Having an organic sensibility is a commitment to the environment and your health. Going organic is a trendy practice these days that is worth considering making a lifestyle change for the long haul. So where does one begin? Here are some ideas that should help get you started. Make a change or two now and try to add more later once these become incorporated into your life.
For the health of you and your family, go for organic food and wines. Organic meats are grown without antibiotics or hormones, and organic produce is grown without chemical pesticides or herbicides. It may be overwhelming and expensive to go whole hog consuming organic foods so my suggestion is to focus on your favorite and most frequently eaten vittles. With respect to fruits and vegetables become familiar with the "Dirty Dozen". These are the top 12 published fruits and vegetables most contaminated with pesticides and therefore the most worthwhile purchasing organic. Eating the organic versions of the produce you consume on this list will help you make the biggest strides towards limiting your consumption of pesticides from this food group. The top twelve, in order, starting with number one are: peaches; apples; sweet bell peppers; celery; nectarines; strawberries; cherries; lettuce; imported grapes; pears; spinach and potatoes. This list gets revised from time to time so it is a good idea to review it once a year and note any changes.
Buying organic can drive up your grocery bill so you might need to look at it as an investment in your future health. Also consider exploring generic organic brands, visiting farmers markets, or joining a community supported agriculture (CSA) group. Local growers may practice organic farming but not have organic certification. This is because certification is expensive and often cost prohibitive for the smaller farms. The great thing is you can usually speak with the grower face to face when buying local so you can ask if they are farming organically. For those who have a green thumb and a little ambition, growing your own vegetables is the ideal solution when seasonally appropriate. Many vegetables do well in containers if garden space is an issue for you.
Another organic move that is good for you and the environment is avoiding toxic household cleaners such as bleach. It is easy to find directions for homemade cleaning products on the Internet. Common ingredients used in the homemade versions are vinegar (acts as a deodorant), liquid castille soap made from organic olive oil, baking soda, borax and essential oils (many have germ-killing powers).
A quick rundown of some other approaches to going organic are choosing organically grown cotton clothing and bedding, organic skincare lines, no-VOC paints for the interior of your home and recycled unbleached paper products like towels, toilet paper and napkins. Rediscover brewing your morning cup of joe or tea at home savored in a ceramic mug or taken on the run in a reusable travel cup. Skip the dry cleaners and find a wet cleaner or CO2 cleaner instead. Keep toxins out of your home by switching to a carpet cleaning company that uses organic products, an especially good choice if you have children or pets who have a tendency to spend a lot of time on the floor. Do not use synthetic fertilizers or herbicides for your lawn care. Instead, leave your grass clippings on your lawn and check out composting. This will serve to protect your watershed and also marine life from contamination.