Why organic food is better for healthy living

While a long time ago organic foods were for people with specific health conditions, today organic produce can be found in almost any supermarket and is on tongue’s tip of everyone. But, the word organic is often confused with natural, free range or hormone free. It is important to note that organic means “food that has been produced without the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and other chemicals, sewage sludge, bioengineering or ionizing radiation”.

Organic foods are produced by farmers who “emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of the soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations; meat/poultry/eggs/dairy products come from animals that are not given antibiotics or growth hormones and spend time outdoors”.

Under the US department of agriculture, organic foods bear a specific seal that allow them to be sold as organic though some foods may not be wholly organic and stated as thus on the seal.

There has been much debate over the years over the organic v/s normal food question but it is generally seen that organic food is much better for a healthy life as compared to traditional foods.

  • Organic foods have higher nutrient values (vitamins, antioxidants and minerals) as compared to normal foods. This is because the soil in which they are grown are allowed to recuperate and re gauge with soil minerals through natural means where by the plants can grow up at a steady rate and be filled with the required minerals while excluding harmful chemicals from pesticides/insecticides/herbicides and synthetic fertilizers.
  • They are free of chemicals especially pesticides. Organophosphates, a common chemical of pesticides (originally used during world war 1 as neurotoxin), release toxins that damage nerve and brain cells.
  • They are safer for babies, kids and pregnant women as there is a lesser risk of chemical traces in these foods which can affect the normal growth of young ones as well as developing babies.
  • Organic foods are far safer for the environment as a whole. There is less stress on the environment since the exclusion of chemicals means that there is no problem of leaching and subsequent pollution of rivers, lakes and other water bodies and degradation of soil quality. Organic farms also pollute less as compared to industrialised farms since they use manure as fertilizers and insects and other natural predators to repel pests instead of chemicals.

Eco friendly and green carpet cleaning

All homeowners at some point will need to have their carpets cleaned thoroughly. Years ago people used to buy their own carpet cleaners as most houses were carpeted throughout. Nowadays people are opting to have most rooms with wooden or laminate floors as the cleaning and upkeep is minimal in comparison to cleaning carpets regularly. Carpets can last for years to come if looked after properly they also retain the heat and keep the house warmer in the winter so if you live in a cold area such as parts of Ireland or parts of Scotland carpets are better suited.

Usually when families will come to sell their properties they will find that the carpet is dirtier or may look more run down than a house full of adults. Children are more likely to spill their drinks and food and even run in and out the house wearing dirty shoes. All houses will have dirty carpets on the stairs as these are known as high traffic areas, so they will have to be cleaned at some point too. So if you want to present the house better to any potential buyers cleaning the carpets is a must. You may soon recover the money you spent on doing this by the sale of the house.

Carpet cleaning

There are a few ways to have your carpets cleaned either by yourself or by a professional. You can hire a carpet cleaner at your local hire shop and they will charge you by the day, buy your own carpet cleaner and hire a company to come and to the work.

Hiring a carpet cleaner – the price will vary depending on the location, machine and how long you intend to keep it. Other costs to consider is the carpet cleaning solution that is not often included in the price, expect to pay £20 – £50 to do it yourself plus extra for the stain and cleaning fluid.

Buying a carpet cleaner – unless you have a big house that is carpeted in most rooms you will not get your moneys’ worth. The machine is bulky and hard to store away, you’ll only need it at least once a year and you can expect to pay £250 – £360 for a good cleaner that does the job well.

Carpet cleaning company – hiring a company makes the job hassle free as they will do all the preparation and cleaning with minimal disruption. Depending on the type of carpet they can be dry within hours.

Eco friendly carpet cleaning

This is becoming even more popular as people opt for more eco friendly cleaning solutions. The good side to eco friendly carpet cleaning is they don’t use harsh chemicals that can harm pets or children so when the carpet is being cleaned you don’t need to lock out your pets or take the children out for the day. Also with eco friendly or green carpet cleaning the carpet seems to dry faster, on average 5 hours compared to 24 hours by some other carpet cleaners. Prices eco friendly carpet cleaning tends to be better too as there are no harsh chemicals to be bought all products used are natural.

 

Soap nuts review

A little while ago I decided to try soap nuts as an alternative to buying washing powder. Although washing powder leaves my clothes smelling exotic towels and clothes such as jumpers and jeans fell really hard like starch has been added to them. After reading reviews in soap nuts I decided to give them a try. As my father is allergic to most washing powders it was also a good way to test them out before I recommend them.

Buying soap nuts

You can buy soap nuts mostly via the internet as high street shops have not yet been convinced to stock them yet. Places such as John Lewis and Lakeland do however sell them in store. Compared to the standard washing powder on sale they can work out slightly cheaper as soap nuts can be used more than once depending on heat settings and water. If you live in a hard water area you need more but a soft water area you use less soap nuts. I bought mine off the Lakeland website for under £3 for a box; they usually sell for around £6 for 250g.

Since I have been using my soap nuts for a month they do a really good job but it’s not very good if you have children or a husband who loves gardening. It doesn’t really do much for stains, as my husband is a gardener the mud and grass stains do not wash off from his clothes. I have noticed though that if you use some soap nuts in boiling water and let stained clothes soak in them they do a better job than sticking them in the washing machine. I have reused my soap nuts up to 3 times depending on the load size and they work well, I do have to buy separate essential oils to add lovely scents to my clothes which can be expensive and stain remover for clothes that soap nuts do not remove.

So are soap nuts cheaper?

No they are not, I have been using them for a month now and on top of buying soap nuts I have to buy organic essential oils to replace fabric conditioner which costs more than the soap nuts and I also have to buy stain remover. Overall I am pleased with the results as all my clothes look more vibrant and feel soft and bouncy. Even my towels which used to dry flat are more fluffy nice to the touch.

 

Benefits of organic living

The consciousness of health problems, and the wish to live green, has led people to choose the best option for them, that is to adopt organic living. Organic living refers to organic food, organic clothes, ornanic furniture, organic skin care and so on. Anything that claims to be organic has certain restrictions, thus you can’t just be fooled, organic food is manufactured under strict conditions, respecting the word organic that is, it should be chemical free, made without any use of toxins and which is eco-friendly, with no use of antibiotics or animal hormones, irradiation and so on.

Consuming organic food is now a trend, thus its demand is increasing and more and more organic food is being manufactured each day. Why? Because it is good for health. It is food that has not been exposed to chemicals, and has grown naturally. And new parents should stop worrying, because for their satisfaction, there is even organic baby food, it is definitely the best choice for the safety and health of their babies. Organic food is becoming more and more popular because people are now more educated and conscious about the positive aspects of natural food. You can find organic food at your own daily retailer but if you have any difficulty, you can always find online suppliers.

There are also organic cotton clothes, which are clothes made from pure cotton, undyed, unbleached, where no chemicals have been used, I thus recommend you to buy organic clothes, if you are prone to allergies. Buying organic clothes also leads you to participate in doing some good for your environment, you contribute to social and ecological sustainability. Statistical evidence has revealed that organic clothes are really enhancing because they are comfortable, diminish allergies, and protect the environment. They are highly recommended for children because it protects their sensitive skin!

Organic furniture are furniture that have been made from recycled wood and not from new wood cuttings, they are purely eco-friendly, as mattresses and linen used are from organic cotton or wool. By using recycled materials, it helps to protect the environment, saving energy to the amplificating market. You can find rugs, carpets, beds, linens and many more house furnishes. Many people are very concerned about the harm done to trees, but if more people buy organic furniture, its demand will increase thus the cutting down of trees will diminish.

What about organic skin care? These are products made from natural ingredients, which can be very beneficial to our skin. Sometimes chemicals in the products we use lead to irritation of the skin, but organic skin care products which are free from these are more appropriate to use. You must naturally choose the right skin product adapted for your skin. All organic products have for goal a greener life, if you opt for this, you are not only doing good for yourself and your health but you are also contributing to a more sustainable environment.

The consciousness of health problems, and the wish to live green, has led people to choose the best option for them, that is to adopt organic living. Organic living refers to organic food, organic clothes, ornanic furniture, organic skin care and so on. Anything that claims to be organic has certain restrictions, thus you can’t just be fooled, organic food is manufactured under strict conditions, respecting the word organic that is, it should be chemical free, made without any use of toxins and which is eco-friendly, with no use of antibiotics or animal hormones, irradiation and so on.

Consuming organic food is now a trend, thus its demand is increasing and more and more organic food is being manufactured each day. Why? Because it is good for health. It is food that has not been exposed to chemicals, and has grown naturally. And new parents should stop worrying, because for their satisfaction, there is even organic baby food, it is definitely the best choice for the safety and health of their babies. Organic food is becoming more and more popular because people are now more educated and conscious about the positive aspects of natural food. You can find organic food at your own daily retailer but if you have any difficulty, you can always find online suppliers.

There are also organic cotton clothes, which are clothes made from pure cotton, undyed, unbleached, where no chemicals have been used, I thus recommend you to buy organic clothes, if you are prone to allergies. Buying organic clothes also leads you to participate in doing some good for your environment, you contribute to social and ecological sustainability. Statistical evidence has revealed that organic clothes are really enhancing because they are comfortable, diminish allergies, and protect the environment. They are highly recommended for children because it protects their sensitive skin!

Organic furniture are furniture that have been made from recycled wood and not from new wood cuttings, they are purely eco-friendly, as mattresses and linen used are from organic cotton or wool. By using recycled materials, it helps to protect the environment, saving energy to the amplificating market. You can find rugs, carpets, beds, linens and many more house furnishes. Many people are very concerned about the harm done to trees, but if more people buy organic furniture, its demand will increase thus the cutting down of trees will diminish.

What about organic skin care products? These are products made from natural ingredients, which can be very beneficial to our skin. Sometimes chemicals in the products we use lead to irritation of the skin, but organic skin care products which are free from these are more appropriate to use. You must naturally choose the right skin product adapted for your skin. All organic products have for goal a greener life, if you opt for this, you are not only doing good for yourself and your health but you are also contributing to a more sustainable environment.

Soap nuts

As we all try to save money and live greener lifestyle, I take a look at the ingenious soapods (soap made from nuts) and how they can transform your laundry. Looking in to alternative ways to wash clothes will not only save money but also find new ways to save the planet.

What are soapods?

Soapods are found in trees that live up to 90 years old which are found in countries such as India, China, Afghanistan, Florida and the Caribbean. They have been around for thousands of years to wash and help preserve our clothes and look like little brown berries. Due to lack of knowledge and companies wanting to make money, that’s how washing powder and scented fabric softener was introduced. Originating from Nepal and India dating back centuries, this practice is now coming back as more people are choosing to be more environmentally friendly. Soapods have a natural outer layer of soapanin that is activated when it comes into contact with water; it is also similar to an ingredient used in cleaning products and soap.

Benefits of using soapnuts?

  • Soapods come from trees that live for a very long time so they won’t run out so easily and you can relax knowing that the tree itself is also 100% recyclable from the leaves to the trunk.
  • Soap nuts do not contain any chemicals or have any fragrance so it’s good for sensitive skin and delicate skin for babies.
  • Due to being 100% recyclable, in time they will just break down into harmless little fragments that can be composted.
  • As there are no harsh substances in soapods, washing machines will last a lot longer and will not deteriorate as quickly as using washing powder.
  • They are also good at making clothes last longer and towels are bouncier and clothes do not come out flat and dull.
  • As there are no fragrances you can buy organic scented oils and add them to the wash to make clothes smell nicer.
  • Soapods can be reused up to 6 times depending on water quality and quantity of clothes saving money and space for laundry products.
  • You only need a little space as the soapods come in a little bag as small as an orange.

How to use the soap nuts?

Soapods are very easy to use and once you try it you will not go back to conventional washing powder and harsh chemicals. They are sent in 100% recycled brown paper bag; the soapods themselves are put into a small cotton sack and put into the drum of the washing machine with each wash. Depending on the load size and how dirty they are, you can use more soapods or less, add essential oils or perfume to the wash to make it smell nice or just leave as it is. Depending on water quality you may have to use more, soapods are safe to leave in the drum though the rinse cycle.

Picking the first fresh organic egg from my garden

Breeding hens in your garden is a good way of getting your own fresh and organic eggs. They do not take a lot of space and are easy to look after. Chicken food does not cost a lot as well so there’s no reason why everyone can’t do it.

When I decided that I was going to rear chickens in my back garden, I wanted to have newly born chicks but because it was more difficult to get them and would be more difficult to look after them because they are more vulnerable, I opted to have 6-8 weeks old chickens. I didn’t want to have point-of-lay (POL) hens as they would already have been adults and I wanted to get to know them and make them accustomed to me before they start laying.

I bought two hydrids (one brown called Chestnut and another one white called Pixy) and an Orpington which is a pure breed (her name is Bluebell) on the 20th of June 2009. Chestnut and Pixy were 8 weeks old then and Bluebell only 6 weeks old. Hybrids lay more eggs in a year and that’s what they are known for. Pure breeds on the other hand lay fewer eggs in a year and start laying much later than the hybrids.

The hybrids were supposed to start laying after 16 weeks. So come the 4th of September 2009, I was disappointed that there was no eggs in the chicken coop. However today, out of the blue, I noticed a little egg looking at me. You can see the egg in the picture above along with the proud hen, Chestnut. Although 5 days later, it is such an incredible feeling to pick your first organic egg from my free range chicken (yes, I let them roam about in my garden quite often when they are not naughty, that is, when I’m sure they won’t egg the vegetables I’m growing or the flowers in my garden).

It is very rewarding to be able to experience your first fresh egg from your own garden. I just can’t describe it; you need to experience it to understand! I’m hoping the other hens will follow soon so that I no longer need to buy eggs from the supermarket again (well, that was the plan in the first place). I’m sure the taste of this organic egg will be something different, something more genuine and more rich because I’ll tell you this much, the chickens that I have are very spoilt – I give them fresh corn every now and then and buy little treats for them as well along with their daily food that they need.

Cleaning your home without the need for the bad chemicals

We all know chemicals are bad for us so as Kim and Aggie have started their series ‘How clean is your house’ this has prompted many people to use alternative cleaning products that are more environmentally friendly.

As all household cleaning products contain some potentially harmful chemicals, a lot of care and safety has to be taken when using them for cleaning. All manufacturers of cleaning products advise parents to keep these products out of sight. As a result , many new parents have started experimenting with organic products if they have a newborn or toddler.

Organic house cleaning

The market for organic cleaning supplies is not very competitive at the moment but this seems likely to change over the next few years. Below are some of the organic house cleaning products available at your local supermarket.

  • Organic washing powder
  • Organic fabric conditioner
  • Organic room fragrance
  • Organic furniture polish
  • Organic floor polish
  • Organic hand wash
  • Organic washing up liquid

The list of available products are endless and if you don’t want to buy branded organic cleaning products, then you can always make them yourself.

There are many books and websites which publicly discuss and share tips on cleaning. Did you know that vinegar is widely used as a homemade organic cleaning product? Vinegar is widely known to cut through grease – it is also used for cleaning floors and windows and glass to get a shiny and clean finish.