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Found 12 results

  1. We all get a craving for junk now and gain. There is something about that extra sweetness or extra saltiness, that grabs the attention of most taste buds. But, we also all agree that these foods are rarely good for us - except briefly on an emotional level. Here are my three favourite alternatives to everyday junk food. Organic Coconut Water vs Soda Most people would agree that soda is probably not the best thirst quencher when it comes to beverages. Not only that, sodas contain an abnormal amount of refined sugar, additives, and flavourings that our bodies do not process very well. A much more beneficial drink to opt for would be organic coconut water. This energising drink which is native to the tropics is loaded with electrolytes, natural sugars, amino acids, lauric acid (immune boosting nutrient also found in breast milk), mineral salts and vitamins. Also, unlike soda, coconut water is very hydrating, contains very little calories – excellent for those watching their weight – and yet is very filling. Organic Dried Fruit vs. Candy Due to the removal or drying of the natural water content, dried fruits such as raisins, cranberries, dates, figs and prunes are great concentrated sources of energy, fibre and iron – a mineral that helps to prevent anaemia. Unlike, traditional candy and confectionary, organic dried fruit is often high in natural sugars, making it a great energy snack that is easy for the body to digest, and a wonderful addition to trail mixes, granola bars and cereals. The best part is that it is a fat-free natural food. Organic Cocoa vs. Commercial Chocolate Organic, raw, dark cocoa (also known as cacao) is a true health-giving super food. Not to be confused with the traditional commercial brands of chocolate products such as bars and hot chocolate; which contain high amounts of refined sugars, saturated fat, artificial additives and chemicals. Inspiral have a good explanation on the differences between Cacao and Conventional Chocolate. In its natural organic state cacao is dubbed as one of the super foods with the highest amounts of antioxidants, which are needed to fight free radicals and oxidative damage to cells. This may even offer protection against some types of cancer and slow down the ageing process. Unfortunately, as tempting as the commercial chocolate bars may be, they don’t offer these same benefits. Lastly, studies have shown that minerals such as potassium, magnesium and copper, which are found in high concentrations in dark chocolate, can help to prevent type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. It’s easy to enjoy too: blend the powder or nibs in a smoothie, make hot chocolate or make raw, delicious non-bake treats. With all these healthful benefits to be had why wouldn’t you indulge in this amazing plant food?
  2. Organic living goes way beyond the food you eat and cleaning products you buy. Organic living can and should play a role in every aspect of your life, from the clothes you wear to caring for your lawn. Yes, caring for your lawn. You don't have to be a slave to the chemical grass treatments, here are four ways organic fertilizer is better for your lawn. 1. Friability Friability is what science calls the breaking down of a solid. Soil friability is what happens when chemical fertilizers are used. The chemicals break down the natural rock that is in the soil causing the dirt to compact and become hard. This hardened and compact earth prevents rain water from soaking into the ground. So while chemical fertilizers have an immediate impact on your lawn, they also provide long term detriment. 2. Worms Earthworms are incredibly important to the health of the soil. According to a reference article by the University of Pennsylvania, the earthworm actually aerates the soil which allows air, water and nutrients to penetrate deep into the ground. Interestingly, the plants cannot directly consume these nutrients. The earthworms eat the dirt and their waste, or castings, is what the plants use to get the nutrients needed. The acidity found in chemical fertilizers can kill the earthworms that keep the soil alive. 3. Contamination of Groundwater Another study shows chemical fertilizer moves through the soil in a process called leaching, and contaminates the water. Once this contamination exceeds 10 parts per million nitrate-nitrogen, it can cause harm to fish and other inhabitants of the water, infants and children and cause the water to turn green and become odorous. 4. Greater Yield Today and Tomorrow Yes, chemical fertilizers act fast and you see instant gratification of a pretty lawn. At first that is. Over time, the use of chemical fertilizers kill the micro-organisms that live in the soil. These micro-organisms prevent diseases that would otherwise attack and kill your plants and grass. Overtime, chemical fertilizers not only stop working, but they prevent a long term and sustainable lawn. Chemical fertilizer companies have the market share on fast acting products but the organic market is coming up fast behind them. Companies like Nature Safe develop organic products and lawn care programs that not only promote healthy lawns but are yielding amazing results. The newer organic products hitting the market today are upping the stakes of the game by no longer using manure and creating fertilizers that increase the density and the stress tolerance of the grass, all while ensuring a long and healthy life for the lawn and the organisms that live in it.
  3. You may not be aware just how many different types of fertilizers there are. Ranging from chemical fertilizers to natural fertilizers and organic fertilizers. The choice you make can have a significant effect in a number of different ways. Of all fertilizer options, going organic will not only benefit your yard but it will have lasting effects on the betterment of the environment. Organic fertilizer is basically a carbon-based compound that increases the growth quality and productivity of plants and soil. Plant pundits state that organic fertilizers have various benefits that include: 1. Employment Opportunities Chemical fertilizers are manufactured in large plants that are highly mechanized and automated. The factories have a capacity of literally millions of tons. On the other hand, organic fertilizers are produced locally and on a significantly smaller scale. Therefore, the production of these organic fertilizers actually creates jobs, especially in rural locations. 2. Fertility Of The Soil Organic fertilizers can also keep ground fertile for hundreds of years. Research has revealed that the ancient ground in such places as China and India are actually still fertile despite the fact that it has been farmed for literally thousands of years. The ground remains fertile because those who used the land fertilized it with organic fertilizers. Chemical fertilizers can quickly make ground infertile and create an unbreakable chain of dependency on chemical fertilizers. 3. Low Capital Investment & On-Location Production Experts note that organic fertilizers also aid in increasing the nutrient-holding capacity and in managing the soil structure. Because of this, those who have practiced organic farming or otherwise regularly used organic fertilizer for several years will need a lot less fertilizer. The soil is already rich in numerous important nutrients. According to Nature Safe, many organic fertilizer contains a blend of various plant and animal meals that balance sugars, starches, carbohydrates, proteins and fats. This increases the number of natural microbes found in the soil. 4. Safe For The Environment Finally, all organic fertilizers are easily biodegradable. They do not cause any type of environmental pollution. Chemical fertilizers, however, can and sometimes do contaminate both the water and the land. This has been reported to be one of the major causes of diseases in human beings. In fact, various sources have concluded that chemical fertilizers are responsible for the extinction of several different animal, insect and plant species. It's simple. Organic fertilizers are the smart choice. They are inexpensive, effective and can even help small businesses. More importantly, organic fertilizers are great for the environment.
  4. Organic Farm Hens

    From the album My Organic Chickens

  5. Going green has been a growing trend in the world for many years as more and more people become aware of the negative consequences of using chemical-heavy products. Women, in particular, are seeking alternative, natural and healthier solutions to their everyday problems. Following this trend, even the cosmetics industry has made organic skin care and beauty products a standard. Because choosing these products shows that we are responsible and make smart choices not just for ourselves but for the environment as well. If you’re still indecisive about making the switch to organic makeup, here are a few reasons why you should go for it. 1. It’s safe for your health Unlike conventional cosmetics, organic beauty products contain natural ingredients that have not been chemically treated in any way. They don’t contain synthetic additives, like artificial pigments, fragrances, preservatives, etc. Consequently, they cause far less undesired reactions and are considered to be truly hypo-allergenic. This makes them perfect for all skin types. Even the most sensitive ones. However, bear in mind that skin care and makeup ingredients are only loosely regulated and are considered to be harmless, until proven otherwise. Besides, a cosmetic product may contain as little as 1% of organic ingredients and still be labelled ‘natural’ or ‘organic’. And our skin is like a sponge, which absorbs everything that you apply to it. If you put on conventional makeup every day, the toxins from it will accumulate in your body over time and this may lead to serious health repercussions. For your own safety, always pay attention to the ingredients list and make sure that at least 95% of them are certified. 2. It’s eco-friendly Synthetically produced beauty products are packed with chemicals. When they’re used, these chemicals are released into the environment and pollute the air, water, and soil. On the other hand, natural makeup and skincare products are a result of environmentally sound manufacturing – from organically farmed ingredients, to biodegradable packaging (not all of them, though, so look for that three chasing arrows sign on the container before making a purchase). For all the above reasons, they release much less pollutants into the environment both while produced and while used. Another reason to switch to organic makeup is the fact that it’s never tested on animals. Even the big-box brands including organic options into their offer as proof of their social responsibility. Be a responsible consumer and show that you care for Mother Earth by switching to organic products. 3. It’s nutrient-rich Another feature that has become a standard in cosmetics industry is dual-purpose makeup. It serves both to beautify you and nurture your skin. Of course, organic makeup is unrivalled here, since it contains only the good stuff and none of the aggressive ingredients found in the conventional products. Vitamins A, B, D and E are some of the main nutrients that keep your skin youthful and fresh-looking. Let’s not forget vitamin C, which has superb sun-shielding properties and provides a very strong anti-aging effect. Argan oil is also often used, especially in lipsticks, as an excellent moisturizer for chapped lips. Green tea extract soothes irritated skin, liquid foundations may contain maracuja oil or shea butter, which are known for their anti-oxidant properties and help you get smoother skin. Although not the most important aspect, there’s also the financial benefit of switching to organic makeup. Some people argue that organic products are much pricier than the conventional ones. But with this nutrient-packed makeup you will need much less skincare products and your wallet will thank you for that.
  6. Businesses utilizing strategies to help with the environment are always worth looking up to. There is no need, however, to downright change your entire lifestyle and how you work too much in the world of business. Just a few small changes to how you do business can make a big difference to the Earth. Implement these environmentally techniques to make a small change to the world. Organic Office Furniture Not many people realize the power in the world of simply buying organic furniture. Your tables, chairs, and everything in an office can be bought through the power of furniture. Just a few small changes can make a big difference to the earth. Strive to buy items that are recyclable and made from organic properties. Recycle Simply recycling paper, bottles, and everything everybody in your office uses the recycling box. Some companies like Main Street Fibers, know that the truth is that recycling helps our planet by reusing what we already have. There is no need to buy new paper when there already is plenty of paper to reuse. Recycling can be done simply by having everybody throw away trash and recycle anything that can. Going Solar The best way to help the earth is to go solar. In other words, invest in a set of solar panels. For example, try to find out if there is a way for you to install a panel at the roof of your business. It will use the sun to power everything in your establishment. It can save you tons of money, along with saving energy. Energy Audits You can get an energy audit and make a few changes to your office to save energy. Simply sealing leaks and cracks in the office can actually cut up to about 20 percent off of the energy bill. You can seal leaks and cracks to avoid using too much of your heating and cooling. Biodegradable Products Simply using natural and biodegradable products can help reduce the exposure to harsh toxins and other chemicals in your office. If you can't use anything to clean, the key is to make sure that you are using a natural green option. There are many ways your company can go green. Just a few tiny changes can make a massive difference. The key is to be wise with your choices and know how everything you do affects the environment. If you use the tips above, you will be making a huge change in your entire office.
  7. The key to living healthy starts with farming green. Organic farming is the most recent trend that has now become a billion-dollar industry. Millions of farmers are participating in new techniques that reduce the reliance on heavy machinery and toxic pesticides. If you are interested in green farming, know that this industry is new and growing fast. Learn about a few initiatives that have grown in this past decade. Organic Farming Organic farming is the boldest and most environmentally safe step farmers today have taken. This type of farming involves using few or no chemicals to plant crops and the fertilizers used are all natural without toxic or artificial ingredients. Many crops planted into the ground are eaten or put into skincare products. Organic farming has reduced the harmful effects associated with toxins and pest immunity. Farmers like organic methods because machinery is usually not involved and the instructions are easy to follow. Becoming organic means using the tools and materials that come from nature. No-Tillage Farming Soil is essential in any sustainable farming plan. No-till farming reduces the use of tilling to break up the soil which causes less damage, such as excessive drying and loss of nutrients. Instead of tilling the soil, farmers use herbicides to get rid of weeds. They engage in crop diversity to reduce the growth of weeds naturally. The use of heavy machinery is reduced, and the soil retains its natural state. Recycling Recycling is not a new technique but has increased in popularity over the years. In front of most suburban homes are recycling bins that were not found there a few decades ago. Most products nowadays are being reused and recycled. Glass, metal, and wood come in recycled versions that are exactly the same as the original ones. Green farmers are encouraged to buy recycled tools and most already use quality products like Accurate Products Inc. rubber grommets for their shipping and harvesting processes. Many of them recycle the materials used to produce crops. They build compost piles consisting of soil, leaves and rotting food and are used as natural fertilizers. In the past, green farming was an experimental approach to traditional farming. Few people knew about the idea or its practices. Today, it is an industry that is internationally practiced and regulated by governments it is important to know how farmers have reduced their effects on the environment.
  8. Even though some farmers who grow their plants in conventional way say that organic agriculture does not have more environmental benefits, facts speak for themselves. The Organic Trade Association claims that if all farmers in the United States switched to organic productions, we would stop around 500 million pounds of dangerous pesticides from entering the environment each year. This would have a major impact on all aspects of the environment, and here it is how. Water Many practices of conventional agriculture require extensive use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides that pollute underwater. This is a major issue in many agricultural areas. In organic agriculture no synthetic fertilizers are used. Instead of these, organic farms rely on the use of natural fertilizers such as compost, animal manure or green manure. Besides enhancing soil structure this also increases water infiltration. Organic systems that are managed properly have better nutrient retentive abilities and reduce the pollution of underwater. In some countries like France and Germany, where underwater pollution is a big issue, the use of organic materials is encouraged as a restorative measure. Climate In conventional agriculture, many fossil fuels are used. Not only are they used on farms but also in the production of pesticides and fertilizers. These all contribute to the greenhouse effect and global warming. On the other hand, organic agriculture does not have negative impact on the climate. The use of renewable energy that is encouraged in organic agriculture actually mitigates global warming. These practices reduce the use of fossil fuels and provide carbon sequestration in the soil. Organic agriculture thus strengthens agro-ecosystems and helps farmers learn how to confront and challenge changes that appear in the climate. Soil Some of the most important organic agricultural practices are crop rotations, crop covers and inter-cropping all of which help build the soil. This does not only improve its formation and structure but also encourages flora and fauna and helps build a more solid structure. These practices also help control the soil erosion. It is less exposed to the erosive forces and its productivity is increased. Even though organic agriculture relies heavily on the use of renewable resources, sometimes it is necessary to supplement organic soils with some other resources such as calcium, magnesium or potassium. GMOs GMOs are one of the most discussed issues of today. Even though the GMOs’ impact on environment and health is not yet entirely understood, their use is not permitted in organic agriculture. Still, since a big number of farmers that deal with convention agriculture use GMOs the organic farms won’t be able to ensure that their products have not GMO free. This will happen because of the GMOs are transmitted into our environment through air (by pollen for example). Biodiversity Without the use of dangerous pesticides and fertilizers the soil is able to attract more species of plants and animals to it. The use of renewable resources actually creates a healthier gene pool which makes a perfect home for some re-colonizing species. Some of these species are pest-predators or pollinators and their presence is of great importance. Organic agriculture also offers farmers to grow certain plants with improved flavor and aroma. For example, when growing cannabis not only that these are improved but with some strains its potency is increased as well. Be sure to learn more about strains if you plan to start an organic garden. It is obvious that organic agriculture has many benefits for our environment. So if you are thinking about starting a garden, deciding on organic farm would be a great option. Be sure to grow plants which are perfect for this type of garden.
  9. When it comes to buying organic foods, there is a lot of controversy about whether or not it is a worthy consideration. Organic food is produced without the use of synthetic additives to include antibiotics, growth hormones, pesticide or fertilizers or any other artificial means. Organic farmers utilize environmentally conservative practices in regard to soil, water and overall food production procedures. For a product to be labeled ‘USDA Organic’, it must undergo a stringent certification process to be labeled as such, including farming practices and handling of food before it can be sold to consumers. Meat Meats, including beef and poultry products are often from animals that have been treated with growth hormones and antibiotics. These animals also usually have been fed grain treated with pesticides. When feasible, choose grass-fed, organic meat to ensure its quality. Dairy The milk produced by cows is affected by the hormones and antibiotics they are given, so choose organic milk, cheese and other dairy products when possible. Other products derived from dairy, including protein powders, should be derived from organic milk from grass-fed cows to ensure purist quality, like that of WonderWhey protein from DoVitamins. Eggs Choosing organic eggs ensures that the chickens they came from were not given harmful antibiotics nor were they fed grains that were treated with pesticides. Eggs labeled free-range or cage free ensures the chickens were raised under humane conditions supporting their health. Produce Fruits and vegetables are generally grown using commercial fertilizers, pesticides and insecticides. Some produce has a higher content of pesticides and buying organic or planting organic if you are a gardener is a good idea. According to the Environmental Working Group, an agency that regularly tests pesticide levels in produce, some of the fruits and vegetables at the top of the list for having the highest levels of pesticides in 2015 include apples, celery, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, grapes, asparagus, avocado, cabbage, cantaloupe and cauliflower. Grains Grains are also heavily treated with chemicals to ensure that farmers will yield a crop. Grains are being genetically modified as well, so buying organic wheat, oats and other common grains ensures they are GMO-free, an environmentally healthy choice. With the price point of organic foods often being higher than that of conventionally manufactured foods, it can be difficult for consumers to know which foods they should consider buying organic. Choosing organics when feasible is one important way of reducing the toxic load for our bodies to support overall bodily health and the health of our environment.
  10. Organic And Eco-Friendly Fashion

    Nowadays more and more people and institutions become really concerned about the environmental issues the humanity faces up every day. A lot of organizations were established in order to make people understand the importance of preserving the natural beauty and resources. The fashion industry has always been blamed for being careless towards the nature. A lot of campaigns against the animal abuse and the fur used for making over expensive clothes. Luckily a great number of world famous designers took the standpoint of the society into consideration and slowly but surely we see the first signs of the eco - friendly also known as a sustainable fashion worldwide. The term organic fashion itself is mainly associated with materials such as cotton, wool, silk etc. Although these materials, at its initial condition, are harmless, their usage in the fashion industry is a subject to fierce discussions. We are constantly encouraged and advised to keep the nature clean, to eat organic food and use non – toxic cleaning detergents but the reality is that even if we buy a piece of clothing made of organic we fool ourselves. The cotton and the other eco – friendly materials go through a thorough process where bleach and other chemicals are used, which makes the eco fashion tendencies useless. Let's take the most popular material – cotton as an example. It is thought to be the most popular clothing material but how can it be eco- friendly when there's a soil erosion, the usage of water should be reduced and the soil is treated with different pesticides and chemicals whose intention, by all means, is not to help the cotton grow as an ecologically clean product. And despite the fact that the sustainable fashion has it's opponents, more and more Hollywood celebrities become fans of the eco clothing and obviously they are the main reason for its popularity lately. Their dedicated fans follow every action of their idol and if he is wearing a cotton shirt, made of organic cotton that's a fair reason for the fans to buy the same. This method really works and the world designers see perspective in it. The attention of the international press has also been attracted towards the eco- friendly fashion benefits. In other words every newspaper and environmentally concerned website would recommend making a clearance of your wardrobe, stop wearing clothes made of a material different than cotton, wool, silk and even bamboo and buy stuff that doesn't pose a danger to the biodiversity. You probably know that the organic fashion items are a way more expensive but if they help us to preserve the environment clean, then the amount of money pays off. You can easily find on – line stores where the clothes are believed to be eco – friendly and the fact that designers, whose names have always been associated with luxury and stylish dresses take part in such a tremendous initiative such as making the eco- fashion clothes popular and desirable items is more or less convincing reason that the organic fashion is somehow better than, say it, the nylon. Even if you can't afford to have all your clothes made of natural materials you can at least be mindful about what and how you recycle. Every attempt to keep the nature clean is worthy of trying. Author Bio: Connie Jameson is passionate blogger who loves to write about fashion, beauty, health, cleaning and many other topics. She currently works as a manager of London carpet cleaners and she has a lot of knowledge and creative ideas to share.
  11. Penn Jillette and Teller, from the Penn & Teller: Bullshit! TV show, calls in the latest episode organic food for "bullshit" (see video below). Penn and Teller's main point why organic food is "bullshit" is simply because it "might mean you're getting your food from giant corporations or China." But what Penn and Teller fail to mention is that the so called â"Food Policy Analyst Expert", Alex Avery, is paid by the Hudson Institute. The Hudson Institute is an American conservative, religious and free market think tank. Simply put, they are corporate lobbyists. And the prestigious-sounding Hudson Institute is funded by giant corporations such as Monsanto, the leading producer of genetically engineered (GE) food. You also shouldn't forget that Penn and Teller are members of the Cato Institute, which is another libertarian corporate think tank funded by such fine corporations as ExxonMobil. The Cato Institute is known for spreading and funding anti-scientific climate denialism and misinformation. But this is not the first time Penn and Teller's "Bullshit!" show receives criticism, and especially not when they cover environmental topics. In season one, aired 2003, Penn and Teller claims that the global warming crisis was created by â"hysterical hippies and environmentalists". Their biased and misinformed global warming episode has since then been criticized and debunked. Logical Science has listed and debunked the claims Penn and Teller made in the episode: "In Episode 13, season 1 of Penn & Teller: Bullshit! they try to prove the global warming crisis, among other things, was created by the out of control imagination of hysterical hippies and environmentalists. This is why the episode is titled "Environmental Hysteria". We would just like to point out that Penn Jillette is a research fellow of the ExxonMobil and Industry funded CATO institute which has strong minarchist leanings. This gives Penn Jillete a conflict of interest when it comes to any topic that might require government regulation. During the show he puts Tobacco and Oil funded lobbyists against hippie college protesters. Â If a fair match was their intent they should have those lawyers up against any of the scientists on this massive list. Granted the show was officially about "hysteria" and not science itself but that doesn't excuse them for grossly misrepresenting a very strong scientific consensus and providing facts thats are demonstrably false. The following is a quoted, sourced, and time stamped point by point analysis of their show. It will focus on the facts presented by Penn & Teller's "experts"" Another debunked claim by Penn and Teller is that recycling paper would pollute more than making new paper. This is a false claim: "Recycling also helps prevent pollution. For example, recycling paper instead of making it from new material generates 74 percent less air pollution and uses 50 percent less water." Simply put: Don't trust a magician!
  12. Get Gardening for Good Health!

    Supporters of organic living are the influencers, oftentimes responsible for making mainstream consumers aware of things like additives, over processing and genetically modified foods and ingredients. Unfortunately for the average person, it can take a major health issue to really start taking an informed inventory of their lifestyle and the quality of food they're consuming. Dietary hyper vigilance can be a lot of work to maintain. Looking for the informed consumer in the grocery store is easy because they are the people actually reading the labels. Most people reading this know that when shopping for produce there are 3 options. Conventional, genetically modified and wonderful organically gown produce. Did you know that there's a 4th? You got it, home gown produce. Time to talk some dirt. The Skills and Set Up Whether you are fortunate to have a back yard or not, setting up your home garden to start growing some of your own food is pretty easy. Some of my fondest childhood memories occurred in my family garden. Picking and eating fresh carrots still warm from the ground, collecting peas and eating them while watching Bugz Bunny with my dad. Wants your kids to love veggies? Get growing. They'll love getting their hands dirty, seeing the plants grow and veggies flourish. It's also an opportunity to teach them the principals and values of caring for a garden. Not only will it give you a great excuse to unplug and get some fresh air, but it'll directly impact your health and quality of live because fresh veggies are delicious! If you are creating a traditional vegetable garden, consider the location before you begin. For plants to produce vegetables they need an area that receives full sun for most of the day. Choose an area to develop that is away from shady trees, and also ideally near your water source. It doesn't have to be expensive to start your own garden if you are resourceful. Steps to get you started: Mark off the area you want with wood stakes and string. Stand back and evaluate the space prior to lifting the lawn. Is it big enough for the type of plants you want to harvest?Don't forget to account for space to allow you to walk between your rows of plants, water and weed. Double digging is a lot of extra work but it has a huge pay off. Rather than digging the traditional six inches in depth, double it to a foot and back fill it. By aerating the soil and making it softer, you will encourage your vegetable roots to go deeper. Healthier plants create a more bountiful yield. Use a rotor tiller to start, and get in deep with your shovel. Take a sample of your soil to your local garden center. They will be able to advise you on the appropriate compost and organic fertilizer to add to your soil for best results. Invest in a good quality composter (if you don't have one already) and turn your plant trimmings into valuable topsoil in your own yard. Planting a balcony garden? Choose larger planters that will sustain deep roots. Go vertical with your space and utilize hanging baskets for things like cherry tomatoes and even chili peppers or strawberries. Recycle a 2L and "Make Your Own Pop Bottle Drip Irrigation System" What to Grow? The next part is trying to figure out what to plant and make sure the seeds you buy are certified organic. You'll find many types of interesting heirloom vegetables you'll want to try. Google "˜organic seeds', enjoy. First, start by thinking about what you want to eat. Are you a family that enjoys eating a lot of lettuce? Varieties like loose leaf lettuce are very easy to grow in a garden or in an over sized planter. Green leafy vegetables such as Swiss Chard are packed full of vitamins and will continue growing after cutting for the duration of the season. Carrots are fun to grow, but take up a bit of space. Tomatoes (including beefsteak and cherry) are ideal for home gardens, as are cucumbers, green onions and some types of squash. Beets are fantastic and easy to grow, simply plant and water them, then wait for harvesting. Turnips can be waxed and stored for months in a cold place. Think like your Grandparents and choose vegetables that can be stored, canned or frozen for the winter and utilize your surplus. Blanch hard vegetables like carrots and freeze for healthful eating all winter long without going to the grocery store for subpar and over sprayed alternatives. Don't limit yourself to just the garden. If you love fruit, why not plant an apple tree? In as little as four years you can be harvesting your own apples for snacks, baking as well as making organic apple sauce. Cherry trees thrive in most climates and give a good yield in the early summer. Accept that you will also be feeding some of the local wildlife with your bounty, and that's a good thing too. Helping the Environment There are so many benefits to your health and to the environment when you start to grow your own food. Even if you aren't able to garden year round (depending on the climate) even diverting a small portion of your food bill from the grocery store will make a difference in your budget and ecologically. No pesticides in your own vegetable garden. Plants filter the air improving air quality. Using water reclamation saves fresh water and prevents waste. Lower the emissions by buying less foreign sourced fruits and vegetables. Use natural herbs as pest deterrents, and incorporate them into your garden. You will also enjoy harvesting them and using the fresh herbs for your cooking. Having your own vegetable garden is a lot of work, with a lot of reward. If you have friends who garden as well, arrange a cooperative effort to share excess produce and trade your tomatoes for their extra green peppers. If you find you have a lot of excess vegetables, don't let them go to waste! Most food banks and shelters will accept donations of vegetables and you'll be helping the environment and your community with your new green thumb. Remember what starts in your backyard can change the world.