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Sunday, February 6, 2011
Why Our Family Chooses Organic
I get a lot of questions about why I try to buy mostly organic, if not natural products. It's something I've researched and I feel is very important, not only to my family, but for our planet. When you start talking about the planet people automatically assume you are a hippie, which I am not. But I do believe deeply in living in a sustainable fashion, in being kind to the Earth, and in trying to live as naturally as possible. 60-70 there wasn't as much unnatural stuff on the market. 150 years ago there was even less. With the influx of so many unnatural and chemically created things there has been a lot of damage done to our planet, as well as to us. I feel that the healthiest way to live is as naturally as possible. This does not mean we don't go to the doctor, because we do when it is necessary. I do try to take care of simple illnesses at home before rushing in for an antibiotic or medicine. My daughter does have her shots because I feel the pros heavily outweigh the unconfirmed cons. But with our day to day life I try to live, as much as I can, to how things were 150 years ago.
What does this mean? Well first and foremost we eat only organic foods as much as possible. Most of the time it's pretty close to 100% of the time. I do allow the occasional deviation from that, but it's few and far between and I feel badly after I do. Not just conscience badly, but physically as well! My body dislikes it and makes that very clear. So we try to keep our "cheats" to a minimum. Instead we try to make our own treats that still stick with our healthy eating habits, like a picnic with food from home, or out to eat a restaurant that serves organic foods. Once you get into the routine of eating mostly organic you really don't want to eat the other stuff as much. I watched a great movie called Food Inc. and I recommend everyone watches it, as well as videos similar to it. It helps you get a look into the food that isn't organic, and it really grosses you out. For us it was just another nail in the coffin of non-organic and non-natural foods. For those of you who think this cannot be done with children - please think again. My 4 year old loves vegetables and fruits! We go to the grocery store and she helps me get the items we need, and we discover new foods together. She loves it! And we both eat the same things for meals, and it appeals to both of us.
Another thing that bothered me was the artificial colorings in most foods these days. These coloring are linked to horrible diseases such as cancer, as well as lifelong illnesses such as asthma. So we cut out foods with them in it. But they aren't just in foods. They are in vitamins, pills, and personal care products! So if you are trying to avoid those things you have to keep an eye out for them. Look for organic vitamins, pills that do not have a color coating, make-ups and skin care products labelled as organics. Personal care products are highly problematic because of the massive amount of chemicals in them, again some are are linked to horrible diseases and illnesses. Avoid sodium laurel sulphate! Avoid parabens! So for us, we switch to homemade personal care products for most of what we use, and anything we have to buy is natural and organic. My hair never looks better! And I do not pay $20 for a fancy conditioner or shampoo. There is so much that we have in our kitchens that we can use to take care of the outsides of our bodies.
Cleaning products are another issue because the chemicals are harsh and very dangerous. I make my cleaners at home now and they work just as well. Plus, I do not have to worry about my daughter dying from ingesting lemon juice and vinegar! I did worry she might ingest a chemical cleaner and die though. Toys - as we all can remember there are recalls on toys every year. Not only should we be avoiding lead, but PVC products as well. So we are replacing toys with organic toys. It's not always a fast process because there are cost considerations. But replacing items here and there when you can, owning less toys but higher quality toys, and selling the other toys, helps a lot with the costs. Do you really want to question what is on and in that toy your toddler currently has in their mouth? No!
I am not longer buying clothing that isn't organic. I don't want to question what chemicals are against the skin or myself and my child. And it helps keep my clothes spending in check. Generally organic clothing can cost a little bit more, but it is very much worth it. However, it does keep you from impulsively spending because you have a bit of a higher cost to consider. To be completely honest we do not need most of the clothing we buy. How much of it do we actually wear? So I've picked out staple items I like and will wear that are organic. I plan to replace everything in my closet with organic materials, but again this is not an overnight process. It does not have to break your wallet either! Look for sales. Stores such as Wal-Mart and Target now carry many organic articles of clothing. Check eBay, Etsy, and other online retailers. Raid your local thrift stores for organic articles of clothing. If it's like a treasure hunt it will make it all that more exciting to find a great piece! And you can save money not buying new clothes every single time you go to the store. Organic blankets, stuffed animals, toys, undergarments, jewelry - these are all other things I plan to replace with organic or eco-friendly.
Why organic? Because you are buying a piece of sustainability, you are buying naturalness. You are helping to support products that are better for us and for our planet. The planet does not have an infinite amount of resources available to us. We need to realize that and do what we can to use less of them so that there are more resources available in the future. I have a child, and I want her to have a planet with those resources. :) If you have any questions please feel free to ask!