At Norwex, our Mission is to improve quality of life by radically reducing the use of chemicals in personal care and cleaning. Part of our ideology is the belief that our environment’s health is just as important as the health of our bodies. In fact, the two are really one: you can’t have a healthy body without a healthy environment. Or at least, without a healthy environment we won’t have healthy bodies for very long—and neither will our kids.
So desirous of both a healthy body and a healthier environment, many have come to embrace “sustainable living,” basically a lifestyle choice to reduce the use of our planet’s natural resources. It’s an enormous topic, and for those who embrace it, sustainable living colors decisions about almost every facet of life. It includes choices about materials used in home construction and furnishings, food and energy consumption, and transportation just to list a few. The basic idea behind sustainable living is to preserve the earth for future generations, in the best way we can—and we’re all for it.
In thinking about this blog, we uncovered a few facts that might help us all be more aware of the planet we’re entrusting to our kids and grandkids, and to live life a little more sustainably.
• The old adage “think globally, act locally” is powerful. The closer to home your food and other purchases are grown or manufactured, the smaller your carbon footprint. For example, today the average American meal costs about 1500 miles, and it takes about 10 calories of oil and other fossil fuels to produce a single calorie of food.1 Buying food from local farmers not only reduces carbon output caused by long-distance food transport, it’s also good for the local economy. For more info about why buying local is best, and to find locally grown produce, meat and more in your own neck of the woods, check out LocalHarvest.org or EatLocalGrown.com.
• And speaking of meals, organically grown food is always a great choice. Organic farming prohibits or strictly limits the use of manufactured fertilizers and pesticides, plant growth regulators such as hormones, livestock antibiotics, food additives and genetically modified organisms2. When you choose organic, it’s better for you and your family, plus it’s like voting with your pocketbook to keep chemicals at bay. And whether you are able to buy organic or not, always use Fresh Wash to safely clean fruits and veggies before you eat them. Specially formulated with all-natural fruit extracts, Fresh Wash safely removes fertilizers, waxes, soil and other harmful contaminants, and your produce stays fresh longer.
• An impactful way to further reduce carbon footprint is to make your home more energy efficient. A wealth of information can be found online about everything from weather stripping and windows to water-conserving faucets and toilets. And it’s amazing the money you can save when you do it! The point is, when you live more sustainably by reducing the carbon footprint of your home, everyone wins.
We’re very proud to work for a company that doesn’t just talk the talk. Norwex believes there is no compromise between success and doing something right. And because our ideology is focused on radically reducing chemicals, it’s only right that we take steps corporately to reduce our carbon footprint. That’s why we’re especially pleased about the new building we moved into a few months ago, which has several energy-efficient features. For example our abundance of indoor plants improves air quality and removes carbon dioxide and airborne toxins like volatile organic compounds (VOCs). We even have “living walls” in our reception area that remove toxins or other contaminants that may enter our building from outside.
We’ve also minimized the use of carpet, which helps keep dust and allergens low. Our ceiling tiles are made of 80% recycled materials, and we used zero-VOC paint on our walls. Of course, there are numerous recycling bins throughout the building, too, and the break rooms use a laminate with 20% recycled content. And of course our products are designed and manufactured with our Purpose and Mission in mind every step of the way! As just one example, our new Out to Lunch Sandwich Wrap and Snack Bag are reusable and made of recyclable LDPE #4 plastic! They’re an absolutely wonderful alternative to zip-lock bags and disposable plastic wraps.
But perhaps the most effective way that Norwex is embracing sustainable living is through its vast network of Consultants and consumers, people like you, who are creating a ripple effect of change by sharing our Purpose and Mission. Imagine the impact, not just in our homes but all over the world, when we all commit to a small change. We encourage you all to join Norwex in the R.A.C.E Against Chemicals in the Environment, and commit to our Let’s Ride! Bike-a-thon September 20–21 to help spread awareness! And Norwex’s Commitment Day is on October 26.
Be thinking about what your 30-day commitment to change will be, and post it at norwexrace.com.
1 Astyk, Sharon. Depletion and Abundance: Life on the New Home Front. Canada: New Society Publishers, 2008
2 Organic Agriculture – What is Organic Agriculture? Iowa State University. 2008. Web. Retrieved on: 18 Nov 2010.