News

IMBOLC - Spring has Sprung February 01 2021, 0 Comments

 

It feels as if it has been a very long cold winter but now we look forward to celebrating Imbolc to mark the arrival of spring. There is lot’s to look forward to including longer brighter evenings, warmer weather, new life in nature and getting out into the garden again. 

Photo by Alena Koval from Pexels

Photo by Alena Koval on Pexels.com

From Feb 1st to February 2nd the traditional festival Imbolc, also celebrated as St.Brigids day, marks the halfway point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. 

The day is celebrated in many ways including:

  • Feasts/special meals
  • Visiting streams rivers and wells
  • Divination
  • Spring cleaning
  • Lighting candles
  • Sowing the first seeds such as sweet peas and early potatoes 
  • The International Imbolc Festival has been held for the last 5 years in Derry Northern Ireland
  • Bonfires and hearthfires (Fire and purification are a very important part of the celebrations)
  • Making Brigid’s crosses and Brídeógs

 

St. Brigid's cross 

The Saint Brigid's cross was thought to keep evil, fire and hunger from the home in which it was displayed. The newly made Brigid's cross was displayed and the cross from the year before burned.

St. Brigid's cross is a lovely decoration for the spring, and if it does all the above, well that is a nice bonus. 

To make your own Crosóg Bhríde / Brigid's Cross, head over to Nine arrow on Instagram and watch her lovely video. 

You can use rushes, drinking straws or colourful paper as seen in the video here Make a St.Brigids cross

 

Photo still from Ninearrow Youtube


Whether you are making a delicious traditional Colcannon or a Brigid’s cross this February 1st we wish you a Happy and Healthy Imbolc.

 

Nikki Moans January 2021


5 ways how cleaning will help with your new year health resolutions January 03 2018, 0 Comments

Yes, you read it correctly: Cleaning will help with your Health resolutions. 

Cleaning has surprisingly positive effects to any healthy living efforts. If you used to think that it is was a chore to be avoided - think again.  

The truth is that a clean and orderly home is a huge part of Healthy Living and will contribute to achieving your goals. 

Here are 5 very ideas on how to get started:

1. Decluttering and cleaning will clear your mind and help you to focus on your goals

Think about it, if your training gear is chuffed with everything else in the wardrobe when you want to exercise, is that motivating? Or the area for doing a yoga is full of clutter and dust - will you achieve tranquility? How do you achieve your eating goals with a fridge full of temptation? Or you are still used to smoking or vaping in the house instead of breathing pure clean air?

What will be the level of success if you want to change some habits but not the environment? 

Do a good declutter, get help from professional organisers or try the KonMari method (authors no1. recommendation for organising and decluttering, not affiliated, more information https://konmari.com/ ).

Create space for your new life, let go off the old and focus on your goals. 

 

Photo by Avrielle Suleiman on Unsplash

 

2. Clean air and surfaces are healthier in general

Dust is pollution. A lot of it can create a home for dust mites which love to munch on human skin cells (largely contributing to dust). Dust mites then can cause sensitivities. Airborne dust and other air pollutants on the other hand can enter our respiratory system. Compared to our digestive system, our respiratory system has limited protection against various small molecules. 

Enough motivation to keep your home dust free? It is healthier to do so. Avoid using feathered dusters as they make it airborne. Use a good general dusting all purpose spray and wipe it off.  Diluted washing up liquid and cloth are also effective.

You can literally feel the improvement. 

Photo by Thomas Hafeneth on Unsplash

 

3. Swap your cleaning chemicals

As we discussed earlier about the airborne molecules entering in to our respiratory system and straight into our bodies - same goes with the chemicals we use.

So for once and for all, if you mostly use the typical industrial type chemicals with quite generous amount of perfumes, you might consider trialling alternative options. These are typically labelled eco friendly etc. and any of them is a better option for your health goals than the main stream chemicals.

We cannot address this enough. 

 

4. Clean Your Kitchen

No matter what your Health goals are otherwise the kitchen plays a big part of it and keeping it clean will help with your New Years Healthy goals.

Re organise your newly cleaned kitchen so that your health goal equipment (smoothie blenders, juicers, steamers) are at easy access and the not so healthy equipment are moved to 'rarely used' location or removed completely. These simple cleaning tasks and relocation will help you to achieve your goals. 

Also pay attention to signs that may require attention due to potential health risk: brown slime growth in the sink or fridge indicating bacteria growth, greasy dust over the extractor hood, dirty oven. 

 

 

Photo by Alison Marras on Unsplash

 

5. Cleaning your sport gear

You have probably done the first step of every New Years health resolutions - bought new gear. That's fair enough.

Cleaning them correctly will help to increase their lifespan so follow these principles:

Do not use fabric softener on any technical sports gear, especially lycra and such stretch materials will be destroyed with the use of fabric softener.

Use milder Non biological detergent on technical and outdoor gear. The enzymes and other stain removers, zeolites, brighteners, and possibly bleach of the stronger detergent are there to break down and remove various types of molecules, and so they will do for your specialist gear improvements.

Milder non biological detergent will clean, but not destroy the technical benefits of rain shield, odour removers etc. 

 Photo by Joshua Ness on Unsplash

 

We hope these steps will be helpful to you in creating a new cleaning routine - a healthier lifestyle routine. 

 

Health - Home - Planet

 

 

 


Zero Waste Lessons from my Granny August 22 2017, 0 Comments

 

My Granny Helka was the No 1. environmentalist I have known.

She was living the Zero Waste life out of necessity and common sense, it was more about saving money than getting rid of waste. I suppose packaging at the time would have been new and fancy, before it all got out of control. For saving money or saving planet here are some of the practical things I remember: 

Plastic Bags: Helka cut them in strips and crochet or knitted them in to rugs for the hallway floor or utility room floors. Seriously. 

Glass bottles: Helka washed the bottles and used them to store home made berry and fruit cordial for the winter months. The ones with screw tops were used to bring milk in for lunch. 

Food packaging: 

Helka’s Tips: Butter wrapping (foil, like Irish butter wrapping): Used as like aluminium foil to cover up cooked food in the fridge or when re heating.

Plastic containers with lid: always washed and re-used for food storage and freezing.

Yogurt pots were washed, stored and used for planting seeds in the spring.

Bread bags: used as sandwich wrappers for lunches.  

She grew vegetables, foraged, fixed and mended old. She is not unique, I am sure your Granny and Grandad had similar tips. We can learn a lot from the previous generations for the benefit of the future generations, and for our own Zero Waste Efforts. 

So anyone up for crochet rugs out of plastic bags? Maybe, maybe not, but we can make better choices tackling the waste problem without loosing our love of convenience either. 

Here’s to our best efforts towards Zero Waste living, please comment and share here your Granny’s or Grandad’s tips that we could benefit in our daily life. Feel free to post images of your crochet plastic bag rugs too :)