We all want to do our bit to look after our environment, keeping it as clean as possible for our children. Every day we hear more and more stories about chemicals and pesticides being used in our everyday products and the potentially harmful effect of these to our world. It’s easy to feel completely overwhelmed about how to do our bit to make the world a better place and to know what information is right.
So I tried to think of a few ways I can make some changes in my life and maybe limit my use of chemicals and pesticides in my home. I also hope in some small way that limiting them and showing others how easy it can be is of some small use in helping to save the world!
I looked at four areas that I could make a difference in my home. I thought of using natural cleaning products, making an organic garden, feeding my family organic food and using natural beauty products. Whilst I am yet to be convinced that this will help save the world I am convinced that it’s a good way to save some money and have some fun along the way.
3 tips to help with organic gardening:
‘Organic gardening is simply not using pesticides or synthetic fertilizers in the garden’ (www.gardening.org/organic_gardening)
1. The biggest threat to your newly planted vegetables will be snails and slugs – sprinkling crushed egg shells or coffee grounds around the plants will help keep them at bay.
2. Companion planting is another way to help rid your freshly planted vegetables of any lurking pests by planting herbs that attract bugs that will keep the pests at bay. For example planting parsley or caraway will attract lady bugs that will keep aphids away. Perfect. It may not save the world but it will save your cauliflower, broccoli or flowers. Pests don’t like basil or mint so plant these in amongst your flowers as well. Another trick that will bring your heart joy as well is pet ducks. Ducks eat slugs, snails and ticks while leaving the vegetable garden alone. Plus they are wonderful friends and companions for you and your children!
3. Using garlic or orange oil spray is another good way to stop those pests in their tracks and totally safe to spray on all your plants.
Organic food is simply food that is grown using “methods that do not involve modern synthetic inputs such as synthetic pesticides and chemical fertilizers, do not contain genetically modified organisms and are not processed using irradiation, industrial solvents or chemical additives” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organic_food).
3 good reasons to grow or buy organic produce:
1. They are pesticide/ chemical free. One can’t help but feel better if we try to limit the un-natural chemicals that our families ingest and I hope this is another way I can make maybe a bit of difference. I feel good about trying anyway!
2. It feels fabulous. Whilst we can try to get as much produce from our own small garden if we are lucky, many of us will need to supplement as well. In these times try and buy foods with the organic stamp. Again I can’t unfortunately bask in the feel good thought that I might save the world in some way, but I can vouch for the feel good factor of picking your own carrots, broccoli or tomatoes and cooking with them that evening!
3. Taste. Nothing tastes quite as delicious as the fruits and vegetables that you have grown yourself or produce that others have grown organically and allowed to ripen naturally.
Household cleaning products:
This has been a great addition to my household routine because it is cheap and simple and these products live in the pantry anyway.
3 top cleaning products are:
1. Lemon juice and olive oil as a furniture polisher on unvarnished furniture. Mix one part lemon juice with two parts olive oil and there you have a cheap and easy and chemical free way to clean your furniture.
2. Vinegar is a fantastic all purpose cleaner. Mix equal parts with water and it doubles as a great deodorizer as well.
3. Spray lemon juice on a cloth and use in the bathroom, on shower doors etc. It will get rid of soap scum and it smells really good too!
A Natural Beauty Routine:
A special beauty product residing in your pantry is olive oil. It doesn’t get better than that and its great for your skin and your hair. It feels lovely to use and it’s cheap! Using microfiber cloths or a face washer as a mild exfoliator keeps more potential chemicals out of your routine. You can even have fun with sugar by mixing it with your favorite all natural cleanser and there you have another form of exfoliation.
I think we know these ideas alone won’t save the world but they are definitely food for thought and you can keep finding more and more ideas of how to live life with less chemicals and pesticides. That’s got to be a good thing!!!