, Rodale launched Organic Farming and Gardening magazine, later shortened to Organic Gardening, and now titled Organic Life, is still widely read today. In 1950, Rodale also launched Prevention magazine, which focused on healthy living to prevent disease. Rodale’s Experimental Farm, located in Lehigh, PA, was put on the on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1999.

Rodale’s efforts are now carried on by his granddaughter Maria Rodale, chairman and CEO of Rodale, Inc., which continues to publish his flagship magazines Prevention and Organic Life as well as other magazines and books focusing on health and fitness.

Rachel Carson (1907 – 1964)

Rachel Carson

Photo Credit: Associated Press

Fifty-three years after publication and people are still talking about Silent Spring, Rachel Carson’s 1962 book about the destructive impact fertilizers and pesticides have on the Planet. A marine biologist, environmentalist and writer, Carson was wholly devoted to the environment and spent the late 1940s and 1950s conducting research into the effects of pesticides on the food chain. Carson published five influential books, in addition to numerous articles. Her most well-known, Silent Spring, was originally published by The New Yorker as a three-part series, and because of its strong position against DDT, garnered many enemies, as well as powerful supporters.

On June 4, 1963, less than a year after Silent Spring was published, Carson, age 56, testified before a Senate subcommittee on pesticides. She was dying of breast cancer, but kept it a secret from most people. To hide her baldness, she wore a dark brown wig.

“Every once in a while in the history of mankind, a book has appeared which has substantially altered the course of history,” said Senator Ernest Gruen­ing, a Democrat from Alaska, at the subcommittee meeting.

Carson was born on May 27, 1907, in Springdale, Pennsylvania. She died of cancer April 14, 1964. In 1972, the United States “banned the domestic sale of DDT, except where public health concerns warranted its use,” according to the New York Times. However, American companies continued to export the pesticide until the mid-1980s.

Frances Moore Lappé (1944 – )

Frances Moore Lappé

Photo Credit: Wolfgang Schmidt

Frances Moore Lappé, through her cookbook Diet for a Small Planet published in 1971, was one of the first to challenge people on a large scale to consider their food choices in terms of overall planetary health. Arguing for what she called “environmental vegetarianism,” Lappé combined the ideas of environmental activism with diet.

Publishing 17 additional books since her groundbreaking cookbook including most recently EcoMind: Changing the Way We Think, to Create the World We Want, Lappé continues to serve as a respected thought leader in environmental health. Frances Lappé, along with daughter Anne Lappé, formed the Small Planet Institute designed to help foster positive social change. The two have also created the Small Planet Fund, which supports grassroots initiatives throughout the world seeking solutions to environmental problems, food scarcity, poverty and other global trials.

John Francis (1946 – )

John Francis

Photo Credit: Glenn Oakley

One day in 1973, John Francis, a.k.a. the “planetwalker,” went out for a walk—and he didn’t stop for 22-years. He made this decision after seeing the damage caused by the 1971 Standard Oil Company oil spill in San Francisco Bay. He pledged to never ride in a car again.

All those years, he travelled around North and South America by foot and by sailboat with one mission in mind: respect the Earth. He spent 17 of the 22 years silent, and during those years spent not speaking, he earned a masters degree in environmental studies as well as a PhD in land resources. He ended his vow of silence on Earth Day in 1990.

Francis later established Planetwalk Foundation, an organization that consults companies and other organizations on sustainable development and works with educational groups to teach kids about the environment. In February 2008, Francis gave a widely watched TED Talk titled “Walk the earth … my 17-year vow of silence.”

These are just four environmental leaders who have made an impact then and now. We would love to hear what environmental influencers you think have made big impacts over the decades. You can tweet us @NaturepedicYou!

Respecting our Earth: Naturepedic Releases 2014 Sustainability Report

April 2nd, 2015 by Brittney Teasdale

 
Naturepedic Sustainability Report

Earth Month. It’s a wonderful thing. By bringing the importance of sustainability to the masses, even if the majority of people make one lifestyle change to live greener, the campaign’s motto “even a little help goes a long way“ is validated. Naturepedic strives to be more sustainable every day. Our efforts to reach this goal begin with producing the healthiest organic products we can without toxic chemicals like flame retardants, biocides and phthalates.

We know healthy living is an all-day, everyday process—it’s not just the part spent sleeping. This is why our commitment to healthier living is extending beyond our products into our overall way of doing business and its impact on the planet.

While we have always informally considered sustainability, we have now formally integrated the concept into our business plan. We designated our first Sustainable Officer and created a “Green Team,” a group of passionate individuals tasked with exploring innovative ways to make our business even greener than it is.

Our first public Naturepedic sustainability report shares Naturepedic’s accomplishments, efforts and plans for the future. The documentation process has ignited a dialogue throughout the company; spanning various departments and uncovering a variety of inspired ideas.

So what have we done?

First, by using organic over conventional cotton we reduce environmental impact. This choice eliminates 2,000 pounds of synthetic pesticides from being used. That figure is only for filling, and doesn’t even take into account the large amount of organic cotton fabric we use! Other efforts include:

  • Purchase of renewable energy credits from NativeEnergy for 100% of our electricity use
  • Use of reflective roofing material to increase heating/cooling efficiency
  • Focus on modular mattress designs in our adult luxury lines (the ability to easily replace comfort components mean no need to scrap an entire mattress when you’re ready to update!)
  • Use of van transportation and office telecommuting to lower carbon footprint

For Earth Day, April 22, 2015:

  • Together as a company, we’re planting the first naturalized Naturepedic butterfly and bee habitat on headquarter grounds.

We are constantly looking for ways to better improve our environmental footprint. Efforts underway include:

  • Auditing in-house printing practices, evaluating systems to boost efficiency and reduce waste
  • Evaluating internal practices to uncover potential areas to decrease waste

Check back soon for a how-to guide on building your own butterfly and bee habitat. We’ll also continue to update you regularly on our sustainability efforts. These are exciting times to reduce our carbon footprint and live a more healthy life!