Reworking our Mindsets about Organic, Sustainable, and Non-toxic Living Practices
I love to post on social media, to the detriment of my husband (a staunch anti- Facebooker), but he does understand it’s a vital method for me to connect with people. Many of my friends are full time working mom’s with kids. Some live out of the state.
Mommy playdates are often cancelled due to illness, budgets are tight so dinner dates are opted out of, and our children go to bed early.
In steps social media:, we share funny quips that our children say, post recipes, and share news stories about what our demographic finds most relevant. There is definitely a surge in posting about services like Thrive Market (Wholesale prices on organic items delivered to your doorstep), for example. I also see countless postings per day about the dangerous chemicals in our baby and beauty products, plastic products, cookware, even in our feminine hygiene products. Egads!
It’s a nightmare out there…. or is it?
We all must stop navigating this landscape as a ‘nightmare’ for our peace of mind. Is it disturbing? Yes it is. Do I still get outraged? Yes, I do.
I have learned how to cope with that and rather than remain stagnate in that anger (or fear) I can now channel it into something more positive and productive.
With the news of Subway eliminating medically important antibiotics in their meats “Reports were that in the weeks leading up to its decision, the company was threatened by a coalition to deliver over a quarter million petitions to its headquarters calling for a ban on antibiotics”  and Kraft phasing out dangerous food dyes from their products, these networks of concerned people are gaining momentum and becoming a powerful voice that will no longer be ignored.
I would never want social media to replace in-person conversations about these topics, but it’s simply this: This is what many of us have time to do.
A few things I have learned about fear and anger
It’s a normal reaction to fear the unknown.
A few personal beliefs I have about fear and anger:
- Both have paralyzing effects on the mind and the body.
- Both can make us deny reality. Denial delays the inevitable but it does not eliminate the facts. When we keep something locked away in our subconscious it is not healthy.
- If we are fearful or angry, we may not act appropriately and we may become stagnant in making lifestyle changes.
- Fear and anger are not shameful feelings- they are normal. They are human reactions! It’s what you do with them that matters.
We need fear to an extent to correct our society. What we really need though is education and awareness. However, that fear needs to be turned into positive actions towards change. In college, I read an article for a course about how in an economy where fear dominates, consumers will purchase more. The psychology behind it was purchasing comforts people, things comfort people, and in purchasing there is an element of control over something. We don’t want to be wasteful consumers though.
Take stock of what is in your home and you may realize you have everything you need. It takes practice to free yourself from your wants. If we can wholeheartedly appreciate what we have, we will no longer want so much. This leads to greater life satisfaction over what truly matters- taking care of our earth, health, spirituality, and our family and friends.
Doing your Part
So, even though I know we all get “worked up” sometimes with all of this information and we want to spread knowledge; be wary not to inundate social media postings with too much negative (and fearful) information. Balance your social media presence with stories of positivity and hope. I’m not talking censorship either, I’m talking balance. By all means, we need to share the hard hitting stories and the outrageous, but that can overwhelm people starting their journey in organic living.
So many of use want to make changes, we are making changes, but at times it’s information overload.
It takes practice but only we can change our initial reactions to things to bring them out of the darkness of fear, anger, and denial and rather into the light of action and lifestyle changes. We are influencing a younger generation- their ideals and how they will react to adversity. It’s so important to teach positivity and action instead of fear and denial.
It is acceptable to feel overwhelmed but we have to break that feeling down into baby steps for achieving our organic living, sustainability, and non toxic living goals. Break it down into things that are in your control. What you support with your purchasing dollars (organic, non GMO) and what you don’t purchase (do you really need a new scarf every year)?
Below are some ideas for converting negative reactions into positive and action oriented responses!
After time your initial reactions will simply become positive. It’s very freeing!
Situation/Article/Post Initial Reaction New Reaction
|Argentinian Study: Tampons, Sanitary Pads, and Sterile Gauze: Contaminated with Probable Carcinogen Glyphosate||“This just gave me something else to worry about. Why can’t we just live in a safe world?!”
This is a real quote from a friend on social media. She is an amazing mom and wife and she is on great path with healthy and organic living. I myself have often said things almost exactly like this!
|“I’m going to go buy organic tampons this weekend and I’m excited to pass this information along.”
My friends reaction was normal, I had my own personal “A-ha” moment here when I realized that my initial reactions was action. This was a long time coming though. It’s taken time to get to this point.
We simply have to change our initial reactions and our mindset about seeking out alternatives.
What is an alternative today will become simply what you do and then it ceases to feel overwhelming.
|People buy products, unless you live in a 100% self producing commune in Oregon you still personal care products.||“So I have to feel guilty now when I buy products?”|| “I do not feel guilty because my products are eco- friendly, minimally packaged, and last forever.”
I have been using the same 15 oz. can of fractionated organic coconut oil for 6 months now. When it’s gone I can re-use the container because nothing toxic has been in there. Slam Dance! Eco Mom for the Win.
Ask other mom’s what they use. If it doesn’t work out- find someone that wants it- do not throw it out! Social Media and private messaging is perfect for this banter!
|Article: Are GMOs Behind the Increasing Rates of Cancer and Food Allergies in the U.S.? ||“Ugh, I am so mad about this stuff. Why do the people in power allow this?”||We are the people in power- the consumer. What we buy (or don’t buy) is powerful enough.
Companies are listening. They will have to change because the consumers demand it. This is exciting to be a part of!
Write a letter, sign an online petition, purchase what you know is healthier for your family (non-GMO, organic, hormone -free, humane) and stop purchasing the junk!
|On the topic of buying organic foods and non GMO foods.||“Organic is just too expensive.”|| “I would rather cut back spending in other areas and put my money towards the health of myself and my family.”
I used to think eating organically was a sacrifice.If you start looking at purchasing as buying what you need (healthy food= need), not what you want a strange thing happens…
Your wants are no longer the same. Your budget opens up to spending a little more on organic purchases. This becomes a satisfying experience.
I have had my stagnate moments, trust me. I literally froze at the supermarket several months ago (I was in the middle of researching for my GMO article), felt panicky and just stood there. I felt like unsafe and unhealthy food was everywhere! I started to tear up.
My amazing husband gently reminded me “You know what to do, take your time, read labels, do your best and you do not have to be perfect.”
A quote from Ghandi that always resonates to me: “Be the change you wish to see in the World.”
You have to live it and living it can be easier than you think. Steady changes, simple changes, step by step changes and you can relegate words like ‘overwhelmed’ and ‘worried’ to a place far from every day vocabulary.
- Buy organic produce
- Use reusable bags
- Swap out one bath and beauty product with an alternative (organic feminine care)
- Write one letter or email this month to a company. Here is an example to inspire you:
I was met with a very positive response (they are looking into what they can do) when I sent this email to facilities management at my work:
I’m starting with you and if you are not the right person can you please forward this to whom it may concern? First of all, I am so thankful that the new water dispensers are here! The water tastes more clean.
I was wondering…. could we encourage the use of re-usable drinking cups (Aka people bringing their own cups, mugs, or glass drinking bottles from home)? We waste less (Styrofoam cups) and it would cost the company less money (the purchase of the Styrofoam cups must become costly for the company).
I believe the water dispensers were partly brought in with that intention but a gentle reminder to the staff they can reuse instead of waste would reduce costs.
- Post a positive success story of people influencing change on your social media
- Post a hard hitting story to social media also!
On a site that I follow (an informative (and often funny) zero waste site), NoNeedforMars, the writer and I indulged in some back and forth conversation. I loved what she said in a reply to me: “Zero waste is a joy, not a chore.” This is so true!
Be curious. Do not fear change. Embrace it. This journey is a blessing, it’s empowering and it matters!
1. Mina Shahriary, Are GMOs Behind the Increasing Rates of Cancer and Food Allergies in the U.S.? Liveintheknow.com
2. Article published October 23,2015. An About Face by Subway on Antibiotics? Feedstuffs.com