How to live an Organic lifestyle | Sunday Observer

How to live an Organic lifestyle

1 August, 2021

Organic living is a lifestyle which is dedicated to making more informed choices when confronted with decisions that influence your health and the environment.

More than this, to live an organic lifestyle means to enjoy the benefits of natural processes and ingredients.

Life on earth should be well adapted to our planet’s cycles. Scientists try to figure out how our planet works by studying the earth’s cycles.

Changes to earth’s cycles can cause changes in the climates of our planet. Human beings are a natural part of what happens every day on the planet.

Environment can possibly be nurtured well even in the absence of the human beings, but human beings cannot live without being blessed by the nature.

By doing things responsibly, we create and maintain a beautiful and rich place for us to live in. This means living intelligently and naturally.

The global organic market and trends

The organic food market consists of sales of organic food and beverages and related services.

The global organic food market which is US$201.77 billion in 2020 is expected to grow up to US$221.37 billion by 2021 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.7 percent.

The organic food market is expected to reach US$380.84 billion by 2025 at a CAGR of 14.5 percent (Organic Food Global Market Report - 2021).

Increasing awareness among consumers about the health and benefits of organic food products has further stimulated the market growth.

Moreover, with the growing number of chronic diseases such as cardiac issues, cancer, diabetes, and the rise in healthcare costs, consumers are increasingly focusing on their diet (The Mordor Intelligence, Hyderabad, India -2021).

This is causing consumers to shift their focus towards organic food products.

Companies in the organic food market are focusing on introducing new product categories and varieties.

Organic food manufacturers are coming up with new and innovative organic food products in the form of ready-to-eat snacks, cookies, organic tea, pulses, spices, edible flowers, frozen waffles, medical plants, herbs, and organic juices. 103 countries had regulations for organic farming by the end of 2019.

Major players in the organic food market are General Mills Inc., Cargill, Inc., ConAgra, Organic Valley, Dean Food Company, Danone, United Natural Foods Inc., and Amy’s Kitchen.

The countries covered in the organic food market report are Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Russia, South Korea, UK, and the USA.

In the past eighteen years, the agricultural areas grown organically, and the number of organic farms have increased at rapid rates depending on the continent.

The strongest growth rates have been observed in Asia and Africa, where development really started from the 2000s.

Between 2000 and 2018, Oceanian organic areas have almost multiplied by five times. The question is what contribution has been made by Sri Lanka.

The agricultural land area under organic farming has increased substantially in Sri Lanka from 4,128 in 1998 to 165,553 hectares by 2017. The number of organic farmers too doubled over the same time.

Currently, Sri Lanka has about 8,700 organic farmers, 224 organic processors, 311 organic exporters, and 230 National Organic Programs (NOP) of US certified exporters.

The number of organic farmers in Sri Lanka by 2017 were 8,700 out of two million farmers and the total volume of exports was 44, 300 tons.

Sri Lanka exported €259 million of organic products in 2015. Sri Lanka mainly exports tea, cane sugar, spices, nuts, fresh and processed fruits, and cereals.

The main destinations for Sri Lankan organic products are Europe, the United States, Japan, and Australia. Sri Lanka exports most of its organic production due to price sensitivity and the absence of organic lifestyle.

Living an organic lifestyle

What exactly is an organic lifestyle? Many a person think that eating organically is organic living. Organic lifestyle is not only related to organic foods, but also many other aspects of our lives are also considered as organic living.

Hence, you can live a more organic lifestyle in many other ways too. To put it simply, living an organic lifestyle means doing your best to live a healthy lifestyle while also doing your part to take care of the environment.

By applying organic practices responsibly, you can create and keep wonderful and rich places to live in and encourage everyone to switch to an organic lifestyle. Below is a list of ways you can live an organic lifestyle:

Organic farming

This is the commonest organic practice. The USDA defines organic agriculture as “a production system that is managed to respond to site-specific conditions by integrating cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity.

Organic is a system of farming and food production. Organic farmers aim to produce high-quality food, using methods that benefit our whole food system, from people to planet, plant health to animal welfare.

More than 3.1 million farmers in the world and the global sales of organic food and drink reached more than 106 billion euros in 2019.

Nearly 12 percent of households in the world buy organic food all the time and 47 percent of household shoppers buy organic food at least some of the time.

Organic home garden design

Organic gardening is one of the many ways in which we can get our share from the earth as well as preserve it for future generations.

The home garden or household garden is a small-scale production system supplying plants and animal consumption with fixed boundaries and a functional relationship with its occupants.

Organic landscape or garden design is a process and a strategy for creating a beautiful, dynamic landscape while supporting a low-environmental-impact installation and maintenance approach.

Organic landscaping may not be the least expensive or fastest method in short-term analysis; however, over time it will prove less expensive, healthier, and more sustainable than more traditional techniques that depend on manufactured fertiliser, herbicides, and pesticides.

Organic gardening and designing are also a great hobby. Many people find it very relaxing and rewarding.

One way to reduce the amount of waste production is by growing some of your own vegetables and plants. Starting up an organic garden will save money and give you many great fruits and vegetables that will keep you healthy because of eating organic foods.

Anything made from natural materials can be considered organic, but an emerging design trend called “organic interiors” goes beyond simply using natural elements.

Organic design makes green living a lifestyle and style choice. Truly organic interiors meet the needs of the style-savvy eco-consciousness.

Organic architecture design

Organic architecture design is a unique approach, and a balance between scientific research and inspiration from nature, leading to both form and function rolled into one plan.

Organic architecture is best described as harmonising the man-made world with the nature.

Use of natural materials, skylights, solar power, natural water and organically grown indoor crops, shrubs and flower plants are major components of the organic home design.

The composition of materials being used in an organic interior is only a small part of what makes a space organic (Cavin-Winfrey -2013).

A space that is easy to live in with materials and textures and colours that inspire healthy living are really the true attributes of an organic interior.

Organic beauty and health

One of the most glaring differences between conventional and natural beauty products is the attention to ingredients.

Organic beauty is the formulation of cosmetic products using organically farmed ingredients.

These ingredients are grown without the use of Genetically Modified Organisms (GM), herbicides, synthetic fertilisers and more.

Amid the Covid-19 crisis, the global market for natural and organic cosmetics was estimated at US$18.5 billion in the year 2020, and this is projected to reach a revised size of US$32.3 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 8.3 percent over the analysis period from 2020 to 2027.

Certified organic beauty products go one step further by not having animal testing, controversial chemicals, parabens and phthalates, synthetic colours, dyes or fragrances and nano particles.

Just because one follows an organic lifestyle does not mean he or she has to give up the beauty cosmetics. You can take care of yourself using organic skin care products.

There are several of them made from natural ingredients in the market, such as organic soaps and shampoos. So, with that, you do not have to give up your make-up addiction.

Organic bio hotels and organic restaurants

Bio hotels are businesses that significantly reduce their environmental impact through the best green practices in maintenance, services, logistics, products, and supplies.

The core elements revolve around reducing waste, saving energy, and cutting down on water usage.

Natural, environmentally conscious, sustainable bio hotels have been operating in the world. Organic food, natural cosmetics and green electricity are a matter of course for all our bio hoteliers.

These hotels offer the ultimate sustainable experiences in the hotel industry. Visitors can expect rooms made from local woods, natural bedding and buildings based on biological architecture and they will be able to discover the real experience of biodiversity and aesthetic lifestyle during a sustainable break.

Organic livestock farming

One of the talking points about organic livestock farming in recent years has been its long-term sustainability in terms of production and productivity.

The farmer who has integrated livestock in his organic farm will never need to buy extra soil-incorporation materials.

Livestock waste can be utilised simply as manure on the farm.

Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) has stated that manures, such as those from dairy and poultry, have liming effects and counteract acidification. It also states that incorporating eco-friendly, farm-based animal manures could prove vital in many ways.

In the European Union alone, there is a huge demand for organic farm products as well as for the products from organic livestock.

The data in the European Commission 2019 reveals that about 17,871 MT of organic eggs and honey, 5,828 MT of organic fish, 453 MT of organic non-edible animal products, 132 MT of organic sheep and goat meat and 19 MT of organic pork are being imported every year in the Europe.

Therefore, it is evident that even with many organic livestock, the European Union is unable to fulfil the demand for products obtained from organic livestock. This makes the venture more mercantile.

Organic livestock production is often regarded as an important pillar of sustainable rural development. This is because, the organic production model generates more positive and sustainable externalities than the conventional model.

The way forward

Between 2008 to 2018, the global organic market almost tripled, while the areas grown organically doubled. Educating the public, specifically the youth in Sri Lanka is vital to promote the idea of organic living.

NIBM has introduced an Advanced Certificate in Organic Agribusiness Management (ACOAM) to equip organic lovers with right technical skills of organic agriculture at its Kurunegala campus. Professional certification in organic agriculture will create a variety of opportunities in Sri Lanka and across the board.

Living an organic lifestyle is living a balanced lifestyle and it does not mean following all the related aspects or having nothing in proposition.

Take it as a piece at a time and as quality of life improves so will attitude. Living healthy may just become a habit you will not want to break!

The writer is the Director General, National Institute of Business Management