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Summer Bedding Thoughts: The Differences between our Organic Cotton Blankets June 20, 2016

Summer Bedding Thoughts: The Differences between our Organic Cotton Blankets
With summer here, the thought of the ideal summer blanket comes to mind. A blanket just light and airy enough to fit perfectly with the hot weather without emphasizing how hot the weather actually is.  Summer is different for different locations and different house styles. An ideal blanket at one location, may not be ideal at another. With this in mind, we feel it’s time to explain the differences between our organic blankets. Hopefully this information will allow the opportunity to pick the right organic summer (or other season) blanket for your home.

 

Organized by lightest weight to heaviest weight, we’ll discuss the differences about each one.

 

BLOG LARGE WW
Organic Cotton Large Waffle Weave Blanket
This blanket is the most aerated and lightest weight. It’s great for summer time as a result of this and can also be a good light weight layering blanket. Its weave is playful and slightly plush. This blanket is soft with optimal give due to its wider style weave.

 

Blog ww
Organic Cotton Waffle Weave Blanket
This blanket also gets good aeration and is light weight, though slightly heavier in weight and less aerated than the large waffle weave blanket. This blanket is soft and also good for summer and spring weather. The weave is homey and simple, and also works nicely as a layering blanket.

 

blog crepe
Organic Cotton Crepe Weave Blanket
This blanket has a tighter weave and less aeration, but is still light weight. Some also find this blanket can work nicely being used in the patio or sun room in dryer areas. The weave is more sophisticated than the waffle weaves. Like the others, this blanket is also soft, but is also more streamlined in feel. This blanket will work nicely in summer, late spring, and certain fall weather.

 

blog chen stripe
Organic Cotton Chenille Stripe Blanket

This soft blanket has a tighter weave with some extra aeration due to the stripe stitch. It is medium weight and good for all seasons. With its elegant yet relaxed weave it makes a very appealing bedspread. This blanket is also more plush than our other options.

 

blog brown chenblog nat chen
Chenille Herringbone (Colorgrown Brown & Undyed Natural)
The organic cotton chenille herringbone blanket has one of the tightest weaves of our blankets. An elegant design with a heavier medium weight, this blanket is ideal for a bedspread. This blanket can be used all season, though it would work especially well in fall and winter in combination with one of our light weight wool comforters. This blanket has minimal aeration and is soft with a slight plush texture. The colorgrown brown is slightly lighter in weight and less thick naturally.

 

Honorable Mentions:

 

We also have a twin size organic cotton double layer 8oz flannel blanket and a twin size organic cotton knit blanket. Both have travel size capabilities and are very soft and comfortable. The flannel would be ideal for cooler weather, while the knit would be ideal for warmer weather.

 

We hope this information on our organic cotton blankets is helpful. Please feel free to post in the comments your ideas for the next blog post!

 

They’re both the same! Aren’t they? Natural vs. Synthetic or Man-Made products March 21, 2014

There are many compounds, minerals, materials, foods, and general “things” which can have the same name and be pretty much the same, except one is man-made or synthetic and the other is natural. Now due to what one may have read or been told, one may be led to believe that every single thing about this item is the exact same, this isn’t always true.

 

In fact, a lot of the time, they can actually be different in some manner.

 

Thinking about this, I decided I would pick out 4 things which have man-made or synthetic versions and natural versions and explain some of these differences. Hopefully, this will inspire you to look into items you have which could have another version and explore to see if there are differences among those items when natural or man-made/synthetic.

 

Alas, let us begin.

 

Item 1) Lye: Lye is a common ingredient used in the soap making process for saponification. It is a base and can be the natural version (potassium hydroxide) or the man-made version (sodium hydroxide). The natural version (Potassium Hydroxide) would be from wood ash while the man-made version (sodium hydroxide) would be industrially produced. The natural version will normally result in a softer or a liquid soap while the man-made will result in a hard soap. If you add quite a  bit of salt  during the soap making process you can also possibly turn the naturally occurring version into a hard soap, though one needs to use a more solid fat with it like animal fat. The naturally occurring version also uses less water and could be argued as more concentrated or effective in regards to how the soap works when using the naturally occurring lye for making.

 

Item 2) Sweeteners: Sweeteners are used to make something taste sweet, and there are naturally occurring types and synthetic types.  Naturally occurring types include cane sugar and honey while synthetic types include Aspartame and Saccharin. What normally results in the usage of these synthetic types over the naturally occurring types, is the concerns of calorie consumption or the economic cost as the synthetics tend to be cheaper.

 

Cane sugar is sugar that is obtained from the sugar cane, normally less processed than white granulated sugar which results in a slight natural color and courser grain. Honey is a sweetener obtained from beehives and depending where you get it can have different levels of processing. While sweet, it is liquid and has other minerals and proteins in it. In addition, depending on what plants the bees are going to that they are using to make the honey, the honey can have differing levels of sweetness and taste. Aspartame is made by fermenting and synthesizing* the amino L-phenylalanine with L-aspartic acid and methanol (I’ve posted links about these below with my other sources though to explain the individual ingredients would need another post). Saccharin is made through first converting phthalic anhydride into anthranilic acid. The Anthranilic acid is then synthesized with nitrous acid, sulfur dioxide, chlorine, and ammonia to create Saccharin.

 

The naturally occurring types of sweeteners like honey and cane sugar tend to have a less sweet taste in similar quantities to the synthetics, but are better absorbed by the body and digested. With the synthetics like Saccharin and Aspartame, weight gain is actually able to occur due to it resulting in making the body think it needs to store extra calories.

 

Item 3) Vitamin D: Vitamin D is a vitamin which helps to regulate other minerals in the body and aid the immune system. The naturally occurring type is Vitamin D3 while the synthetic type is Vitamin D2. Vitamin D3 occurs naturally in Fatty fish and through exposure to sunlight. With exposure to sunlight, please note that you need the natural oils on your skin to be present in order to actually absorb the Vitamin D3, washing oneself on a bi-daily or daily basis with harsh or conventional soaps strips your body of these oils which prevents the absorption of vitamin D3 through exposure to sunlight.  In addition, excessive use of sunscreens can also prevent Vitamin D3 from being absorbed when getting it from exposure to sunlight. Vitamin D2 is synthetic and not at all necessary for your body, when talking about vitamin D levels, in fact, even though both are shown the Vitamin D3 is the preferred to have. Vitamin D2 is made by radiating ergosteral from the mold ergot. Vitamin D2 is not as potent as vitamin D3.

 

Item 4) Fleece: When talking about fleece, I am not talking about the sheep’s fleece, but actually am talking about the fleece common in clothing and blankets. Most of these are synthetically made from polyester, which as I have said before in a previous post, is terephthalic acid (a petroleum base) mixed with anti-freeze. Though there are some which are made from Cotton, which would be natural. Polyester is considered the warmer fabric, though due to polyester’s not so breathable nature, being a plastic and all, it tends to also result in a lot of overheating and some sweating which for many is a huge nuisance with the fabric and a major deterrent. Polyester also tends just not to feel as nice as cotton does even if it does try. As I personally notice, the polyester tends to “catch” onto the skin more.

 

Cotton fleece, would be more breathable and as a result not as warm, which may require an additional layer of something like wool in colder or wet weather or silk in more windy weather. Cotton fleece would be softer though and would not cause overheating while still adding a nice warmer layer. Polyester fleece though is cheaper and more easily accessible, while cotton would be harder to find. One could also get a fleece item made from wool which would be if minimally processed, liquid resistant and temperature regulating, but unless it is a higher quality organic wool fleece or something along those lines, it could affect sensitive skin and not be as soft.

 

Anyways, I hope this information has helped with seeing some of the differences and making one more aware that there can be differences among various items which are supposed to be the same, depending on whether they are the synthetic or natural versions.
Don’t forget to post in the comments your ideas for the next blog post!

Sources for information provided:
http://sodium-hydroxide.com/sodium-hydroxide-vs-potassium-hydroxide-a-comparison-too-caustic/ http://ezinearticles.com/?How-to-Make-Lye-Soap&id=809119
http://www.survivalblog.com/2011/11/how_to_make_lye_soap_by_masqui.html
http://sugar.org/cra-lawsuit/science-other-facts/scientific-studies/
http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/recipes/healthy-eating/nutrition/sugar-vs-sweeteners/
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/cane+sugar
http://www.healthline.com/natstandardcontent/honey
http://www.food.com/library/honey-155
http://www.elmhurst.edu/~chm/vchembook/549aspartame.html
http://www.madehow.com/Volume-3/Aspartame.html
http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/phenylalanine
http://www.ajiaminoscience.com/products/manufactured_products/l-amino_acids/L-Aspartic-Acid.aspx
http://www.articlesbase.com/industrial-articles/how-is-saccharin-made-6594500.html
http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-929-VITAMIN%20D.aspx?activeIngredientId=929&activeIngredientName=VITAMIN%20D
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/589256_4http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-2896800090.html
http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/synthesis?q=synthesis

*Synthesis definition per oxford dictionary: The combination of components or elements to form a connected whole.

 

Shopping for Holiday Presents the Natural & Organic Way; Ideas for the perfect affordable Natural & Organic presents! November 21, 2013

                It’s that time of year again when one is shopping for the Holiday season! Whether it’s Chanukah or Christmas, those of us who choose a more natural lifestyle are going to come to that one gift giving dilemma… How do I find presents that others will enjoy, but also presents that I won’t feel wrong getting due to their potential non-natural or chemical based origins I may personally not agree with?                 
               In other words, how do I find good and natural presents for the people I care about without spending too much?
                I have a couple of suggestions.
                Here I will list off 5 items to consider and ideas so as to make the dilemma less so and the shopping experience a lot easier when going and giving natural!

1. Natural Soap Bars or Shower Gel!
                Natural soap bars and shower gels tend to have a much more distinctive and fancy or elegant look. Many natural soap bars and shower gels also tend to moisten the skin rather than dry out the skin like conventional soaps can. During winter time, that can be a big plus.  In addition, they are a nice affordable and simple present, along with being able to come in all types of wonderful natural scents (thanks to essential oils) that can fit everyone on your lists’ unique personality or preferences!

2. Natural & Organic Throw Blankets!
                A wonderful gift ideal perfect for the season and never overdone, because let’s face it, for the most part you can never have too many awesome blankets! You can get the blankets in all kinds of natural or organic fibers like Organic Cotton, Hemp, Untreated or Organic Wool, Mohair, and Silk. If one is looking to be more budget friendly, the Organic cotton and Hemp will be the most affordable. We at Pure-Rest even have some organic cotton ones on sale in our clearance section in addition to our regular selections!  

3. Stoneware & Ceramic cooking and serving items!
                These items can include pots, bowls, utensils, plates, pans (including certain naturally non-stick ceramic fry pans) and are overall a little bit more on the low maintenance side with cleaning and care compared to some other natural cookware available. This is great for when you have someone you may be getting a present for that is not as focused on natural cookware and is just into ease of cooking. These items are also great because they can be quite affordable and have a huge variety of options, along with being a very usable and long lasting gift!

4. Kids-Wood Toys and Natural Fiber Plushies!
                Kids love toys and for the most part, probably won’t notice whether they are plastic or not, as long as they are toys. You can get wood toy cars, cooking kitchens and food, trains, slingshots, boats, animals, play sets, dolls for doll houses, doll houses themselves, and almost anything else that is normally made of hard plastic for playing with in wood. These toys will not just be a better alternative, but will last longer and can be more durable over time.
                Natural fiber Plushies may be a little bit hard to find, but will also tend to last longer, normally are easier to clean, and a lot of time can have fillings(like organic or untreated wool) that are naturally bacterial resistant which can make them lower maintenance. Fibers and fillings can include organic cotton, kapok, and untreated or organic wool and can be very affordable along with having various options which can be found over the internet!

5.  Organic Cotton Clothing!
                Clothing is always a great present during the holidays and when shopping it can be hard sometimes to resist a lot of cute items. Luckily, many big clothing companies are selling some clothing items made with organic cotton, you just need to keep your eyes open for them. I’ve seen some from Disney, Banana Republic, Quiksilver, American Apparel, Billabong, The North Face, Victoria’s Secret, & Lucky Brand and there is probably more than just these companies offering organic cotton options with their clothing! You can also find online many smaller companies that sell strictly organic cotton clothing. Organic cotton overall tends to be a lot softer than conventional cotton and many will appreciate the extra softness!

I hope this list has helped with shopping for natural presents, if one has any questions, ideas, or needs advice or help further in this subject, feel free to comment below!

This Blog Post is not a researched based post so no sources would be needed. If requested, I can post in the comments section some brands, stores, or websites which carry the items I’ve listed above.
Don’t forget to post in the comments your ideas for the next blog post!

 

What’s that smell?! Parfum; Artificial scents and what you should know about them February 14, 2013

                We are all familiar with it, it is everywhere; that slightly addicting scent which masks itself in almost every non-natural scented product, with maybe a slight variance like a hint of soft “ocean breeze” or sharp “cinnamon spice”. Some of us absolutely love it and some of us abhor it, but all of us are affected by it. This thing, these scents, are known as Parfum.
                Parfum is the word we use in reference to man-made artificial scents, it can sometime refer to natural scents from essential oils, but this is almost never the case in the United States and if it is it normally will state “natural parfum/perfume” or “parfum/perfume from essential oils”. Parfum can also be referred to as Fragrance or Perfume, these terms can be used interchangeably. Parfum can be found in quite a few products including laundry detergent, dryer sheets, lotion, deodorants, shampoo, soap bars, dish washing liquid, litter, fabric softener, talalay rubber, household cleaning products, odor eliminators/air fresheners, candles, non-natural unscented products, or any other product which is scented through non-natural means. There are over 4,000 chemicals used in artificial fragrances. Yet most of these artificial fragrances have not ever been tested for toxicity to humans!
                This lack of testing for toxicity is mainly because the artificial scents ingredients and scent as a whole can be considered proprietary information which protects them from having to do testing. From doing quite a bit of research on some common artificial fragrances one can note some common negative effects on human health are their effect on the reproductive system, respiratory system, certain organs, and the neurological system. In addition, some artificial fragrances have strictly unique negative effects, like how artificial vanilla scent/flavor is mutagenic and can negatively affect your red and white blood cell count. I have sourced my research below.
                Common artificial fragrances are artificial vanilla scent, ocean breeze scent, fresh linen scent, fresh scent, tropical breeze scent, artificial rose scent, fruity scent, cucumber melon scent, and “original” scents.  When looking at the current testing and information about parfumes and without any further testing or information being done to prove otherwise, we believe that you should avoid these artificial scents whenever possible. From what is known about them, they can cause and do cause harm to the human body, and why would we want to cause such harm to our bodies if we can prevent it? Instead try to stick to using natural scents like essential oils or try to purchase products which only use natural scents and do not have the ingredient Parfum, Parfume, Perfume, Fragrance, or Artificial fragrance unless you can verify that they are natural and not chemical. Don’t forget, even some organic products can contain artificial fragrances and unscented products can have masking agents so always check the ingredients!

We hope this helps and educates on the mysterious and secretive Parfum. If you have any suggestions or questions feel free to comment below!

Sources for information provided:
http://www.simplesteps.org/health/youth-adults/hazards-hidden-chemicals-perfume
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1242040/pdf/ehp0112-a0458b.pdf
http://www.visit-aroma.com/uploads/PDF/Ethyl_Vanillin_Msds_.pdf
http://www.betco.com/MSDS_EN/C5510_227/231CAN.pdf
http://www.rubbermaidcommercial.com/rcp/ObjectServer?table=PDFs&id=1038&name=RCP_Microburst%204500%20Air%20Neutralizer%2010%2027%2010%20Rev%202.pdf
http://www.conncoll.edu/offices/ehs/EnvhealthDocs/Meter_Mist_Fresh_Linen_(ENG).pdf
http://www.crafters-choice.com/PDFs/ProductDocs/Crafters-Choice-Fresh-Linen-Fragrance-Oil-154.pdf
http://www.safetec.com/Images/Documents/abhcfreshMSDS.pdf
http://www.sweetwater1.org/site/files/deodorizerfreshscent13l.pdf

Don’t forget to post in the comments your ideas for the next blog post!

 

The start of our new blog! August 14, 2012

Hello All and Welcome to our New Blog!
We know purity is important to you, especially if you are reading this blog. Knowing what is in your food to your mattress, it all matters because it all affects you in some way or another. Choosing the organic and natural option is what you want to do, but learning about it and what truly is pure and what isn’t, that is something you need to do. Sadly, there is only so many hours in day and we at Pure-Rest Organics understand that sometimes you just don’t have the time to do the research and figure it all out.

That, is why we created this Blog!

We do the research, we figure it all out, and then we present the information you need about not just us as a company, but everything out there that can affect you and your home!

Comment below with what you would like us to do the research on first and maybe our next post will be about it!