May 1, 2019 6:45 am Leave your thoughts
You might not be 16 any more – you might not even be one of Greta Thunberg’s greatest fans. But like her or not, there’s no doubt her message has got under people’s skins. This Swedish 16-year-old has travelled by train, bus and electric car all over Europe, talking to politicians and the media about climate change, about catastrophe, and about it being time to act. She has spoken passionately about the environment, energy and ‘rewilding nature’ – and people have started to listen and to talk themselves.
Greta is by no means alone: the Extinction Rebellion protests in London over Easter, and the school-pupil demonstrations earlier this year, are part of the same trend. Perhaps you too are wondering how you can make a difference. You might be rethinking your purchasing and consuming habits, your travel plans, your voting opportunities and a variety of your everyday decisions. Not many of us are idealistic 16-year-olds – and not many of us have the opportunity to travel the world influencing politicians. We can, however, all take steps to protect the bit of world we live in.
Here are some ideas to help you do just that. Will you help us act in time?
Act in time: get back to nature
A lot of Greta’s speech focused on the need for a sea-change in our point of view. We need to start understanding the world – and nature – properly.
It’s a viewpoint we know many of our customers already hold. Nowhere is this more apparent than in our orders for organic food, household products and toiletries. Buying organic means keeping things natural, clean and sustainable. It’s an easy change to make, and can have a huge impact. Here’s how.
Organic farming supports our soils, wildlife, our atmosphere and our water. Organic farmers aren’t allowed to use harmful pesticides or petroleum-based fertilisers, which means that their soils retain their nutrients and wildlife flourishes. The delicate ecosystems that strengthen soils are protected and, with pesticide use severely restricted, the ‘run-off’ of harmful substances into waterways is greatly limited. Organic farming thus protects our wildlife, our ecosystems and our most basic natural resources.
Strong soils, meanwhile, serve as ‘carbon sinks’, helping to absorb carbon levels in the atmosphere and playing a vital role in combating global warming. Organic farming thus protects our atmosphere.
For a fuller discussion of how organic farming works, see our blogs Save our soil (and our planet) with the Soil Association and The birds and the bees: eat organic to protect wildlife. And, of course, check out Naturally Good Food’s extensive Organic range, which covers toiletries and household goods, as well as food.
Act in time: reduce, reuse, recycle
We know we need to consume less and use fewer natural resources, especially those that are non-renewable. Plastic has become a popular recent target for environmentalists, with good reason: plastic waste is choking our oceans and plastic production stripping the earth of its resources. At Naturally Good Food, in our efforts to combat the use of plastic, we stock female sanitary products from Natracare, which are plastic-free and biodegradable. We’ve also got baby and personal care wipes made from cotton, rather than plastic, which again, are biodegradable and compostable. And we’ve got plastic-free chewing gum, from Chicza!
Our own ethical packaging policy is not (quite) plastic-perfect, but it’s getting there. We re-use cardboard boxes from our suppliers and pack orders in recyclable and biodegradable materials (including boxes, bags, packaging noodles, clingfilm and tape, wherever possible). We encourage our customers, in turn, to reuse these materials wherever they can.
We also promote buying in bulk. It might seem counter-intuitive to buy more in order to ‘cut down’, but in fact, it makes perfect sense. Buying a 5kg bag of rice, sugar or oats, for instance, uses significantly less packaging material than five 1kg bags of the same. Transportation costs are likely to be reduced too, as you’ll need to receive fewer packages throughout the year. We encourage our customers to buy in bulk wherever they can – from 2.5kg bags right up to 25kg sacks (or drums of oil and syrup). You can see our full bulk-buying section here.
Act in time: buy eco-brands
We’re pretty much a one-stop shop for eco-brands at Naturally Good Food! We’ve got a fantastic range of environmentally friendly shampoos, conditioners, moisturisers, soaps, bath and shower gels from companies including Faith in Nature and Green People. These companies are dedicated to the use of natural ingredients, harvested in an environmentally sustainable manner.
We’ve also found an environmentally friendly alternative for virtually every household cleaning purpose you can think of. The big names in our Household products range include Ecover, Ecoleaf, Faith in Nature, Bio D, If You Care and Suma. From these companies, we’ve got biodegradable bags, loo roll and kitchen roll, unbleached cupcake cases and baking parchment, biodegradable sandwich bags, recycled aluminium foil and non-toxic firelighters. We’ve got everything you need to clean your toilet or use in your dishwasher, everything you require for your laundry and everything you can think of to clean and polish every surface in your house.
Across our business, we seek out companies and brands that are determined to make a positive environmental impact. We strive to be as green as possible ourselves: on our base deep in the countryside, we have ground-source heating, a bio-digester for waste and solar panels for our electricity needs.
Act in time: think about what you eat
A report in the journal Nature recently urged all of us to go ‘flexitarian’ to stop environmental catastrophe. The Vegan Society took it one step further (‘How your diet could change the world’), while the EAT-Lancet Commission on Food, Planet, Health produced the Planetary Health Diet, reportedly the best way to eat to save the world. We sell a lot of vegan and flexitarian products at Naturally Good Food. Whether you’re vegan yourself, thinking about cutting down on the amount of meat you eat, or simply interested in eating in a different way, we’ve got what you need for a thoroughly healthy, delicious and sustainable diet. Check out our dedicated vegan range here and our Wholefoods section here.
Act in time: know your weight in the world
One of the best bits of environmental advice I ever read was that we should all ‘know our own weight in the world’. It’s easy to jump in a car, or on a train or plane, without giving any thought to the consequences. It’s equally easy to switch on a tumble-dryer, take a malfunctioning microwave to the tip or turn the heating up a notch without thinking through all the implications. This website https://www.myclimate.org is a good way of working out how much of a carbon footprint our activities really leave.
Act in time: time to act
Greta didn’t just urge us to turn the lights off when we leave a room: she was speaking about something much bigger than that. At Naturally Good Food, we’d like to be a small part of that something bigger. Will you join us? It’s time to act – let’s act in time!
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This post was written by Yzanne