I consider myself an environmentally conscious person. I recycle, along with about 35% of Americans, and do my best to conserve water and electricity in my personal life. I worry about the planet our children will inherit. Earth Day gives us an opportunity to reflect on this important issue and urge mankind to rise to the challenge of preserving our environment for generations to come.
Mattress Recycling – Helping To Keep The Earth Green
The mattress industry does not easily lend itself to environmental conservation. Although good mattresses have a fairly long lifespan (up to 8 years), once a mattress has served its purpose, it often ends up in the landfill. In fact, environmentalists estimate that 14-20 million mattresses (450 pounds) wind up in the landfill each year, consuming about 23 cubic feet of landfill space. These numbers are especially disappointing given that mattresses are 85-90 percent recyclable! Consider this when buying a mattress, and have your old mattress recycled.
Mattress Materials Can Be Recycled Into Everyday Items
Most of the materials that make up a mattress – metal coils, wood, cotton and foam – can be recycled and repurposed into everyday items:
from mattress coils can be used for automotive parts and construction materials.
is chipped for landscaping mulch and animal bedding, or burned as biomass fuel.
can be repurposed for oil filters, stuffing and insulation.
is shredded and mixed with other materials to be made into carpet padding, insulation and other cushioning materials.
I believe that mattress providers like Mattress Firm have an obligation to their communities and customers to help alleviate this harmful situation. That’s why I’m proud to be part of Mattress Firm’s work with Sleep Inc. and their dreamGreen mattress recycling initiative. Sleep Inc. offers one of the best end-of-life mattress recycling programs in the bedding industry. This video demonstrates the process by which discarded mattresses are stripped to their individual components, which are then divided, prepared and packaged for shipment.
We believe that sleeping happy is more than just getting 8 hours of sleep; it’s about sleeping well, knowing that you’re doing your part to leave the world a better place for future sleepers. Although it is daunting to consider all the negative impacts mankind has had (and will likely continue to have) on the environment, I’m grateful this Earth Day to know that at Mattress Firm, we’re doing our part to make a positive impact, and at the end of the day that’s what helps me sleep happy.
About The Author
With more than 15 years of experience with Mattress Firm, Ken Murphy has worn many hats, all of which (were Mattress Firm red, of course) prepared him to step into the role of president and CEO, and perhaps most importantly, his role as a contributor to The Daily Doze. Here on the blog, he shares his thoughts on the importance of a good sleep environment, the impact of a good night’s sleep on your career, and the importance of sleep for his family.
At Mattress Firm, Ken keeps his finger on the pulse of the company as he oversees sales, field operations, marketing communications, digital strategy, learning and development, and talent management. His passion and gusto – widely known and recognized around the Mattress Firm offices – are the drivers behind his dedication to live out the Mattress Firm mission to improve lives one relationship at a time. In 2011, Ken was awarded Mattress Firm’s distinguished Spirit of Life award for his commitment to living out Mattress Firm’s mission and values in his day-to-day life.
Ken holds a Master of Education degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. in Management from Stephen F. Austin State University. He lives in Houston with his wife, Susan, and is a proud father of five children.
Best Night’s Sleep: As an aficionado of alliteration, Ken’s sleep time routine includes thinking up mattress-related tongue twisters like “Matt’s magnificent mattress makes mornings marvelous,” until he drifts off to a peaceful night’s sleep.