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Be Green

You asked... I got answers

Many of you called and left messages, sent emails or left comments on our talkback line about the piece I did yesterday.

Most of you were positive about the products--i.e. you would buy them and think it's great that they're out there.
Some of you had questions and concerns::

Debbie Fairchild called in to ask whether the mattresses would be safe for latex allergy sufferers:
I'm calling about the latex mattresses. They are a bit expensive I think. But the other problem that I would worry about is that a lot of people might not even be aware if they have an allergy to latex. Many people do have latex allergies and so without proper testing, it might be a dangerous thing for them to be sleeping on latex. As far as the eco-friendly portion, that's excellent. And so if you're not allergic to latex and you can afford it, absolutely one-hundred percent, it's the way to go.

So I called Essentia and here's what they said:
Essentia mattresses are safe for people with latex allergies. During the processing of the latex, the proteins are
removed and or neutralized. The proteins are the source for all related allergies.

Good point, Debbie. I'm glad you brought it up so we could get clarification.

Matt from Kingston had some reservations about the sourcing of the latex:

I'm no expert but it seems to me that the production of latex for hypo-allergenic and health use is stripping the forests of Indonesia and Malaysia in order to keep up with the production and demand for latex. It is my understanding that rubber plantations are in no way green.

Matt, you're right. Too many plantations in Indonesia and Malaysia rely on outdated slash and burn techniques to clear land on rubber plantations. There are deforestation issues. Pollution from the effluents in the rubber processing process. And let's not even discuss issues of social justice.
However, Essentia DOESN'T get its rubber from Indonesia or Malaysia. They source from certified sustainable plantations in Brazil. If you'd like to check, their certification is Oeko-Tex Standard 100 and EuroLatex Eco Standard certified. So their mattresses really ARE green... well, as green as anything can be in this world. For sure we're going to use resources. Greeness (as I understand and define it for my column) is the degree to which we can MINIMIZE our impact on the planet while still living well.

Next, Kelly Fahey from Mille Isles, Quebec. Kelly, you've totally made my day!
Your information on Green sleeping this afternoon had me go back to the major department store and cancel my purchase of a regular mattress which I made last weekedn. I did not know that "green" mattresses existed. Even when I had asked the department store about alternatives, they did not have information on such a product.

Later this afternoon I visited another major store and asked specifically about greener mattresses and to my surprise, I discovered that there are two different brands currently being carried at the particular department store I shopped at (Sears in the city). Your very current information has prompted me to think more Green especially now as we will be making a few big purchases due a minor home upgrade/renovation to make our home more energy efficient and greener (after 20 years of inefficiency). So thank you very much for your show and I will be checking your website often.

I guess this year my new years' resolution is to really think of greener alternatives for all purchases, flooring included.

Woo Hoo! Together we're changing the world. Keep it comin' people. If you have any questions, ideas or comments about this story or any other, I want to hear them! Leave me a comment or call our talkback line: (514) 597-5626

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