Open Day at Bumblebee Flower Farm Sunday March 29th

Bumblebee Flower Farm located in beautiful West Cork is having an Open Day on Sunday March 29th!

This is a wonderful opportunity to experience Bumblebee Flower Farm and gain an insight into what we do and why we do things the way we do.

Introducing you to the wonderful world of edible flowers, pollinator-friendly plantings and organically produced seasonal cut flowers.

There will be an informative talk and tour of the farm with seeds and recommendation for supportive plantings no matter what size your garden is.

A lovely day and a chance to meet like-minded people.

The first in our series of Farm open Days – What to expect:

  1. Guided Tour of the farm.
  2. Talk on planting schemes including suitable plants and flowers that support the whole lifecycle.
  3. Selection of pollinator-friendly seeds for you to take home and create your very own magical bumblebee oasis.
  4. Refreshments available using Bumblebee Flower Farm ingredients.

Details:

  • Sunday, March 29th
  • Bumblebee Farm, Castledonovan, Drimoleague, Co. Cork, Ireland
  • Price: €25 (children accompanied by an adult Free)

CCEN / VISUAL Environmental Film Festival

Press Release – CCEN / VISUAL Environmental Film Festival

Introducing the CCEN / VISUAL Environmental Film Festival

Carlow County Environmental Network present their first Environmental Film festival in association with VISUAL Carlow.  Running on the third Wednesday of the month these free film nights will begin with ‘Home’ on the 19th of February at 7pm.

The County Carlow Environmental Network are delighted to announce their first (and hopefully annual) Environmental Film Festival at the VISUAL Carlow.  Over the course of four evenings spread over four months the aim of the festival is to inform and empower the Carlow community to act on environmental issues which affect us all.  

Running on the third Wednesday of the month from February to May, each evening will introduce a separate theme dealing with various aspects of current environmental issues.  The films have been carefully selected for their uplifting, solution- focused, and informative stories.  We begin with ‘Home’ on the 19th of February which introduces us to our planet from the air and gives an overview of some of the issues affecting it.  On the 18th of March River Blue shows us the impact of fast fashion following river advocate Mark Angelo as he paddles around some of the most beautiful- and polluted- rivers in the world.  On the 15th of April, just in time for Spring Clean Month our film is Closing the Loop which presents solutions to our waste problems.  On our final evening, May 20th we will show two films. A Drop in the Ocean is produced by Irish aid organisation Trocaire, and gives an Irish perspective of Climate Change.  The Race is On outlines some solutions to this globally and reminds us that the power is with us to change things. 

Entrance on the evenings is free.  Films are suitable for all ages and all are welcome. 

The VISUAL Carlow is wheelchair and buggy accessible.  There will be refreshments available on the night and prizes to be won.  Expected runtime is 7-9pm each night.  If coming as a group of more that 10 please contact us so that we can make accommodations for you in the theatre. 

The CCEN is a voluntary organisation that aims to empower the communities of Carlow town and county to take action in tackling current environmental issues through simple, positive actions.  We meet on the first Tuesday of every month at An Gairdín Beo in Carlow Town at 7pm.  New members are always welcome. 
Contact us::
Facebook: @CarlowEnvironmentalNetwork
Website: ccen.ie/environmental-film-festival
Contact: info@ccen.ie

Who Should Join EcoActive

Some people have been asking if their business is suitable to join Eco Active so we thought we’d explain what kind of business can benefit from joining Eco Active…

  • Hotels
    Many hotels are consciously improving their sustainable practices and they can share that news on our blogs plus those that hold nature friendly events that can be featured on our listings.
  • Accommodation Providers
    Whether it’s a family run BandB or a Country Guesthouse, many accommodation provider are eco friendly or facilitate / run events such as foraging walks, woodland walks, cookups and more.
  • Green Energy Providers
    Let our community know what eco friendly alternatives are available and how to go about getting them.
  • Farmers Markets
    Pretty much all of our community are interested in healthy food and are always looking to find out where their closest farmers market is being held so adding these dates to the events is a no brainer for your market.
  • Crafts
    Our community has many people looking to discover crafts as a hobby or even to simply stroll around a local crafts shop or perhaps a studio having a chat and walking away with a unique gift. Let them know how to find you.
  • Galleries
    Again sharing specific exhibitions and events that our community are interested in is easily done through our event listings and social sharing.
  • Foragers
    One of the biggest searches and requests we get is of course for foraging workshops and guided forage walks ( this is after all why we began in 2013!) so foragers who join EcoActive benefit greatly either by advertising their events or by being contacted for bespoke / group events.
  • Unique Workshops
    There is such a variety of unique and interesting workshops taking place all over the country they are too numerous to name, however, if they include something natural and are a bit of fun they usually go down very well with our community. It could be for sheepskin tanning, beekeeping, organic flower growing, lampshade making… you name it. Get it listed!
  • Food and Drink Tastings
    There has been an enormous surge in outdoor tastings and food /table events over the past few years and our community want to know about it in advance so they can plan their mini break – so yes, join Eco Active and let us share it out in advance to gain maximum exposure.
  • Food Festivals
    Always popular, food festivals are eagerly attended by our communities, however our eco conscious audience who are eager to travel domestically, do not always know about them until it’s too late – so get involved, get it up on the site so we can share share share!
  • Seaweed Safaris
    Being an island gives us such unique access to seaweed and seaweed workshops and events are always popular, from making skincare or cosmetics using seaweed or baking/cooking with seaweed so any events or workshops that encapsulates these do well. Get it up there!
  • Camping
    Wild camping or secure camping – both are growing again in popularity so if you run a campsite or are planning a camping event that you think our community might like then get in touch so we can share it.
  • Outdoor Skills
    Many of our community have an interest in learning outdoor skills either for their own personal use or for their use in business
  • Mountaineering / Hiking / Guided Walks
    Highly popular due to the variety of destinations and slow, medium, fast options all outdoor walks and hikes get a great response from our community so get it on the list!!
  • Kayaking / Canoeing /Watersports
    For the water babies among us the thrills of water based activities are impossible to resist – get your classes, courses and events up on our listings!
  • Adventure Activity Providers
    Micro adventures are hugely popular and our community are always looking for a new adrenalin rush. Add your events and we’ll make sure they know about them!
  • Greenways
    We’re loving the new Greenways that have popped up over the past few years but many of us are unsure how to plan a Greenway Getaway – share your ideas, rest stops and sample itineraries to our audience so they can plan their visit easily.
  • Electric Bike Trails
    Electric bike trails offer a relaxing way to see an area and get out in the fresh air, if you rent them or provided guided tours let us know – get it listed!
  • Alternative Art Classes
    Art is a wonderful way to appreciate nature and mindful living and as these are both of interest to our community so too are unique or alternative art classes – get in touch – get it listed.
  • Glamping / Pods / Shepherd Huts
    Glamping (Glam Camping) is still popular with many of our community as a luxe form of camping with eco pods and shepherd huts equally enticing – let us know about your facilities and share your offers and events on our listings.
  • Alternative Tourism Providers
    Got a unique tourist offering? From Seanchaí’s to Periwinkle picking to Kite festivals, the more unique the better – let our community know about your business – get it listed…
  • Yoga / Wellness / Retreats
    Whether its a regular class, one off workshop or retreat our community are interested. Let them know about it by getting it listed – we will do the rest 🙂
  • Educational Workshops / OECs
    Children are the future – getting them educated about sustainability, self sufficiency and how to have as little impact on nature as possible is always encouraged. Sometimes however, us adults need to learn too so all Green educational workshops and events are welcome.
  • Rural Communities
    We know how difficult it can be to run a business in rural areas as well as socialising so sharing related events such as local markets, shows, courses etc on our listings is a great way to reach more people.
  • Farmers
    Yes farmers! Our community want to buy directly from you but how do they do that if they don’t know you? Let us know – Add it to our listings!
  • Bird watching
    One of natures’ finest attractions – birds. Bird watching clubs that hold events or educational workshops should post them here as our community are great bird lovers.
  • Sailing / Fishing
    Getting off land is a welcome escape and low impact sailing trips or fishing adventures are of great interest to our community. Share it on our events and we’ll pass it on.
  • Family Friendly Fun
    Let’s face it – we all want to know about nature friendly family fun things to do so if you have family fun events coming up that are nice to nature then get them up there!
  • Astronomy
    As featured in our recent blog astro-tourism is growing in popularity as the search for dark skies grows in a world of powered up communities. If you’re holding a star gazing event or Star BQ be sure to get it on our listings in plenty of time!
  • Natural Cosmetics / Herbalists
    Making cosmetics from natural ingredients is always hugely popular as is the interest in medicinal herbs so those offering workshops, classes or events on either are recommended to add them to our listings.
  • Gardening, Smallholdings and Self Sufficiency
    Biodiversity is so important in these challenging times and our community like to know what the best pollinator friendly plants /peat free compost options, home made compost tricks and ways to grow more of their own food and be more self sustainable to not only reduce bills but to save the planet, so if you hold events, classes or workshops in these areas then get it listed!
  • Traditional Crafts:
    Willow Workshops, Basket Weaving, Knitting, Wood Crafts… whatever your tradition al skills workshops and events might be get them listed today so we can share them out to our community.
  • Music
    Music makes the world go round 🙂 Whether you hold music appreciation classes, instrument making workshops or teach music lessons why not add it to our events for our community to discover.
  • Alternative Living
    People interested in sharing their alternative living communities’ events or advice can do so through the blogs or the listings – get in touch, we’d love to hear from you.
  • Green Festivals
    Got a green festival in the works? Get it up there and we’ll share it out for you. Attending a festival with a green product or service? Share it on our blog.
  • Green Retail
    Do you source or sell green products? We’d love to hear about them – get them listed through our blog.
  • Social Clubs
    Communities – that’s what it’s all about, be they a community of bird watchers, social walkers, art enthusiasts, or herbalists – share your community group through our listings and grow your membership.

Well, those are just some of the businesses and groups that can benefit from joining EcoActive – pass it on and if in doubt give me a shout 🙂 Roz

We have over 15 years online marketing and web development experience and over 10 years travel and hospitality experience. This along with a passion for nature and sustainability makes us the perfect match for promoting the eco side of your business – Find Out More About Joining Our Community Here >>

Two Alternative Travel Trends 2020

As ecotourism awareness grows and travellers begin to rethink their carbon footprint we spent some time looking at Travel Trends across the globe for 2020.

People are much more aware of the impact that flying has and this has led them to look at alternative travel methods. However most people only have a set number of ‘holiday’ days per year meaning that whilst they want to be more eco conscious they also need travel methods to be reliable, fast and value for money. Not everyone has the time to sail to their starting point…

My mum and I were chatting about where we would like to visit in 2020 (Italy, Cuba, Vienna, New Zealand) and we both agreed that whilst we would love to visit Venice neither of us wanted to contribute to the overtourism of the region and so it was no surprise to see that this has been a topic of concern for the past 4+ years.

According to Euromonitor International, 46 percent of all travelers go to just 100 destinations.

“Overtourism is one of the most pressing issues impacting the travel and tourism industry today. This is especially the case in Europe, where the phenomenon is most acute. Barcelona, Venice and Dubrovnik are among the most-cited examples of overtouristed places. ” ref EuroMonitor International, Top 100 City Destinations Ranking: WTM London 2017 Edition. – 2019 Wellness Trends, from the Global Wellness Summit

However, the Up Side of this is that more people are willing to visit off track destinations that offer a similar experience but are perhaps less known. The ‘Hidden Gems’ as they call them. (Hard to remain a hidden gem once people know about you of course but it’s all about balance & collaboration and they all need visitors to keep the local business going).

Local authentic experiences are still high on the agenda for many tourists – domestic and international, especially the younger generations.

Star Gazing AstroTourism Ireland
The Milky Way

One trend that fills me with joy is Astrotourism – yep, stargazing. As less areas are left unpolluted with light so the desire for ‘dark skies’ grows. If I had a few acres of dark skies I know what I’d be focusing on! I remember taking my niece Leah when she was about 12 and my dog Skippy of TheWicklowWay to an Astronomy Ireland Star-B-Q in Roundwood years ago, Skippy had become ‘famous’ enough for the main guy to recognise him and come over to say hi – lol.

camping in ireland
There’s nothing much nicer than toasting marshmallows over a camp fire

I know we have some amazing darkskies in Ireland and it would be great fun to head off for a weekend of guided stargazing, bbqs and camping. Camping is (supposed to be) cheap – all you need is a tent, sleeping bag, and a small fee to cover your pitch. Check out Camping Irelands list of camp sites in Ireland here >>

Birdwatching Ireland
Male Egret

Another trend that interests me is Birdwatching holidays. Yes, I am a twitcher – it should be noted that serious birdwatchers don’t like to be called twitchers – however, I am a casual bird watcher. I grew up with a ‘living countryside’ book and it had lot’s of birds in it that enthralled me. It’s such a lovely thing to look up (people don’t look up enough) and see a bird hovering or flying in formation and know where it might be coming from or going to…

Kingfisher
The Magnificent Kingfisher

People travel all over the world ‘birding’ and last weekend in the UK alone there were as many bird watchers as there were folk who attended last weekend’s Premier League football matches participating in the Big Garden Birdwatch! Don’t believe me? Check out this article from the telegraph on ten top birding holiday ideas >>

Murmuration
Get lost in a Murmuration

In fact the fourth edition of the Doñana Natural Life Ecotourism Fair, which will take place from April 16 to 19 in El Rocío (Huelva), will focus on birdwatching, as a fundamental element of biodiversity and tourism value differentiated from the sector. I would LOVE to go to that – not quite sure how I would get there..

Do you have any special interests or travel plans for 2020? We’d love to hear about them! Tweet them @EcoActiveEvents or comment on our Facebook Page

A Manifesto For Nature

Birdwatch Ireland – A Manifesto for Nature

Birdwatch Ireland recently launched ‘A Manifesto For Nature’ which we wanted to share with you – Link to full PDF below:

“Ireland is in an unprecedented biodiversity and climate emergency.
We need a sea change in the national response to it.”

  1. Establish a sound pathway to halt and reverse biodiversity loss
  2. Deliver robust climate action
  3. Develop a new food and agriculture policy
  4. Protect our seas for nature and people
    Read the full manifesto here or download the PDF >>

Contact info@birdwatchireland.ie , Find BirdWatch Ireland on Facebook and on Twitter or visit their website at www.birdwatchireland.ie for more information on the breadth of work they do, and to become a member

The Bigger Picture

What Happens When You Support EcoActiveEvents.com by advertising with or booking on our website?

I was working away online today and came across a few ‘green tech start up’ events that are coming up that interested me.

It got me to thinking about my own business – this website – and what it is I am trying to do with it. I sometimes think that maybe people don’t always see the bigger picture so I thought I’d try to explain what my vision is for EcoActiveEvents.com and see if it helped…

First I made an Infographic highlighting the main points both for people who advertise on my website and for customers who come here to find information and book events.. 🙂

infographic on what happens when you support Eco Active Events

So for me EcoActiveEvents is two things. (Apart from being a B2B & a B2C)

Firstly: Its My Passion…

Each time I sit down at my computer to work on EcoActive I get excited and a happiness and peace settles upon me – I can lose the day researching, connecting and discovering new people and places to visit.

Secondly: It’s my Legacy…

It’s how I want to live – growing my own food where possible, learning about bees, knowing what medicinal herbs are growing around me. Connecting, promoting and sharing these wonderful nature friendly events that are so unlike anything else. I want to inspire others to live a life less ordinary, to follow their passion, to discover new things, to nurture nature and to have the most wonderful life without harming the world we depend so much upon.

My Vision

My vision for EcoActiveEvents.com is for it to become the GLOBAL GO TO PLACE to discover eco friendly events happening near you, so that you can go and visit the incredible people sharing their crafts, skills, knowledge and passions and learn something that ignites your soul. All whilst having fun of course. Fun is very important. Especially these days. Discovering how incredible our world is and how incredible our bodies are is fun.

To do this I need the support of other small businesses – the people who are holding these events and I thank very much those who have been so supportive of me to date.

I have specifically created really affordable Membership packages so that start ups and small rural businesses can easily afford them and gain a real positive return on investment along with becoming part of a wider community.

I have plans for EcoActive to become a provider of support in other ways too – whether that be through investment / mentoring / sponsorship, small (barefoot) steps for now. (A new pair of shoes wouldn’t fit in my #TinyHouse anyway)… 😉

If you would like to join EcoActive you can check out our very affordable options here or if you would like to get in touch about sponsoring an ecotour or anything else just give me a shout on +353 83 805 4866 or email Play@EcoActiveEvents.com

Interview with Womens Inspire Network

Following on from this video interview with Samantha Kelly of the Womens’ Inspire Network I’ve decided to face my fears in 2020, one of which is being on video – I am VERY much a ‘behind the camera’ person! However as vlogs grow in popularity and voice search with it, I have decided to fully embrace this medium in the year ahead.

The Womens’ Inspire Network is a wonderful supportive group with lot’s of cool learning webinars and private group discussions for women in business – no matter how small or large. Check it out at www.womensinspirenetwork.com.

For those who missed it here’s the interview:

Plants Before Pandas

We LOVE this inspiring video of Josh Styles in this piece from The Guardian – Do you know anyone doing similar?

Almost as rare as the plants he protects, 24-year-old Josh Styles is not your average botanist. In 2017 he founded the North West Rare Plant Initiative, a conservation project in his local region. His aim is to resurrect 44 plant species that are extinct or threatened with extinction in the area, aiding biodiversity and battling the climate crisis. Richard Sprenger went to meet him in his natural habitat – the sand dunes and peat bogs of north-west England – to see the impact his work is having and find out why, when the Amazon rainforest is on fire, it still matters

The Venus Project

Recently I was studying biodiversity under the guidance of the wonderful Mike Van Den Berg who introduced us to many wonderful interesting documentaries and projects all focused on a creating a sustainable future for the planet. One of these was the Venus Project and I wanted to share it with you all… Here’s to a new decasde 🙂

What is The Venus Project?

“The Venus Project is an organization that proposes a feasible plan of action for social change, one that works towards a peaceful and sustainable global civilization. It outlines an alternative to strive toward where human rights are no longer paper proclamations but a way of life.

We propose a fresh, holistic approach – one that is dedicated to human and environmental concerns. It is an attainable vision of a bright and better future, one that is appropriate to the times in which we live, and both practical and feasible for a positive future for all the world’s people”.

A World Worth Imagining; Jacque Fresco – The Man with the Plan – About

“Produced by S.O.U.L. Documentary, this is a film on the life’s work of late, legendary visionary Jacque Fresco, founder of The Venus Project. The movie features never before seen archival footage and the inspirational last interview of his life.”

https://vimeo.com/379342660

In an intimate face-to-face, Jacque Fresco shares with S.O.U.L. founder Evan Gary Hirsch how he devoted his entire life to comprehensively designing a robust, workable tomorrow for our human family and planet. In this half-hour documentary, Jacque, who had just turned 101 years old(!), gives us a glimmer of hope as he describes the conditions needed for people to peacefully co-exist in a world without exploitation and abuse of one another. He lays out a bold new social design where war and territorial disputes are things of the past, where the true meaning of love and spirituality are manifested by translating them into a working reality.

After watching this film, you may just feel you had sat with an extremely wise old man who even with fighting the ravishes of old age was determined to share what he feels is necessary for humanity to grow up in order for us to survive and thrive as a species.

It is our hope that you will come away with this understanding and look into and work with The Venus Project as well”.

Inspired? Visit www.thevenusproject.com for information on how you can help!

Eco Friendly Christmas Gift Ideas For Nature Lovers

With the global focus on Sustainabilty many of us are conscious about making our Christmas Gifts more eco friendly in some way. So what do you give the eco conscious person in your life as a Christmas gift that will please them and support sustainable enterprise? I’ve put together a few ideas….

Giving a gift that encourages in interest in nature, the planet and buying local are all great gift ideas for nature lovers. This list is intended to inspire and encourage exactly that.

Give the gift of an Eco Friendly Experience with a Gift Voucher…

There are lot’s of exciting experiences that are nature friendly and encourage awareness yet still manage to be fun! Here are my personal favourites each of which I have either experienced myself or know someone who has and can 100% recommend!

Beekeeping Courses Croan Cottages
Beekeeping Courses at Croan Cottages

You could buy a Gift Voucher for a Beekeeping or Smallholding Course at Croan Cottages or go wild on a Water based adventure with Boyne Valley Activities. I had an amazing trip with James where he took me out on a Canadian canoe for a heritage tour – read about it here >>

Day On Water
Heritage Tour on a Canadian Canoe with James – Boyne Valley Activities

How about gifting a Seaweed Cookery Kit or a Beach Walk and Cook Up with the Sea Gardener or join a group for a Wild Food Foraging Experience with Crann Og Eco Farm… Both are run by fabulous people and you will learn how to identify wild food and even get to sample some with other like minded people.

Irelands Ancient Feast Sea Gardener Forage and Feast EcoActiveEvents
Irelands’ Ancient Feast with The Sea Gardener

Many of our members offer workshops and events throughout the year and you can buy gift cards or book in advance for most of them – for example Bumblebee Farm offer a variety of workshops and events throughout the year from Wreath making to Flora, Fauna and Food Events.

edible-flower suppliers-ireland
Edible Flowers from Bumblebee Farm

Another nice gift idea is to give the Gift of relaxation and mindfulness with a Yoga Voucher at AnantaYogaStudio or a holistic massage at Soul to Sole Therapies – we Irish don’t do enough of this sort of thing and it is SO GOOD for you! Seriously, if you do one new thing in 2020 get a massage regularly and go to a Yoga workshop or class, even just once!

All of the above are wonderful nature friendly things to do and make great eco friendly gift ideas but of course there is also the option of visiting an eco friendly destination and staying in some authentic yet cosy accommodation and here are a few of my favourites that I visited on my ecotour:

Give an Eco Break as a Gift this Christmas!

Glamping at Rock Farm Slane
Glamping at Rock Farm Slane

Give the gift of an eco staycation at Rock Farm Slane – They offer very cosy and pretty glamping yurts and shepherds huts. You can even enjoy a tour on their electric bikes like we did or just chill in the outdoor hot tub! Or treat someone to a wholesome farm based BB break at Lough Bishop House with Christopher and Helen ( Helen makes the most amazing granola!)

Helen and Christopher Kelly of Lough Bishop House
Helen and Christopher Kelly of Lough Bishop House

If you REALLY want to get away from it all I can heartily recommend a stay at Tawnylust lodge in lovely Leitrim! Nuala is a charm and her ecofriendly cabin is a world away from our busy lives. She can even help you plan a local experience such as canoeing, foraging, walking or an electric bike ride. We love Nuala and her Guna!

tawnylust lodge
Tawny Lust Lodge Leitrim

Family breaks with an eco ethos that will delight kids of all ages is an eco break to The Three Towers at Slieve Aughty Centre! Beautiful rooms, organic food, horse riding, fairy trails, arts and crafts, pizza nights – it has everything for a really special family staycation!

The Three Towers Eco House

Fancy gifting a trip to West Cork with a nice cuppa over the outdoor fire? Top Of The Rock Pod Pairc is the place to go for walkers, nature lovers and those just looking for a bit of peace and quiet.

stay at Top Of The Rock

So you see, there are lot’s of great eco friendly businesses offering sustainable services and gifts that won’t cost the Earth… Tell them Roz sent you! 😉