Sense and Sustainability

When I was a child, our family consumed news. The local TV news station ran through the headlines of the day while my mother prepared dinner and I set the table. As we ate, the national news murmured in the background. In the mornings, we walked down the driveway to pick up the morning paper. It lay on the kitchen table for anyone to read. I pounced on the “funnies” but later learned to appreciate the rest of the news, which lead me to a journalism degree.

My father built a chest to store the accumulated newsprint and my mother would take them to a recycling bin. She called herself the recycling queen. I remember her picking through the trash to find items that someone had thrown away that should have been recycled. Years later, when living in a small town without recycling pickup, I collected my newspapers and other recyclables and drove to a spot where bins for paper, plastics and glass awaited. Convenient? No. Important? Yes. 

As a person who was raised with that mentality, I’ve been excited to see the mattress industry shift toward a more sustainable mindset. At ISPA EXPO in March, many suppliers offered a product or a machine that was made from sustainable resources, reduced waste or made recycling mattresses easier. I love seeing the creativity and innovation of our industry turn in this direction.

In April, the International Sleep Products Association’s Board of Trustees passed a sustainability initiative (see story on page 13). As a result, we’ll have a Sustainability Committee that will raise awareness of sustainability principles, share vital regulatory information, conduct market research to see which criteria are important to consumers and host a sustainability conference. In fact, plans are underway for the first conference. It will be Nov. 16-17 at Embassy Suites in Charlotte, North Carolina.

As for BedTimes magazine, we want to share your sustainability news. What practices have you put in place to reduce waste? How are you making it easier to recycle a mattress? Have you figured out a practice that will benefit others in the industry? 

In upcoming issues, we’ll share some of those stories, as well as the information you need as you navigate your way through the ever-changing regulatory landscape. We want to be a partner in spreading the news and making a difference for our world. 

It’s the least I can do, especially as the daughter of the recycling queen.• 

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