We all have a favorite t-shirt. It’s soft and comfy and it’s usually made of cotton. But do you know that the way some cotton is grown is really bad for the environment? You can Do Your Part by seeking out organically grown cotton products.
Yes cotton IS king. It is the world’s leading fiber and a leading cash crop for the United States. But when cotton is produced through conventional methods, it is also the king of chemicals.
In an effort to battle numerous pests and disease, cotton farmers have resorted to chemical warfare. Cotton is grown on just three percent of the Earth’s productive farmland but 25 percent of all insecticides and 10 percent of all pesticides are used on conventionally grown cotton. The Environmental Protection Agency classifies many of these chemicals as the most toxic kind.
That cotton shirt isn’t feeling so comfy anymore is it?
The good news is that there is an alternative that more farmers are beginning to embrace: growing cotton using organic methods.
Organic cotton is grown without using chemical pesticides, insecticides or fertilizers. Pests are controlled through a clever combination of beneficial predators and neighboring crops and diseases are controlled using naturally occurring bacteria. All of these practices increase the natural biodiversity around the cotton crop, thereby decreasing the need for all of those nasty chemicals.
Growing organic cotton is clearly better for the environment but it’s also better for the farmer and anyone living nearby. The organic cotton shirt you wear will also be free of all those toxic chemicals used to grown conventional cotton.
Organic cotton clothing may cost you a little bit more than conventionally produced cotton but it is almost always softer and it tends to last longer. It’s also becoming easier to find; just look for the 100% organic cotton label.
When we start making a concerted effort to purchase organic cotton products, everyone from the farmer to the manufacturer to the retailer will take notice and ramp up production and sales of additional organic products. This will also make it more economical.
So, start talking with your pocket book or wallet. You’ll feel good in your clothes knowing you are doing your part to help keep toxic chemicals out of our air, land and water.