5 Product Swaps You Can Make If You're Trying To Live A More Organic Life

by Molly Shea

Going organic always seems like a great goal for a five-year plan. Sure, you’d love to drink organic lemon water every morning and organic wine each night, ditching the pesticides and chemicals clinging to conventional products. But you have a life to live. A job to do. You’re lucky if you squeeze in a Sunday grocery run, period — nevermind scoping out all-organic products for your week ahead. You’ll get to it once you have more time, or more money, or more... something.

But what if you made it easy on yourself? Instead of taking on a total overhaul of every product in your house, why not start by focusing on the things you use day in and day out? That would definitely make it easier to transition to a life free of weird things like artificial colors, which is why Bustle partnered with o.b. Organic™​ Tampons to suggest five small product swaps that can make your life a little more organic — on your own terms.

Start By Getting Personal

Picking a personal care product often come down to convenience — what do you have in your purse when the moment strikes? Set yourself up for success by stocking up on natural options, like o.b. Organic™​ Tampons. Since they’re sold at the same convenience stores as conventional tampons, making the switch requires no real effort on your part. The tampons are made from 100-percent-certified organic cotton — meaning the plant was grown without the use of a long list of chemicals — and they're free from fragrances, dyes, and chlorine, none of which belong in your body. Plus, the tampons come paired with an up to 92-percent plant-based applicator.

Sleep On An Organic Mattress

Yes, really. Eco-friendly companies are now making foam-free mattresses with organic cotton and wool, meant to release fewer pollutants into the air you breathe. It’s an investment, but also a one-and-done swap. Interested in checking one out? Try looking into Avocado Green Mattress. Their mattresses are made with 100 percent GOTS organic certified wool and 100 percent GOTS certified organic cotton — aka the two best organic mattress certifications you can find.

Sip Pesticide-Free Coffee

If you like your meals free from synthetic pesticides, you’re not alone — demand for organic foods and drinks continues to grow. The good news is that organic foods are increasingly available. The bad news is that sussing out labels remains more confusing than it should be.

Here’s the gist of it: “Organic” means that the food or product was produced without the use of synthetic pesticides or genetically modified organisms (aka GMOs). In order to be labeled organic, the food must be certified by a USDA-endorsed agent, or by an independent agency. If it’s a single ingredient, like an apple, look for an organic seal, or a five-digit PLU code starting with the numeral "9." If it’s a processed food made up of multiple ingredients, look at the wording on the packaging; “100% organic” means the product is made up of entirely organic ingredients, while “organic” requires at least 95 percent of ingredients be certified. If the food is “made with organic ingredients,” you’re looking at something with no less than 70 percent organic ingredients.

For an easy swap, try switching to organic coffee. Pick up whole beans at a local store, or opt for pour-over pouches like these from startup Brandless.

Clean Up Your Cleaning Supplies

Cleaning should make your space cleaner, right? So it makes sense that you’d want to use ingredients you feel good about in the places where you eat and live. Look for botanical ingredients and — you guessed it — that USDA seal on any sprays and soaps. The same goes for laundry detergent (which can leave a residue on freshly washed clothes), sheets, and towels. If you’re looking for a project, you might consider making your own cleaning solution with white vinegar and essential oils, which can cut through grime and mildew.

To get started, try out Dr. Bronner's Fair Trade and Organic Sal Suds Liquid Cleaner. It's certified vegan and organic, and is a solid all-purpose option.

Invest In Clean Beauty

Designations can get murky when it comes to beauty products. Terms like “natural” and “mineral” tend to get slapped on packaging, but don’t relay any real information. The FDA has yet to define the use of “organic” for cosmetics, and the USDA only certifies food-grade ingredients. If you’re trying to make a shift to organic, you’ll have to do some sleuthing to confirm claims for yourself. First, look for that USDA seal — it means whatever you’re using is made primarily from certifiable natural ingredients grown organically. Bee Friendly Skincare has a great all-in-one face, neck, and eye cream that's USDA certified organic and is formulated with organic beeswax that's meant to improve the softness of your skin. It also boasts that good ol' USDA organic seal, but if there’s no seal on a product that's labeled as organic, take a look at the ingredients and scan for synthetic chemicals.

Just remember that organic doesn’t necessarily mean better for your skin when it comes to beauty products. Certain essential oils might help one person glow, while irritating the next. Focus on what works for you, no matter the labels.

This post is sponsored by o.b. Organic™​ Tampons.