With ever-increasing awareness of the climate crisis, green living is high on many people’s agendas for 2023. As we all make a concerted effort to live better, shop better and generally be more conscious of the planet, one way to make a difference is by switching to organic produce and products. There's no better time to start than Organic September!
This month-long campaign was founded by charity The Soil Association who, for 75 years, has worked to transform the way people eat, farm and care for the natural world. Organic September first began in 1994 and you can get involved online using the hashtag #OrganicSeptember, supporting organic products or showing how you grow your own organic produce at home.
As the country's largest organic certification body, The Soil Association stipulates that at least 95% of ingredients for food or drink products must come from organically produced plants or animals. The Soil Association offers a huge range of organic and sustainable certification schemes, ranging from food, fashion, cleaning products and beauty & wellbeing, so there's no shortage of organic swaps to be made.
See below for the ultimate guide to making small swaps and lifestyle changes that will make a big difference to the planet.
Who doesn’t love to indulge in the occasional bar of chocolate? When you’re considering which cocoa to buy, try making a simple switch to organic. By buying chocolate with the organic label, it guarantees that the product has been subjected to legal regulations that protect the planet’s soils and ecosystems. By buying a bar from a FairTrade and organic brand such as Green & Black’s you’re investing in considerate cocoa, directly supporting a food production process that benefits us all. Newcastle University found organic crops are up to 60% higher in several key antioxidants than conventionally grown ones. So, you can enjoy chocolate and feel pretty good about it.
Unfortunately, everyday essentials can be some of the most harmful products to the environment and some of the harder swaps to make. The biggest impact of cleaning products comes from the chemicals which they contain, household cleaning products such as detergents and bleaches are flushed into our waterways which destroy the natural balance of the ecosystem. When shopping this Organic September be sure to look out for the Environmental Protection Agency recommendations: use eco-friendly cleaning products that are low in volatile organic compounds like glycol esters, limonene, and hydrocarbons. Bentley Organic have aimed to provide the purest, cleanest, and safest products for everyone and the planet. They offer sustainable and organic essentials from kitchen cleaner to shampoo to make green living more accessible.
Beauty and Wellbeing
A simple swap to make this September is through wellbeing and beauty products. According to research by the Environmental Working Group, between cosmetics, perfumes, and personal care products, women apply up to an average of 168 chemicals to their faces and bodies every day. By avoiding pesticides, GM ingredients and synthetic colours and fragrances, switching to organic products can be gentler on skin and on the environment.
Natural skincare products also carry a lower allergen risk, if an allergic reaction does occur with the use of an organic product, it would most likely be due to a natural ingredient such as peanuts which would be easier to identify and treat. The beauty industry needs to catch up compared with food produce, while shopping look for certification logos such as the Soil Association, COSMOS or Ecocert. Green People offer Soil Association certified skin care and cosmetics From natural mascara to high factor fragrance free SPFs this pioneering brand has helped create the standards for organic beauty products.
Use an organic restaurant guide
Use the Soil Association organic restaurant search tool to support local businesses, traders and organic farms. All restaurants and cafes boast an Organic Served Here award and are carefully audited by experts to make sure they buy a percentage of their food from certified organic suppliers. Stuck on where to eat? Simply browse by region to find a restaurant or cafe in your area serving organic food and drink.
Grow your own organic food at home
Getting your own hands in the soil can be a fantastic way to reconnect with food and the planet, luckily growing your own at home can be easier than you might think. According to The Soil Association, around 87% of UK households have a garden which equals over 10 million acres in land, that's larger than all of Britain’s nature reserves combined! So whether you have an allotment plot, garden or windowsill everybody should be encouraged to grow something at home. Growing your own herbs at home is an easy way to start and it can be achieved any time of the year. Root vegetables are a good place to begin in September, begin planting in pots to get started, especially if you’re living in a rented property. Find how-to guides, seasonal timelines and grow your own tips on The Social Association website. Make a pledge this September to care for our planet and be a part of the organic movement.