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How to Heat a Student Home During Winter Term Time

During a typical year, students can spend up to 10 months at university. Many students live away from home, which means paying rent and bills to keep a roof over their head while they study.

Due to the pandemic, 2020 has been less about working hard to play hard, and more about staying indoors and concentrating on assignments. With colder weather already setting in – and winter lasting from 21 December 2020 to 20 March 2021 – students face the reality of trying to stay warm for prolonged periods of time indoors.

Although lots of people will be heading home for Christmas between 3 December and 9 December, some students may stay at university, and the Government is already looking at getting people back on campuses in January by introducing mass testing.  

Today we cover how to heat a student home without the reliance on central heating – which comes at a cost.

Keep window and doors closed

One of the easiest ways to keep heat indoors is by ensuring windows and doors stay closed. Cutting off draughts that would normally flow through the house is a simple tip to be more resourceful with the heat already inside.

This will help you cut down on heating bills by only having the heating on at certain times and keeping that heat in rooms like the living room or bedroom.

Cling film insulation

If you’re feeling a draught in the house, it may be caused by small pockets of air coming from cracks around the windows. In true student spirit, there’s a clever hack that can help create added insulation. Fitting an airtight layer of cling film over a single-glazed window will trap air and help stop heat escaping – making your house warmer in the process.

Cling film for windows is widely available online and is a cheap way for your windows to feel more like double glazing.

Use a portable heater

Sometimes it’s more economical to keep one warm room if other space in the property isn’t occupied. This could be to heat a bedroom up while the living room is empty, or vice versa.

One way to do this is via indoor portable gas heaters. They can be moved from room-to-room and can be turned on and off whenever necessary. Fitting nicely into the corner of the room, they won’t clutter up the place either.

Ready, steady, cook

Bring new meaning to “it feels like an oven in here”, by cooking regularly, you can use the heat from the oven to warm up the kitchen and other rooms close by. Look to cook things slowly that will keep the oven warm for longer instead of heading straight for the takeaway menu.

Leaving the oven open after using it can also create a warm flow of air.

Invest in radiator reflectors

If you feel like it’s time to turn the radiators on to get some warmth into the house, then make sure you invest in radiator reflectors. They help to cut energy bills and can help reduce heat flow to the wall behind the radiator by up to 45 per cent, pushing heat back into the room.

Wrap up warm

While all these tips have been around generating and reserving heat as much as possible, one of the quickest ways to warm up is by wearing extra layers. Sticking a jumper on over a t-shirt or wearing extra thick socks will insulate your body more and make you feel more comfortable during colder months.

When you go to sleep, look at using an extra duvet or invest in a nice, thick winter duvet that will make you feel less of a chill before nodding off.

That completes our list of how to heat a student home during winter term time. The end of 2020 will be feeling of relief for students, but with January just around the corner, the winter months are still ahead. It’s important that students can stay warm during prolonged periods of isolation and staying indoors.

Sources

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/higher-education-reopening-buildings-and-campuses/student-movement-and-plans-for-the-end-of-autumn-2020-term

https://www.flogas.co.uk/shop/category/portable-gas-heaters

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/bills-and-utilities/gas-electric/five-cheap-quirky-gadgets-could-help-cut-energy-bills/

Competing brands don’t dent demand for Tencel clothing, UK survey finds

A recent UK-led survey suggests competing manufacturers of the Tencel brand of apparel and fibres should beware of its environmental credentials.

The poll conducted by Alexandra Workwear asked British and Irish respondents what compels them to purchase the clothing they choose. The results should shoppers aren’t swayed by established brands so much as those that align with their values – a result that is good news for eco brands like Tencel.

Brand loyalty? Shoppers say ‘no’

The Alexandra ethical workwear survey results show Irish and British shoppers don’t feel a loyalty to brands they’ve previously worn but instead have other priorities.

When asked to list their primary deciding factor for choosing clothes, only 3.9% selected  ‘Brand Loyalty. Instead, shoppers are more often swayed by ‘Comfort’ (32.7%), ‘Price’ (29.5%), ‘Quality’ (19.7%) and ‘Environmental Impact’ (7.1%).

Therefore, a brand’s newcomer status to the clothing market shouldn’t be seen as a barrier to its success so long as they create products that target at least one of the top four shopper demands. 

Tencel is getting it right

Results from the Alexandra survey seem good news for Tencel clothing because concern about a product’s environmental impact now comfortably sits within shoppers’ top four deciding factors.

As one of the world’s latest and fastest-growing sustainable clothing and natural fibre manufacturers, it seems Tencel has identified a gap in the market that shoppers are willing to let a new brand fill.

The Tencel material fibres are created from a mixture of eucalyptus and beech tree wood pulp. The trees used are grown in sustainably managed forests that are certified to FDC standards. Furthermore, few chemicals are used in the materials’ manufacturing processes, and 98% of all the wastewater created is recycled rather than being dumped into the environment.

Tencel’s environmental approach is the core point to the brand’s existence – an ethos that will strike a chord with the UK and Irish consumers who are demonstrably unswayed by loyalty to existing brands.

4 Advantages Of Buying A New Home Build

New home builds are rising in popularity. Sales for a new build home across the USA increased by 1.5% to an adjusted annual rate of 740K in August 2021. It followed an upward revision to 729K from the previous month.

Why are buyers interested in investing in a new home build? Part of the reason is buyers are treated to a blank slate to design their ideal space. The options available will vary from building construction materials to floor plan layouts. They can choose additional options such as energy-efficient HVAC systems and customized cabinetry and doors. All of which can be personalized to suit their taste and style.

If you are looking into purchasing a home in the upcoming months, here are some advantages of opting for a new home build.

Less Maintenance Work

New home builds will have less maintenance than older existing homes. There are no concerns over a leaking roof or air conditioning breaking when it is needed most. Homeowners moving into a new home can enjoy the benefits without a list of what needs repairing.

Home Builder Warranties

Builders are likely to offer warranties. You can buy a home warranty. However, it will only cover a small number of items. Homeowner’s insurance will cover significant events. A warranty from a builder will go further.

Most home builder warranties cover anything that happens to the home within two years of the date purchased. Contractors are usually working on other new homes in the area and can quickly assist.

Energy-Efficient Properties

New energy-efficient properties are being constructed regularly. They help to make everyday living more manageable. The efficiency benefit from new home builds allows for lower than average utility costs. It reduces the worries homeowners have about paying their electricity and gas bills each month.

Ideal Choice For Veterans Across USA

It is easier and less expensive to build a new home for wounded veterans. In particular when compared to renovating an old one.

Veterans can also use the VA loan program to purchase a new home build. To see how much they are entitled to, they can use the VA mortgage calculator. It will help to gauge an estimate of what they could receive.

Buying a home is one of the single biggest investments a person will make. It is essential to do it right. Purchasing a new home build provides the opportunity to shape your vision for your dream home. It will be the place you call home for the next 10-20 years of your life – perhaps longer.

How much do top cleanfluencers earn? New research finds they make up to £10k per post!

  • The Home Edit is the highest earning cleanfluencer handle on Instagram right now, earning around £10,546.76 per Instagram post
  • Mrs Hinch is the second-highest earning, making around £8,008.58 per Instagram post, followed by Marie Kondo (~£7,726.36 per post)
  • Mrs Hinch is the highest earning Brit in the top 10, followed by Lynsey Crombie (Queen of Clean). She is also the highest earning solo cleanfluencer.
  • The data finds post frequency has no bearing on how much cleanfluencers earn, but follower counts and ‘likes’ per post does

New research by Gtech, the cordless cleaning experts, has found that today’s top cleanfluencers can stand to make anything from £2k to a cool £10k for every Instagram post they publish.

The Home Edit’s founders, Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin, together are the highest earning cleanfluencers, earning upwards of £10k per post. If each post they have ever created were costed up at their current asking price, their lifetime earnings would fetch over £38m (estimated £38,590,594.84).

When compared against other top influencers, The Home Edit makes 32 per cent (around £2,500) more per post than Mrs Hinch, their closest rival. That being said, Mrs Hinch makes 4 per cent (around £300) more per post than Marie Kondo, who is the third most popular cleanfluencer.

NameInstagram handleEstimated earnings per post
Clea Shearer/Joanna Teplinthehomeedit£10,546.76
Sophie Hinchliffe          mrshinchhome £8,008.58
Marie Kondomariekondo£7,726.36
Becky Rapinchukcleanmama£2,092.06
Ría Saffordriorganize£878.51
Kathryn Snearlydoitonadime£741.02
Toni Hammersleyabowlfulloflemons£718.58
Lynsey Crombielynsey_queenofclean£714.24
Samantha Pregenzersimplyorganized£704.11
Danielle Dixonhousetohomeatlast£667.20
Gemma Braythe_organised_mum£644.05
Nicola Lewisthisgirlcanorganise£477.61
Iryna Federicofromgreatbeginnings£399.46
Megan Hickmanlovemeg09£390.05
Melissa Makercleanmyspace£335.05

While The Home Edit’s organisation and tidying website only started in 2015, their eponymous Netflix show in 2020 was the business move that catapulted the pair into five-figure infamy.

Over this short window of time, The Home Edit has accrued the highest number of followers of any other cleanfluencer handle with 5.5 million followers (1.4 million more than Mrs Hinch and 1.5 million more than Marie Kondo).

NameInstagram handleInstagram followers
Clea Shearer/Joanna Teplinthehomeedit5,500,000
Sophie Hinchliffe          mrshinchhome 4,100,000
Marie Kondomariekondo4,000,000
Becky Rapinchukcleanmama727,220
Ría Saffordriorganize305,453
Kathryn Snearlydoitonadime257,051
Toni Hammersleyabowlfulloflemons249,884
Lynsey Crombielynsey_queenofclean248,390
Samantha Pregenzersimplyorganized244,814
Danielle Dixonhousetohomeatlast231,853
Gemma Braythe_organised_mum223,861
Nicola Lewisthisgirlcanorganise165,970
Iryna Federicofromgreatbeginnings138,856
Megan Hickmanlovemeg09134,561
Melissa Makercleanmyspace116,382

Gtech’s research also finds a clear correlation between no. of Instagram followers and expected earnings per post, in that those with more followers can stand to earn more per post. Using the data, it calculates that for every two new followers, cleanfluencers can request around an extra £1 per post.

Interestingly, having more followers does not correlate with increased frequency of Insta posts. In fact, many Instagram users deem fewer posts as more credible than if the cleanfluencer were to constantly post.

NameInsta handleTotal Insta postsAverage likes per post*
Sophie Hinchliffemrshinchhome282433,417
Clea Shearer/Joanna Teplinthehomeedit3,65913,313
Marie Kondomariekondo1,04810,863
Kathryn Snearlydoitonadime1,4495,820
Megan Hickmanlovemeg091,8124,846
Lynsey Crombielynsey_queenofclean27581965
Danielle Dixonhousetohomeatlast1,5321853
Toni Hammersleyabowlfulloflemons3,9451739
Iryna Federicofromgreatbeginnings4041,415
Ría Saffordriorganize1,1451,355
Gemma Braythe_organised_mum1,4521,048
Nicola Lewisthisgirlcanorganise987915
Samantha Pregenzersimplyorganized1,303878
Becky Rapinchukcleanmama5,138407
Melissa Makercleanmyspace2,330397

Data accurate as of 9th September 2021                            *Data ordered by most average likes

Mrs Hinch, for example, has posted the least on Instagram out of all the cleanfluencers in the top 10 list. To date, her 4.1 million followers have only seen 282 posts from her handle. However, when she does post, she receives the highest number of likes when compared against all other cleanfluencers (which will help with her bargaining power to request £8k per post).

The same pattern can be seen with The Home Edit and Marie Kondo, where likes far surpass frequency of posts. Again, this seems to be the trick to asking for large sums of money per Instagram post: establish loyal followers who will interact with frequently to every announcement.

Do It on a Dime (Kathryn Snearly) receives similar engagement from her 257,051 Instagram followers, albeit in a mid-tier position (she receives around £740 per post). Could she be the next big cleanfluencer to watch out for?

A Gtech spokesperson commented:

“Cleanfluencers are a huge market on Instagram right now – and rightly so! We have all become more house proud since Covid, so why wouldn’t you want to learn how to make your chores more manageable by following a few helpful cleanfluencers who make it fun?

“Likewise, here at Gtech we’re always keen to learn how to make Brits’ cleaning lives’ easier. Our cordless vacuums, for instance, take the stress out of what can be quite a tiresome task, leaving more ‘feet up’ time without scrimping on cleanliness.” 

For further insights from the Gtech team, visit the Gtech blog.

Source

Research finds ‘Bad to the Bone’ is the most popular song for bikers

  • George Thorogood & the Destroyers is the most popular biker song, according to Spotify data
  • AC/DC are the best-loved biker band/artist across all Spotify biker playlists analysed
  • Bon Jovi’s ‘Slippery When Wet’ is the most popular biker album according to Spotify data
  • Soundtracks of the 80s continues to dominate the top biker tracks of all time
  • Avicii and Calvin Harris are two surprising artists to feature in the top 10 biker band/artists list
  • Spotify API data finds louder songs are more preferred by bikers, but fast songs are not

New research by Vertu Motorcycles finds Bad to the Bone (1982) by George Thorogood & the Destroyers is the most popular biker song, according to Spotify data.

Reviewing 392 tracks across Spotify’s top biker playlists (51,428 total Spotify followers), Vertu Motorcycles have uncovered the most popular biker songs, artists, and albums of all time. Loudness and tempo data was also collected via Spotify API (loudness/tempo audio features) across all 392 songs.

Full URL: https://www.vertumotorcycles.com/news/what-makes-a-biker-song/

AC/DC are the best-loved biker band/artist

Best known as the soundtrack to the iconic motorcycle scene in Terminator 2 (1991), Bad to the Bone beats out notable biker tracks, including Born to be Wild (Steppenwolf) and Highway to Hell (AC/DC).

Despite missing out on the top spot in the Spotify biker songs list, AC/DC are by far the most popular artist across all 392 songs analysed. Comprising 5% of the total list, AC/DC feature across all playlists, with Highway to Hell and Thunderstruck the two most popular biker tracks by the band.

Bon Jovi’s ‘Slippery When Wet’ is the most popular biker album

‘Slippery When Wet’ (1986) is the most popular biker album according to our Spotify data, closely followed by ‘Appetite for Destruction’ (1987) by Guns ‘N’ Roses.

Of the top-ranking biker tracks on these albums, Wanted Dead or Alive (#9) is the most prolific biker track from the Bon Jovi album and Welcome to the Jungle (#4) is the most popular from the GNR album.

Bikers prefer listening to Avicii and Calvin Harris more than Motörhead or KISS.

Overall, 80s era bands/artists and tracks dominate Spotify biker playlists. Four out of five of the top biker albums were released in the 80s, with only a handful of artists from the 21st century.

Two of the artists breaking the norm are Avicii (#9) and Calvin Harris (#10); the data finds motorcycle owners prefer these two dance/house artists vs typical ‘biker bands’ like Motörhead and KISS.

The featured Avicii ‘biker tracks’ include Wake Me Up, Levels, I Could Be the One, The Nights and Waiting for Love; for Calvin Harris, the most popular were My Way, Slide, Summer, Feel So Close, and How Deep Is Your Love.

It’s more important that a biker song is loud vs fast

Our data finds the top three most popular biker songs (Bad to the Bone, Born to be Wild and Le Grange) are also the three loudest songs of the top 10.

As for speed, our data busts the myth that fast tempo makes a biker song as 50% of the top 10 sit below the average tempo line across all the tracks analysed.

Most notably, however, none of the top 10 most popular biker songs are the fastest or loudest of the biker genre. This shows that perhaps biker hits are more diverse than they are given credit for (i.e. they don’t always need to be the loudest or the fastest – but being loud helps to break through to bikers).

Source

The Impact of Climate Change on Winter Sports

What’s a ski slope without snow? That’s the question on the lips of many climate scientists who fear that the future of winter sports is hanging in the balance. As global temperatures continue to rise, are we putting future Winter Olympic games, championships, and recreational snowsport at risk?

In the UK, it is estimated that 6,340,000 people participate in skiing sports. That’s close to ten per cent of the population. But with popular domestic skiing locations such as Cairngorm Mountain and Nevis Range only offering seasonal skiing opportunities, many people look abroad to fulfil their snow obsessions.

However, can previously trusted snowy spots continue to provide for snowsport participants? And what can we do to ensure that the future of winter sports is safe for generations to come?

Olympic venues on a downhill slope

A study by the University of Waterloo in Canada has found that of the 21 sites that have previously held Winter Olympic Games, nine may be unreliable to host the games again by 2050.

One site includes Sochi in Russia, where the Winter Olympic Games were only held in 2014. Between 1981 and 2010, the site had a 100 per cent chance that the snow depth would be at least 30cm. However, estimates suggest that between 2041 and 2070, there is a less than five per cent chance of this happening. These figures include the potential contribution of artificial snowmaking.

Even with low emissions, it is expected that Sochi in Russia, Grenoble and Chamonix in France, and Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Germany will be unable to host future Winter Olympic Games.

Other locations at risk include:

  • Vancouver in Canada
  • Squaw Valley in the USA
  • Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Oslo in Norway
  • Innsbruck in Austria

No simple alternative

Most are aware of the innovation of artificial snow creation, and its use is common is common at the Olympics. In fact, artificial snow has been used since the 1980 games in Lake Placid. However, by 2018 artificial snow dominated the PyeongChang event. 98 per cent of the snow at these games was artificial.

So why can we not continue to do this? While artificial snow is useful in continuing the use of ski slopes and can be beneficial during out of season, it does carry a climate impact itself. Artificial snow uses large amounts of water and energy in its creation. Further to this, chemicals may need to be added to increase freezing temperatures or for the structure of the snow. Ultimately, artificial snow poses a larger environmental risk than it does to alleviate the effects of global warming.

There are newer snow-creating alternatives, such as vacuum freezing, which can be used in any air temperature and uses significantly less energy. This can be essential for tournaments and resorts that rely on perfect conditions for skiers, athletes, and other snowsport enthusiasts. However, the priority should always be protecting the environment to ensure that the longevity of snowsport complexes and resorts can continue to provide their services for generations to come.

Protecting the snow

Lowering or maintaining global temperatures is key to saving the snow at the world’s various snowsport facilities. This global problem requires a global response, and climate change must be tackled for the sake of many sectors aside from snowsports. Green energy, methane reduction, and sustainable lifestyles are required to reduce the rapid increase in temperatures.

Ski resorts and snowsport tournaments shouldn’t have to rely on alternatives to continue their work. Instead, the millions of people who take part in skiing and snowsports, whether professionally, studying on ski instructor courses, or enjoying a holiday retreat, should lead the fight against climate change. Otherwise, the future of winter sports may experience an avalanche of regret that we didn’t do something sooner.

Sources

https://www.statista.com/statistics/801008/europe-number-of-people-skiing-by-country/

https://uwaterloo.ca/news/news/climate-change-will-limit-where-winter-olympics-can-be-held

https://ecobnb.com/blog/2020/02/expensive-artificial-snow/

https://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/first-olympic-use-of-artificial-snow

https://eu.usatoday.com/story/sports/winter-olympics-2018/2018/02/13/fake-snow-skiing-snowboarding/332591002/

https://ecobnb.com/blog/2020/02/expensive-artificial-snow/

Renowned Pembrokeshire solicitor Gemma Scourfield joins top family law firm Woolley & Co

Experienced Haverfordwest lawyer marks arrival at reputable modern practice by welcoming legislation changes that “put family first”.

One of Haverfordwest’s most reputable solicitors has joined family law firm Woolley & Co, Solicitors just as the domestic relations sector undergoes significant change.

Gemma Scourfield – who has practised in the area for 14 years – is now handling cases for the national law firm across her county of Pembrokeshire in south-west Wales and beyond.

Gemma joins Woolley & Co at a pertinent time – with divorce enquiries rising amid the pandemic and new legislation changing the way in which separations are handled.

According to Gemma, the modern approach of Woolley & Co is best suited to serve current demand in line with the upcoming ‘no-fault’ divorce laws – with the progressive firm specialising in remote working since its launch in 1996. A steep increase in divorce cases has further strained an already-stretched family court system, with cases from Wales now being processed elsewhere after the regional family law centre closed during lockdown. 

Gemma said: “I think a lot of people re-evaluated what they want out of life, had more time to research the divorce process and found being confined to their homes with their spouses during lockdown simply gave them the impetus to do something about it. Life is too short to be in an unhappy situation. 

“I have certainly found that the number of enquiries on divorce have gone up significantly during the pandemic. Unfortunately, this coincided with a regional family law centre closing for Wales with all our cases now going to Bury St Edmunds for administration.

“A key role for me now more than ever is to manage expectations for those going through separation, not just in terms of a settlement but also in terms of the timescale.” 

Gemma, who is married with two children, said the introduction of no-fault divorce from next April will help many families navigate legal separation with less confrontation than the current system, which is advantageous for all involved.  

Modern working techniques – such as virtual meetings and electronic paperwork systems – have also been widely adopted during the difficulties of the pandemic, helping to speed up cases in the long-term. 

Gemma added: “We are seeing more family lawyers fitting services around clients rather than being tied to high street offices and courts have done away with paper bundles, embracing electronic solutions and online submissions which has been very slow coming to this sector. 

“This is a business model which Woolley & Co pioneered in the 1990s but has taken a long time to catch on, but things are now moving in the right direction.

“Putting the family, the children, first is the number one priority and it is good to see that family law practice is now firmly heading in the right direction.”

Contact Gemma online

More information about Woolley & Co is available on the firm’s website


SOURCE

A Dogs Life : How The UK Nation Pampers Their Pooches

It’s hard to say no to our pets’ demands when they look up at us with those adorable puppy eyes. Spoiling them with their favourite treats and chews is something all pet owners give in to, and our fawning means the pet market industry continues to thrive in the UK. Data shows that, on average, UK pet owners spend £1,150 a year on their pets, with 66 per cent of dog owners buying accessories for their canine companions.

Dogs are so much more than just household pets. They are a member of the family who, let’s face it, are treated more like a human rather than an animal. From doggy perfume to even champagne, the pet market is bursting with thousands of accessories we can pamper our furry friends with. Here, we take a look at what pet products the UK nation has taken an interest in between March 2020 and February 2021 and how an increasing number of us are choosing to pamper our pooches.

More than just a birthday biscuit

When it comes to celebrating our dogs’ birthday, giving them a birthday biscuit or two just won’t cut it anymore. In fact, search data suggests that the UK nation likes to make a full day out of it! The term ‘dog birthday party’ has experienced a 22 per cent increase within the data range mentioned, with the term growing the most in Scotland.

Data also shows the term ‘dog birthday cake’ has experienced an 83 per cent increase within the date range given, increasing from 12,100 searches to 22,200 searches.   

The finer things in life

We all like to treat ourselves to the finer things in life every now and then, and it appears our dogs enjoy the same. Data shows that the North West region of the UK has jumped on board the pooch trend the most with 6,680 pampered-pooch related searches, closely followed by the South East region with a total of 6,120 searches.

As for specific ways we humans are pampering our pooches, the term ‘dog pedicure’ has increased by 75 per cent in searches, and ‘dog spa day’ has experienced a 57 per cent increase.

A plain old bowl of water isn’t enough for our pets anymore either. Searches for ‘dog champagne’ have grown by 136 per cent, so now even your furry friend can join in with whatever it is you’re celebrating!

Designer dogs

Data also reveals that dog owners are going the extra mile when it comes to purchasing the essentials for their pets. Dressing up your dog in an adorable outfit for their daily walk is not a new trend, however, now the human fashion world and the canine one has collaborated to create designer dog accessories.

Searches for ‘designer dog bowl’ have experienced an increase of 129 per cent, allowing you to serve their raw dog food meal in style. As for the doggy clothing industry, the nation as a collective is investing more into their pooches’ style with the term ‘designer dog clothes’ increasing by 123 per cent. The term ‘designer dog harness’ grew by 122 per cent in searches, too.

Canine cameras

Being stuck at work all day knowing that your pooch is sitting waiting for you to return is something no pet owner likes to think about. If only there was a way that we could check in on them every now and then to see how their day is going. Well, now there is! Searches for ‘pet treat camera’ have experienced the biggest increase of 180 per cent. This clever invention allows for you to not only check in on your animal but interact with them too!

Depending on the type of pet camera you purchase, it allows you to see what they’re getting up to, talk to them with two-way audio, and even give them a treat without physically being there. These can be a great way to let your pets know you’re thinking about them and can help those who suffer separation anxiety cope better when their favourite owner isn’t around.

The pet industry continues to bring new and exciting products to the market that keep our pooches happy and healthy. So, the next time you go to purchase a new chew toy for your pup, think outside the box and see what other quirky products are on offer.

Break Up with Social Media on an Adventure Holiday

In recent time, spending more time online has become the norm. Being able to meet people and needing to work from home due to the pandemic is now more normal than ever. But this can cause problems when we really need to switch off, especially from social media. Social media can cause us additional stress and anxiety in our lives, so it is important to have time away from it. A great way to do this is with an adventure holiday.

In this article, we will show you some great ideas for adventure holidays you can go on and how a social media detox during this holiday will benefit you.

Skiing

The snowy scenery would make the perfect environment for a holiday away from the world. Ski trainer holidays are becoming more popular, and they’re perfect for the thrill-seekers amongst us. After the monotony of the past year, it’s a great way to add some excitement back into your life.

Spending time skiing or snowboarding down the slopes can take your mind off the world. Ski sports can also have a great effect on your health with only an hour’s worth of activity burning up to 600 calories.

This would be a great trip for the whole family to turn their phones off and enjoy the snow. Reconnect with the family by hiring a chalet and sit and have family meals in front of a roaring fire.

Scuba diving

For those of us who are dreaming of the sun, scuba diving would be the perfect activity holiday for you. Scuba diving can bring you various mental and physical health benefits all while enjoying the beautiful flora and fauna of the deep blue sea. The water can be a great adventurous activity if you struggle with your joints too, as the water helps strengthen your muscles without the stress physical activity can sometimes cause on the joints.

Rock climbing

Rock climbing is an exhilarating activity that is not for the faint-hearted. It can be done all over the world, so the destination is really up to you! Usually, the climbing will be done on either a mountainside or a natural rock-climbing location. Surprisingly, rock climbing can be a great way to relax your muscles. You might be tense at first, but after some practise you will realise that your muscles need to be relaxed in order to improve your technique. It is also a great way to concentrate the mind, as you have to be aware of what is around you and what your next move is – you don’t have time to stress out factors in the outside world.

Cycling

If you want to have an adventurous holiday but also take in the sights and cultures of a region or country, a cycling holiday is a great way to do this. Whether you fancy yourself as the next Bradley Wiggins or you are just a weekend cycler, these holidays can be a great way to bond with friends and family as you explore a new area.

Cycling builds up your stamina and improves your heart health as it gets the blood pumping around the body. However, something you may have not known is that cycling has been shown to produce certain hormones in the brain which cause happiness and positive thoughts. It’s the perfect offline way to counter any online blues!

Taking a break from your phone

Putting your phone down, turning off your notifications and getting outside can be one of the best things you can do in this day and age. Not only does it help your mental health it, but it can allow you to take more notice of the world around you, whether this is making memories with the kids on one of these activity holidays mentioned or reconnecting with your partner.

Getting out of the cycle of constantly checking social media can break a vicious cycle of comparing yourself to everyone else online, which is silently damaging your mental health.

On average, a person spends more than two hours a day on social media. Imagine what else you could be doing in that time? More sporting activities, maybe?

Sources

https://www.alpineelements.co.uk/blog/5-reasons-to-take-your-family-on-a-ski-holiday#:~:text=The%20first%20piece%20of%20good,building%20up%20core%20strength%20too.

https://www.peak.co.uk/The-benefits-of-rock-climbing/

https://www.freewheelholidays.co.uk/five-amazing-health-benefits-of-cycling-Holidays

Indoor Gardening: The Secrets Nobody Tells You About Houseplants

Fed by Instagram trends, millennials, and the recent lockdown, indoor gardening has been enjoying a major boost in popularity. Whilst we know how much character they can add to a room, many don’t realise that houseplants provide various other benefits, including a boost to our mental health.

Here are five great reasons why houseplants should be a permanent part of every home.

An improved mood

The colour green is thought to promote healing, so simply having more greenery around you to look at is a natural mood booster and sure to soothe an anxious mind. Plants including aloe vera and lavender are proven to reduce stress levels and help both your physical and mental well-being.

A study also found that people who spend time around nature for at least two hours a week have the highest levels of health and well-being. With the colder months slowly approaching, we’ll likely be spending more time in our homes.

Boost productivity levels

Research consistently finds that adding plants to the workplace increases productivity by up to 15%, as proven by a recent study. They’re a great addition to any office and help replenish focus.

Invest in a snake plant or peace lily to create a working oasis. Just looking at nature can shift the brain into a different processing mode, making employees feel more relaxed and better able to concentrate.

Cleanse the air

During the day, whilst they are performing photosynthesis, good indoor plants reliably reduce VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and increase oxygen to carbon dioxide ratios. Although they aren’t fully proven to rid all contaminants around us, there are a range of potted plants that contribute to improving air quality.

A Barberton daisy or English ivywill cleanse the home of toxins found in a range of household materials, including paint and furniture. To fully take advantage of this, place the plant in a room with plenty of natural light and keep the soil moist and well-drained.

Interior must-have

For those looking for low-maintenance plants – such as tiny succulents and small trees – you can place these in any room for a pop of colour thanks to the influence of social media platforms Instagram and Pinterest.

There is a wide array of species that are perfectly suited for surviving indoors without direct sunlight and are easy to care for, such as a jade or a wax plant.

Alternatively, one of the fastest ways to instantly beautify your living space is by incorporating a set of artificial plants. Although they’ve had a shaky reputation in the past in terms of looking obviously fake, today’s faux plants are crafted with the express purpose of looking realistic. One particular trendy piece of greenery is pampas grass.

A better night’s sleep

Getting enough sleep has a number of benefits – for example, you’re more alert and focused during the day. You can deploy plants to help achieve this too! A bamboo palm or gardenia gives a warm and clean feel to your entire bedroom. These plants emit a fresh smell that reduces stress and induces sleep.

According to a study, interacting with plants before going to sleep can help improve sleep quality for people living in small, isolated environments such as a flat or apartment. Astronauts have also benefited from this whilst up in space.

So whether it’s watering a little desk plant, creating an outdoor garden of your own, or simply taking more walks through nature, you can benefit from the plants around you.

Don’t forget, after a year or two, plants may need repotting with compost to maintain healthy growth. A multipurpose compost, houseplant compost, or loam-based compost is suitable for most indoor plants so that you can continue to enjoy these great benefits for much longer.

Sources:

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/article/houseplants-dont-purify-indoor-air#:~:text=It’s%20a%20myth%20you%20almost,study%20the%20air%20we%20breathe.&text=The%20studies%2C%20which%20concluded%20that,toxins%2C%20were%20conducted%20in%20labs.

https://www.lung.org/blog/do-houseplants-really-improve-air-quality

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-50382388

https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=949

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