Organic Your Lifestyle This Winter
LIVING AN ORGANIC LIFESTYLE FOR HEALTHIER PEOPLE AND A HEALTHIER PLANET
Organic is a growing system that sustains the health of soil, ecosystems and people. It relies on ecological processes, biodiversity and cycles adapted to local conditions. Organic Growing combines tradition, innovation and science to benefit the shared environment and promote fair relationships and a good quality of life for all involved
~ IFOAM ORGANICS INTERNATIONAL
Understanding the word organic:
Extract from the Essential Organics Book;
Gardening according to ‘organic’ principles focuses on caring for the soil at all times.
When we garden according to Organic Principles, we focus first on the health of the soil and then we need to acknowledge that we depend on the many services that nature provides us with including oxygen to breathe, water to drink and food to maintain energy. Plants need these services to flourish and we humans depend on the plants, and the soil they have grown in, for our survival.
The Principle of Health: Healthy Soil, plants, animals, humans = A Healthy planet
The Principle of Ecology: Emulating and Sustaining Natural Systems
The Principle of Fairness: Equity, respect and justice for all living things
The Principle of Care: For the generations to come
These Principles are the roots from which Organic grows and develops.
Why choose organic?
Organic means working with nature. It means higher levels of animal welfare, lower levels of pesticides, no manufactured herbicides or artificial fertilizers and more environmentally sustainable management of the land and natural environment, which means more wildlife.
Whatever you’re buying – from cotton buds to carrots – when you choose organic food, drink or beauty and textiles, you choose products that promote a better world.
Organic food comes from trusted sources. All organic farms and food companies and organic product producers are inspected at least once a year and the standards for organic food are laid down in European law.
Living an Organic Lifestyle includes the following:
Purchase Certified Organic Foods and Lifestyle Products:
- Organic food is traceable from farm to fork so you can be sure of what you are eating.
- Certified Organic means No artificial colours and preservatives, always free range, no routine use of antibiotics, no genetically modified ingredients, fewer pesticides.
- Eat food and buy products that are produced following organic certification standards. This improves your health, helps the planet but additionally protects farmers’ health by reducing their exposure to chemicals. This also supports companies who are taking the lead in adopting organic standards.
- Look for Certification Logo’s assuring you that products are certified organic and have been through annual inspections to meet organic standards and requirements.
Buy locally and seasonally:
- Buy foods grown locally to further reduce your carbon footprint.
- Eating Seasonally is a better choice for health and sustainability as it ensures fresh, healthy produce which retains more nutrients and not produce refrigerated for months at a time and transported long distances for out of season availability.
Start your Own Organic Garden:
- Grow your own edible garden filled with delicious healthy organic herbs, vegetables, fruits and spices.
- Connect with both nature and your food by starting a small urban garden. Even if you only grow one tomato plant in a large pot on your balcony, reconnecting with nature and how food grows is one of the best ways to increase our appreciation and awareness of where our food comes from.
- Build up soil quality, use organic gardening products, create areas to attract wildlife into your garden by planting plants that attracts birds, bee’s, butterflies and other beneficial garden creatures. Get on trend and plant mini meadows (natural areas in your garden), conserve water wherever possible
- Healthy Soil acts as a Carbon Sink absorbing CO2 from the atmosphere and storing it in the soil as Carbon which is very beneficial in the growing cycle.
Recycling, Reducing food waste and Environmental pollution:
- Try to reduce food waste by using your fresh produce before it goes off or picking fresh produce from your garden as required to negate it standing in the fridge and going off if not used.
- Recycle your food waste into Soil Food by putting your food waste onto your compost heap, using Bokashi food waste composting products or a worm farm.
- Use recycled and biodegradable garden and home products wherever possible.
- You can read our blog on recycling |HERE| and learn some simple tips on how you can reduce your waste and recycle in your daily life. Plus we have divulged some info on waste free living |HERE|.
Reduce Plastic Use in your Household:
- Reduce the amount of plastic used in your household, e.g. Look for reusable beeswax-based food covers instead of using plastic wrap, or reusable containers instead of using plastic bags. Substitute plastic straws for biodegradable or eco friendly straws. There are more and more Zero – waste options becoming available.
Do your Research to understand ingredients:
- Make conscious decisions, respecting your body and the planet
- Do your research to understand various ingredients, what they are and what their health effects might be and make a habit of reading product or produce labels.
- When possible, prepare and cook your own meals using healthy organic whole foods or choose and support restaurants that take care in growing their own or sourcing good quality, healthy, organic ingredients from local organic farmers.
Educate yourself and start – off making small changes:
- Spend time doing research, reading and learning about Organic and what changes can be made to live a healthier, organic lifestyle.
- Nature is filled with so many wonders and incredible things. There is always something new and interesting to learn
- Start off by making small changes – when a product finishes, replace it with a healthier, non – toxic alternative. Small changes can have a large impact over time. A small change now can make a big difference to your health and the environment in the future.
Incorporate Organic Products into your home:
- Look for organic or environmentally friendly cleaning products or make your own.
Choose Hygiene and Beauty Products Wisely:
- Use hygiene/beauty products which are as natural as possible and contain a small list of ingredients – Less is more!
- There are many recipes available to assist you in making your own products and it’s easier than you think.
- Gift your family and friends with non-toxic and organic cosmetic and beauty products instead of chemically laden products.
Reduce your Carbon Footprint:
- Buy a fuel-efficient vehicle
- Plan your routes when running errands to reduce CO2 emission
- Don’t leave your car idling
- Walk, ride a bicycle or take public transportation if you can
Organic Growing practices help our Wildlife Flourish:
- Organic Farms and Gardens are havens for wildlife and provide homes and support for birds, pollinators and insects.
- Don’t use toxic pesticides and garden chemicals which destroy the natural eco-system.
Better for the Planet:
- The Organic system works with nature and not against it. Organic growing is Climate- SMART and it significantly reduces water and soil contamination. No other growing system does more to reduce CO2 emissions and protect natural resources.
It’s Nutritionally Different:
- How we grow our food really does affect the quality of food that we eat.
- Numerous studies have found significant nutritional differences between organic and non – organic food.
No Genetically Modified Ingredients:
- Genetically modified ingredients are NOT allowed in Organic Systems or Products.
Connect with Nature:
- Living an organic lifestyle also means enjoying and respecting nature, breathing fresh air, exercising, spending time outdoors and taking care of our health from an emotional, mental and physical perspective.
- Spend time outdoors on a weekly basis to recharge and regenerate.
What is Organic Gardening?
The essence of organic gardening relies on the building up of a healthy, compost rich and crumbly soil with a thriving ecosystem. Inputs which damage the environment, pollute, kill soil life, or cause toxicity in food, soil and water sources are strictly forbidden.
A handful of rich soil sustains more living organisms than the human population on earth. The soil life is made up of microscopic beneficial fungi, bacteria, algae and insects which have assigned duties which sustain life on earth, be it plant, animal of human life. The Organic Gardener uses the following growing methods to preserve ideal conditions for soil quality and life to flourish:
Mulch the surface of the Soil for moisture retention, to regulate temperatures, preserve fertile top soil and suppress weeds
Fertilizers from natural sources are used for health through nutrition of plants and people. Click |HERE| to learn about fertilisers.
Use Certified Organic Gardening Products – Organic Fertilizers, Pest & Disease Control products
Natural Pest & Disease Control and growing strong plants are the organic gardeners preference to using poisons, which kill the good with the bad. The Organic Gardener uses products that disrupt the pest’s lifecycles, feeding habits, repels or creates discomfort.
Water regularly with good quality water as per the plants requirements, season and climate. Use Water-SMART methods to conserve this precious resource.
Use Heirloom Seeds to plant up your Organic Edible Food Garden. Don’t use Genetically Modified Seeds.
Get the Kids involved from an early age and raise up a generation of passionate organic gardeners who are custodians of our planet and its resources. You can read more about our tips on raising gardeners |HERE|. Plus, we put together Kids Korner ideas, for engaging in outdoor craft projects with your kids, on our Gardening for Kids blog monthly; click |HERE| to explore.
Fresh produce grown organically in your own garden is the best assurance that your family’s food is safe and not contaminated by toxic chemicals often used in commercial growing.
Thank you to Talborne Organics for collaborating with us on this project and for sharing this great information about living an organic lifestyle.
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