Common Misconceptions About "Going Natural"

 

So you’ve decided to take on a more natural lifestyle, and are looking into what kind of changes and actions you’ll need to take…

Already feeling a little out of your depth? For many people, it can be an overwhelming, or even paralyzing arena to navigate. What does it even mean to “go natural”? Is it just buying more products that have “natural” on their label? Does it mean you have to give up your whole lifestyle in one day?

These are some of the considerations you may ponder about this topic, so I’ll offer some guidance in breaking down a few of the most common misconceptions about “going natural”.

 

First up - what going “natural” means

Generally, transitioning to a natural lifestyle encompasses making changes across a range of different areas in your life, including:

  • Food consumption = opting for natural, unprocessed, whole foods that are often organic and non-GMO.
  • Health and wellness = opting for herbal remedies and natural supplements over medications or prescribed chemical based pills.
  • Personal Care products = opting for ingredients that are natural and free from synthetic ingredients, nature-identical, fragrances and more.
  • Cleaning = opting for products with natural and environmentally friendly ingredients, or opting for home made natural cleaning recipes.
  • Packaging = being proactive with recycling and composting, avoiding the use of plastic and purchasing plastic where possible, ethical purchasing of products with the environment in mind.
  • Consumerism = opting for walking or riding rather than driving, choosing products that are made from more durable items such as choosing wooden toys over plastic toys for children, using reusable coffee mugs.

It’s a big list, and can often feel overwhelming to people who want to start living a more natural lifestyle. The overwhelm and many areas where natural living can be implemented, can often cause people to develop misconceptions about going natural and ultimately avoiding making important switches. So what kinds of beliefs can get in the way of a successful transition to natural living?

 

#1: We all have to be in it for the same reason

There are so many motivators for making the switch to a more natural lifestyle. For some people, the concern over the environment and the impact on humans’ consumption is the driving force. For others, it’s a health focus on how society can create a cleaner way of supporting our future. For many, it may be a little bit of both. Whatever your reasons are for implementing a more natural lifestyle, these reasons are yours to own and do not mean that you’re not ‘doing things right’. There are countless reasons why someone may choose to invest in more natural products and living and these can remain unique to that individual.

 

#2: It will be a quick transition

Transitioning into a more natural lifestyle takes time, as there are so many life areas to consider. Those who believe this transition will be quick, can often set themselves up for failure and lose their drive to choose natural products when it isn’t as straightforward as expected. You may feel inclined to throw out everything in your pantry and bathroom at once, but the advice here is to develop a progressive plan and start with what area is most important to you. If you are more health inclined, you may begin with your food and personal care product choices. If you are more environmentally inclined, you may begin with reducing your consumption of plastics and one-use items. Making little changes each day, will boost your confidence and capacity as you settle in and you can begin to tackle additional life areas as you progress.

 

Some small lifestyle change ideas to start with:

 

#3: The ‘Natural’ label means what it says

The world ‘natural’ is still a relatively unregulated word in the commercial arena. It does not have to refer at all to how the food is processed, grown, harvested, raised or slaughtered. Though most people think of fresh, healthy, minimally processed or no synthetic ingredients when they hear the word natural, the truth is that the use of this word on labeling and naming products is far from fitting this ideal every time. How to know when it’s just an added word there to make you buy it?

  • Choose organic - organic foods & ingredients refer to that which is grown and harvested without any synthetic fertilisers, insecticides and pesticides, and without genetically modified organisms (GMO’s). Certified Organic is the most trusted, as farmers must adhere to strict guidelines in order to be certified.
  • Educate yourself - find information about which brands are in line with your ideals, so that you come prepared when you’re out shopping. Read the labels, if there’s an ingredient you don’t understand - look it up.

At Buddy Scrub, I’m all about sticking to my word and that’s why my ingredients are carefully selected to ensure that they are natural and free from parabens, sulphates, mineral oils, animal by-products, nature-identical, harsh cleansers, PEGs and other nasties. See the range here.

 

#4: That everything works the same way

Have patience. Sometimes natural alternatives to quick fix products take more time to do their job. Maybe the peppermint essential oil blend on your temple may not be as fast working as a strong painkiller, but this alternative leaves you without side effects and extra synthetic ingredients in your body. Be patient and allow this lifestyle and the changes in it be a way for you to find a slower pace of life.

Also, just because there are many different alternatives to the regular, processed, unnatural products, it doesn’t mean that all of the alternatives are equal. It’s important to consider quality when purchasing as brands can use different ingredient blends and processes. Educate yourself to be able to check labels and know what ingredients you want in and out of your life. The higher quality goods may mean a bigger price tag, but they will deliver on their promise and naturally enrich your life if you really are ready to invest in a natural lifestyle.

 

 

So, the takeaway here is - be gentle on yourself. Celebrate the decision to transition into a natural lifestyle, and then take it step by step. You won’t get it right all the time, but the intention to lead a more natural life and the education you can give yourself in this area will really help you to make a difference to your own life and to the environment. This is your journey, your own path. Enjoy it.

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How To Transition To A More Natural Lifestyle Across 5 Areas Of Your Life


There’s no doubt that transitioning to a more natural lifestyle is a great idea. From improving and protecting the environment, your health, human and animal rights, and even your wallet - it just makes sense to opt for a more conscious, sustainable way to consume and live. That’s one of my main values and why all of my skincare products contain natural, plant based ingredients! It’s important to me to be your natural alternative to common synthetic, chemical-based, and inhumane products.

If you’re curious about how you can switch to a more natural, conscious lifestyle then this is the blog for you. I cover how to many the switch to more natural options across a number of areas of your life and you’ll see just how easy it can be!

 

KITCHEN

Ban the Plastic Bags
According to the National Geographic publication, 91% of plastic isn’t ever recycled. Plastic bags wreak havoc on the environment, and even paper bags aren’t that much better in their production and disposal if not done thoughtfully. Canvas, reusable bags are all the rage - not to mention more strong and can generally carry more goodies inside. Most supermarkets and stores stock these bags for you to purchase. Keep them in your car, or even rolled up in your bag so you’re never without your own carry bag for purchases.  
 

Tasteful Tupperware
When it comes to plastic tupperware, this is just as bad as plastic bags. It’s considered that the chemicals in the plastic, especially BPA, can leach into your food over time and be toxic. The alternative? Choose glass household containers. They not only wash better, but also are generally more sanitary and safe for health, as well as for the environment and all those that live off the land. Also, they never really stain – hello lentil spaghetti bolognaise!

There’s also a range of other recycled materials you can use for other packaging, and biodegradable options are great too! Next time you have a picnic or party, either bring your own glass or ceramic containers to bring home and reuse, or bring along some biodegradable plates and utensils.

No-No Napkins
How many paper towels of napkins do you throw out a week? It’s an interesting thought. Whilst paper towel can and should be recycled, they also produce a large amount of waste. Choose washable cloths for home cleaning, and invest in some material napkins that you can wash as well. Use, re-use, and reduce waste.

 

CLEANING

Think About What You’re Buying
Household cleaning products have an array of harmful chemicals that are not only harmful to human health - sensitive to eyes, skin and lungs - but also to the environment. Pouring harmful chemicals down the drain doesn’t ‘get rid of them’, they can eventually make their way into our waterways, becoming toxic to water life and ecosystems. It’s not only when you use or throw away the chemical, but also how it is made also contributes to the effects on the environment, including the packaging. Opt for cleaning products that claim to contain more natural, environmentally friendly ingredients and come in recyclable packaging.

 

Create Your Own!
There are many natural non-toxic cleaning products available on the market, but there are also natural homemade recipes online that can assist you to create your own products with things you have at home already. Here are some go-to home cleaning ideas:

- Baking soda, vinegar and hot water

Your new cleaning concoction, so versatile and easy to make! It unblocks drains, cleans sink stains, deodorizes cleaning rags and cloths, works well to scrub oven trays and pans, and cleans the toilet!

- Use lemon!

Dirty pans, pots and other cookware can also be cleaned by soaking them in lemon, baking soda and hot water. Lemon and salt is also super effective to deep clean wooden cutting boards.

Again, remember here - the throwaway paper towels, and even the plastic based sponges can be replaced with an eco-material cleaning cloth that you can reuse.

 

SKINCARE

This topic is worth a whole article - or 10! But let’s run through the basics here on some natural alternatives for skincare products. Of course we want to have healthy, happy, glowing skin. With the insane amount of products available, it’s hard to sort through which ones don’t include all those nasty extra additions which can contain synthetic ingredients known to lead to health risks such as hormonal imbalances and toxicity.

Read the Labels, Inform Yourself
Just because something says ’natural’ on the label, doesn’t mean that the ingredients are all natural. Companies are very skilled when it comes to developing their labels. A product can essential be called ‘natural essence shampoo’ and not contain any natural ingredients whatsoever. The advice: look at the labels carefully. Develop an understanding of which ingredients are best to avoid in your skincare such as sulphates, parabens, PEGs, EDTA, synthetic fragrances, phenoxyethanol, mineral oils, petrolatum/petroleum jelly, and of course animal by-products.

That’s What I’m Here For…
Of course my products are all cruelty free and vegan friendly, as well as free from potentially harmful ingredients such as synthetic fragrances, parabens and other synthetic nasties.

Here are a few of my favorites:

- Lip Scrubs

Many lip products contain a whole host of animal derived ingredients, including beeswax and lanolin. My lip scrubs contain exfoliating sugar with a balm base which will leave a nourishing layer on your lips. My Matcha-Lime Lip Scrub is a best seller!

- Body Scrubs

Did you know that micro beads in face and body scrubs are extremely harmful to waterways? They contribute to plastic pollution, and due to their smaller size can be ingested by a range of aquatic life. Opt for natural scrubs instead, like my customer favourite Coffee Body Scrub! You’ll get a hit of that delicious exfoliating coffee with a subtle hint of mandarin to nourish and moisturize your skin with no nasty chemicals or micro beads.

- Body Wash

Soaps can not only be harmful to our health with their ingredients, but can actually strip the body of natural oils and leave skin feeling worse off in the long run. My Activated Charcoal and Peppermint Body Wash has none of these harsh detergents or chemicals and contains only natural, gentle cleansers like decyl glucoside and aloe vera. Plus, it smells like fresh peppermint and leaves you feeling awake and cleansed! 

 

DISPOSAL

Creative Composting
Do you have a compost bin yet? They’re great for reducing waste, and give your plants a helping hand to grow without extra fertilizer and treatment. Make your own from recycled materials - there are tons of tutorials online. Alternatively, if you don’t have your own, find a neighbour who does, save a tub of food waste and add to their collection. In this case, sharing trash is appreciated!

Beyond Recycling, to Borrowing!
If you can’t get your hands on a recycled good that you were looking for in shops or charity outlets, why not borrow it from someone you know?

You’ll save so much money in the long run. Borrow an appliance for that rare recipe, share books instead of buying, even clothes, pillows for your guest, power tools and other electronics. Neighbours, friends and family are generally always happy to lend a helping hand. And don’t forget to lend as well! It goes without saying that when you realise you haven’t used something in years - or ever - then it’s time to donate to charity.

Beat the bottled water
If you like purified water, instead of buying disposable bottles of water (which cost you and the environment), get a filter for your tap at home. A reusable water bottle is also vital. It will remind you to stay hydrated throughout the day, and when you choose aluminum or glass bottles you can keep reusing them and reduce more plastic wastage.

 

WORKPLACE

Reduce Food and Package Waste
Bring your own reusable coffee mug to work! Coffee shops generally love this, and it reduces their own costs and waste as well. Same goes for taking your own lunch to work in glass containers, as this will help to reduce food waste, package waste, and unnecessary extra money spent.

Thoughtful Transport
Reduce carbon emissions through choosing alternate methods of getting to and from work. Use public transportation, carpooling, or do one better and swap the machines for bicycling, running or walking to work. If you’re a business owner yourself, consider adding showers at your workplce if you don’t already have some to make it even easier for your workers to be active before work.

Set up a Charity Bin
Ahhh the power of community…having a charity bin there for all staff to add to whenever they want is a way to keep each other accountable for sharing unused and unwanted goods. When someone sees another filling it up, they’ll be more inclined to share to those who need it themselves!

Go Paperless
As much as you can! A great thing about digital technology is that hand written memos are replaced by emails, 100-page paper documents are replaced by a video presentation or slideshow, and most students around the world (who have access) are even using laptops for note taking and learning. These are all good things for our trees. According to the environmental protection agency, every one tonne of paper that is avoided could potentially save 17 trees. So next time you use paper, if you must - be sure to use recycled paper, and/or recycle yourself. Even encourage your workplace to use recycled paper in their printers.

 

Lastly, a great party of living a more natural lifestyle is to also get outside and surround yourself with nature. Studies reveal that natural environments have a remarkable impact on our sense of health. We are eased from anxiety, breathe more deeply, and increase concentration. One easy way to surround yourself with more natural environments is to incorporate more plants in your home and your workplace, during the times you can’t make it outside.

 

Every little bit counts and hopefully you’ve found some effective ways to make some natural changes in your life.

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