Organic YOUR September is the message from the Soil Association in their annual campaign to raise awareness of all things organic in this month of mists and mellow fruitfulness. So, here are a few suggestions….
For the sake of our own health, animal welfare, for wildlife and the planet too, the advantages of 'going organic' are well documented. But an organic till receipt can eat a fair hole into the household budget so watch out in the shops for offers as retailers promote organic produce this month.
Whilst there is usually a large price difference where meat is concerned, the price of organic dry ingredients like rice and pasta are often not that different to non-organic varieties. You can 'clean up' your shopping basket by choosing unwaxed fruit and buying 'free range' meat and eggs to support animal welfare and increase the nutritional value of your food. Perhaps make September the month you try a fruit and vegetable Box scheme or visit a Farmer's market where you can ask exactly how the food is produced. If you shop in the supermarket, plastic is abundant, and there's been some bad press about chemicals leaking from plastics into food, but you can lessen your contact with it by decanting liquids like milk and juice into a glass bottle in the fridge, and storing food in glass rather than plastic containers.
For healthy, 'live' food, buy a few potted organic herbs and keep them watered in the kitchen; they will grow again as you use them, or harvest your own organic sprouting seeds in a jar on the windowsill (see earlier blog).
It's not all about food though; organic September is a good opportunity to review the content of your household cleaning shelf. More natural products now sit alongside their harsher chemical cousins on supermarket shelves and harness the power of herbs and essential oils. Perhaps try the age-old cleaners like lemon juice, bicarbonate of soda and vinegar! Don't forget your skincare lotions and potions – no matter how beautiful the packaging, if you need a chemistry degree to understand the contents there is probably an alternative kinder on the skin and the environment (and often your pocket). Flower waters make great skin toners – they smell subtly divine and there are lots to choose from; soothing Chamomile, balancing Geranium, astringent Melissa. Use organic coconut oil as a body moisturiser or make a facial serum in a small dropper bottle with carrier oil and a few drops of essential oil. You can buy more natural, unscented bases for shower gels, shampoo and conditioner and add your own botanicals or essential oils to make a unique product. And finally, the last 'organic your September' tip finds us in the medicine cupboard seeking out some remedies with natural ingredients – a great one for cuts, sores and grazes is 'Hypercal Cream'; an herbal remedy containing St Johns Wort and Calendula , Arnica cream for bruises and of course a bottle of Dr Bach’s Rescue Remedy to recover from emotional shock and trauma.
Find out more about organic September at The Soil Association
Written by Sue White