How to start living organically for Organic September

Organic September was founded by the Soil Association to try to encourage consumers to try organic produce and become more aware of farming procedures. From making smart purchase choices to growing your own fruit and veg, starting an organic living journey can begin with the smallest of steps. Whether you want to cut down your impact on the Earth or you wish to help wildlife and animals, living organically can aid more than just the environment directly around you. With more of us becoming eco-conscious and aware, it no surprise that sales of Soil Association labelled organic products are on the up, although we must be aware that some items are not all they seem.

Organic Labelling vs Real Organic

Organic food holds the highest standards of animal welfare and soil regulations. All food products cannot use GMOs (genetically modified organisms) and organic farms rely on renewable resources for their agricultural systems. The food industry is heavily regulated and pre-packed foods need at least 95% organic ingredients to class itself as ‘organic’. To be safe, check labelling on foods as some companies have been guilty of advertising as ‘natural’ when they are not and will not help you on your organic journey.

Currently, there is no legislation in the UK for organic labelling on cosmetic products. A company can market themselves as natural and eco-friendly, but they may well not be. Due to this, it can be hard to make sure that you are purchasing products that won’t cost the Earth. We have a few tips from the Soil Association to help you when shopping.

image of soil association and cruelty free logos

Watch out for-

  • Check the product isn’t tested on animals. All cosmetic brands will add the bunny ‘Cruelty Free’ logo or may have a ‘Vegan Society’ logo on their packaging, this ensures this item has harmed no animals before it got to the shop. If they don’t have it, they can’t guarantee what has happened in the manufacturing journey.
  • Synthetic dyes and chemicals in a product mean it should not call itself ‘organic’. Colourants in ingredients with letters such as FD&C, D&C and Cl with a colour name or number means that a product has traces of petroleum or coal tar in it. Basically, if you can’t pronounce it easily or you do not recognise the ingredient, it’s best to avoid it.
  • Parabens and phthalates, nano particles and controversial chemicals. This includes talc and fragrances labelled simply as ‘parfum or fragrance’.
  • Obviously, check that no GMs are used.
  • Products that say ‘made with organic’. This means a product only needs 20 percent organic ingredients for leave-on items and 10 percent for rinse-off.

Good signs-

  • If a company uses biodegradable ingredients and has transparent manufacturing processes.
  • Packaging that has the COSMOS organic label on means that the product is certified by the Soil Association, BDIH, Ecocert and ICEA as organic. These products are made using natural ingredients and are not tested on animals.
  • Products such as sanitary towels that state they have bio plastic backing mean they are biodegradable. These plastics are made from renewable sources such as corn starch, woodchips etc.

Grow Your Own

One of the easiest ways to guarantee that you are eating organically, is to set up a fruit and veg patch in your garden. It is also wise to use your own compost to fertilise a patch, this way you are creating your own sustainable, natural living solution. Once you are in the swing of things, it will get easier to harvest food for you and your family. If you wish to go a step further, you can harvest rainwater for watering your growing patch.

If you are not able to grow your own produce, checking when certain foods is in season will help you cut down on your carbon footprint. Here is our list of fruit, veg & meat that is in season for September.

Soil and mulch

Fruit:

  • Apples, blackberries, melon, nectarines, tomatoes are in season in September.
  • Apricots, blueberries, peaches & raspberries are all coming to the end of season so eat them up now!

Vegetables:

  • Aubergines, beetroot, broccoli, carrots, celery, courgettes, fennel, peas, peppers, potatoes, rocket, sweetcorn, watercress are at their best in September.
  • Be sure to eat up any cucumber & Pak choi as they are at the end of their best.

Meat:

  • Lamb and rabbit are in season due to their food being in season.
  • Venison is coming into season due to game times.
  • Salmon, sardines, mackerel and crab are best in September because of sea and fresh water temperatures.

If you need something when it’s out of season, see if you can purchase it in the organic section of your supermarket so that you know you are still making a good choice.

Making a few changes for Organic September could help you start to make the change to a more natural way of living and not everything organic need come with a large price tag. Making your own compost, harvesting water to feed your garden and growing food yourself can help you ease the impact on our planet. Once you have made the change, you can easily keep it up forever.

Explore our range of sustainable living solutions at Water Butts Direct