Lifestyles

Oh Sheet! Is Your Bedding Eco-Friendly?

default article imageInterested in becoming more environmentally friendly around the house? Replacing your typical microfiber and non-organic cotton sheets with organic cotton bed sheets, eucalyptus sheets, or bamboo sheets can be a start. Just as children are scared of what’s hiding under their covers adults, now more than ever, should be concerned about what’s in them. Non-organic cotton has been reported to harm the environment and has been given the title of the “dirtiest crop on earth’’, by bedding company Swedish Linens.

So why should you make the switch? The truth is organic cotton sheets are better than those that are non-organic because they lack harmful chemicals that non-organic cottons sheets are comprised of.

According to Tiffany L. Medley, lecturer in the Biology department at Monmouth University, “The worst sheets for the environment are microfiber sheets. Microfiber essentially is synthetically made from petroleum, and is of plastic like material. When washing, the smallest microfibers make it through the drains and into a waste-water treatment plant where they are not filtered out. They end up discharged into water bodies and consumed by filter feeders and others which then as part of the food chain end up in the bodies of other animals. If we eat these animals (fish, shellfish, etc.) the plastic ends up in us,” said Medley.

If you decide you want to make the switch, there are some things you should know about these alternative options.

If you are getting ready to purchase cotton sheets, double and triple-check to make sure that they are organic. Organic cotton sheets are also hypoallergenic, which is great for those who have severely sensitive skin. There are several companies that offer eco-friendly sheets such as Boll & Branch, Buffy, and Cariloha Luxury Bamboo Sheets.

Boll & Branch is a company that sells 100 percent organic cotton sheets, and they allow their customers to have a 30-day free trial with their products. This gives customers the luxury of returning the item if it may have not been the right fit for them. 

If you choose to steer away from cotton sheets all together, eucalyptus sheets are another option. Eucalyptus is famously known for clearing up colds and congestion, but also has healing cooling properties that soothe sensitive, irritated skin. 

If you are in the market for eucalyptus sheets, Buffy is a company that creates sustainable, eco-friendly, sheets. Buffy offers free shipping on first orders, and are according to the website, “soft as a cloud.”  Buffy’s website claims that their bedding is made from eucalyptus fiber that is sourced from trees in Austria. These trees also use, “Ten times less water to grow (and transform into fabric) than cotton.

So what about Bamboo sheets then? Organic bamboo sheets are said to be antibacterial, as well as hypoallergenic. According to a bamboo bedding company Ettitude,  their Clean Bamboo sheets are made from 100 percent organic bamboo that customers should invest in if they want “frizz-free” smooth hair, or have sensitive skin, or troubles keeping cool at night.

Cariloha Bamboo Sheets, is a company that put bamboo bedding on the map. Cariloha has been featured in Forbes, CNN, Business Insider, Entrepreneur of The Year, Today, and The Ellen Degeneres Show. This brand specifically is known to be odor-resistant and environmentally friendly. According to Cariloha, Bamboo sheets also reduce moisture in the bed, which will lessen the chances of dust mites.

When asked about becoming more eco-conscious with linens, Kristen Kane, a junior criminal justice student said, “It would be such an easy switch to get rid of all non-organic cotton sheets and microfiber sheets, and purchase bamboo or eucalyptus sheets instead. If it is helping out the earth then we all should definitely make the switch. Especially with our climate now.”

Timothy Foley, junior communication student added, “Microfiber is horrible for the environment and if everyone could stay away from buying anything with microfibers, we could help the earth a lot. I think if it is as easy as just switching your sheets, then it is worth it.”

Although saving the environment is priceless, switching your sheets to these environmentally friendly options is nice. The average price range for organic cotton sheets begins around $40, where bamboo and eucalyptus sheets range anywhere from $130- $300. If you are not ready to make this investment yet the next best step is to educate yourself on the topic, and the pros and cons these alternatives can bring to your home. 

PHOTO COURTESY of Monmouth University