The importance of organic

Not just the importance of organic but just “being green” in general. I wasn’t always concerned about the environment like I currently am. Sure, I recycled but that was about it. When I was younger, I didn’t know what an organic lifestyle even was.

And then my mother and grandmother were both diagnosed with different health issues and it made me think about what would happen to me as I aged. I didn’t want diabetes or macular degeneration. Or anything!

So, over the last decade and a half, I learned. A lot. I’m now very dedicated to the organic industry and being as kind as I can to this overburdened earth. Conventional methods (farming, living, eating, etc) are literally poisoning everything on the planet because they almost always involve toxic chemicals that find their way into our food, air, soil, water and our bodies! We need all of these to be healthy in order TO LIVE. I get that now.

Last week I helped a 72 year old woman organize her severely cluttered walk-in pantry. Every cardboard box, every tin can of expired food, every piece of plastic she was discarding, I took! She kept telling me, “You’re making more work for yourself”.

I kept telling her I wasn’t. Eventually we had ‘the talk’.

After my brother’s recent scolding banning (!!!?!?!?!?!??!) of my recycling in his home, I thought about who I am and why I do the things I do. Simply put, I consider myself to be a steward of this earth. It’s arrogant for us to believe we can abuse this planet while we live upon it. It’s careless to believe we don’t need to consider future generations. It’s that kind of thinking that has us precisely where we are! And yes, I was guilty of it once.

My brother has kids!!!!!! I cannot comprehend the chosen nonchalance because it’s so far removed from who I am today.

When I mentioned to Judy (not her real name, lol) that she had grandchildren and she should safeguard the earth for them, her matter-of-fact response blew me away. “I don’t care. I won’t be here forever”. I know there are people like Judy everywhere (my brother, my mother. . . . ), the state of our environment is proof enough. But it quite fries my brain to actually speak with someone like her. I was speechless after she said that, my mouth was probably hanging open, and I simply had to go back into the pantry 🙂 I wasn’t going to begin an argument with her. It wouldn’t have changed anything.

I’m only 46. I shudder to think of the environmental damages mankind will still do while I’m alive. And Mother Nature is paying us back! Big time! Massive wild fires are raging across Canada already and it’s unusually early in the season. There IS a connection between how we’ve treated this planet and all the ‘natural’ disasters we see every day. It’s the same as not taking care of our own health, we get sick.

Well, this world is sick. Because we haven’t taken care of it.

Why is it easier for so many people to ignore this and live in their little bubbles instead?

Living green isn’t that difficult. Find a starting point and proceed from there. Choose organic whenever possible. Don’t use man-made, beneficial insect-killing chemicals on your lawn or in your garden. Make your own environmentally-friendly house cleaning supplies. Walk when you can, rather than drive. Recycle. Give stuff away instead of tossing it in the garbage!

Use a really good, natural, vegan bar of hand and body soap made with certified organic ingredients. It’s better for you, our waterways, the animals, our entire planet.

And there’s my segue to my new website!

https://simpleorganicsoap.wordpress.com/

It’s currently still being worked upon but is largely complete. Have a look-see if bar soap like I mentioned is something you’re interested in.

Dandelions

I’ve known for a long time that you could eat dandelion greens and dandelion root. I even have dandelion tea in my cupboard. What I didn’t realize until last night was the flowers are edible too!

I discovered this after doing some Googling because my dog had eaten some dandelion blossoms I’d picked and tossed. In all her 5+ years, she’s had dandelions growing all around her and had no interest in them UNTIL I threw picked ones on the ground. Go figure.

I’ve been heavy into making my own natural and organic bars of soap. It is SO easy and so much fun. Wanting to keep all the ingredients truly opposite of synthetic, I’ve been researching the kinds of things that can be added to soap.

Flower petals are on the list. I have chamomile and red rose petals on order but I began to wonder if I could use dandelions. Goodness knows there are enough of them around here at this time of year! I can make sure they’re not from an area that’s sprayed or well-traveled by dogs 🙂 and go on a harvesting spree.

Dandelion flowers can be used to make tea and infuse oil, for soap making. Infused oils can adopt many of the medicinal properties of the herb. I’m going one step further and drying the flowers as well. I want a dandelion soap that’s really dandelion-y. Flower petals can add an exfoliating aspect and a visual one also.

I’ve experimented with natural colorants and will hope for yellow although I likely won’t achieve it. So far I’ve ended up nowhere near what I was aiming for 🙂 and that’s okay, I’m happy with the earthy results I did get.

  • Rosehips, in 2 forms, liquid and ground, began rust red and ended up very chocolate brown.
  • Turmeric, which yielded a bright, yellow, infused oil, gave me off white. It has poppy seeds in it.
  • Paprika infused oil with ground lemon peel, once wonderfully orange, is now caramel in color.
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All 3 soaps are exfoliating and I must say, having never tried an exfoliating soap before, I HIGHLY recommend it. Aside from making your skin healthier, smoother and softer, it just feels good! The scrubby scratchiness 🙂 I’ll be experimenting with coconut flakes, oatmeal, clay and the aforementioned flower petals soon!

My latest venture is what I’m calling my Peppermin-Tea soap. You guessed it, it has peppermint tea in it. It began rather dark in color and settled on this, I’m not sure what shade of brown it is, but I think it’s pretty.

And the soap that started this whole obsession is very plain, no natural coloring attempts, just olive oil and/or coconut oil, both with amazing lathering qualities.

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For soap that’s free of everything harmful (and conventional soap is loaded with toxins!), buy some natural and organic soap today. And I say organic because even natural soaps made with conventional ingredients are not that fabulous.

 

 

 

Toss the Teflon!

I read an article this morning that reminded me about the dangers of teflon. Personally, I haven’t used teflon frying pans for years. Even though I’ve never had a bird, knowing that the fumes from teflon coated, cooking surfaces can kill them was reason enough for me to stop.

If the fumes were killing our little, feathered friends, what were those same fumes doing to us?

Switching to cast iron, glass and stainless steel was, and is, easy. Although I’m very, very big on NOT throwing things away, this is one area I’d be forgiving in. If you can’t use your old teflon pots and pans for something other than cooking, then yes, get rid of them.

But keep in mind, they could serve a purpose in the gardening shed, as “mixing bowls” or scoops/shovels. Maybe they could be used as planters. Perhaps you make stepping stones and you can utilize the pots and pans for that? Think before you toss. Donate them to someone else who can use them for hobbies.

Please make the landfill the absolute last resort.  Reduce, reuse, recycle.

I thought I’d share the link to the site where I just read this article. The writer, Katie (aka The Wellness Mama) goes into great detail which really should convince anyone to make the switch 🙂

Be sure to check out the rest of Katie’s site while you’re there. You won’t be disappointed!

Important Reasons to Ditch the Teflon

Organic? Yes!

I was thinking last night, because I do that sometimes 🙂 and a question occurred to me. One that I’d ask people who don’t purchase, or grow, organic food. Whenever I’m grocery shopping, I often look in the buggies of other shoppers. I see zero, some or all organics and I’m curious as to what their reasons are. A huge thumbs up to fellow supporters of organics!

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I suppose there are 4 categories of people who don’t buy organics; those that simply never consider it and are completely neutral, those that feel it’s unnecessary, those that dismiss it due only to cost and those that downright disagree with it. As with most any subject, there will always be individuals who vehemently deny the value of something.

But here’s a question (or two). Would they spray Windex (I only thought of this because it’s blue and noticeable, imagine another cleaner if you want) on their food and then eat it? Would you? Of course not! Why then is it okay for food to be sprayed, although out of sight, with toxic fertilizers (biosolids aka sewage sludge!), pesticides and such?

This is how most conventional food is grown. Never mind the typically genetically modified, pre-treated seeds and nutrient depleted soil. I despair especially for babies and children who consume conventional food, their bodies are so small and definitely more susceptible to harm.images (53)

Now, I will never claim organic is perfect. Every industry has flaws. However, you’re far better off purchasing organic as much as you can. So is the planet and every living creature upon it (bees, for example, are dying because of pesticides). At least begin with the Dirty Dozen and the Clean Fifteen.

Home gardening is also another wonderful option and can be as basic as window boxes if that’s all you can manage. Indoor sprouting is great too for those micro greens. Using a neighbor’s back yard. Containers. So many ways. And then you can control what gets sprayed, or not, on your produce.

Although easy enough to Google yourself, here are some quick links to the Clean 15 and the Dirty Dozen. If you’re just starting the journey to becoming organic, this is a good place to begin. I also recommend doing the research. I’ve done mine over the years and it’s why I’m 100% confident in advocating an organic lifestyle. There was a time when I didn’t have a clue! I’m so glad I now do 🙂

http://www.fullyraw.com/dirty-dozen-clean-15/

http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/clean_fifteen_list.php

http://www.davidsuzuki.org/what-you-can-do/queen-of-green/faqs/food/what-are-the-dirty-dozen-and-the-clean-fifteen/

http://www.sustainablebabysteps.com/dirty-dozen.html