The organic movement is one of the most popular trends of the past few decades, and it’s certainly here to stay.
Consumers today prefer organically-produced food and products because of concerns regarding health, the environment, and the welfare of animals.
As a result of these concerns, consumers have demonstrated a willingness to pay premium prices for these types of items, knowing how organic choices can impact wellness.
Recent statistics show that 68% of Americans purchased organic foods in the past 30 days, with the most common reason for doing so being to get healthier food. Moreover, 43% of Millennials attest to looking for natural ingredients when shopping for skin care products, with 11% spending roughly $100 per month on organic hygiene items.
Making the switch to a fully organic lifestyle can seem daunting at first. Converting every aspect of your life to organic means might not seem realistic, affordable, or feasible—but with the right motivation, it is wholly possible.
The key to successfully switching to an organic lifestyle is to take small but meaningful steps.Here are 5 simple organic lifestyle changes you can make in 2021 to kickstart your year and embrace healthier habits.
1. Make your meals at home
We’re all spending a lot more time at home than usual, but this is a good thing for adopting more organic eating habits. According to a recent survey, cooking at home is the preferred way to prepare a meal for 98% of Americans. While getting fast food and dining out are of course convenient, most people have come to realize that it’s unlikely this food is organic, which raises concerns. Since it’s practically impossible to know where your food really comes from if you aren’t cooking it yourself, many Americans have made home cooking more of a priority, with 82% of the meals people eat being prepared at home. Generally speaking, meals you cook at home (where you know all the ingredients being used and can opt for organic choices) are healthier for you.
2. Use toxic-free hygiene products
Instead of using the same personal hygiene products you’ve always used, making the switch to natural, non-toxic products is a small but impactful change you can make. When our skin absorbs close to 60% of what we put on it, it’s essential to think more critically about the nature of your hygiene products. From sunscreen and deodorant to shampoo and moisturizer, using organic hygiene products will substantially lower your exposure to potentially harmful ingredients present in non-organic products.
3. Prioritize a healthy sleep environment
When is the last time you thought about the materials you’re sleeping on every night? We spend a lot of time in our bedrooms (nearly one-third of every day!), making it a great area to focus on in terms of organic living. In addition to choosing an organic mattress and updating your bedding to incorporate more non-toxic materials, you can also make your bedroom more environmentally-friendly by integrating sustainable furniture, LED lighting, and even repainting your walls with non-VOC paint. Thinking more critically about what your senses are experiencing when you sleep—from the air you’re breathing (which could be improved with a humidifier or diffuser) to the sounds you’re hearing (which could distract you from your deepest sleep)—will allow you to make the right changes to boost the organic nature of your bedroom.
4. Opt for organic cleaning products
What really goes into those conventional, name-brand cleaners you use? It can be tough to truly know whether the chemicals used in everyday household cleaners are actually safe for you—and they’re certainly not organic! According to the American Lung Association, some common household cleaners (especially those containing ammonia and bleach) can irritate the eyes and throat, causing headaches and other health problems. Luckily, there are plenty of alternative cleaners available that use organic ingredients like salt, lemon, baking soda, and vinegar. Make sure to read the labels when you’re shopping around for an organic alternative, but beware of greenwashing!
5. Reduce your energy usage
To lead a fully organic lifestyle, you also need to take care of the environment in addition to your own health. By reducing the amount of energy you use at home, you can live more organically and prioritize a more eco-friendly lifestyle. When you’re leaving the house for a while, turn down your thermostat. Or, in the hotter months, leave the windows open instead of running the air conditioning. You can also reduce your energy usage by avoiding driving as much as possible. Taking public transportation, cycling, or walking are all great alternatives to the energy your car expends.