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Ideas About The Futon Mattress Covers

We talked about how we were going to discuss futon mattress covers that were not only good for you but also your guests (in case that’s who uses your futon).  With all the talk these days of ‘eco’ this and ‘green’ that, we thought it would be a great lead into this article regarding the organic materials that can be used for your or your guest’s bedding.  Have you ever heard of all the mites, dust and chemical off-gassing that is happening right under your nose every night?  Maybe there are some things to think about the causes of snoring as well.  The jury seems to be out in most cases of snoring problems.  All that is offered to some people is a snoring mask and a tank of oxygen.  Maybe with a cleaner environment, their sinuses and other air passages would not get swollen.

It’s been well established that the contents of many typical brand name and popular ‘traditional’ mattresses contain several different types of chemicals and compounds that will ‘off-gas’, especially when new – which is how most people prefer to buy their mattresses.  Now, while futon covers won’t necessarily block this off-gassing as they are fabric and allow gases to come through, they will be a wonderful complement to protect your best organic futon mattress.  So, what’s so special about organic covers, sheets, or bedding you might be wondering?

Other Types of Futon Slipcovers Are Available


What makes organic cotton slipcovers so appealing is for their health benefits to you and the guests you care about.  You might now want to put one on the in-law’s futon, but that’s your business – hehe.  Really, wouldn’t you rather know that just a few inches away from your nose and mouth is a totally safe, organic fabric that won’t irritate or harm you?  Whether you use your futon as a couch, lounger, or bed – the benefits of organic are clear.  There are other health benefits as well.  Because organic cotton is grown without the use of pesticides and such, you can be comfortable knowing that your other ‘resting place’ (ie. planet earth) will not be harmed by such chemicals.  Many times, the companies that make and market organic cotton futon covers will also use natural dyes or some stitching to enhance the look even further.  Not only that, but many of these companies will also employ fair labor practices by paying fair wages and avoiding sweatshop labor.  This is certainly an added bonus – and think, you just thought you were helping yourself with your new organic covers.

Since there are several manufacturers of these futon bed covers, you’ll want to do a little more research before settling on one.  Check to make sure that all these qualities exist with the company you choose.  Also, if your slipcover has a zipper, brass is the way to go.  One more important note:  make sure to order the size of your futon cover about 2″ deeper than your futon mattress height to allow for shrinkage that will occur.  For example, your futon mattress is 6″ tall, order the 8″ size cover.

How do you care for your organic cotton covers?  The recommendations for washing futon covers are to use mild, biodegradable detergents (no bleach) and tumble dry low (remove promptly) – same as you would for any of your other regular cottons.

Finally, what can you expect to pay for one of these organic futon covers?  You should check around online because prices do vary greatly.  You shouldn’t spend more than a few hundred, depending on the size of your futon mattress.

Futon Mattress Covers To The Rescue!

From the dorm room to the board room.  That’s what you could say about the turnaround of the image of the infamous futon mattress.  Okay, so maybe not the boardroom, but definitely the bedroom again.  What used to be reserved for the sleep weary on a budget has become somewhat of a chic item in many households that can afford the finest Egyptian cotton sheets money can buy.  Why do you think this mindset has shifted?  Well, you probably already know, that’s how you found yourself here, looking for futon covers.  But to many people like you searching, the question remains: what types of futon cover patterns and futon cover fabrics are available?

Because of their ease of use and ability to transform a room in moments by simply changing what you’ve got covering the futon mattress itself.  As you continue your search, you will find that there are styles, fabrics, and sizes to fit any futon mattress and any budget.  From roughly $30 for basic cotton covers in a simple pattern up to $300 or more for luxurious fabrics and patterns, like leather.  Or, as one contestant would say on one of those ‘Project Runway’ seasons ‘letha’.  Yes, she was from New York.  Yup, can you believe it, leather futon covers!

Whether you’re used to futon slipcovers or not, it will take you about the time it takes to put away your laundry to have your new cover in place.  The hard part is picking which one to buy.  That’s where this site comes in.  We’re dedicated to covering all the angles you can think of.  If there is something we’ve missed, stay tuned, because it will show up in a future post here.  If it exists in the futon world, it will be discussed here.  That’s what is so great about the internet, we’re actually able to have a forum to discuss specific topics like this.

Remember, the internet is a great place to search for cheap futon covers, but that doesn’t mean you will scrimp on quality.  In future posts, we’re going to talk about a specific fabric and its pros and cons.  It’s not necessarily a discount futon cover, but it isn’t made of gold or silk thread either.  If you think you already know what fabric you’re going to go with, hold on!  If you are stuck on leather, then we can’t stop you (it is pretty cool) but you’ll get some benefit from reading our next installment.  Hint:  these futon covers are good for you AND your guests for several reasons.

The Great Ethanol Caper – A Seemingly Good Idea Gone Wrong

It is a rare event indeed when oil industry, environmental groups, poverty advocates, taxpayer groups and livestock growers all unanimously agree that a federal program has gone horribly wrong. But that is exactly what happened with respect to the federal ethanol in gasoline mandate. How did this come to be?

While the concept of adding ethyl alcohol, commonly referred to as “ethanol,” to gasoline dates all the way back to the early 1900s, a real push for such a result began in the 1970s by corn growers. It finally gained some traction in the 1990 amendments to the Clean Air Act, which mandated that oxygenates be added to gasoline to make it burn more cleanly in areas with poor air quality. While methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) became the oxygenate of choice based primarily on its price, leakage of the chemical from underground storage tanks (and because it migrates faster and farther in soil and groundwater than other gasoline components) resulted in the product being banned and a switch by fuel manufacturers to corn-based ethanol. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 cemented the role of corn-based ethanol by including a Renewable Fuel Standard that required all gasoline sold in the nation to be comprised of 5 percent oxygenate. In 2007, that requirement was revised to require increasing amounts of oxygenate in every year up until 2022. However, starting in 2012, the amount of corn-based ethanol that could be added to gasoline was capped, and the remaining oxygenate requirement had to be filled by so-called advanced biofuels — oxygenates made from cellulosic biomass such as switch grass. If transportation fuel manufacturers failed to achieve the required levels, the law required that they purchase “waiver credits” instead. Unfortunately, while cellulosic biomass and other biofuels may someday become readily available, no such fuels for commercial use were produced in either 2011 or 2012.

This series of events, caused by federal policy, has produced a number of negative consequences that have given birth to the strange coalition of forces mentioned above, who are now lobbying Congress and the EPA to make drastic changes in the mandate. Among those consequences are the following: With respect to corn-ethanol, a huge percentage of all corn grown in the United States (at least 40 percent), which produces about 40 percent of the world’s total corn supply, has been diverted from food and animal feed production for use in fuel, resulting in an increase in the cost of corn-based products that has been estimated to be as high as 68 percent, which in turn has increased world hunger and caused rapid deforestation in order to plant more crops. Because that deforestation increases the amount of greenhouse gases trapped in the atmosphere, many experts have now concluded that ethanol causes greater harm to the environment than the gasoline it is intended to replace. With respect to advanced biofuels, fuel manufacturers have been forced to obtain waiver credits, costing millions of dollars for biofuels they did not purchase because the products do not exist, driving up the cost of providing another essential consumer commodity — motor fuel.

It will be interesting to see how this well-intentioned fiasco finally gets sorted out.

New Revisions to Federal Total Coliform Rule Unlikely to Have An Immediate Impact on Public Water Systems

The Total Coliform Rule is a national primary drinking water regulation that was published in 1989 and became effective in 1990. The rule set both health goals and maximum contaminant levels for total coliform in drinking water. The rule also provided baseline requirements for testing that water systems must undertake. Coliforms are a large class of micro-organisms found in human and animal fecal matter, used to determine whether the drinking water may have other disease-causing organisms in it. A high total coliform level in water indicates a high probability of contamination by protazoa, viruses and bacteria that may be pathogenic.

On December 20, 2012, the Environmental Protection Agency signed off on final revisions to the rule to be submitted for publication in the federal register. Based on advisory committee recommendations, the revisions will require public water systems that are vulnerable to microbial contamination to identify and fix those problems. More specifically, public water systems that are vulnerable to microbial contamination in the distribution system (as indicated by monitoring results for total coliforms and E. coli) will be required to assess the problem and take corrective action that may reduce cases of illnesses and deaths due to potential fecal contamination and waterborne pathogen exposure. The revisions will also establish criteria for public water systems to implement reduced monitoring, thereby incentivizing improved water system operations.

Some states, like California, have requirements that were already stricter than the federal requirements, and compliance with this new revision to the federal Total Coliform Rule is not required until April 2016. As a result, the publication of these changes to the rule is unlikely to have any immediate impact on many public water systems, but it may encourage states to respond with their own regulatory changes to either mirror or strengthen the new federal requirements. Many utilities already rigorously test for both total coliform and E. coli; or, they test for E. coli if there is any total coliform positive result. Because utilities must strictly adhere to regulatory sampling and notification requirements to protect the public health, and to prevent liability suits, there is also unlikely to be any immediate changes in utility sampling conduct based on this revision to the federal rule — absent specific changes in the state regulations, which govern testing. But time will tell.

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