Hello September! Summer holidays are over and kids are back at school.
It’s time to Organic Your September! This month is about celebrating all things organic, promoting organic food, farming and lifestyle and encouraging shoppers to try organic products.
Organic September is a month-long campaign led by the Soil Association and is designed to encourage more people to try organic as a way to promote and educate people about organic food & farming practices.
Following a year of unprecedented environmental protest and ground-breaking research, there’s never been a better moment to shout about the role organic farming has to play in the climate change debate, halting biodiversity loss and improving soil fertility.
The goal of Organic September remains to grow the organic market, but this year’s campaign will also act as a springboard for a wider change, one that sees the act of buying organic as the first step in a bigger movement striving towards more sustainable living.
How Does Organic Make A World Of Difference?
🌱 1. Uses Nature Responsibly (Green Chemistry Principles)
🦋 2. Protecting Wildlife & Biodiversity
🐇 3. No Animal Testing
🙅 4. Free From GM (Genetically Modified Organisms)
📦 5. Minimal Packaging With Maximum Recycled Content
There’s never been a better time to join the organic movement. It’s as easy as making ‘one small swap‘ to your everyday shopping. When you choose organic food & drink, health & beauty products, household products and clothing, you choose products that promote a better you and world.
HOW TO ORGANIC YOUR SEPTEMBER
1. SWITCH TO EATING ORGANIC FOOD
Organic food is widely available in supermarkets, independent retailers, local farmers market, box schemes, restaurants and cafes.
- Organic foods have a higher nutritional value – they have been found to contain more vitamins, minerals, micro-nutrients and enzymes than non-organic foods, taste better and is better for the environment.
- Eating organic foods reduces your body’s exposure to chemical pesticides, hormones and antibiotic resistant bacteria linked to health problems.
- Organic foods are better for us, animals and the environment.
I mainly do my grocery shopping online with Ocado but I also like to buy locally by visiting my local farmer’s market.
Another great way to get local, seasonal and healthy organic fruit and veg is to sign up for an organic box scheme. There are so many options to choose from to suit your needs. From fruit and veg, to eggs, meat, herbs and honey, hundreds of organic farmers offer box delivery schemes across the UK straight to your doorstep. Find an organic box scheme near you
Your ‘one swap’ could be milk, eggs, butter, tea, meat and poultry. Organic milk has higher levels of omega 3 fatty acids and a healthier balance of omega 6.
Organic chickens, turkeys and other poultry birds are raised to organic standards, which not only means free-range, but a whole lot more. Organic standards cover not just the bird’s housing, the amount of space they have and the way they are treated, but also what they are fed, how they are transported and eventually slaughtered.
When it comes to fruits and vegetables I would start by avoiding the ‘dirty dozen‘.
- Sweet bell peppers
They contain the highest concentration of pesticides: either because their thin skins and high water content mean they absorb pesticides easily, or because they tend to have the most pesticides used on them.
Another great way to go organic is to grow you own. From herbs and leafy greens to tomatoes and peppers…you don’t need lots of space or a huge garden or allotment. They can easily be grown in hanging baskets and window boxes.
Growing your own organic produce will not only save you money, it’s also a great hobby. It’s fun for the kids too and a great way for them to learn about where their food comes from.
2. SWITCH TO ORGANIC BEAUTY & WELLBEING PRODUCTS
It’s not just about what we put in our bodies, what we put on our bodies is equally important. Your skin is the largest organ of your body, and what you put on it is likely to be absorbed into the bloodstream.
Unlike organic food which must adhere to strict EU standards, there are no legal standards for the use of the terms ‘organic‘ or ‘natural‘ on beauty products. This means in practice that any brand or beauty product can be labelled as ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ even if it contains virtually no organic or natural ingredients.
Greenwashing has been going on for years. This is when brands use PR and marketing campaigns that deliberately mislead and convince consumers the brand’s products, aims or policies are environmentally friendly.
The easiest way to ensure that your product is actually organic is to LOOK FOR THE LOGO
When you see the Soil Association COSMOS logo on a product, it guarantees:
- NO animal testing
- NO GM
- NO controversial chemicals
- NO parabens and phthalates
- NO synthetic colours, dyes or fragrances
- NO nano particles
And more importantly, says:
- YES to higher levels of antioxidants (up to 60%)
- YES to sustainably sourced organic ingredients
- YES to transparent manufacturing processes
- YES to biodegradable ingredients
- YES to minimal packaging with maximum recycled content
- YES to protecting wildlife and biodiversity
Organic Beauty & Wellbeing Week runs from 9th – 14th September. This year’s theme is ‘One small swap’ – encouraging us to swap one product we use regularly, perhaps a body wash, cleanser or shampoo, for a certified organic version.
During this week I will be sharing a series of blog posts on how you can make ‘One small swap’.
3. SWITCH TO ORGANIC HOUSEHOLD CLEANING PRODUCTS
Many conventional household cleaners contain hazardous chemicals which are often carcinogens, neurotoxins, mutagens, teratogens, or endocrine disrupters. Often people suffer with symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, headaches and skin irritation.
Cleaning your home can be done organically as well. You can keep your home clean without using products with harmful chemicals and additives.
You can feel safer knowing that the cleaning products you are using will not harm your family or any pets in the home.
Making ‘one swap’ to organic cleaning products ensures a healthier home and purer environment. You can start by swapping to a multi-purpose cleaner that is organic and eco-friendly. I love products that do multiple jobs, they save time, money and cut down on plastic waste.
Switch your washing up liquid, laundry, toilet and bathroom cleaners as well. There are many options available, I personally buy larger-sized packs to cut down on multiple small plastic bottles. Another great option to consider is refillable products.
If you fancy a bit of DIY you can make your own cleaning products using simple essentials like white vinegar, baking soda and lemon juice.
4. SWITCH TO ORGANIC CLOTHING
Organic fashion and textiles certified by the Soil Association are made from organically produced fibres such as cotton, linen and wool. Certified organic textiles are kinder, cleaner and better for our environment.
Organic cotton helps to combat climate change, uses less water, no hazardous synthetic pesticides are used and only low impact dyes are allowed. It is also better for farmers and factory workers and GM is banned.
Five reasons to choose organic cotton
Combat climate change: Organic farmers are doing their bit to combat climate change. By relying on natural methods rather than using manufactured nitrogen fertilisers, organic cotton results in a 94% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. By maintaining their health, organic practices turn soils into a carbon ‘sink’, removing CO2 from the atmosphere.
Save water: By eliminating the use of hazardous synthetic pesticides and artificial fertilisers, organic cotton keeps waterways and drinking water safe and clean. Organic uses 91% less water than non-organic production. Organic farming promotes naturally healthy soils which are more resilient in drought conditions.
Reduce toxic chemicals: Toxic chemicals from artificial fertilisers and pesticides used in conventional farming – many of which are classed as hazardous by the World Health Organisation can– not only poison wildlife and rivers, they kill an estimated 16,000 people each year. Organic textiles are made without hazardous synthetic pesticides.
Transform workers’ lives: Using toxic and expensive pesticides, fertilisers and textile processing chemicals can cause health problems for farmers and factory workers, which can lead to early death. The burden of debt from expensive inputs, often linked to failing GM crops, has resulted in thousands of suicides in India, the world’s largest cotton producer. There are no hazardous synthetic pesticides used in producing organic fibres and GOTS-certified textiles are only made using low impact dyes and inks, with proper protection provided to workers.
Workers in GOTS factories also enjoy decent minimum wages, good working conditions and are protected from inhumane treatment, with no child labour allowed.
No GM: Organic fibre production never uses GM seed. The small-scale farmers who produce the majority of our fibres need reliability, not high risks. Using locally available inputs such as seeds and manure, organic farming allows farmers to work with the environment, in a sustainable way with a long term future. Organic puts choices in the farmers’ hands.
You can find organic fashion and textiles across the high street and many big brands are starting to source organic cotton as part of their ranges. To be sure you are buying genuine organic textiles, always look for the Soil Association or the GOTS logo.
There are so many simple ways you can organic your September with ‘one small swap’. Together, our small changes can make a world of difference!