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SUSTAINABLE LATEX MATTRESSES

Natural latex mattresses not only provide an unsurpassed sleep surface, they replace conventional inner-spring mattresses, which generally end up in the landfill, with a sustainable resource. Natural latex mattresses use rubber harvested from the milky sap of the rubber tree (hevea brasilienises), with a small percentage of natural fillers. Latex was originally harvested from rubber trees that grew in the wild in Brazil and had been used by indigenous people for centuries. The rubber trees were widely dispersed, with a natural tendency to grow far from each other, making harvesting extremely inefficient. As demand for rubber grew, seeds were eventually transplanted in what is present day Malaysia with great success.

In an era when we are surrounded by synthetic materials which greatly tax our environment and resources, natural latex represents the best that Mother Nature has to offer. Anyone who has slept on a latex mattress can attest to the incomparable comfort from the natural ability of latex to distribute body weight and relieve pressure points. In addition latex is a very durable material, creating mattresses that regularly last for 20 or more years, without any significant changes in the support or feel of the mattress. Rubber trees are now grown on plantations in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, South Asia, Africa and South America, providing jobs for numerous indigenous workers. Latex is very efficiently harvested and trees that have reached the end of their productive cycle are replaced and the lumber is used for furniture and in construction.

It is not only refreshing to sleep on a natural latex mattress, but also to know that it’s a bio-degradable resource that is easily replenished. Conventional inner-spring mattresses carry with them a variety of hazards. The new federal open-flame fire standards for mattresses have added more than a pound and a half of possible toxic chemicals in the ticking of the average queen mattress. These chemicals can create toxic off-gases that are released into our home environment and then the chemicals are dumped along with the mattresses into land fills, with components that will not bio-degrade. Simply put, once a conventional mattress has outlived its usefulness, generally 2- 7 years, they become a nuisance to our environment.

As with many products, consumers are rethinking traditional purchases and looking for green alternatives that are toxin-free and environmentally friendly. Articles that stress the need for safer materials and chemical for use in the home abound and many of these express concerns about “toxic mattresses.” A little research will find extensive discussions about the dangers of toxic fire-retardant chemicals in mattresses. When newborns and infants are involved, the purchase of a green mattress is one of the most important decisions a parent can make, as certain fire-retardants are banned in Europe and have been linked to SIDS.

Much of the latex used in mattresses is a blend of synthetic and natural latex to lower the cost and, perhaps, add durability. However, it is the natural properties of latex which set it apart. Only natural latex is anti-microbial, hyper-allergenic and a sustainable resource. In addition, it is the natural latex that creates the feel that has made latex mattresses so popular. Synthetic latex would feel just like polyurethane foam without the addition of natural latex.

Do your body a favor and investigate the feel of an all natural latex mattress. Much of what Mother Nature has supplied cannot be duplicated by artificial means, and natural latex is no exception. A natural latex mattress will last for 20 or more years, has an unsurpassed feel, the wonderful qualities of remaining free from dust mites, mold and allergens and is created from a resource that is green and sustainable. Going green has never felt better!

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