Embracing an Organic Lifestyle
Pesticides, chemicals, toxins, food dyes and bleaches - let's get real. We don't need them, they make us sick, and there are alternatives!
Because we know exposure to toxins can change DNA, making a conscious decision to be informed, and research all aspects of your lives, and your children's lives, can literally safeguard your genetic lineage. Before you have a completely normal existential crisis about this, this is really about making positive decisions on a daily basis and they could be as simple as choosing products, food, garments and brands that you trust, are transparent, ethical and are honestly putting humans ahead of profit.
Now is the time to lead, or lead yourself towards, an organic lifestyle. Your health is an asset, and you can slow the depreciation.
It is one of the biggest health influencers and we can’t live without it, so it only makes sense that we should opt for the best—and safest—food choices. Organic food is arguably the best choice since it is grown without the use of pesticides that have the potential to harm both your health and the environment. In fact, a 2018 population-based study found that those who were high consumers of organic food had 25% less of a chance of developing cancer. This study also found that those who stuck to certified organic food even on a low or medium quality diet benefited from a reduced cancer risk—which just goes to show that your diet doesn’t have to be perfect to reap the benefits.
If you don’t see yourself fully swapping to organic, at least consider choosing organic when it comes to 12 most pesticide-laden fruits and vegetables, also known as the dirty dozen. Looking to keep your grocery bill at bay? Try your hand at growing your own produce. Not only is homegrown food empowering since you know exactly what is going into it, but it also reduces your carbon footprint by eliminating food transportation emissions.
A surge of 'clean' products has flooded the market over the past few years with research questioning everything from the link to breast cancer risk and deodorant to the toxicity of traditional cosmetic preservatives. We see everywhere, products labelled as 'naturally-derived', 'all natural', 'plant-based', 'chemical-free', 'green', and 'non-toxic'. And while these all seem to imply that a product is free of harmful chemicals or even organic, these terms are in no way regulated and anyone can use them without any type of proof or product testing.
Even 'non toxic' is murky, and relates to dosages or concentrations which change constantly with new studies or medical data.
Always read the ingredient list and look for organic certification on products since 'organic' is the only term within the beauty space that is government regulated.
If you aren’t one for deciphering product ingredient lists, another option that commonly appeals to both minimalists and zero wasters is going straight to the power of nature. For example, organic Manuka honey makes a great face wash with a boost of anti-inflammatory properties, organic green tea is full of anti-oxidants and wonderful to tone and brighten skin, and shea butter makes for a rich and luxurious moisturiser. Sometimes the best beauty remedies can be found right in your kitchen.
While we're here, many beauty brands still test on animals in 2019 - don't buy from those brands - this is barbaric and WE ARE BETTER THAN THIS. Here's a current list.
Since it is simpler to analyse what we consume and use on our bodies, it is easy to forget that the materials and fabrics that fill our home have the potential to be harmful due to the chemical processing they undergo during manufacturing and general off-gassing. But by choosing organic, we can lessen these issues and create a healthier environment.
One of the simpler places to choose organic in the home is fabric, especially if it comes in contact with your skin—after all, your skin is your biggest organ. Going with certified organic sheets can help ensure that your beauty sleep doesn’t come with a side of pesticides or VOCs. Organic fabrics are also more environmentally friendly than chemical grown or synthetic. Organic cotton uses 91% less water than regular cotton and produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions, while the flax plant used for pure linen is a highly sustainable crop and every single part of the plant gets used.
Concerned about off-gassing from furniture and building materials? Organic can’t completely solve this issue, so place a few air-purifying plants around your bedroom. The NASA Clean Air Study has proven that spider plants, aloe vera, English ivy, as well as many other plants are highly effective at filtering harmful chemicals, such as formaldehyde, benzene, and toluene out of the air.
Living clean and consciously often feels like an uphill battle, it is important to know that we are anything but powerless. By making sustainable and conscious choices like choosing organic you can support a healthier future for both you and the planet. Be loud!
Image by Martha Butterworth.