With the birds is the place to be!

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Above: two rival male Robin’s have a little tete-a-tete and one holds onto a worm! Taken at the children’s play house located at the coffee shop on the grounds of Killruddery.

My husband thinks I am for the birds these days! He may be right but I don’t care – I have discovered that during the month of May the dawn chorus is insane! I recently took part in a down chorus walk on the Killruddery estate in Bray, Co Wicklow and I had forgotten how amazing the chorus is. Years ago when walking home from the night before, I didn’t appreciate the volume and intensity of tiny birds singing their song. On my 4:30am car journey to my destination I was giggling to myself at the numbers of young men walking home – alone!! I parked my car and was glad to see up to 20 other nature enthusiasts, you see I am not the only one for the birds!

But, just think about this for a minute – when we say that a person is “for the birds” we mean this in a negative way. WHY is this negative??? If someone is free and joyous why is this negative?? Birds are amazing creatures and the reason they sing at dawn and dusk I learned, was not only for the obvious reason of attracting a mate, but also to keep their territory and feeding ground in check. They are singing to tell all the other birds – hey its me and I made it safely through the night/day!

May is the best month for the dawn chorus because all of the birds have mated and they are more territorial and migratory birds are arriving back. I can only say getting up at 5am one morning during May is something to do in your life time – It will amaze you! The volume and intensity is something I was awe struck by.

Check out Birdwatch Ireland or your local birdwatch group for gatherings and events. Killruddery are doing another dawn chorus walk on Sunday May 18th at 5am. It is for members only so you will need to check it out here.

photo (65)On the subject of Killruddery and Birds – there are regular Falconry displays in the gardens in Killruddery and for children and adults with an interest it is well worth the visit. Above is a Lanner Falcon – check out more about this cool bird of prey here, but these birds helped fighter jets and Rolls Royce develop some interesting scientific things and solve some of their problems – they go that fast and have adapted some features (like their nostrils – when diving they don’t pass out from the g-force) features like this have been adapted for RR airplane engines. AMAZING birds.


Making your office a little GREENER.

terracycle office

Work takes up SOOOO much of our daily lives. The 9-5 routine is, for most, the back bone of our lifestyle. It funds our homes & hobbies and allows our brains to go for a daily walk and keep active – for most of us anyway ;)!! So shouldn’t the place of work be inspiring, fresh, healthy and of course GREEN – not only in colour but in the environmental sense too!

Studies have shown that when you introduce green plants into the work space they absorb pollution and any radiation from all those computers, but they also give out OXYGEN – boosting your brian cells!! Just putting some green plants on or near your desk actually has been proven to boost productivity and positivity amongst office staff! If your office isn’t keen on supplying plants than maybe ask if you can bring your own? It doesn’t need to be a tropical rain forest with you hiding within – just one or two green leafy plants will do the job.

Check out if the Office Supply Company you deal with have green alternatives for the items you regularly order. For example Viking Direct offer a large selection of green, eco alternatives down to the Post-it you use on a regular basis. It should be discussed with the person in charge of if some products could be swapped for an eco alternative, it makes a lot of sense.

The office kitchen, if you are lucky to have one, should have a recycling bin to maximise recycling. It is very easy to let recycling slip in the work place, remember it all builds up! Viking direct also offer The Green Sack a plastic refuse sac made from 100% recyclable materials. Use metal cutlery and ceramic cups to save on the HUGE waste generated from the plastic alternative!

For office cleaning try and purchase eco friendly cleaning products such as Lilly’s Eco Clean – Chemical based cleaning products are toxic and bad for everyone, so when cleaning the office it is wise to use products that will not cause harm to anyone.

Light bulbs are a huge cost factor within large offices and should be changed to the most environmentally friendly options. When leaving for the day do the obvious and turn off the lights, and also turning off lights when not needed is something when noticed is not done often within offices.

PC’s – screen savers do not save energy they use almost as much energy as when it is turned on! Use a extension cord to plug in all of your computer devices then switch it off at the mains when not in use.

Printing – set double sided printing as default. Only use paper with a high quantity of recycled content or paper that is certified as sourced using sustainably forested wood. There are lots of paper products to choose from like Xerox recycled supreme paper, made using 75% post consumer waste.

For the ultimate in Green office’s check out TerraCycle for some inspiration – those guys & girls take things to a whole new level!! Post about the revamp of the TerraCycle Jersey office here by Inhabitat.