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Green and Eco living, why it is essential

IN EVERY town and city there is, and always has been, a herbalist who traditionally practiced as a doctor specialising in natural medicine, giving remedies for illness based on plants. These are either applied directly – taken orally – or indirectly, on the body – balsams and creams, for example.

These establishments have grown in number and popularity and nowadays they are more like small natural-product supermarkets where you can find almost any product that bears the label ‘organic’.

However, what many people don’t realise is that buying on the market can be as healthy as making your purchases in these shops, and reading labels is not a sign of being a hypochondriac, but that of being responsible both for your own well-being and that of the environment.

Healthy food is directly linked to healthy people. Those who are careful about what they put in their mouths are less likely to be ill and if they are, recover quicker. But not all tomatoes are the same and not all make-up has the same effects.

Every time you buy anything, you should read the label. In the case of fresh produce, it is not always necessary to go to the herbalist to do your shopping since in the market and in greengrocers’ shops they are obliged by law to display the origins, calibre and as much information about the product as is necessary to help you weigh up the pros and cons of buying it

And in addition to this, you should think about the cost and method of production. That is, bananas from Costa Rica may be all well and good and perhaps their taste is as good as any other, but you should work out the cost to the environment of transporting them over such a long distance, and whether the crops from over there are grown in environmentally-friendly conditions. And then, of course, you have to consider whether the household budget will stretch to it.

These days, more and more organic, macrobiotic and health-food products are being sold and the demand is forcing production to increase, something that could even, ironically, eventually hinder the process and lead to a health-food recession. This is why it is vital to pay attention to detail when it comes to the contents of your shopping basket.

The same is true of almost all products, even cars and bikes. A bike, which in itself is an environmentally-friendly form of transport, also has production costs – both the cost to the environment, and that of shipping it.

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