Go Organic for Earth Day
by Stephanie Nelson, GMA Savings Mom
Viewer question: “Can you tell me where to find coupons for health food and organic food?” sent in by Angie in Frankfort, Illinois
Angie’s question comes at just the right time, because April 22nd is Earth Day, and its purpose is to “draw attention to the ways organic products support a healthy environment.” Organic products include not only organic foods, but also organic fibers such as cottons and wools grown without pesticides, synthetic fertilizers or artificial flavors. Earth Day also reminds us to take advantage of other simple ways to reduce waste and reduce pollution in an effort to preserve the environment we live in.
Even though I do not have a purely organic diet, I do buy many organic products simply because they taste good. I have noticed that there are far more organic and natural foods available in my supermarket today than in past years.
Apparently, I am not the only shopper discovering new organic products. In fact, the Earth Day organizers report that sales of organic products are growing at a rate of about 20% per year. “Organic foods can now be found in most grocery stores, and many people would like to try them,” said the executive director of the OTA.
Bargain shoppers can save money on some organic foods because the “Go Organic! For Earth Day” campaign includes money-saving coupons that are available in free coupon books at participating retailers. Selected retailers will also have organic food demonstrations, product samples, educational materials, and Earth Day events. Organic recipes, coupons and a store finder to locate participating retailers in your area can be found on the campaign Web site, www.organicearthday.org. If your local retailer is not listed, you can also get a free coupon book by calling 1-866-I-GO-ORGA (NIC) to request one. The Earth Day coupon book has $12.55 worth of coupons in each booklet.
In addition to the organic coupons found in the booklet, shoppers can also visit the websites of their favorite organic food manufacturers and sign up for their email newsletters that may include coupons. You can also send email messages to some organic food manufacturers via their website email forms requesting that product coupons be mailed to you. Be sure to let them know how much you like their products and remember to include your mailing address. You can also call their 800 number (found on their websites) to request coupons from their customer service department.
Some of the organic and natural food manufacturers that have printable coupons available on their website or in their email newsletters are www.stonyfieldfarms.com for yogurt and smoothie coupons and http://www.kashikids.com/coupon.asp for a $1 coupon on kids’ cereal. You can also visit the printable coupon websites to find coupons for products like Stonyfield Farms frozen organic yogurt, Nutritious Living cereals, Sugar in the Raw, frozen Nutritious Living entrees and even the nontoxic Simple Green cleaners.
Having a recycling mindset also helps the environment. If you do not subscribe to a recycling service that picks up at your home, look for recycling receptacles in your community, such as at schools and places of worship. The recycling programs at nonprofit organizations generate revenue for them, so your recycling will not only help the environment, you will also help others at no cost to you. For example, instead of throwing magazines away, you could take them to the convenient collection bins behind a local school.
Another idea is to recycle and bring your own bags to the grocery store. The Earth Day coupon booklet reported this shocking statistic: One hundred billion plastic shopping bags are thrown away in the U.S. each year. That’s a lot of waste. And we go through a lot of paper grocery bags, too. If every household in the U.S. used only one canvas tote for just one shopping trip, we could save about 60,000 trees! Imagine how many would be saved if we saved the bags from previous trips and used them to bag our groceries for every trip, instead of just one?
I’m going to start bringing my own paper bags when I shop this week. That’s an easy way to save some trees, and doesn’t cost a thing. Why don’t you join me? Happy Earth Day!