By: Robert Barton
Sustainability starts with you, from the smallest change you can make in your own home or office can have a huge effect further up the chain. Simply by buying the right products you can help you and your family save heaps of money, and also help the environment through these purchases.
Natural and alternative health and lifestyle products can really benefit you and your family.
Did you know that the industry in health foods and natural products in their retail and business opportunity form have increased by 75% in the last 5 years alone?
This article has a few simple answers to why the natural more healthy alternatives can deliver much greater health benefits than just going and getting some vitamins from your local drug store.
Many elements and chemicals that help our body function and boost our immune system can only be found in a "stable" form in the foods and drinks that occur naturally. By taking these natural chemicals from their natural states and trying to "bottle" it is virtually impossible without the use of further adding dangerous additives and manmade chemicals.
Furthermore, the organic industry, which seems so new, is coming back after about 50 years of "conventional" farming to boost the sustainability and production needed in agriculture.
For some reason people think that organics has never existed before and it was only about 50 years ago that we didn't have pesticides, fertilisers and herbicides and relied purely on the co-dependant relationships of ecosystems.
People again are realising the benefits of organics only after 50 years of cancer causing chemicals being passed along in our food. It is strange as many people who have had the initial stages of cancer have converted to organics for added support to their immune systems.
From organics to sustainable lifestyles which includes our complete environment from building to water to energy production to health... everything is a dynamic system and will become increasingly important as global warming becomes more of a problem.
This leads me onto the next step, sustainable building. Did you know that your home can become a toxic and uncomfortable environment for you and your family if you don't think consciously about the types of products you use within and around your house?
Many insulation and cabinet maker products use materials that contain a vast amount of formaldehyde which is a very toxic and carcinogenic chemical. Paints and finishes can contain high levels of VOC (volatile organic compounds) which have been proven to cause serious health issues and lead to "sick house syndrome". Building material used for the structure of your home can be cheap and cause the temperature in your home to be very uncomfortable and the air conditioner you use to make up for this costs you hundreds of dollars every year.
Might as well give up hey? No way...
There are so many resources and products available at your request that can dramatically change the negative aspects and will improve your overall wellbeing aswell as your families, whilst at the same time improve the quality of products that are good for the environment also. For instance, there are many paint companies with low to zero VOC products, insulation has been developed using cellulose (recycled paper basically) with no formaldehyde, energy efficient air conditioners exist and many products that are affordable but have the qualities to increase the comfort of your home.
The main point is... If you buy for the health and comfort of you and your family, the results will be beneficial to both you and the environment. This is what I mean by a dynamic system. Sustainability isn't about knowing everything about what does what and where it goes, it is simply about working with your local environment to produce the best possible outcome that WILL save you money, your health and the environment.
I suggest you start to educate yourself in the simple parts of sustainability and even if you save a litre of water a year or have an organic meal at least once every 2 months, you will be on your way to sustainability.
Environmental Scientist, Rob Barton has been involved with the education and empowerment of people to help them understand sustainability. For more information and rights to this article visit or display www.onlife.com.au
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