This month our Ethical Bride post is focussing on organic – why? Because it’s Organic September of course! The Soil Association (a UK based charity which campaigns for healthy, humane and sustainable food, farming and land use) runs Organic September as a campaign to build awareness and celebrate all things organic. From the farmers who grow the organic food, to the producers and brands who make food as it should be. Whether you are planning on adding any organic elements to your own ethical wedding or going the whole hog, we have your back! Read on to find out why choosing organic is so powerful and join in with Organic September (and understand why you might decide to have an organic wedding!)…
5 reasons to choose organic…
one. pesticides – are used to help farmers control weeds, insects and crop disease. However even after washing, many pesticides and residues end up in our food. Whilst the aim is to remove pests, many other helper insects (think bees, ladybirds, spiders) are also harmed in the process as well as other mammals, birds, fish and reptiles. And it’s not just the insects that are affected. Pesticides also poison and damage the environment via the soil and water courses. It is important to remember that bees play such an important role in helping to pollinate our food so without them it would be a very different story… Organic farmers are limited to using just 15 pesticides (derived from natural ingredients) under very restricted circumstances.
two. soil health – we can only use around one sixth of the land on earth for growing crops and yet one third of this land is degraded. Soil loss is huge and without it we would be unable to grow the food we need to survive. With climate change and flooding on the rise and soil eroding through large scale agriculture it is so important to try and protect what fertile soil we have – it can take a thousand years for just one centimetre of topsoil to form, which means we need to look after what we have. Organic farming helps to enhance soil life by developing healthy, fertile soil. It ensures artificial chemical fertilisers are prohibited and instead uses methods such as crop rotation, manure and compost to help keep soil fertile.
three. animal welfare – by buying organic you will always be getting the highest standards of animals welfare. Shopping organic also means animals will be free range and if you look for the Soil Association label this means the animals are covered by their standards to include issues such as living conditions, food quality, the use of antibiotics, plus transport and slaughter.
four. climate change – agriculture plays a very large part in the emission of greenhouse gases. Organic farming can help offset greenhouse gases because healthy soils are a major store of carbon. By switching to organic farming, 64 million tonnes of carbon could be saved over 20 years across the UK. This is the equivalent of taking almost a million family cars off the road – winner!
five. wildlife – 98% of wildflower meadows have been lost in the past 60 years alone, meaning bees and other pollinators have lost their natural habitat. Many of our British wildlife species are in decline and many also face extinction. The cause behind this – mainly intensive agriculture. By choosing to buy organic you are helping to support British wildlife and their habitats. Organic farms are a haven for insects and wildlife, due to the restricted use of pesticides, and on average plant, insect and bird life is 50% more abundant on organic farms!
What are your reasons for going organic? Is this something you might include in your wedding planning? Let us know in the comments and find more Ethical Bride posts here!
To find your nearest independent organic retailer click here.
To find out more about Organic September and how you can participate click here.
Main image by Brooke Lark
Source – The Soil Association