10 REASONS TO GO ORGANIC
The ten reasons below are sourced from Grow Organic No. 102 October-December 1997, excerpted from an article by Sylvia Tawse in Delicious, April 1994 and CROPO Issue 23, July, 1995.
1. TO PROTECT FUTURE GENERATIONS
"We have not inherited our land from our fathers, we are borrowing it from our children," Lester Brown. The average child receives four times more exposure than an adult to at least eight widely used cancer-causing pesticides in food. Food choices made now, determine your child's future health.
2. PREVENT SOIL EROSION
Soil is the foundation of the food chain in organic gardening. In conventional farming, however, the soil is used more as a medium to hold plants in a vertical position, so they can be chemically fertilised. Soil structure is neglected and the top-soil is washed or blown away.
3. TO PROTECT WATER QUALITY
Water makes up two-thirds of our body mass and covers three quarters of the planet. Pesticides and other chemicals widely contaminate ground water and rivers and pollute our primary source of drinking water.
4. TO SAVE ENERGY
Modern farming uses more petroleum than any other industry. More energy is now used to produce synthetic fertilisers than to till, cultivate and harvest crops. Organic farming is still based on labour intensive practices such as hand weeding, green manure and cover crops instead of chemicals.
5. TO KEEP CHEMICALS OFF YOUR PLATE
Many pesticides and herbicides were registered long before extensive research linking them to cancer and other diseases could be established. They are poisons designed to kill living organisms and can also harm humans. In addition to cancer, pesticides are implicated in birth defects, nerve damage and genetic manipulations.
6. TO PROTECT FARM WORKERS
Farmers have a much larger risk than non-farmers of contracting cancer. Farm worker health is also a serious problem in developing nations, where pesticide use can be poorly regulated. An estimated one million people are poisoned annually by pesticides.
7. TO HELP SMALL FARMERS
Most organic farms are small, independently owned family farms of less than 100 acres. Many family farms have been lost this past decade. Organic farming could be one of the few survival tactics left for family farms.
8. TO SUPPORT A TRUE ECONOMY
Although organic foods might seem more expensive than conventional foods, conventional food prices don't reflect hidden costs such as pesticide regulation and testing, hazardous waste disposal and clean up and environmental damage. If the hidden environmental and social costs of chemically-produced conventional produce were added to that produce, it would be more than double the price of organic food.
9. TO PROMOTE BIODIVERSITY
The conventional farmer uses monoculture, the planting of large plots of land with the same crop year after year. This approach leaves the soil lacking in natural minerals and nutrients, which have to be replaced by chemical fertilisers in increasing amounts. Single crops are also more susceptible to pests, making farmers more reliant on pesticides. Insects have become genetically resistant to certain pesticides and despite the increased uses of chemicals, crop losses are increasing. Organic farmers encourage natural predators on their farms and are content with a smaller harvest. They also practice crop rotation to add health and energy to the soil.
10. FOR A BETTER TASTE
Organic farming starts with the nourishment of the soil, which leads to the nourishment of the plant and, ultimately, our palate. Ask the many chefs who prefer to use organic foods.
WHAT YOU CAN DO IN THE HOME
We have complied some articles and links to things you can do as an individual to help the environment.
"You would think that as a progressive nation more people would use GreenPower - I do." Ash Grunwald
Australians are one of the biggest emitters, per head of population, of greenhouse gas in the world, mainly due to our reliance on burning coal to generate electricity. We urgently need to take steps to turn this around.
Many people don't realise that the average household in Australia generates 6.8 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions every year from electricity usage ^.
Switching to GreenPower renewable energy significantly lowers your household emissions, and it is the long term vision of the Festival that everyone who comes along to Peats Ridge will live in a GreenPower household.
Given your support of Peats Ridge, we thought that you too would be interested in understanding the impact that switching has and considering green energy for your home or office.
REDUCE YOUR EMISSIONS BY 25%
Switching to 25% GreenPower for one year is similar to living without power for 3 months of the year. Over 12 months the average Aussie household would save a quarter of its greenhouse gas emissions from electricity by making the change#.
25% GreenPower can cost you as little as an extra $1 a week, but goes a long way towards helping cut your household greenhouse gas emissions.
It's also a great way to help grow the renewable energy industry. The more renewable energy Australian consumers demand, the more renewable energy projects will be built.
If you only do one thing this year to make your life more sustainable, do this.
^ Department of Climate Change 2009 National GreenHouse Accounts (NGA) Factors.
# Based on the estimation of the average household (as defined in "Energy Use in the Australian Residential Sector report, 2008) consuming 6480 kWh pa. at an emissions factor of 1 kg CO2e = 1 kWh.
OTHER USEFUL LINKS
UK Based organisation committed to getting UK and European festivals to be more sustainable.