What is the Ecological Impact of a Mattress?
You may be surprised to learn that mattresses, the very thing we all sleep on, actually have a significant ecological impact. In fact, mattresses can contribute to a greater list of environmental issues. The best way to become more environmentally conscious in your sleep space is to think about how you can create or maintain a more eco-friendly sleeping environment. Keep reading to learn more about the ecological effect of mattresses and how we, as a community, can minimize their negative impact on the Earth.
How Do Mattresses Affect the Environment
The ecological impact of a mattress can begin from its very core – the mattress construction. That is why, at BedInABox®, we choose to manufacture the entirety of our mattresses in the United States, all under one roof. The sustainability issue with mattress construction often lies in the source of the materials and the processes used to build them. When materials are imported from international factories, there is no supervision over the quality of the materials used or how the materials are made. Imported materials can be low in quality, result in high carbon emissions and potentially pose a hazard to home health. By maintaining hands-on involvement in all of our manufacturing and distribution processes, we are able to constantly consider our environmental impact and be conscious about the nature of our materials, both in production and disposal.
There is also an environmental cost when it comes to transport and delivery. You may want to consider the air quality and the number of miles crossed during the transportation of mattress materials and mattresses themselves. The transportation alone can emit fossil fuels and pollutants that contaminate the air. Cutting down on transit and delivery saves energy, making local manufacturing a more eco-friendly option.
The disposal of old mattresses actually accounts for a large portion of the greater ecological impact that mattresses have on our environment. An estimated 20 million mattresses are thrown into landfills each year. This annual amount is equivalent to 132,000 square miles of landfill space. When you choose to dump your mattress instead of donating or recycling it, you are contributing to the carbon footprint. When materials used to construct mattresses that are not eco-friendly begin to break down and seep into the ground over time, they can cause soil and water population.
How to Mitigate the Ecological Effect of Mattresses?
Before you order an inexpensive mattress made internationally or toss your old mattress into the landfill, there are several simple ways to help minimize the ecological impact of your mattress.
Investing in an Eco-Friendly Mattress, the BedInABox® Eco-Lux®
While a number of mattresses are constructed with potentially hazardous compounds, the CertiPUR-US® certification is a quick identifier for the memory foam mattresses that are not. Every BedInABox® mattress is made entirely in the United States, using only CertiPUR-US® memory foams to ensure safer, higher quality sleep that meets all standards for content, durability and emissions. Our most sustainable product at BedInABox® is our Eco-Lux® mattress. Manufactured sustainably and constructed with only foams that meet the USDA Bio-Preferred® Certification program, our Eco-Lux® is the only green mattress on the market to hold the USDA Bio-Preferred® designation. Every component of our Eco-Lux® has also received the STANDARD 100 BY OEKO-TEX® certification, meaning your entire Eco-Lux® mattress, from the organic cotton cover to the 11” memory foam core constructed with renewable materials, has been tested and certified to be free of potentially harmful materials.
Consider How You Get Your New Mattress
Simply transporting or delivering a cumbersome mattress can leave a carbon footprint. To help reduce that footprint, you can opt for a new mattress in a box, which will be shipped directly to your door, ideally from local suppliers, in a box small enough for freight companies to deliver. By purchasing your new mattress from an American-made mattress company, like BedInABox®, you can expect both a higher quality product and a smaller environmental impact compared to a mattress company who imports materials for their mattresses.
Properly Disposing of Your Old Mattress
Keep in mind that mattresses become more of an ecological issue when they are thrown away. The easiest way to sustainably dispose of your old mattress is to donate the mattress or recycle its components. Generally speaking, around 90% of your mattress materials can be recycled. There are various recycling services, such as Bye-Bye Mattress or Earth 911, who will recycle your mattress for you or help you locate a local recycling center that will accept your old mattress. However, if your old mattress is still in relatively good condition, you can choose to donate it to a non-profit organization. Even if these charities are unable to give your old mattress to someone else, some will often recycle the mattress for you.
Extending the life of an already high-quality mattress, by regularly cleaning your mattress, using a mattress protector, or adding a mattress topper, can also help reduce the ecological footprint of the mattress industry. At the end of the day, the quality of your sleep, the quality of your sleep environment and the quality of our global environment are all equally important. We encourage our BedInABox® community to start considering the effect your mattress can have on the ecology, so that we can all take bigger steps to help reduce it. If you have any questions about our sustainability efforts at BedInABox® or the sustainability of our Eco-Lux® mattress, please feel free to contact our Customer Service team, who is always happy to help.