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A Practical 12-Month Organic Living Plan
by Denise Palmer
Editor's Note from Susan Lutz: Thinking about bringing a change to your life? The organic revolution marches everywhere. If the signs shouting at you in the grocery store or the neighbor's compost looks interesting - these practical tips might help ignite an action plan.
We can talk and think about something until cows fly! But it's what we actually DO, that matters; that creates results. If you've been thinking and talking about eating and using more organic products and creating and sustaining an organic lifestyle for your family, now is the time to take action. Here are 12 steps, one for each month of the year, that will get you started on the road to an organic lifestyle and keep you moving forward in the months ahead.
Step 1 (January): Make the decision to start living a healthier organic lifestyle.
Talk to your family. Share any information you have so far and your reasons for why you think organic living is a good choice. Ask them to share what they know or think, and then do some research together.
Step 2 (February): Incorporate one organic product into each of your daily meals.
Think about the things your family eats on a regular basis and try some organic alternatives. This will help everyone become familiar with organic varieties and show them the taste is better, if there's a noticeable difference at all.
Step 3 (March): Plan an organic vegetable, fruit and/or herb garden.
Again, get your family involved and plan an organic garden that everyone can have a part in. Plan out the space you'll need, the plants you'd like to grow, the materials you'll need and the maintenance roles for everyone.
Step 4 (April): Start an organic compost pile.
Once your organic garden is growing, you'll need a continuos source of organic soil and you'll have plenty of organic scraps to discard. As your organic lifestyle grows, so will the materials you'll be able to add to your compost as time goes on.
Step 5 (May): Try 3 new organic cleaning products or methods.
Think about the products you're using to clean your house with and how you can eliminate some and replace others.
There are many harmful chemicals in the everyday traditional cleaning products on the market today. When we use these products, we are exposing ourselves and our families to these chemicals on a daily basis. We're also impacting the environment with many of these non-organic products, in a negative way.
Try 3 organic or all natural cleaning alternatives. You can start with learning more about some very common household items that are great natural cleaners like vinegar, baking soda and lemons.
Step 6 (June): Drink more water.
With summer comes the need for more hydration. If you're family is used to reaching for the sweet drinks; soda, lemonade, sweet tea or sports drinks, introduce and encourage them to drink more water.
Consider a water cooler for your house. The cost is reasonable and the benefits are significant. It will become the "in-between-meals" drink of choice, for everyone, before you know it.
Keep bottled water cold and take it with you when you're going outdoors or traveling for any length of time in the car. A small cooler can easily be toted along with a bottle of water for everyone.
This is a good time to consider the amount of water you're using to cook with and where it comes from. A water filtration system for the kitchen can be used for cooking purposes and help to further reduce your family's chemical intake.
Some other great drink choices you can make at home are organic fruit juices and smoothies, which are always a welcomed summertime treat.
Step 7 (July): Harvesting your organic produce.
Now that you have an organic harvest of maybe fruits, vegetables and/or herbs, you'll need to put them to good use.
Of course you'll want to use as much of your organic produce as possible, fresh from the garden to the table, but chances are, you'll have extra as well.
Consider canning or preserving, where applicable. Think about the many different ways your fruits, vegetables and herbs can be preserved for use later. Again, make it a family project, getting everyone involved in the planning and processing. You'll be amazed at all the different ideas and solutions you'll come up with.
Step 8 (August): Review your organic living plan and adjust, if necessary.
Review your family's organic lifestyle. Is your family involved and are you seeing results? Are there now organic products you buy and consume on a regular basis? Are you consistently introducing new organic alternatives? Is your family "thinking" more about what they eat and the products they use?
Is there room for improvement and can you do more?
Make adjustments, if necessary, and continue researching, talking and doing things that will sustain your organic living plan and lifestyle.
Step 9 (September): Introduce 3 new organic or all natural skin care products.
Our skin is the largest organ and it absorbs 70% of what we put on it. Shampoo, bath soap, make-up, deodorant, lotion, sunscreen, hand soap, etc., and are traditionally full of chemicals and preservatives that our skin absorbs directly into our bodies.
Consider 2 new organic or all natural alternatives to the daily skin care products you use now. You may have to try a few brands, or types to find the products that suit you best, but it's well worth the effort.
You may also want to consider a filtered shower system. Along with the chemicals and preservatives in our skin care products, the water we shower with also contains unhealthy contaminates that our bodies absorb, daily.
A filtered shower head/system will remove a significant amount of these harmful chemicals, and it will leave your hair and skin healthier than you've probably seen it in quite some time.
Step 10 (October): Boost your immune system, organically.
As the summer fades and the colder weather sets in, colds and flu become more frequent. You can actually DO things to boost your immune system, now, and into the winter months.
Eat more organic fruits and vegetables on a regular basis. One of the absolutely BEST ways to get the most nutritional value out of these fruits and vegetables is to juice them, raw.
Drinking 4-6 oz. Of fresh, organic fruit and/or vegetable juice, twice daily, is a great, all natural way to boost your immune system. The vitamins and minerals provided will help keep your body healthy so it can more efficiently and effectively fight off viruses and bacteria.
You may also want to consider some organic herbal supplementation. There are many herbs available that will help support your immune system before, during and after you catch cold.
Sleep, exercise and water. Not organic in nature, but critical to the health and well-being of our bodies, especially during those times when our bodies may be more vulnerable.
Step 11 (November): Plan an organic holiday menu.
There is plenty of opportunity this holiday season to cook and bake with organic products. Plan an entire organic holiday meal and if you're having guests, see if they even notice any difference other than how delicious everything tastes.
Now is a good time too to have some fun and create some organic desserts your whole family will enjoy.
And don't forget to incorporate some of those festive organic, all natural fruit juices and/or smoothies you've been making all year long!
Step 12 (December): Buy someone an organic gift.
Now is the time to share what you and your family has learned, with others.
Give a gift that will help others create or sustain their own organic lifestyle. Books are always great gifts, or gift certificates to organic stores, and even a shower filter or fruit/vegetable juicer would make for a great organic gift.
It's really fun to "give" a gift that you know someone will benefit from. And who knows, your gift might just be the one thing that starts them on their own journey to living an organic lifestyle.
BEYOND THE 12 STEPS
Once you begin to make more organic living choices, you'll start seeing and feeling the many wonderful benefits and you'll want to do and learn more.
Keep it simple and take action, each and every day, and you'll find yourself amazed with the results.
Always keep in mind too that what you're learning and sharing with your family today, about organic living, will serve them for a lifetime. You're giving them an education that will allow them to make the absolute best choices for their own health and well-being, throughout their life.
This article originally appeared on EzineArticles.
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About the Author
Denise Palmer is a mom and Internet Consultant. Moms Organic House is a combination of 13 years of Internet experience and a passion for organic living and education. If you'd like to learn more about how to create or sustain a practical, simple, yet effective organic lifestyle, visit Moms Organic House for more information.