by Elisa Smith
A sustainable planet begins with individuals making better choices, yet many consumers are unsure where to begin to reap the health and environmental benefits of creating a sustainable home. Fortunately, residents of Bucks and Montgomery counties have several options available.
Dennis and Lee Hornick, owners of The Organic Mattress Store, entered the business after being so impressed with their first organic mattress that they decided to become distributors. “Dennis and I had purchased five conventional mattresses in seven years,” says Lee, noting that they’d long wanted an organic one, but lacked nearby retailers. When the couple sold their home in the Florida Keys to return to Pennsylvania in 2004, they enlisted their nephew in California to purchase one there and have it shipped to them. Six months later they were enthusiastic retailers of the brand.
Since then, in addition to offering top brands of organic mattresses, the Hornicks have developed their own private label, OMS. Lee warns that some companies market their mattresses as natural despite their containing hidden products like borate, silica, Kevlar or Tyvek. “We sell no synthetic products whatsoever. Even in our furniture line, there are no chemical coatings,” she explains. Their commitment extends to their showroom, which was completely gutted and refinished with non-toxic plaster walls, wool carpeting and Bioshield paints, containing no volatile organic compounds (VOCs). “Chemically sensitive people can breathe easy in our showroom,” she says.
Breathing easy is also important to Mike and Amy Staub, owners of Your Organic Bedroom . “Our bodies rejuvenate while we’re sleeping, so it’s important that our sleeping environment be as non-toxic as possible,” says Mike. As the name suggests, the store offers organic and all-natural options in bedroom furnishings, including mattresses, bedding and sleepwear. In addition to selling the top brands, the Staubs offer customers the option of customizing mattresses. “All of our mattresses are made of natural cotton and wool, sourced and manufactured in the USA, and none contain chemical fire retardants, because premium eco-wool is a natural fire retardant, as tested and approved by the Consumer Product Safety Commission,” says Staub.
The store recently expanded to include a line of organic sofas and chairs that feature certified organic hemp, organic cotton duck or a blend of the two on a solid maple frame, with cushions wrapped in organic wool batting and filled with natural latex foam.
For the remainder of the home, Environmental Home Store offers environmentally friendly kitchen, bath, flooring and paint options. According to owner Nick Cutrone, mainstream products often contain VOCs that evaporate into the air, a dangerous process known as off-gassing. “We’re typically aware of toxic chemicals only when we can smell them,” he says, “but toxins can be released into the air for many years after products are installed, leading to health issues including asthma, headaches, fatigue, allergies, depression and even cancer.”
Founded with the mission to make sustainable living and working both accessible and affordable, the company’s services include consulting, design, construction and installation. Cutrone has completely redone the homes of several of his own family members and says all are impressed with the craftsmanship of the products and the air quality throughout the renovation process. “We are experts in replacing traditional materials with cutting-edge sustainable materials for roughly the same cost,” says Cutrone, adding that it’s not necessary to start with new construction. “There are many products available to help homeowners make the shift to a healthier, eco-friendly environment in their existing homes.”
Our sustainable home experts look forward to partnering with readers to improve the health of their living environments. Please use the information below to reach out and learn more.
The Organic Mattress Store is located at 1075 Main St., Hellertown. For more information, call 866-246-9866 or visit TheEastCoastOrganicMattressStore.com. See ad, page 32.
Your Organic Bedroom has locations at 323 Main St.,Doylestown, and 83 E. Lancaster Ave., Paoli. For more information, call 215-345-5551 (Doylestown) or 610-647-4068 (Paoli) or visit YourOrganicBedroom.com. See ad, page 17.
The Environmental Home Store is located at 320 North Broad St., Doylestown. For more information, call 267-880-6791 or visit EnvironmentalHomeStore.com. See ad, page 9.