When most people hear the word cotton, they think or assume it is organic. Unfortunately, the truth is that most cotton is grown with toxic chemicals.
Many of the items that we use everyday are made from cotton itself from the clothes we wear, the sheets we sleep on, and the towels we use after taking a shower. Growing cotton in a traditional way requires large amounts of pesticides, which is definitely not healthy for the workers and for the end product. While it may cost less to buy conventional cotton, it is not environment friendly nor is it a healthy home product.
What is considered to be “organic cotton?”
Organic cotton is grown without the use of fertilizers and pesticides. Methods such as beneficial insect releases, strip cutting of alfalfa and new weeding machinery help reduce the environmental impact of cotton crops.
Third-party organizations that provide certifications on organic cotton farms use only these approved methods and do not spray toxic chemicals on their crops.
Caring about the environment
It is estimated about 25 percent of the world’s insecticide use and about 10 percent of the world’s pesticide are used on cotton crops. According to a research in 2003, “55 million pounds of pesticides are sprayed on 12.8 million acres of cotton.” Not to mention, many of these chemicals are categorized to be the most toxic chemicals in the world. Some of the effects of pesticide exposure includes birth defects, reproductive disorders and weaker immune systems.
Why use organic products
Other than helping the environment, there are plenty of reasons for using organic cotton products. The working environments become better for those farmers who save their money by not having to buy large amounts of pesticides. Consumers benefit from the organic cotton products being softer and easier on their skin. Recent awareness of these benefits has increased demand for organic cotton and thus, lowered its cost.