The topic of “all-natural” being better for you and our environment has only increased in popularity. More and more “green” options are out there. But some wonder, does it really make a difference?

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Facts: According to the Organic Trade Association, cotton is considered the world’s “dirtiest” crop due to the heavy use of insecticides, the most hazardous pesticides to human and animal health.  Cotton covers 2.5% of the world’s cultivated land yet used 16% of the world’s insecticides, more than any other single major crop.

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During the conversion of cotton into conventional clothing, many hazardous materials are used and added to the product, including silicone waxes, harsh petroleum scours, softeners, heavy metals, flame and soil retardants, ammonia, and formaldehyde – just to name a few.  The Environmental Protection Agency considers seven of the top pesticides used on U.S. cotton in 2000 as “possible,” “likely,” “probable,” or “known” human carcinogens.

>>Read more: Not exactly sure how to detect something natural or organic? Here are some answers.

Benefits: Organic farming protects the health of people and the planet by reducing the overall exposure to toxic chemicals from synthetic pesticides that can end up in the ground, air, water and food supply, and that are associated with health consequences, from asthma to cancer.  So just like our food, using organic materials for our clothes is environmentally healthy for our planet as well as our own health.

Seems that there are a lot of benefits to going “greener.” Now it’s up to your discretion; is the extra expense worth it to you to “go green”?

Need help deciphering that decision? Check out Organic Trade Association for more information!

>>Read more: Decided a greener life is a go? Click here to take the first step.