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7 Mindful Shopping Practices

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014 | Author:

Twenty years ago organic food was not so popular, but I sought it out. People would ask me, a struggling single mother at the time, how I could afford organic groceries. The heart of my decision to shop organic was, and still is, the principle of it. I know I’m directly supporting the environmental movement every day, plain and simple.

Today organic groceries can be found in almost every grocery store in America. Healthier, organic food has become the norm for many, and there is more collective knowledge about what organic means.

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This message isn’t about healthy food. It’s about sustainable choices. We need to embrace change (yesterday!) and apply what we’ve learned about the food we eat to products we buy for everyday use. The chemicals used in conventional products and their manufacturing are just as dangerous as chemicals used in agriculture.

Observing the explosion of Whole Foods Market all over the map, it’s not hard to imagine a paradigm shift from “more for less” to “less is more.” Are you with me? Great! Read on for seven simple tips to help you keep your mind where your heart is while you’re shopping for everyday items.

1. Think quality, not quantity. Once you adopt a minimalist mentality, it is very difficult to go back. No more going to a dollar store for two items and ending up spending $20.

2. Support local. Read labels to find out where things are made. Unfortunately most items are made elsewhere, but it’s like striking gold when a surprise “Made in America” label is found. When you find products you love made in your region, state or country, latch on and don’t let go. Why not inform friends and neighbors, as well?

3. Disposables and planned obsolescence. Seek out longer lasting, recyclable, reusable or compostable alternatives to disposable or short-lived products you currently use, like diapers, razors, toothbrushes, feminine products, light bulbs, paper towels and napkins, paper plates, plasticware and cups, trash bags, sandwich & storage bags, and grocery bags. If you’re unsure where to find these alternatives, please leave a comment for us below.

 

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4.  Think about sources. What materials were used, using what chemicals in the process? For example, cotton fabric is made from soft plant fibers, so it’s perfect for textiles, but cotton is considered the world’s dirtiest crop involving tremendous amounts of pesticides, chemical treatments and water. Organic cotton is an excellent substitute, and as we continue buying more of it, more options will become available.

5.  Awaken your senses. Commercial household cleaning products and personal-care products are made with chemicals that are toxic to the people manufacturing them, the people using them, animals that come into contact with them, and the water systems where they end up. You can smell the pollution walking down the cleaning-products isle at conventional grocery stores. If it doesn’t smell like something from nature, don’t buy it. Tip: go to a health food store and sniff the pure essential oil samplers to get a better idea of what non-toxic scents from nature smell like.

6. Educate yourself and others. Tell people what you learn about consumerism, toxics, trash, and great alternatives. We have an opportunity to change the future for the better by educating children. To get my daughter to understand what clothes (something she has a genuine interest in) are made of, we made up a game I’ll call “animal, plant or other.” Her eyes lit up when she realized that the cotton shirt she was wearing was made from plant flowers. When I explained that rayon fabric is mostly made from wood pulp, she was like, “Whaaat?!” In a fun way, that forced her to think about material processes.

 

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7. Take it in stride. Don’t go out and replace everything all at once. I suggest you take it as it comes, which will give you time to research better options. When you need new sheets, buy organic cotton sheets. When you need new razors and toothbrushes, buy Preserve recyclables. And on and on.

 

“Change is the only constant.” –Heraclitus

 

 

 

Category: carbon footprint, chemical exposures, Lifestyle, organic certification, organic materials, products, sustainable living | Leave a Comment

Imagine Organic Oceans

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013 | Author:

save-the-planet

Imagine a world without synthetic chemicals. Well, that is a bit extreme. It would rule out pharmaceuticals and many other “necessary” products. Nevertheless, that is the utopian image in the back of my mind when I choose to spend more money on organic food and goods. It’s that “saving the world” feeling I get that keeps me going the extra mile, literally, to the health food store instead of the closest grocery store.

I’m not supporting organics only because it’s healthier for my immediate family. In fact, I’m thinking of my bigger family, the bees, birds, deer, soil, fish, rivers and oceans who directly suffer from pesticide exposure.

jen-renninger---we-are-all-connected

Imagine if everyone shopped for consumables with the bigger picture in mind. Is furniture consumable? Yes, it’s earth food, as it will end up in there some day. Let’s feed it organic! It’s not hard to start with organic basics: food; personal care; clothes; beds and bedding.

Find an organic store near you at these links:

http://www.organicstorelocator.com/

http://wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/list

 

“When we try to pick out anything by itself we find that it is bound fast by a thousand invisible cords that cannot be broken, to everything in the universe.” – John Muir’s journal, July 27, 1869

Category: carbon footprint, chemical exposures | Leave a Comment

What are we packin’?

Wednesday, April 04th, 2012 | Author:

Recently a customer called concerned about how she should dispose of the “Styrofoam-like” packing material her Lifekind order arrived packaged in. She wondered why we would even use such a product in the first place.

I happily assured her that our packing material is 100% biodegradable, derived from an annually renewable raw-cornstarch material that meets the most stringent environmental requirements for packaging. When I suggested she place a few pieces of the packing material into a dish of water she was happy to give it a try, and while still on the phone, I could hear the excitement in her voice as she watched the material dissolve in the water.  (View the entire process in this video.)

Michelle, loading up the giant "peanut" dispenser

Our Warehouse Manager, Michelle, who has worked at Lifekind for over 10 years, explains that all the packing materials we use are biodegradable and contain no harmful chemicals. This leaves me hopeful that other companies are also choosing to make a difference by using alternative, environmentally-friendly packaging. Making an effort to change the way we package things, and being mindful of the products we purchase and how they are packaged, over time will make a difference in providing greener solutions for our environment.

So the next time you receive a package in the mail, take a moment to see if the company you ordered from is being environmentally mindful. Simply place the “peanut” packing material into a dish of water in the hope you will watch it magically dissolve!

Category: carbon footprint, general, Questions, sustainable living, uncategorized | Leave a Comment

Buy American

Tuesday, June 02nd, 2009 | Author:

blogdanielwithflag
We think it’s important to support American organic farmers and manufacturers – so we do! Lifekind® is dedicated to supporting America’s organics industry and to keeping jobs here in America.

We make our own mattresses right here in the U.S. Our GOTS-certified mattress Eco-Factory™ is located in Yuba City, California – the only mattress facility in North America to be awarded true third-party organic certification.

Our organic raw materials come from sources as close to home as possible. The Naturally Safer® wool and certified organic cotton we use in our mattresses and bedding are U.S. grown, and the natural rubber latex we use in our mattress cores and pillows is also manufactured here in the U.S.

Your commitment to purchasing organic products and supporting America’s environmentally-conscious farmers and businesses helps to ensure the continuing growth of the organics industry in the U.S. Also, you contribute to the reduction of your carbon footprint when you buy products made closer to home.

We are proud to support American organic farmers and to be your “go-to” company for “Made in the USA” items.

Carol Bader, Co-Founder

Category: carbon footprint, mattresses, organic materials, sustainable living, US manufacturers | One Comment