Getting a good night’s sleep is vital for our health, but how do our sleeping habits impact the planet and sleep sustainably?
Bedding, and mattresses, in particular, are actually becoming quite a big environmental issue.
In 2017, the U.K. alone threw away more than 7 million mattresses and, according to Zero Waste Scotland, if all the mattresses Scotland throws away in one year were stacked on top of each other, the pile would be more than 100 times taller than Ben Nevis.
And it’s not just a British problem. In the US, over 18 million mattresses are thrown away every year, and there are only 56 facilities to recycle them.
The reason they’re so challenging to recycle is that they are made from several different materials, including metal in the springs. Sadly, this means most of them end up in landfills. They are also among the most commonly illegally dumped items in Britain, littering our environment.
On top of that, this issue is getting worse every year. In the past, it was common only to change your mattress every 8 to 10 years. However, with online retailers offering more choice than ever, people are constantly looking for an upgrade.
That’s not even all. Many materials used to make mattresses and other bedding are unsustainable and contain harmful glues, dyes, gels, and more.
They can even damage your health, emitting VOCs which can irritate your eyes, throat, and skin and cause breathing problems, headaches, fatigue, and nausea. Not exactly stuff you want to be breathing in while you sleep all night.
So, how can we find bedding that’s good for us and the planet?
First of all, don’t buy new bedding before yours is worn out. That’s only adding to the problem.
When the time does come, though, why not consider donating them instead? If it’s in a reasonable condition, many charities will accept mattresses and bedding, particularly charities supporting homeless people or caring for animals (they need to stay warm, too!).
You can find some more details on where to donate your bedding here.
Finally, when the time comes to choose new bedding, there are some things you can look out for to make sure you’re making an environmentally-friendly choice.
The first is a company looking to reduce their footprint and demonstrating that they want to do better. A great example of this is our partners, Levitex Sleep Posture Experts. Not only is their workforce climate positive, but so are their pillows. On top of that, they’re also working on getting rid of all their plastic packaging.
Other things to look out for when shopping for some more sustainable bedding are sustainable, plant-based materials such as bamboo or wool, which are biodegradable, and durability. After all, it’s not exactly planet-friendly to be buying a new mattress every 2 or 3 years.
Another great option is Soak&Sleep.
Since Soak&Sleep’s founding in 2008, they’ve grown to be the leading online bedding and bath linens retailer and the go-to brand for thousands of people. You can rest assured that with them, you’ll always get exceptional quality for the fairest price.
All of their products are ethically sourced, and many contain sustainable materials. For example, their Wool 2000 pocket spring mattress contains natural fibres such as wool and viscose (a manmade fibre derived from natural sources), which biodegrade at the end of their useful life.
Soak&Sleep also make hemp bed sheets, a crop that needs far less water than cotton and has fewer pesticides, herbicides, and fertiliser than other fabrics.
Even better, they have duvets made entirely from 80% recycled down and 80% recycled feather for a lofty, warm treat that’s kinder to the planet. Not only does pre-loved feather and down mean less landfill, but it also uses a fraction of the resources needed to rear birds for virgin feather and down.
All Soak&Sleep mattresses are also made in the UK, meaning fewer supply chain emissions.
On top of all that, they have a social impact, too, working with Dimbleby Cancer Care to improve the lives of patients under their care, helping to meet their aim of #makinglifebetter.
You can shop Soak&Sleep here. Their summer sale means you could get up to 40% off, and you can even message on their website to check the latest codes and discounts for a sleep that’s kinder to you, your wallet, and the planet.
Find out how Play it Green can help you or your business