Mother Earth Living

Just Ask: The Ethics of Down Comforters and Sustainable Bunk Beds

Are down comforters ethical? Can you help me find sustainable bunk beds?
By Umbra Fisk
November/December 2010
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Find out how the feathers used in down comforters are harvested.


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Q: I’m trying to keep the thermostat turned down, and in winter it gets down to around 50 degrees in the bedroom at night. We need some serious warmth in the blankets! I’d like to get a huge, puffy, down comforter. Do any ethical or environmental problems surround real goose down?   
 —Mila, Kings Beach, California 

Find out what Umbra has to say about the ethical problems with down comforters. 

Q: I’m looking for a sustainably harvested bunk bed for my 5-year-old son. When I search online, all I read about are “super low, unbeatable prices,” rather than the really important details, like whether it’s good for people or our planet. Do you have a list of businesses that carry sustainably harvested wooden furniture (including bunk beds)?  
Kathy, Egg Harbor City, New Jersey 

Find out what Umbra has to say about where to find sustainably harvested wood bunk beds. 








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