Choosing to purchase organic, whether it be for our health or for the environment, can often be the pricier choice. Conventional materials are often much cheaper. Unless one is a member of the top few percent of Americans, most of us can’t just buy whatever we want. We have to consider our purchases carefully, determining when and where our money is best spent.
I understand these considerations intimately. My dad was raised by Italian immigrants who never had all that much money. Consequently, as an adult he kept his belt tight, and lived very frugally, despite not always needing to. To put my last statement in perspective, he would save and re-use ziplock baggies. There was a saying he shared frequently with me. He would say “The pain is gone, but the beauty remains.” He meant that while it can be painful to pay the steep price for high quality products, eventually one forgets the initial pain and is still left with the high quality product. The “beauty” would still remain.
I think of this when deciding when it is a good idea to spend money on high quality products versus buying cheaply. Certainly, we can all notice how products purchased from Walmart or dollar stores have shorter shelf life than a higher quality product. Sometimes, the cheap product is a great idea because we aren’t expecting to keep or use it for a long time. For example, I always hesitate to buy expensive clothes for my children. They’re bound to grow out of them before they begin to break down, so the cheaper option makes more sense. My husband refuses to spend money on a quality pair of sunglasses because he ruins them frequently. However, on certain big purchases it is really worth it to buy as high of quality as you can afford.
When I’ve purchased low quality flooring for a house, it wears out and I’m replacing it again within a couple of years. When I’ve purchased high quality flooring, like solid hardwood and natural wool carpet, they both last much longer and end up being worth the added expense up front because of the added longevity! Something that will be experiencing daily wear-and-tear needs to be of a quality that can withstand that level of sustained use.
Side note: although this blog post isn’t about natural wool carpet, I’m a big fan! Not only does it last a really long time, but it is also keeping many harmful chemicals out of your house. And this is the same is true with organic mattresses! Organic mattresses, often higher quality than conventional, will last you much longer and won’t expose you to toxic chemicals. By purchasing an organic mattress, you are purchasing a product that not only has better longevity itself, but that could have a more positive bearing on your own longevity. And what is worth more than your health? To me, health is the most precious thing, and I don’t hesitate to spend money to keep me feeling healthy and vibrant.
Consider as well the environmental cost. Cheap products use harmful chemicals that seep into groundwater, poisoning people and wildlife. These are the unseen costs of cheap materials. While you may never see these effects, they are unavoidable, built into the costs of cheap products. The short term effects might be negligible, but since you’ll likely have to purchase many more cheap conventional products over the course of one organic products’ life cycle, those effects can add up.
My opinion is that an organic mattress is well worth the cost! These are mattresses that have really long lifespans. Natural latex mattresses especially are expected to last many years, up to or even more than 20 years! If you compare that to replacing a conventional mattress every 5 years, it is easily worth the extra cost. Consider, as well, that we spend a full one-third of our lives sleeping, so shouldn’t we should avoid spending all that time laying on toxic chemicals? And when you factor in how much better organic materials are for the environment, it really is a no-brainer. If the cost is still prohibitive, we have various models on the more affordable side. However, if you have the budget where you can afford a slightly more expensive model, it is hard to beat an all latex organic mattress. They are so comfortable, will last a long time, and are so much better for your health in the long run!