We recently discovered National Geographic's online Green Guide with its eco-friendly recommendations for home and garden, local green resources, and more. While checking out the bedding section in the Buying Guide, we were struck by the assertion that turning down the thermostat and adding extra bedding can have such a large impact on the environment; for every degree the thermostat goes down, 320 pounds of greenhouse gases are kept out of the atmosphere over the course of the season...
In order to help reduce the impact of that temperature drop, the Green Guide offers some suggestions for eco-friendly blankets to offset the chill. The shopping tips from the guide include:
- Avoid textiles labeled permanent press, no-iron, crease-resistant, shrink-proof, stretch-proof, water repellent or water-proofed. Some finishes, such as those to prevent stains and wrinkles, can release formaldehyde into the air.
- Look for products that are machine-washable to keep dust and allergen levels at a minimum (wool is naturally inhospitable to dust mites).
- Allergy sufferers and asthmatics should also avoid bedding and comforters stuffed with down feathers, which may cause allergies to flare up.
More detailed recommendations about materials and dyes can be found here. The Jacquard blanket pictured above was the Green Guide's choice for greenest product, and is available online from Green Nest.