It’s simpler than you think to save your health – and the planet’s
Making organic lifestyle choices doesn’t have to cost the earth or be a huge effort. It may need you to get a little creative, but that’s all. Give these small changes a go and you’ll be leaving yourself (and the planet) a little happier and healthier.
So what exactly IS organic?
Choosing organic helps protect soils, ecosystems and biodiversity. It’s letting nature do what she does best by interfering as little as possible, and is a great way of cutting down on those health-harming chemicals entering your body and the environment.
EU law requires all organic food and drink to be certified by a recognised institution – the Soil Association Certification is the UK’s leading organic certification body. It carries out inspections and awards the title to farms and businesses that meet its strict standards, licensing more than 70% of the organic food on sale in the UK.
For products to be called organic, they must be made from ingredients that are sourced naturally rather than synthetically and have been created through purer processes. For example synthetic pesticides or fertilisers are not allowed, nor are any genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
Stock up the store cupboards
Buying your store cupboard essentials in bulk is a great way of saving money and makes sticking to organic principles easy!
Foods such as organic pasta, canned tomatoes, beans, grains and pulses are easily found for the same price as non-organic items. And a full store cupboard means you’ll always have something to hand to throw together a delicious meal without hunting round the food aisles for sometimes scarce organic essentials.
Oh and while we’re at it, with a whopping 96 per cent of grapes testing positive for pesticide residues, it might be worth thinking about stocking up on organic wine too.
Hit the farmers’ market
Eating local produce during the right UK season is a great way to keep costs down and farmers’ markets are a fantastic way to find out directly from the producer exactly which produce has been grown or made in line with organic principles.
Plus the more we request organic produce face to face, the more likely, going forward, the farmer is to consider a more natural ethos as part of his business. The power of the pound!
Clean up your act
When’s the last time you looked at your laundry detergent or cleaning product’s ingredient list? We’ll bet never.
Not only do those chemicals you use get washed away into rivers and soak into the earth, but many people find they feel better with green cleaning products – literally. Symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, rashes and headaches may “mysteriously” disappear if you stop using chemical products. The good news is there are plenty of organic cleaning items on the market that are more effective than ever.
Try making your own all-purpose spray that can be used everywhere, from the bathroom to the kitchen to worktops and floors; fill a spray bottle 2/3 with hot water, add 1/4 cup white vinegar, and 2 tbsp of organic washing up liquid. Simples! And you can easily make your own window cleaner by mixing equal parts of water with vinegar – add a sponge and get scrubbing!
Go coconuts for natural beauty!
There are plenty of organic, natural, beauty products you can swap into your routine which could actually save you money over the more chemical-laden brands. Chemicals in your beauty products can irritate the skin and may be linked to disrupting the way our bodies work.
Think of switching to organic coconut oil – it’s the most fantastically versatile product. Use it as a staple for hair masks, to moisturise the body, and face, and to remove make-up. It’s been known to help with eczema and itchy scalp – and to top all this it doubles up as a cooking oil too. Again, buy in bulk to get the best bang for your buck.
The appeal of ACV
Apple cider vinegar is another great multi-use product. Many people drink it to help soothe tummy troubles and sore throats, lower cholesterol and help with weight management.
You can also mix two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with one cup of water and rinse your hair after washing for fantastic shine. Or try it as a facial toner: pour 1 part organic raw apple cider vinegar into a glass jar, add 2 parts filtered water and shake before use to combine the mixture. Apply using a cottonwool ball to freshly cleansed skin morning and night.