O = Organic for Life
Buying organic is a commitment to your community’s health.
You’ve no doubt seen the word organic used by farmers, marketers, and the news media. You can buy organic food, clothes, sunscreen, and cleaning products. But what does it all mean – and why should you care? Buying organic means choosing products that have been created using natural materials and without the use of damaging chemicals. Organic products should be produced in a way that doesn’t damage or exploit the environment. The products created from organic resources should be healthier for your family to us because you aren’t bringing chemicals into your home and bodies. Buying organic is a commitment to yourself, your family’s health and to your community. It’s also a way to vote with your dollars. Organic purchases send the message that you want to protect your own health, as well as the health of the people and places that are affected by your consumer behaviors—everyone from the farm workers who are hurt by exposure to agricultural chemicals to the generations who will inherit the land where our food is now grown.
It can take more than one pound of fertilizer to make a single non-organic cotton T-shirt.
- Grow your own organic produce. Because most of us shop for food weekly, this is one of the quickest ways to make a change in our spending habits. Your children can be 100% confident in an organic snow pea that they help harvest! Then they’ll have a point of reference when shopping—you can tell they that your family only wants to buy food that is chemical-free like the food in your garden.
- Shop the organic section of your grocery store. Everything from pasta to bread can be found in organic varieties. You’ll have the most success filling your fridge and pantry with organic foods if you stick with whole foods and minimally processed foods. Shopping organic might feel like it’s more expensive in the moment, but it’s really not if you think about the long-term health risks of cancer- and other illness-causing chemicals. Shopping organic is also shopping in a way that is mindful of the true costs of quality food. Why should we buy “cheaper” apples if doing so makes farm workers sick, ruins our environment and risks our own health too? Start with one or two products, and gradually increase the percentage of your organic food purchases.
- Make your own cleaning products. You can purchase household cleaning products that are labeled organic, but you can also make products to meet almost all of your cleaning needs. When you make a product yourself you know exactly what ingredients are used.
- Switch to organic cotton. Whether you’re buying a t-shirt or sheets, look for organic cotton. While cotton itself was once considered a natural fiber, the industry has changed so much over the year so that it has now become one of the most environmentally damaging industries in the world. Making the switch to organic cotton or other organic fabrics can have a significant positive impact on the environment. Get your kids to help you read tags!
- Switch to home products made of organic materials. Plastic items aren’t the only thing in your home made from petroleum byproducts. Mattresses, carpet, building materials—it’s good to research the source materials of everything. You can decrease your family’s impact on the environment and optimize your own health by paying attention to home products and gradually replacing toxic ones with products made from organic materials, like hemp or bamboo.