Category Archives: Natural Living

Daylight and Your Health

Daylight and sunlight has a more important impact on our health than most of us are aware of. Sunlight that enters the eye stimulates pinal hormone production in the body, melatonin. Daily sunlight effect our mood. In dark winter areas like Lapland where the sun does not rise from November to January studies shows that people becomes more tired and have a reduction of capacity during this period (source: Tromso psychiatrist, Dr Reppersgaard). Work places with windows that allows entering of daylight shows to be more effective and satisfied work places. Daylight also controls the body’s circadian system and synchronizes the body to the 24-hour system. It shows that people working night shifts produces less than those working day shifts where natural daylight is available. But there is a difference of night shift workers that was exposed to dayligt before the shift and those who wasn’t. Those exposed to dayligt before night shift were less stressed and tired.

Sunlight also contains vitamine D which is important for our body health. Vitamine D prevents autoimmune diseases, cancers, and cardiovascular disease. Sunlight improves liver functioning and heals inflammation.

Daylight:

– Helps reducing depression

– Helps you stay focus

– Helps you performance more

– Helps your mood

– Helps your work place

– Improves your sleep

– Prevents diseases thanks to Vitamine D

Artificial light does not have the same effect.

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Sources: 

https://www.healthdesign.org/sites/default/files/CHD_Issue_Paper2.pdf,


http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/80/6/1678S.full,


http://archive.news.softpedia.com/news/10-Reasons-Why-Sun-is-Good-for-Our-Health-64327.shtml

Baking Soda as extra help for clean laundry

When changing to organic laundry products I noticed that it does not get the whites as white as the toxic product we used before and I did actually expect that. But instead of going back to toxic, you can add a spoon of baking soda with the organic product (4-6kg laundry) and your white towels gets cleaner than before. Works great!
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Organic Toilet Paper vs. non-Organic Toilet Paper and Recycled Toilet Paper

Not only foods are organic but also e.g. clothes, paper, toilet paper and much more. What is the difference between organic and non-organic toilet paper, and recycled paper? And why should you buy organic and recycled?

Organic toilet paper is produced by organic farmers. Recycled paper is many times made of recycled paper to save trees and made of other recycled materials. The organic paper is grown on organic soil and recycled paper made from recycled materials and paper. It is biodegradable which means it does not harm to the environment. It also protects your health as it does not contain chemical pesticides, chlorine, fertilizers or bleach. Using organic and recycled toilet paper is an optimal choise to keep good skin health and intimate hygiene, and improves total health for sensitive persons. But the best reason to switch to organic toilet paper is that you do not damage the environment and help to make the world a cleaner place. This also increases the demand and pushes manufacturers to produce environmental friendly paper.

Critics says that using organic paper does not solve the problem of disposal.

You may find organic paper a little bit more expensive than the classical bleached paper, but to our experiences you use less sheets becuase the texture is different. The recycled option is also cheaper than the organically produced paper. The color of the paper differs as you can see below.

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On the left: Recycled paper

On the right: Classical bleached paper

 

Edible Plants: “Acitosella”

This plants stem is edible and is called “Acitosella” in italian. It tastes like a lighter version of lemon and is great for your stomach health.

acitosella

All about Natural Pools

A natural swimming pool or pond is a pure ecological system where the water is protected from chemicals and  plants are used in the enviromnent to balance the ecological system. The purifying of the water is made by biological filters or natural plants. It is called natural pool because the system has biological equivalents in the natural world. Natural pools are called  NSP (Natural Swimming Pool or Natural Swimming Pond).

The natural pool is divided into two areas:

  • The swimming zone is the area intended for swimming that resembles a conventional swimming pool or pond.
  • The regeneration zone consists of a lined overflow pool filled with specific filtration substrate and flora. Plants used for water regeneration can be supplemented with decorative flowering species to create an attractive water garden environment. The biological processes that clean the water take place in this zone.

Wikipedia

pool-filtration-diagram

Pool Filtration System

Skimmer and pumps makes the water circulate through the regeneration area and then the water returns to the swimming area. Natural plants filters contaminants and nutrients in the water prevents algae. Natural rocks works like biological filters thanks to attaching environmental friendly bacteria.

The water in a natural pool is “living” and does not need to be connected to a sewer and costs of energy and mechanical operation is reduced. A natural pool welcomes also living creatures like frogs, snails and other naturally living creatures in an ecological system. It is a good sign of having a pure natural system. In a natural pool you do not have issues with itching skin, red eyes, allergies or damaged bathing suits that chlorine filled waters causes. You can also connect your pool with heat pumps or solar energy to heat up the water and cover the electrical usage of pumps, lamps ecc.

When planning a natural swimming pool please consider following:

– Minimum depth of 2 m

– For correct purification the regeneration- and swimming zone areas must be equal

– Swimming zone be physically separated from the regeneration

– There are no fixed standards for a pool, each structure has to be adapted to local circumstances and climate

– You can swim immediately, but it takes 2-3 years to reach full biological equilibrium

Even if a natural pool needs much less maintenance than a classical chemical pool, a seasonal care is still needed:

° Spring: Plants must be pruned and cut to avoid over growth, like in a normal garden. Minimize foreign contaminants from all areas.

° Summer: Hot days the water may evaporate and the pool may need extra water to protect the system

° Autumn: Remove dead leafs and prevent algae growth

° Winter: Avoid to extend the freezing process of the pool during the winter as it can damage to pool. The pool is already calculated to manage local temperatures.

Examples of Natural Swimming Pools:

biotope pool austria

Austria: www.biotop-natural-pool.com

swimming teich

www.living-pool.eu

Inspiration for text: Wikipedia, Inspirationgreen.com, biotop-natural-pool.com
Photo: Wikipedia, Inspirationgreen.com

What is Permaculture?

Permaculture is a concept of ecological engineering and design and environmental designs, modeled from natural ecosystems to develop sustainable architecture and self-mantaining agricultural systems. The core for Permaculture is:

  • Care for the earth: Secure for all life systems to continue and multiply. This is the first principle, because without a healthy earth, humans cannot flourish
  • Care for the people: Secure for people to access those resources necessary for their existence
  • Return of surplus: Reinvesting surpluses back into the system to provide for the first two ethics. This includes returning waste back into the system to recycle into usefulness

The basic for Permaculture is to find synergy from the final design to harmonize and have full benefit for the community by combining landscape, spices and function. It is not about separating parts, it is about combining parts to its maximum efficiency so the whole part has a greater function, than the parts separated. The concept teaches us to build natural homes, grow organic foods, collect rain water, take care of waste and make lowest inpact on the environment. It is about working with the nature, integrate with the nature and construct ecosystems. It is also about leaving the nature in its own evolution. Permaculture is not a fixed principle and changes depending on location, climatic conditions and available resources to become a responsable consumer and build a holistic approach.

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Text inspiration from: wikipedia, Permaculture Institute, Permacultureprincples
Photo: sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net
diversity, stability, and the resilience of natural ecosystems – See more at: http://www.permaculture.org/nm/index.php/site/permaculture_design_course#sthash.5zk51FYX.dpufconstuct
Permaculture teaches us how build natural homes, grow our own food, restore diminished landscapes and ecosystems, catch rainwater, build communities, take care of waste and much more. – See more at: http://www.permaculture.org/nm/index.php/site/permaculture_design_course#sthash.5zk51FYX.dpuf
Permaculture teaches us how build natural homes, grow our own food, restore diminished landscapes and ecosystems, catch rainwater, build communities, take care of waste and much more. – See more at: http://www.permaculture.org/nm/index.php/site/permaculture_design_course#sthash.5zk51FYX.dpuf

An Orange tree can become a Lemon tree

You can recycle trees where where limbs are tired, but the trunk is still in good condition.

A lemon tree can become an orange tree or even a mandarin tree. As long it belongs to the category citrus. Looking for a new tree, let e.g. the citrus tree grow until next year without cutting it. When ripe, cut the tops and plant them in the trunk of a severed citrus tree. Attach the limbs as the picture below and let be.

C1

C2If a trunk looks like this, the tree has been reworked. Four limbs is recommended.

C3In this strain, the process has been done recently. Some argue that the quality deteriorates, but it’s not correct. Interested parties who buys these lemons are very selective.

C4This lemon tree has been allowed to re-grow as a lemon tree. But if you want a change, it works as well.

Indoor Air Improvement Plants

Having plants indoors is an excellent solution to increase the indoor air quality. Plants are the lungs in the environment. Research shows that indoor plants:

  • Help improve indoor air quality
  • Help reduce sick building syndrome
  • Help improve well being
  • Help improve productivity and performance
  • Help to lower stress and negative feelings
  • Help to reduce noise
  • Improve business image with potential clients
  • Contribute to fulfilling at least 75% of Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) Criteria

(Source: www.ambiusindoorplants.com.au)

This choice is very important especially in urban areas as studies shows that we spend 85% of our time indoors and the air is more polluted. Many do not know that indoor air is many times more polluted than outdoor air. Indoor plants also helps reduce stress and background noise in stressful environments.

Indoor Plants Contribute To At Least 75% Of Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) Criteria: (source: www.ambiusindoorplants.com.au)

IEQ criterion Indoor Plants
Air pollution mitigation Reduce all types of urban air pollution
Low Emitting Materials Absorb toxic emissions – VOCs etc
Ventilation effectiveness Increase effectiveness – remove CO2/add O2
Lighting OK for Plants – OK for staff also
Noise Absorb & buffer noise
Views Add aesthetics & calming greenery; lower stress
Thermal comfort Not directly influenced but tend to stabilise humidity in human comfort zone, so could have unquantified effects here
Systems controllability Not directly influenced but stabilisation of temperature and humidity could lower air-con. energy consumption

Recommended Plants to Purify Indoor Air:

orcOrchids “Dendrobium” and Phaeleonopsis”

Neglect them for easy care, avoid too much water and sunlight.

Releases oxygen during night therefore great to have in the bedroom.

p

Pothos

Survives in less light and colder temperatures

f

Ferns

Soft plant, easy care, avoid direct sunlight

pl

Peace Lilies

Keep in shade and cool temperature

a

Anthuriums

Exotic look, effective air cleaner, easy care

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Philodendrons

Easy care, attractive because of its unique colors

palm

Palms

Easy care, perfect for smokers home

sch

Schefflera

Long-lasting, keep the leafs dustfree, perfect for smokers homes

 

Source plant photoes: Wikipedia, plantoftheweek.com

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