Go organic at home - in 5 easy steps
1. Start a Small Garden
There is no better way to go organic than growing produce yourself. All homes are conducive to growing some useful herbs, vegetables, and fruits - you simply need to find a good sunny spot. In India, we've found that tomatoes, coriander, papaya, brinjal, and chilies grow quickest, with very little maintenance and can be sowed almost year round - this means you can plant them anytime and you will get a great yield.
To begin your journey towards a blossoming garden, buy a few extra pieces of the above mentioned organic fruit/veg/herb the next time you go shopping. We find the best and easiest way to start off is to sow the seeds or stems directly in the soil. You can also buy organic seeds which are readily available at a farmer's market.
Creating a healthy mix of good organic soil is also very easy today. For the maximum good health of your soil always ensure that you use one part coco peat, one part organic compost and one part organic gardening soil. One of the best fertilizers in the Indian market today is organic cow manure which is readily available in small and large size packages. Our favourite brand is Garden Manure which is virtually odourless and can be bought on Amazon.
2. Buying Seasonal and Local
A big part of going organic is understanding and choosing the right produce. Due to the current globalisation pattern, almost all produce is available year round and comes to us from across the globe. Buying these on a regular basis is equivalent to killing the local farmer or fruit seller's business. Know your seasons and which fruits and vegetables are available and best eaten in a particular season. For example, buy mangoes only in the months after March and chose the ones that come from regions close to where you live. Since we live in Mumbai we choose mangoes from Ratnagiri and have never had anything but really sweet mangoes. Opting to eat only seasonal produce means you will be eating a good varied diet and taking a big step towards the organic movement.
3. Cold Pressed Oils
Refined oil is one of the biggest killers as it contributes to several health ailments. Refined oil is usually never organic and goes through several processes, draining its essential nutrients. Coconut oil, sesame oil and the humble mustard oil are some of the best oils you can use for cooking. These cold-pressed oils lend a subtle yet beautiful flavour and add the essential nutrients needed for a healthy, well- balanced diet and lifestyle. Choosing sunflower, safflower or groundnut oil is also good for you. So throw out that can of refined oil and opt for locally produced organic oils. Also, some oils are cold pressed using the traditional Ghani method.
Iodized and refined salt serves no other purpose other than adding a salty taste to food. However, rock salt contains essential nutrients which help in combating bone and heart diseases and is a much healthier alternative to iodized salt. You can buy rock salt from your local grocery store and most varieties will be organic, without any added preservatives. Rock salt is also known as saindhav or Himalayan salt.
5. Make your own Cleaners
Regular household cleaners spray a lot of harmful chemicals into the atmosphere of your house. These chemicals cling to clothes, people and food items which can have a harmful effect on the human body. Using natural cleaners is a great way to reduce the chemicals in your home. Lime, sea salt and organic vinegar will make almost any glass, steel and ceramic surface shine like never before! Add a dash of essential oils (lemon or peppermint work great) to give a calming and soothing fragrance. Avoid aerosols and room fresheners, instead use agarbatis as a natural way to get rid of any foul smells in your home and kitchen. Lastly, you can clean wooden floors in a healthy and organic way too! Simply use flaxseed oil and a dash of essential oil and you will have clean, healthy wooden floors in no time.