With Autumn and harvest almost upon us it is a great time to think about the products we buy and why we buy them. Organic products have so many benefits that we decided to devote this blog to explaining more about them.
Chemical pesticides became common after World War II but have since been shown to cause cancer in people and have raised serious environmental concerns. Over 95% of pesticides contaminate non-targeted species. This affects biodiversity and pollination levels (mainly due to the decline in bees) and contributes to pollution in rivers and soils. Conventional soil quality in some parts of the UK is so poor that there are only 30-40 years left before the soil will be dead!
Removing pests is important to farmers but there are many ways this can be tackled. With no synthetic fertilisers, organic farmers rely on nutrient rich soils for plant growth and successful yields. These are achieved through crop rotation and crop diversity, adding green manure and composting and not ploughing or disturbing the soil.
Ethical Consumer has outlined the 5 main benefits of buying organic:
- Wildlife friendly
One of the main benefits is a reduction in the amount of toxic chemicals used. We know that chemical fertilisers and pesticides are often harmful to wildlife and organic farms severely reduce their use.
- Climate friendly
Organic farming methods are less dependent on non-renewable, fossil fuel-based fertilisers and pesticides. Organic farming also stores higher levels of carbon in the soil.
- Improved quality of the land
Organic methods of production restore the quality of soil by using natural methods to return nutrients to the soil.
- Better conditions for animals
The standards around animal welfare mean animals that are reared organically lead healthier, more comfortable lives.
- Human health
There is now evidence that there are some health benefits to organic food. For example research suggests that both organic milk and meat contain around 50% more beneficial omega-3 fatty acids than conventionally produced products.
When you buy Greenscents organic cleaning products you are assured that over 70% of the ingredients are produced using organic farming methods. The other 30% are ingredients from natural sources that are carefully sourced and approved by The Soil Association. Buying organic cleaning and laundry products is just as important as buying organic vegetables! Conventional cleaning products are full of toxic chemicals that damage the environment, the soil and your health.
In the Greenscents workshops in Somerset we combine some wonderful organic ingredients to make your products. Here are a couple of the ingredients we use – you can read more about all our ingredients and fragrances here.
Organic Aloe Vera
Our organically certified aloe vera (Aloe Barbadensis Miller) comes from Mexico where it is grown pesticide free and we buy it direct from the grower. We use the highest quality product which is cosmetic and food grade certified and is made from the inner parts of aloe vera leaves. We receive the aloe vera as a very fine light brown powder which has been freeze dried to remove the water. This means that it is light to transport and this improves our carbon footprint. The aloe vera powder is mixed with water and forms the basis of many Greenscents products.
Organic Cider Vinegar
Our organic apple cider vinegar is made in Suffolk using a unique trickle feed process by a company who were the first ever certified by The Soil Association! This vinegar is made from a mixture of dessert and cider apples which are fermented to give the quality ingredient we use in our loo cleaner. Cider vinegar has been used for generations as a health drink, for cooking and to preserve food. There are numerous cleaning uses for cider vinegar too. We use cider vinegar to help remove limescale and harmful bacteria in Greenscents Loo Cleaner.
Find out more about the ingredients and fragrances we put in our organic cleaning products.
The Soil Association: Organic farmers are permitted to use just 20 pesticides, derived from natural ingredients including citronella and clove oil, but only under very restricted circumstances. Research suggests that if all UK farming was organic, pesticide use would drop by 98%! This means that organic farms are a haven for wildlife and these toxic pesticides can’t make their way into the food chain and into us.
Ethical Consumer: Many chemicals in cleaners are toxic.