With organic produce, meat and other foods now available at most major grocery stores, going organic has become an easier way to be greener. In partnership with SCOTT Naturals™ last week I shared recycling tips. This week let’s look at eating organic. Like recycling, it isn’t about making an overnight overhaul on your entire life. Instead, it is about taking small steps that add up to a big change. In this case, eliminating chemicals from your family’s diet.
The big hang up for the switch to organic is that it comes with a price tag that isn’t necessarily budget friendly. (Although organic prices have certainly come down from what they were even two years ago.) For those on a grocery budget (myself included) selecting a few key items to buy organic is an excellent way to get started and make a difference in your family’s chemical exposure. Yes, going fully organic would be great, but even changing a few items you normally buy to organic makes a difference. You can choose organic anything, but for maximum impact consider the Dirty Dozen.
The dirty what?
The Dirty Dozen are the top 12 produce items that have been determined by the Environmental Working Group to harbor the most chemicals. You will notice that most of the items on this list are things you eat whole, skin included, hence the most residual pesticide left behind. If you are going to buy anything organic, let it be the Dirty Dozen:
- nectarines (imported)
- grapes (imported)
- sweet bell peppers
- blueberries (domestic)
- kale and collard greens
On the other hand, the EWG also recognizes the Clean 15. These are the 15 produce items that have the least residual pesticide. Therefore, to help that grocery budget go ahead and enjoy conventionally grown versions of these:
- sweet corn
- sweet peas (frozen)
- cantaloupe (domestic)
- sweet potatoes
If you don’t buy organic, the EWG says that even though washing your conventionally grown produce won’t eliminate all of the pesticide residue on your produce, it will reduce your exposure. So don’t stop washing your fruits and veggies before eating them!
Although buying locally grown produce does not change the chemical impact, unless it is grown organically, buying local is another step toward greener living. Not only do you support local farmers, but you also eliminate the transportation impact. Plus, a weekend trip to a local farmer’s market is a great way to spend a Saturday morning. We regularly visit our farmer’s market where we find all kinds of product, crafts and other goodies to enjoy. Buying locally is green and fun!
While enjoying your organic and/or locally grown produce, wipe off those sticky fingers with SCOTT Naturals napkins. I recently swapped our regular brand for SCOTT Naturals as part of the 4-week test drive and no one in my family seemed to notice. (Which I take as a good sign from my picky family.) The napkins are made from 80% recycled fiber. That is how you complete the recycling cycle – by buying products made from the materials we recycle. (Oh, and I recycled the plastic bag packaging too.)
SCOTT Naturals™ challenges you to take the 4-Week Test Drive – swapping your napkins, toilet paper, paper towels and flushable wipes for SCOTT Naturals™. Sign up at ScottBrand.com and pledge to accept the challenge. As added incentive, the state with the greatest number of pledges will receive a $50,000 donation to be applied to local conservation efforts. Another easy way one small step can lead to a big change.
I took the pledge, and if everyone in my zipcode pledged to make the swap, 288 trees would be saved and there would be 40,571 more pledges for Florida. That’s a big difference in just four weeks! Take the pledge today at ScottBrand.com. Then print these SCOTT Naturals coupons to help you get started.
I’ll have more easy tips for you to live a greener life throughout the month of April. Stay tuned.
Disclosure – This series of posts was brought to you by Scott Naturals, however, all thoughts, opinions and tips are my own.