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Thinking about how 2018 already has you stressed out (and considering it’s only February)?! YOU ARE NOT ALONE. 77% of people report that they regularly experience physical symptoms caused by stress, and honey – that ain’t a way to live! Sounds like you could use some tips on new living *wink (#seewhatididthere)

We all have been guilty of starting the year with lots of energy, lofty goals and resolutions, and a renewed sense of purpose, and it’s easy to get discouraged when you realize how much time you may have lost in making progress. The great news is, incorporating small changes in your day-to-day routine to live a more eco-friendly life can actually make you happier and reduce stress, killing two theoretical, highly-symbolic birds with one stone (because we’d never advocate for the actual killing of birds EVER).

Being environmentally conscious might sound hard. Over the years, it’s gotten a bad rep (what do you mean “compost,” what is this??). But hear us when we say that studies have shown that living an eco-friendly life is now being shown to increase satisfaction and overall happiness in your life. Professors from Simon Fraser University have released a study that shows if you live an eco-friendly life you will be healthier and happier. In addition, some other cool and amazingly smart people – Michael Schmitt (professor of psychology), Lara Aknin (professor of psychology) and Jonn Axsen (a professor of resource and environmental management), who also partnered with Rachael Shwom from Rutger’s University – have released a study that shows if you follow “the act of living with intent,” you will become a more satisfied and stress free person (you can find their study published here in Ecological Economics.)

The great news is, it actually isn’t hard – seriously! In a gig-economy world where everyone’s hustling, living eco-friendly and reducing your day-to-day stress can be achieved. We’ve put together some things that have worked with us at New Living that have been super helpful. We’d love to hear what works for you!

Conserve Water & Electricity

*over PA system* Attention, Texas residents *static, static*

Sometimes we forget that we live in a state where one minute, water is over-abundant, and the next minute, one county has a burn ban and the other county is being told not to water their lawns. We forget that something as simple as turning off the tap while brushing our teeth or taking a shorter shower can help a lot with water conservation. We’d love to provide you with some stats to back this up in future posts, but we might not need to if you’ve been watching the news and have heard about what is going on in South Africa. And if not, we’ve got you, boo boo (source: Reuters). And here’s a tip that serves a dual purpose: try taking a bath with essential oils (peppermint and Palo Santo are our faves). You’ll be reducing your stress & conserving water, all while you #treatyoself

Plant More Trees

The human relationship with trees is one of the most beautiful symbiotic relationships: we need trees to live, and trees need us to live. Mass deforestation is happening all around us in staggering levels, and sometimes it’s hard to remember that the little things we do make a huge impact. If you live in the loop like many and have only a balcony to work with, never fear. Small succulents and potted plants – we love the hanging variety! – all help contribute to the oxygen in our atmosphere.

Buy Locally Grown Produce

Find out where your closest Farmer’s Market is (Houston has a ton of them!) and go there! Here you will feel fulfilled by your social interaction with the people who grow the food that you are purchasing. There is no better feeling! We LOVE Urban Harvest (, but there are a ton in Houston you can check out!

Buy Recycled Goods

When you buy a consumer good made from recycled materials – and there are tons of options, thanks to brands being more woke! – you are helping to increase the demand for these recycled products (thanks, high school economics class!). Recycling is becoming more common in counties, so make sure you are aware of your options – you could be missing out on an opportunity to give back!

Buy Organic or Responsibly Sourced

You’ve got to buy (coffee, crackers, bed sheets, insert product here) anyway — buy products you can be confident about when it comes to their quality and longevity. Organic and responsibly sourced products not only give you peace of mind that those who were involved in the assembly were treated well while creating this for you, but that your quality of life is improved because of it. Maybe we’ve been reading a little too much Marie Kondo, or maybe we truly believe that the things you invite into your space have a spirit and impact your life… maybe both!

Going back to the original study, Schmitt says that “instead of thinking of these changes only in terms of what they cost us, individuals and policy makers need to see eco-friendly behaviors as opportunities to do good for the environment, for humans, and for other species. As contributions to the well-being of others, eco-friendly behaviors offer opportunities to experience a meaningful and satisfied life.”

Environmentally conscious living can be perceived as a type of commitment, yes. But it’s a lot easier than you think. It is a way of life that has proven to have the power to bring you sustained happiness (hashtag science). We’ve seen it, we’ve felt it, we’ve lived it – and we want to hear about how you are, too! How are you reducing stress? How are you living eco-friendly? How are YOU “new living?”

Healing after Harvey: A Post-Hurricane Wellness and Mental Health Gathering

On Sunday, November 12, 2017, our storefront will be turned into a Wellness Center featuring some of Houston’s best holistic healers: from massage therapists, to musicians, to expert yoga teachers. This will all be available to the people of Houston, for free. We will be previewing our new concept of a “Dream Room,” where everyone can experience total relaxation with clean air, water, and furniture.

We are doing this because people are still suffering. There was so much stress, trauma and PTSD that our community is dealing with as we rebuild our lives, and we cannot turn our attention away from Hurricane Harvey victims now that the first response has ended. The long, hard road to rebuilding our lives is only just beginning.

Join us and feel the love that all of us are capable of sharing with each other in Houston, in particularly tough times. Start the healing with us on Sunday, November 12th. It all begins at 12:00 PM, and one-on-one sessions are available until 3:30 PM, at which time we will all join forces and experience a group yoga-based healing session. Satmitar and Federico Bauder Mantellini will help us all seal in the goodness we receive that day.

You are not alone. We were all affected. Let’s begin the healing together. New Living stands with a healthier Houston.

Healing after Harvey
Sunday, November 12, 2017
12:00 PM – 4:00 PM
6111 Kirby Dr
Houston, TX 77005

New Living – “Dream Room” yoga nidra studio
Kavana Healing Arts Spa – massages
Ash Agnite – food tastings and yoga therapy
Federico Bauder Mantellini – past-life regression sessions
Kristine Mason Flaherty – singing bowl performance
Amelia Amy Molina – Reiki chair sessions
Jacquelyne Boe – smell seminars with Doterra essential oils
Satmitar – one-on-one Kundalini sessions
weMED Wellness Center of Integrated Medicine – acupuncture
The Outspoken Bean – spoken word performance
Sherita Perez Music – High Vibes musical performance
Jessica Bird – Reiki healing
JoAnn Scott – essential oils
Neyita Mantellini De Bauder – Spiritual Response Therapy

RSVP on Facebook

banner open house houston hurrican harvey

Our hearts go out to all those affected by Hurricane Harvey. We’ve been spending the last few days visiting shelters and helping people find long term housing with our partners at Airbnb.

We wanted to introduce you to Open Door Houston an initiative to help those in need to get people out of the shelters and into homes. Real homes. Comfy homes.

It’s easy to sign up to host those in need in your home. And it’s easy to sign up to find a place to stay. It’s all done through the Airbnb website and app. As safe and secure as any other transaction on Airbnb.

Visit Here to Sign Up.

Our Houston launch has been strong. We are at less than 24 hours live and we already have added 500 new Houston listings. Adding to the 500 we already had in the region/state. It is the highest utilization of our program since we launched a few years ago.

Though we have lots of folks adding listings, the Houston listings are being snapped up faster than we have ever seen (not surprising). And the City is asking us to also support local first responders who have lost their homes.

Please sign up! Join us in creating something valuable to our friends and community. Helping to share information about the program is key. Specifically please create your own posts and share posts:


A great way to help your neighbor. Airbnb has launched their disaster program for Hurricane Harvey. Please consider…

Posted by New Living on Friday, September 1, 2017



Over the next few days, us at New Living will be visiting Houston area shelters to get people signed up. If you want us to visit your shelter, please contact New Living and request for us to visit you there.

Visit Here to Sign Up.

Background on Airbnb’s Disaster Response Program:
Houston, surrounding areas of Galveston and Corpus Christi, New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Shreveport, Lake Charles and Lafayette have been added as designated areas that people can sign up to offer their homes to evacuees for $0.
Earlier this week, Airbnb activated hosts through our disaster response tool in the areas around San Antonio, Austin, Dallas and just north of Houston, including The Woodlands, College Station and Waco.
The availability of $0 listings is valid through September 25th and currently more than 800 homes are being offered through the program.
In the event of major emergencies like this one, Airbnb’s Disaster Response Program provides a tool to support neighbors helping neighbors, allowing residents who have been displaced — as well as emergency relief workers and volunteers who are coming in to assist –to find temporary housing with local Airbnb hosts who are opening their homes free of charge. All service fees are waived.

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how to get a good nights sleep new living health blog

Day should be enough for your work or even a little TV shows binging. Night is meant to sleep. If you are not sleeping properly every night, then you could feel run down and it could lead to health consequences. Even tossing and turning at night can be unhealthy and can leave you feeling drained. If you are looking for a proper sleep every night, here are some healthy tips.

They are easy things you can implement every day that can make a big difference in the way that you feel.

Maintain A Proper Schedule:

It is important that you maintain a proper sleep schedule every night. Set aside at least
seven to eight hours and stick to them. Try to go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning.

During weekends, try to keep the same hours and amount of sleep as a weeknight. When you are consistent, your body enforces a more continuous sleep-wake cycle. That means that if you ever feel unable to sleep, you can do an activity that relaxes you, and you will be more likely to fall asleep quickly.

the best ways to sleep better new living houston

Limit Daytime Naps:

Short power naps are recommended during day and are considered healthy for the body. But be careful not oversleep as it can interfere with your night’s schedule. Limit your day nap to 30 minutes only, and if you love naps, try keeping them to a specific time every day.

A Proper Diet:

Your sleep schedule is also affected by what you eat and drink, especially during dinner and late at night. Be sure to not over-stuff yourself and always eat at least a few hours before your bedtime. Also, avoid drinking caffeine and alcohol, and avoid ingesting nicotine too. All of these chemicals may wear off the sleep effect. Your diet can disrupt your sleeping schedule, so be careful to consider it and eat well to achieve great sleep.

A Peaceful Environment:

It is a must to have a peaceful environment whenever and wherever you sleep! Create a room that is free from any external noise and one that makes you feel cozy. If you are insomniac, create a restful environment and a restful state of mind, before lie down to go to sleep. If necessary, use room-darkening shades, and earplugs to build up an environment that will aid you in your fight against insomnia.

One of the most relaxing ways to bring on sleepiness is a bath before bedtime. Massage your entire body or apply an overnight face mask. Use some essential oils like these. The possibilities are endless!


It is better if you solve all your problems or put out your work tensions before bedtime. In case you can’t resolve your worries, jot them down and set them aside. It is a simple activity, but it helps in de-stressing so much.

Consider how good stress management can help you sleep. Start doing yoga, meditation, and organize the things that might further aggravate the problem.

Physical Activities throughout the Day:

The most effective way to promote better sleep is regular everyday physical activity. Spend time outside everyday. Run, do some cardio activities, or anything that will help wear you out and you will definitely get a good night’s sleep. But keep in mind that you do not want to have your heart racing right before the bedtime. The extensive endorphins can feel like an adrenaline rush and make you feel alert.


sania from The Smart Women Blog

Author Bio:

Sania is a student of accounts and finance. She enjoys shopping, trying out skincare remedies and blogging about anything that is related to beauty and self-care. Her love for pets, tea and travelling is eternal. She ritually posts at The Smart Women Blog.



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Impeccable emblem

If you’ve stopped by New Living Healthy Bedroom Store lately, you may have tried Posh & Lavish. It’s one of our newest brands that we carry and one of the most popular. If you haven’t tried out a Posh & Lavish you must! The mattress is cozy and of the highest quality. And their company is shaping the healthy mattress industry.

Posh and Lavish the company is only 3 years old. However the founders have over 15 years of industry experience in the mattress industry. Their experience and their passion for healthy sleep has helped them shaped a new company to one of the most popular and innovative around. They use obsessive engineering for a cozy sleep that’s buyount and create a quality mattress that lasts.

Impeccable front view

The Posh+Lavish brand includes six all-latex beds. The mattresses have washable, extra-thick, stretch-knit covers made with Tencel yarn. The cores combine Talalay latex and continuous-process latex to deliver “bounce-free” comfort. The mattress cores are wrapped in wool fiber, making them compliant with federal FR regulations.

What’s truly unique about Posh & Lavish is the way they combine layers of dunlop latex with tallalay latex – both natural forms of rubber. Dunlop is known for being firm, long lasting, and keeping it’s shape. Tallalay latex is softer and forms to the body easily. By layering them, Posh & Lavish gives you the best of both. I firm core that keeps it’s shape after many years and soft contours that hug the body and help you relax. If you want to know more about these types of latex, check out our latest post that explains the difference here.

The latex used by Posh & Lavish is Oeko-Tex certified.

Oeko-Tex Standard 100 was introduced by the Hohenstein Institute and the Institute for Ecology, Technology and Innovation ÖTI (Vienna/Austria) in 1992. The aim was to make textile products from conventional production having undergone laboratory testing for harmful substances obvious to consumers by using a label (‘Confidence in Textiles’). Textiles with this label are proven to remain below the set limit values for certain harmful substances.

The company does not sell direct to consumers or to online-only retailers, so the best place to experience the luxury of Posh & Lavish is in store at New Living.

Impeccable side slant view

“Like many ultra-premium brands, Posh+Lavish is a luxury brand that should be experienced,” Ling said. “While the industry is certainly growing rapidly in the online space, we are building a brand for retailers to provide a non-commoditized, unique, high-value encounter and experience for consumers. It is becoming ever clearer to us that the future will contain ‘online-only’ brands, ‘online and in-store’ brands and ‘in-store only’ brands. We want to put a stake in the ground for the independent retailer that wants to offer one or more ‘in-store only’ brands.” from Bed Times.

The mattresses are manufactured in California and ship compressed and rolled to help retailers deliver the mattresses more easily, reduce damage in transit, minimize freight costs, reduce the company’s carbon footprint and minimize retailer’s warehouse space.

Want to shop for Posh & Lavish beds now? See them online here.

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natural latex mattress - healthy sleep new living houston

When most people think of latex, they think of synthetic latex. Synthetic latex, is completely man made from petrochemicals. It can be commonly found in rubber gloves, condoms, balloons, band-aids, medical equipment and surgical devices just to name a few.

Some people can develop allergies to synthetic latex after just a few exposures. These allergic reactions can range from nasal allergies, hay fever like symptoms, conjunctivitis, hives, and mild to severe itching.

Synthetic latex is a man made reproduction of natural latex. And in fact, there are 3 categories of natural latex: Blended (30% Natural 70% SBR aka Styrene-Butadiene Rubber), 100% All-Natural, and Certified Organic. Rubber_trees_in_Kerala,_India_small

So, what is natural latex? Why is synthetic latex in my mattress a health concern?

Latex is a milky white liquid naturally occurring in rubber trees (Hevea Brasiliensis). Rubber trees are native to South America and have been one of their greatest natural resources. During the 19th century, they were spread around the world because of their advantages in products production and manufacturing.

Rubber trees will start to create liquid latex 5 years after they are planted keep producing for up to 20 years. Just as maple syrup is extracted from sugar maples, latex is extracted out of rubber trees through a small piece of bark that is carved from the tree. Once the tree is cut, the latex flows freely without any harm being done to the tree in the process.

Synthetic latex was developed in the U.S. during WWII when natural rubber supplies were cut off from Southeast Asia. By then, most rubber/latex production had moved there and the war efforts kept these natural resources from being traded with the US.

One of the many uses is to fill mattresses. Even though we outlined a few negative health effects from synthetic latex it is still significantly better than polyurethane foam! Synthetic latex and polyurethane foam, the main ingredient of memory foam, should not be confused with each other. But they often are.

Synthetic latex mattresses and the even worse Polyurethane Foam, can have many other negative effects on your health and home. They can release chemicals like these that is absorbed through the skin and lungs. These mattresses don’t release moisture and trap heat causing mildew and mold in your home. They can become a breeding an environment for dust mites and bed-bugs. They can oxidize and create dust which is released into the air and settles around your home and in your lungs.

the difference between natural latex and synthetic latexEnough with the negative, let’s get to all the wonderful benefits that a natural latex mattress, certified organic latex or blended latex can do for you!

Some mattress brands blend natural and synthetic latex together, like the “blended latex” that we mentioned above. Even blending latex creates a significantly healthier sleep than a synthetic latex mattress! It’s a perfect way for someone shopping healthy mattresses on a budget to get the best low cost product.

When shopping for a blended mattress consider the Oeko-Tex 100 Certificate. This is the highest certificate for off-gassing on non-organic products that is available. Posh & Lavish, which is one of the most popular brands of heathy mattresses, are 30% Natural Talalay latex and 70% SBR (Styrene-Butadiene). These materials together are known for its abrasion-resistance and durability. They also have all-natural Dunlop latex for the core.

Blended mattresses have a 20 year warranty, just like a 100% all natural and certified organic latex mattress. Thus, this blended mattresses should be considered a natural mattress.

All Natural and Certified Organic Latex mattresses also have a lifespan of 20-30 years. They are comfortable, anti-microbial, anti-fungal, hypo allergenic, dust mite resistant, and biodegradable. They offer support where you body needs it to keep the spine aligned, and they relieve pressure point discomfort. It will move with your body during the night instead of keeping you stagnant.

In a hot climate, it will help keep you cooler because the natural materials are more breathable and not intended on your body heat.

Here at New Living we strive to keep you and your home healthy, clean, and organic which is why we carry brands like OMI, Saavy Rest, and Naturepedic. See our collection of healthy sleep options online. And visit us in store to learn more about how you can create the healthiest home and home of your dreams.

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organic healthy sofa chemical free home

We’ve got big news that we are so excited to share! Our very own Tilly Sofa is officially the first certified non-toxic sofa in the USA!

At New Living, we care about health and not only feature organic and natural mattresses from lots of health conscious brands, we also create pieces with our partners HTX Made.

tilly sofa certified organic sofa new living

The Tilly Sofa is one of our favorite pieces and is created with Europly a very durable compressed wood, and natural latex. It is lined with wool and covered in an organic cotton canvas. They are available printed with artwork by Melissa Eason or bare to show off the gorgeous wood. With either style, you are going to love the look of the Tilly Sofa!

The Tilly Sofa is neutral in color and fabulously modern. It is cozy, comfy and is a piece of furniture that is built to last a lifetime.

With a certified non-toxic sofa, you can rest easy with no worry of chemical off gasing, fire retardants or other chemicals that you may want to avoid in your home. If you are starting the journey of learning about toxic chemicals that can be found in your home, we’ve created this blog post that outlines the worst of the bunch. Have a read and learn how to better protect your health and your home.

tilly sofa organic furniture new living

The process of certification took many months and lots of detail oriented studies on the ingredients we used. We worked with Made Safe, a group that certifies home goods, beauty products, and other items you may encounter daily. Made Safe not only takes into account the ingredients that are used but they also look at the supply chain and where each ingredient is coming from.

They look at the effects of each ingredient and the manufacturing processes to understand how each ingredient effects human health and the human body. They also look for environmental concerns and how each ingredient can affect the oceans, wildlife, air quality, and water quality.

the first certified organic sofa

To be deemed “Safe” by Made Safe, it means that ingredients are not known or suspected to cause human health harm as determined by scientifically recognized lists from around the world. In order to do this, their scientists and/or advisors analyze the materials, ingredients and chemical components of a product (as obtained through our required paper screening) to ensure it does not contain harmful ingredients or release vapors, gases, or by-products that could impact human health.

made safe logo certified non toxic new living furniture

That means that every ingredient used was carefully selected and the Tilly Sofa was carefully constructed with thoughtful care! We are so happy to announce that we passed with flying colors.

Next month, Made Safe will be joining us in person to award us this Certified Non-Toxic Standard and celebrate this huge feat!

Want to try out the Tilly Sofa for yourself? Join us in store at New Living at 6111 Kirby Dr. Houston TX.

Or get to know HTX Made better and their gorgeous line of handcrafted furniture.

You can also try the Tilly Sofa at the Rest & Rec Pop Up at 321 A W 19th St. 77008.

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chemicals in your mattress new living healthy mattress store

We think of our home a sanctuary. It’s a comfortable place where we are safe. But unfortunately toxins can lurk all around us in hidden places. Bedding, mattresses, sofas, and household cleaners and paints may be a hidden place for these chemicals. Here is a list of the chemicals that can be found in common mattresses like polyeurathane and memory foam.

We included a little bit of info about what these chemicals are and why they are toxic. And before we scare you, don’t worry, there are lots of healthy safe alternatives as well as informational links at the bottom of this post.



Boric Acid

Boric Acid is the main ingredient in borax and is a common household cleaner but did you know it can also be found in your mattress? Boric acid can absorb into the body if ingested but is absorbed poorly by skin contact unless you have a cut or abrasion. Studies with rats showed that boric acid can be absorbed if inhaled too. Once inside, boric acid generally moves evenly throughout the body. However, it can be stored in bone and is generally found at lower levels in fatty tissues. There is no evidence that boric acid is broken down in the body entirely and can remain in the body but the majority of boric acid in the body is eliminated in the urine within four days.


Antimony is widely used and can be  in all kinds of everyday items. Most commonly, the metal has been used as a flame retardant in products as diverse as toys, car seat covers, clothing for kids, and uniforms for fire fighters, as well as sofas, chairs, and mattresses. Beyond this, antimony is used to produce glass and ceramics, to make pigments, and in batteries.

“In general, how your body reacts to a toxic level of antimony will depend on how you were exposed. Those who breathed in the compound in large amounts, may suffer from symptoms like pneumoconiosis, gastrointestinal problems, antimony spots appearing on their skin, and respiratory irritation. However, if you come into contact with actual antimony dust, you can experience symptoms like depression, dizziness, headaches, vomiting, kidney damage, or liver damage. One compound—antimony trioxide—may be carcinogenic, and antimony poisoning has also been known to lead to Adams-Stokes syndrome.” Find out more at the National Institute of Health.


The primary filling material used in most conventional mattresses is polyurethane foam — a highly flammable petroleum-based material.

Formaldehyde, which is used to make one of the adhesives that combine mattress layers, has been linked to asthma, allergies, and lung, nose, and throat cancers. Formaldehyde is most commonly known as embalming fluid.

Volatile Organic Compounds
Volatile organic compounds are emitted while burning fuel, such as gasoline, wood, coal, and natural gas. They are also released by oil fields, gas fields, and diesel exhaust. Around the home you can find them in solvents, paints, glues, and other products that are used and stored at home and at work.

“Indoors, products that contain volatile organic compounds release emissions when you use them, and to a smaller degree, when they are stored. You can be exposed to volatile organic compounds at home if you use cleaning, painting, or hobby supplies that contain them. You can also be exposed if you dry clean your clothes with home dry-cleaning products; if you dry-clean your clothes at a professional dry-cleaners; or if you use graphics and crafts materials such as glues, permanent markers, and photographic solutions.” –from the National Institute of Health Website

There are many different types of VOC’s and many of them may be present in a common polyurethane or memory foam mattress.

“Benzene and formaldehyde are listed as human carcinogens in the Fourteenth Report on Carcinogens published by the National Toxicology Program; diesel exhaust particulates, perchloroethylene, and styrene are listed as “reasonably anticipated to be human carcinogens.” People at the highest risk of long-term exposure to these three volatile organic compounds are industrial workers who have prolonged exposure to the compounds in the workplace; cigarette smokers; and people who have prolonged exposure to emissions from heavy motor vehicle traffic.” NIH

Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (also known as flame retardants or PBDE’s)

One type of flame-retardant chemical, polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), has been banned in the U.S. since 2004 for it’s health consequences. If your mattress contains polyurethane foam and was manufactured before 2004, it might still contain them.

PBDEs are used as fire retardants in lots of different products, including plastics, furniture, upholstery, electrical equipment, electronic devices, textiles and other household products.

People can potentially be exposed to PBBs and PBDEs by ingestion, inhalation or skin contact.

“PBDEs and PBBs do not dissolve easily in water and bind strongly to soil or sediment particles, which reduces their mobility in soil, sediment and groundwater, but increases their mobility in the atmosphere, where they are attached to airborne particulate matter.”

PBDEs and PBBs have been detected in air, sediments, surface water, fish and other marine animals States (ATSDR 2004; DHHS 2011).

“…growing evidence shows that PBDE compounds are escaping from the products they protect and making their way into the products’ users. Moreover, the chemicals may disrupt human thyroid hormone functioning and cause other health effects, prompting many nations to ban or suspend their use in new consumer goods.”  From the EPA


Looking for our Sources or More Research on Chemicals in Your Mattress?

Mother Jones Should You Ditch Your Chemical Mattress?

The CDC on PBDE’s

What’s in Your Mattress?

Looking for Safer Alternatives like Natural and Organic Mattresses?

New Living Natural Mattress Houston

Learn about Naturepedic Mattresses Here

Learn about OrganicPedic by OMI Here

More from Savvy Rest

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What's In Houston's Air - New Living - Air Quality Houston

Toulene, Benzene, o-Xylene. Do these sound healthy to breathe? Do you know how much of them in Houston?


Thanks to Air Alliance Houston & Sketch City, you can find out what and when chemicals in your air in almost real time. The most common of which are:


what's in Houston's Air - Air Quality Info by New Living

They are gases released in sometimes high levels from chemical plants and refineries. Areas of Houston that are at great risk of exposure are places like Galena Park, Texas City and Channel View.

To tell you a little more about these gases:

Benzene is a light hydrocarbon and a natural component of crude oil. It’s a known human carcinogen with short- and long-term health effects. It is created from cars, trucks, trains, marine vessels, oil refineries, or chemical plants. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Effects Screening Level states that health standards should be less than:

Short term (1 hour): 58 parts per billion (ppb).

Long term (1 year): 1.4 ppb.

Take a look at a very normal release of Benzene from Galena Park in April 2017.

And there are even more chemicals that are being released in high amounts on a regular basis near the Houston area. Here are a few of the most common as well as the toxic effects.


Ethylbenzene is a highly flammable hydrocarbon. 99% of the ethylbenzene produced is used to make styrene, which is in turn used to produce plastics. Ethylbenzene is also used as a solvent and in the production of asphalt, naptha, and fuels. It is created by cars and chemical plants that produce styrene. It’s also used indoors in cleaning products, varnishes, paint, and other commonly used household items.

It’s short term effects include throat irritation and dizziness. High exposure can cause nervous system toxicity, pulmonary effects, and effects on the liver and kidneys.


Toluene is a man-made hydrocarbon derived from benzene. Toluene is the primary odor component in gasoline. It is used in chemical manufacturing and as a solvent. It is produced by cars and emitted by facilities that use it as a feedstock or solvent. These include petrochemical plants, manufacturers of paint and ink, and printers. You can also find them commonly in your home in paints, nail polish and cigarette smoke.

Long term or chronic high level exposure can cause depression of the central nervous system, including drowsiness, ataxia, tremors, cerebral atrophy, nystagmus (involuntary eye movements), and impaired speech, hearing, and vision; in addition to cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat). Most importantly it can impact the development of a fetus in a pregnant woman.


o-Xylene, along with m- and p-xylene, is one of three isomers of xylene. Xylenes are used in the production of ethylbenzene, as solvents in paints and coatings, and as a gasoline additive.The chemical is emitted by cars, industrial sources, and volatilization of solvents. It’s also found indoors in synthetic fragrances and paints.

The long term side effects to chronic exposure can range from effects on the Central nervous such as headache, dizziness, fatigue, tremors, and lack of coordination; as well as effects on the respiratory, cardiovascular, and kidney. The carcinogenicity is unknown.

Take a look at another tweet by the Air Alliance’s Kuukibot and notice the level of ppb of these chemicals being released. On April 1st, Kuukibot released 12 different data points about toxicity level in the Houston air. On March 31st, there were 23 tweets released with different data points.

air quality houston info by new living

So what can you do?

Education is always a great first step. Take a look at Air Alliance Houston, a group that puts together data for air quality Houston. They offer free workshops, info online, and a twitter bot that auto tweets all important air quality information in Houston.

Join us in store at New Living for lots of different ways you can improve the health of your home including water purifiers, air purifiers, and healthy mattresses.

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Live Edge Walnut Bed 2 by HTX Made Handmade Furniture

We wanted to introduce you to our collaborators HTX Made. HTX Made is a local company that handcrafts the furniture you can shop at New Living in Rice Village.

They are a micro production facility that produces clean socially conscious goods. Housed in the East End, this small company is all about environmental responsibility and stylish design. At New Living, you can find cool and modern bed frames and side tables that can vary from minimal to live edge. In fact, most furniture that you see at New Living is created by locally by HTX Made.

HTXMade Houston - Mini Parklett 19th St Houston Heights

We’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with HTX Made on the Mini Parklet along 19th St. in the Houston Heights. It’s a gorgeous blend of minimal metal work, a beautiful wooden bench, and huge planters full of local Texas plants.

HTX Made has created live edge tasting tables for the J.W. Marriott in downtown Houston. They’ve created commissions for national pop up brand Kit & Ace. You can also find handcrafted chairs at Axelrad in midtown. They have several big commissions from hotels, restaurants, and bars. We can’t wait for you to see their latest creations.

Mesquite Conference Table, Arrow Base (1)

One of the owners, Ben Baron, told us about how HTX Made has grown. He said, “When HTX Made first began, every item was completely unique. Of course every piece of furniture was a thrill but it wasn’t feasible for any business. Now we’ve created a catalog of focused handmade pieces of furniture. All of the finishes and colors are still customizable so each piece can have it’s own unique ant to get away from doing custom work. Now we’re more catalog focused, with customized finished materials.”

Ben Baron also described what inspires the company, “We use resources that are in our own community. We work with people that are in our community, 2nd Ward also known as Greater East End. Most items from HTX Made are local materials that are finished in a natural way. We use beautiful hardwood and we don’t stain in colors that are different than the natural color. We want to display the beauty already in the materials and keep them as natural as possible.

When you make furniture, you automatically consider it’s use and that includes the people that will use it. When people purchase a piece of furniture from us, what they are asking for are roots.  Something that reminds them of a specific place and a specific moment. In that way, everything we create is truly special.”

Monte Stool, Walnut Handmade Furniture by HTX Made

So what’s next for HTX Made?

They are working on several bars, restaurants, and hotels. They are often using reclaimed materials from the building itself to compliment the integrity of the building.

See more handmade furniture and creations by HTX Made Here.

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