At the risk of sounding cheesy, I’ll say it anyway: every day is Earth Day at Naturepedic. What I mean is that seeking continual improvements to benefit planet and people is woven into our business, not something external we dig up for a few days a year.
People know Naturepedic for organic mattresses. Beyond the visible products, though, is a thriving culture of continual research and exploration. As we launch our second annual Naturepedic Sustainability Report, I thought I would complement it by sharing some of the behind-the-scenes work at Naturepedic that goes into being a leader in the green marketplace.
Naturepedic makes certified organic products, meaning we need suppliers that can meet our demanding criteria. Truth is, we ask a lot. On the minimum, suppliers must meet strict social and environmental criteria of the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), and that is a HUGE minimum requirement! GOTS examines factors from worker safety to inputs used. Remember, that’s only our beginning.
From there, we ask for more, like copies of other certifications and Safety Data Sheets. We ask for signed agreements ensuring certain inputs are never used. And we constantly ask for what’s new, what’s better, what more can be done.
People might be amazed to learn how often Naturepedic tests materials. Products are lab tested by GREENGUARD to earn indoor air quality certification to GREENGUARD Gold and for the GREENGUARD Formaldehyde Free mark. Naturepedic also conducts demanding onsite audits for GOTS, GOLS (Global Organic Latex Standard) and Rainforest Alliance as a certifier for the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). These tests and audits, however, are simply the ones we publicize.
Every year Naturepedic conducts independent tests with independent labs to ensure materials are what they say they are. These aren’t mandated by certifications or law, but simply because we hold ourselves to the highest standards. Metal parts get tested. Polyethylene gets tested. PLA gets tested… you get the idea. Naturepedic doesn’t use healthier materials simply to earn certifications. We earn certifications as one method to show people how serious we are about using the best materials.
3. The Little Things
Like any business, Naturepedic is a collection of people doing people things, and people can always improve. While we could be content to just make healthier products, if we didn’t work to improve the environmental footprint we make as individuals, we wouldn’t feel like we were doing our jobs. Here are a few of the little, largely unsung things Naturepedic people do.
• COFFEE. Only organic, Fair Trade coffee is purchased (with the company picking up the coffee tab for employees!) The company avoids disposable pods and instead buys in bulk to reduce packaging waste. Used coffee grounds from the office are used as compost on our on-site Butterfly & Bee Habitat.
• PAPER. Naturepedic employees continue to reduce printing waste. Payroll went paperless, saving reams of paper, and the marketing department shifted to a digital work flow system from printed job jackets. All office paper is 100% recycled, and in the next few months the company is getting more efficient printers and joining a Zero-Landfill toner/cartridge recycling program.
• BIRDS, BEES & GROUNDHOGS. Naturepedic employees are preparing to put winter behind to begin cleaning up its on premise Butterfly & Bee Habitat, planted last year. The habitat is a naturalized area featuring native flowering plants that support bee and butterfly health, grown without synthetic pesticides, fertilizers or weed killers. Additionally, grassy areas at Naturepedic are maintained without pesticides or herbicides, allowing dandelions to grow (a favorite treat for our resident woodchuck). For the second year, a bee starter box is being installed in the back area of our facility. When a hive gets started, the bees are taken by a local beekeeper for her hives. This year we will also install a mason bee house to encourage growth of these beneficial, non-stinging insects.
The above are only a few of the things that go on at Naturepedic. Sustainability is always a work in progress. Read our newly released Sustainability Report to learn more about the sustainability initiatives Naturepedic has undertaken.
Naturepedic Butterfly & Bee Habitat Update: Last April, the employees of Naturepedic planted a naturalized Butterfly & Bee Habitat. The perennials weathered the winter quite well, and this year we will be planting even more milkweed for the monarch butterflies. Also we are adding a gravity-fed rain barrel to collect rainwater for watering.