Sources: Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, The Environmental Working Group, The Economist
Why organic cotton clothing? Organic Cotton is cotton that is grown without using any chemical fertilisers or pesticides. It is grown on land that has been treated and given sufficient time (at least three years) for the removal of all toxic residues including chemical fertilisers and pesticides. The cotton is hand picked from naturally grown plants, meaning plants that have not been treated with any chemicals and are not genetically modified.
Renewable energy is defined as energy that is produced from resources which are natural, taken from forces such as the sun, wind and the waves. Renewable energy resources and opportunities for energy efficiency exist over wide geographical areas. Rapid deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency would result in significant economic benefits and more importantly it would also reduce environmental pollution such as air pollution caused by burning of fossil fuels.
There are many definitions for organic agriculture but all state that it is a system that relies on ecosystem management rather than external agricultural inputs. It is a system that considers potential environmental and social impacts by eliminating the use of synthetic fertilisers and pesticides, veterinary drugs, genetically modified seeds and breeds, preservatives, additives and irradiation. These are replaced with site-specific management practices that maintain and increase long-term soil fertility and prevent pest and diseases.
Benefits to the Consumer
Manufacturers of organic clothing sustain that organic cotton clothing is better to wear, especially for the young. Many consumers and parents also agree with this. Organic cotton is perfect for the soft delicate skin of a baby. Young parents are increasingly buying organic cotton for their new born and young children.
Now more than ever both young and old are slowly switching to various products made from organic cotton such as jeans, t-shirts, shirts, pyjamas, towels, blankets, sheets, socks, bath robes and underwear.
Let's look at the Environmental Benefits of Organic Cotton
Nearly 25% of all insecticides and 10% of the pesticides used throughout the world needed to produce conventional cotton. That is why it is ranked fourth in the list of the most heavily fertilised crops. This method has caused enormous environmental pollution. Poisoning due to chemical insecticides and pesticides is so acute that thousands of poor farmers in developing countries end up losing their lives. Organic cotton farming ensures a healthy life for the farmers and their families.
Building soil fertility naturally
Organic cotton is grown without the use of synthetic fertilisers or toxic pesticides, therefore, helping to improve the quality of the land and prevent water contamination, and conserve biodiversity. By using compost and manure, organic farmers help lock CO2 into the soil, which helps ease climate change, and avoids greenhouse gas emissions associated with intensive fossil-fuel based fertilisers. It also avoids the use of toxic pesticides that in non-organic systems are responsible for killing wildlife and contaminating rivers.
An estimated 30% of all cotton grown worldwide is genetically modified. GM cotton poses a potential risk to wildlife and human health, as well as exposing farmers to unnecessary expense. Research has shown that genetically modified cotton did not result in significantly higher yields than organic cotton, but cost farmers twice as much to produce as organic. GM is banned in organic systems.
Poor working conditions and lack of worker’s rights in the garment industry have been well documented. Manufacturers of Soil Association certified organic textiles must meet social criteria based on the International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions. These cover minimum wages, working hours, child labour, freedom of association, discrimination, harsh or inhumane treatment and more.
Cosmetics companies maintain that their products are safe. We, on average absorb around 130 chemicals regularly using creams, soaps, make-up and perfumes. A survey published by the Environmental Working Group, a non-profit organisation based in the USA, stated that almost 90 percent of the 10,500 cosmetics and skin care ingredients have not been evaluated for safety by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review. Whereas, more than 1,110 personal-product ingredients have been banned for use in cosmetics in the European Union because of concerns that they may cause cancer, birth defects, or reproductive ills.
Organic Beauty Products
Organic Beauty products use ingredients that are grown without synthetic fertilizers or pesticides, which is healthier for the planet and healthier for our bodies. An increasing number of organic skincare products now bear organic certificates.
Companies selling creams and lotions promising miracles on aging don’t work.They only prolong the process. We all grow old. Eye creams, for example rarely vary in formulation from a basic facial moisturizer. So just keep it simple. A basic cleanser, toner or moisturizer is all you need. And you’ll be saving lots as well.
Make your own, you’ll save money and get the satisfaction that no preservatives or toxic chemicals were used in the process. An effective face mask can be created by using some honey and coconut oil, make a vegetable toner, or create a acne-fighting toner with green tea. There are many web sites available providing information on how to produce them.
A few facts by numbers
11% of the 10,500 ingredients used in the U.S. is documented and publicly assessed for safety.
1,110 plus: The number of ingredients banned in cosmetics in the European Union.
10: The number of ingredients banned in cosmetics in the United States.
600: The number of companies that have signed the “Compact for Safe Cosmetics.”
20% percent of personal-care products that contain at least one chemical linked to cancer.
22% percent of cosmetics contaminated with possible cancer-causing impurity 1,4-dioxane.
$160 billion: Amount spent annually on skin- and hair-care, makeup, cosmetic surgery, fragrances, health clubs, and diet products.
Common types of Alternative energy
Hydroelectricity captures energy from water. Most hydroelectric power comes from dams. Driving a water turbine and generator. Another growing form is tidal power. Making use of the daily rise and fall of ocean tides. Less common types of hydro schemes use water’s kinetic energy or undammed sources such as a water wheel.
Wind energy generates electricity from wind, commonly by using propeller-like turbines. Wind power is the use of air flow through wind turbines to mechanically power generators for electricity. Wind power is an alternative to burning fossil fuels, is plentiful, renewable, widely distributed, clean and produces no greenhouse gas emissions during operation, it also consumes no water, and uses little land.
Solar energy is produced from sunlight. Light can be changed into thermal energy and electric energy. It is an important source of renewable energy. It can be either passive or active solar depending on how they capture and distribute the energy or convert it into solar power. Active solar techniques include the use of photovoltaic systems. Passive solar techniques include orienting a building to the Sun. It is clean and reduces pollution and is also a strong alternative for producing energy and reducing global warming.
Biofuel and Ethanol
Biofuel and Ethanol are substitutes for powering vehicles. A biofuel is a fuel that is produced by biological processes, rather than a fuel produced by fossil fuels, such as coal and petroleum. Biofuels can be derived directly from plants or indirectly from agricultural, commercial, domestic, and/or industrial wastes. Bioethanol is an alcohol made by fermentation, mostly from carbohydrates produced in sugar or starch crops such as corn, sugarcane, or sweet sorghum. Ethanol can be used as a fuel for vehicles in its pure form, but it is usually used as a gasoline additive to increase octane and improve vehicle emissions. Biodiesel is produced from oils or fats using transesterification and is the most common biofuel in Europe.
Organic farming is an agricultural system which resurfaced in the 20th century in reaction to the rapid change in global warming. It’s based on using only fertilizers of organic origin such as compost, manure, green manure, and bone meal. It also involves crop rotation and companion planting.
Organic agricultural methods are internationally regulated and legally enforced in large part on the standards set by the “International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements “(IFOAM), an international organization for organic farming established in 1972.
Organic farming is a system that is based on sustainability, the enhancement of soil fertility and biological diversity, eliminating synthetic pesticides, antibiotics, synthetic fertilizers.
Since 1990 the demand for organic food and other organically grown products has grown rapidly, making over £50 billion worldwide in 2012.
At present, approximately 91,000,000 acres worldwide is farmed organically, representing about 0.9 percent of total world farmland.