Changing habits

Amber Cardozo can tell you how to introduce more organic into your life and how to convince people that organic products are better for them.

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A large part of my work as a Healthy and Sustainable Living Consultant is to educate people from all walks of life about how to make green choices and how mindful consuming can create a positive change for the future. I consult with businesses and individuals who want to become ‘greener’. The ethos of my company, Mindfully Green, is about making change easy within homes and workplaces.

A vital part of what I teach my clients is the importance of consuming certified organic products. In the early stages of Mindfully Green and running workshops and consultations, I noticed that despite the varying demographics of clients a large percentage did not fully grasp what certified organic products were all about.

There was a general understanding that certified organic meant chemical free but the full extent and benefits both globally and individually from consuming certified organic products was still relatively unknown. This is a vital part of the message I hope to spread.

Through Mindfully Green I have found many people are prepared to make the change once they clearly understand why it is such an important change to make. Giving people basic living skills and reconnecting people to food, products and their production systems empowers the individual. It allows a person to be informed about how they consume and where it all comes from. Most importantly it is delivered in an inspirational and enticing way, giving the individual a desire to become more informed and then make the necessary changes to consume mindfully.

One of the ways

I try to help clients see how purchasing mainly certified organic products can be possible by giving them recipes and ideas. Common barriers holding the average consumer back from purchasing predominantly certified organic products are a lack of money, time, availability, understanding of how we consume and the desire to make the change.

However, adopting practical and simple practices can remove these barriers. For example, we can reduce the amount we spend on purchasing multiple products because simple products with multiple uses are available. Do we need to buy a toilet cleaner, a sink cleaner, a bathroom cleaner, a tile cleaner and a glass cleaner? Or can we use one all-purpose chemical-free product to free up income to purchase more quality certified organic fruit, vegetables, meat and seeds.

Workshops and talks connect people to other like-minded individuals, build strong communities and initiate consumer change within the area. This is evident in many places throughout Australia, where education around sustainable consumption allows consumers to support certified organic producers and have a positive impact on the local economy.

Advice to retailers

Awareness, education and simple tools will encourage change in consumer habits. When people understand their consuming is a powerful way to improve their health and the health of the planet then they will come to the party.

A wonderful example of this is a client of mine, Melissa – a sole parent and full-time university student with four children. I connected her to some local certified organic suppliers and her local organic store and helped her incorporate some simple changes. Now about 90 per cent of what her family eats is certified organic. She has cut back on so many superfluous things and the household waste is reduced too.

Through my work I meet many people from various backgrounds who want to improve their health and the health of their families or create a positive change in the world. It is utterly uplifting to see people adopting these changes and reaping the layered benefits.

About the author

Amber Cardozo is a Healthy and Sustainable Living Consultant on the NSW Central Coast. She is the owner/director of Mindfully Green and also runs an organic food co-op. Amber is available for education sessions, workshops or consultations to the certified organic industry. mindfullygreen.com.au