16 June 2014
May Eco Challenge Winners
For the month of May we asked our Eco Challenge community to 'Choose Life, Choose Organic' by purchasing organic items where possible for the month. In doing so, our Eco Challengers told producers not to use chemicals, to care for our soils, animals and indeed workers involved in producing the product.
Raelene Sutton and Kyra Corbyn are our joint winners of the May 'Choose Life, Choose Organic' Eco Challenge. Their winning blog entries are published below.
By: Raelene Sutton
There are a few reasons I choose to buy organic foods for my family, the main one is to reduce the amount of pesticides that we inadvertently eat. I also want to support farmers who practice the organic way of growing food. I realise that when foods are grown without pesticides and chemical fertilisers, the produce yielded is reduced and I want to pay the farmers accordingly.
So yes, I pay a premium price for my organic fruit, veg, nuts, grains and meat. There are ways to reduce this cost though. Shop around.
I buy my organic dried fruits, nuts, cereal and flours from a co-op I run with a couple of friends. Provided we reach a minimum order of $500, we pay the wholesale price instead of retail, which ends up being similar if not just slightly more than conventional prices of these foods from the supermarket. When possible, I would buy Australian grown. I specifically choose to buy organic quinoa and chia seeds that are grown in Australia, even if they are more expensive than their overseas equivalent. I had actually done an order in May as I was running out of some pantry supply, so my pantry is now overflowing with dried fruits, cereal and flour. With organic flour, it is best to put it in the freezer for at least 72 hours to kill off any weevil eggs.
We make a weekly trip to buy our organic beef from a butcher a few suburbs away. The butcher actually owns a cattle ranch in Mudgee and he mainly exports his meat, so the price he charges at his butcher shop is quite low for organic meat.
I’m lucky to live in Sydney and have access to a number of online organic fruit and veg delivery service. I find the price and variety of fresh food they offer is much better than what Coles and Woolworths offer. There are times when I do buy organic foods from Coles and Woolworths, especially when the price they offer is significantly cheaper than at the health store. At my local Woolworth’s they are currently selling organic bananas for $1.49/kilo. It was even cheaper than the non-organic bananas!
We have 2 small vegie gardens to supplement our foods and after failing to grow a reasonable broccoli, capsicum, corn and carrot crops, I would happily pay top dollar to the farmers who grow them organically.
By: Kyra Corbyn
Choosing organic is such a wonderful challenge and, until you get in the swing of it after completing a degree in label reading and having found a few reliable suppliers, a challenge it may seem.
My organic journey began when we fell pregnant with our awesome little man, Reef, now 22 months old. I had some knowledge of the effects of chemical use due to my fetish for natural health mags, but it was the consideration that our choices were going to affect the little person we created, that prompted my husband and I to start taking little steps towards an organic lifestyle.
We started with basics - first was baby stuff. Because little folks are an expensive venture (no matter how tight you attempt to keep the budget), we decided that nappies, singlets, pjs and linen would be an organic must as babies spend soooooo much time in these.
When it came time for solids we found a local supplier who, every fortnight, delivers an awesome mixed box of fresh organic produce as well as most pantry staples. We find anything else we need from the supermarket - they have a great organic range ... even in a small community.
As body care products, make up, laundry detergent and other cleaning products ran out they were replaced by as much organic (or natural, non-toxic) as possible.
As I am now confident that our home and lifestyle is a pure and safe little world, I used this challenge to share the love and knowledge. Not to push too hard, I sent a subtle little package to my amazing sister and niece. I included two sunning little organic cotton outfits as well as my much loved copy of 'Raising chemical fee kids in a toxic world'. I now pray that they are put to 'some' use as my sister (as awesome as she is), believes that we who 'Eco-care' are just a bunch of tree huggin hippies. ;)
Thanks so much the perfect excuse to pass on an awesome gift.
Congratulations Raelene and Kyra. By choosing organic, you have told the world just what an ecoceptionalTM world you want. For your efforts, you have both won a $100 Gaia Organic Cotton gift voucher to spend on products of your choice in their online store. Enjoy!
Thank you to Gaia Organic Cotton for sponsoring the May Eco Challenge. If you would like to sponsor future Eco Challenges and introduce your brand to our large following of eco parents, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.