Sure, I know a bit about going organic, and think it’s fantastic. However, I’ve never really focused on making sure all the items in my grocery basket are – with the assumption being that organic is way more expensive, and limited and hard to find all under one roof. Therefore I thought I’d give some tips on items you can do at home!
Grow your own – Why not try grow your own fruit, veggies or herbs at home? You don’t need to go into full-scale farming, or feel like you can only do this if you will replace all your produce shopping with home-grown. I like to try this out on my balcony in a pot or two and it’s very rewarding (and the flavour of home-grown produce is amazing!). Start with something easy to get your confidence up. A happy accident was when I tossed some overripe cherry tomatoes into a pot and ended up having a magnificent crop! I find packets of seeds can be challenging sometimes probably due to how they are treated / packed (or hungry birds), so visit your local nursery and start with a tray of seedlings rather, or even try and grow from fresh seeds from your fruit / veggies (like my cherry tomato accident!).
Natural bug-killers – With plants come bugs. Some are useful to your crops, while others are just there to munch! Getting rid of them is a problem if you’re trying to go organic or pesticide free, or both. I’ve found a spray of vinegar diluted with a bit of water does the trick in most cases. For more stubborn bugs, or those with a waxy coating, add some dishwashing soap to your vinegar water and spray. To keep snails and other slimy things away, crush egg-shells and sprinkle over your soil. If you have a coffee plunger / machine, then keep your grounds and sprinkle those on your soil too. The slimy garden folk hate this too, and it’s packed with nitrates which your plants will love!
Cleaning materials – Now that I’ve got you onto a new hobby, you’ll forget you may need to clean your home from time-to-time too! A lot of chemicals go into the detergents that are most easily available, some of which are not very good for us and can be absorbed via the skin, or even from breathing in their scents. I’ve investigated some amazing options at the health-stores, but because this concept is not well-adopted yet, the cost of changing over to natural or organic detergents is sometimes out of reach. (But then again, if you grow your own veggies, you may have some spare cash!). Nonetheless, a lot can be done with a few simple ingredients that most of us always have in our kitchens anyway – vinegar and bicarb can work wonders for many things from mildew busting, to drain cleaning, to wiping down your fridge, and even freshening your washing machine. And if you’re worried about things starting to smell like vinegar, infuse some cut up lemons in a jar with the vinegar and you’ll have a fresh-smelling solution that does the job. A spritz of your lemon-vinegar makes a great window and surface cleaner!
So there’s quite a few things right under your nose to get you started on making some more natural choices in your journey to going organic. If you have any tips or gems of your own, please feel free to share them!