Maintaining Calmness and Focus Naturally

We live in an increasingly hectic world. Stress is daily, and though there is a difference between good and bad stress, constant exposure to it affects our physical and mental well-being. As our environment is so fast-paced, we often tend to look for stress relief solutions that are fast, too. However, calmness and focus are not achievable with one magic pill that we can simply pop or just one simple practice we can do. 

Through different strategies used together, along with proper stress management, you can start to achieve better calm, clarity, and focus. With that in mind, here we’ll explore three natural ways to help restore both the calmness and the focus in your daily life so you can deal better with stress and ace your goals. Read on to find out which you can do – or feel free to do them all together!

Exercise

Nothing elevates one’s mood better than a good round of exercise, whether it’s walking a few laps around the block or sweating it out at the gym. It can release endorphins, the feel-good hormones, freeing you from the fight-or-flight response that stress can trigger. Plus, exercise is also an affordable way to restore calmness and focus, as you don’t need to spend anything to enjoy it. Though nice to have, exercise equipment is always optional, and there are plenty of body-weight exercises you can perform. 

Be sure to make exercise a regular part of your routine. Aim for at least thirty minutes of brisk exercise at least three times a week for the best results. Don’t forget to switch up your exercise routines now and then, either, and do a combination of strength training and cardio workouts, if you can. You can even try dancing or training for a marathon for more fun and competitive way to get those endorphins flowing.

Meditation

When you meditate, you focus your attention and eliminate the jumble of thoughts that can crowd your mind and cause stress. This process may lead to deeper relaxation and a more peaceful state of mind. And again, you don’t need fancy equipment to start practicing meditation. There are also lots of meditation strategies you can choose from. 

Yoga, for example, is one of them. Reflection isn’t limited to sitting on the floor with your eyes closed and chanting mantras, though. Everyday activities, especially those you enjoy, like cooking, cleaning, gardening, drawing and coloring, and journaling, can meditate on a person. Self-care is also a form of meditation. Following certain diets and lifestyles to mindfully avoid health problems is included in self-care. 

Proper Nutrition

Fruits
A different kind of fruits are placed on a rag in nature

Do you experience stress-eating? Although this practice feels super rewarding at the moment, chances are it’s not doing you or your body a lot of good. Most comfort foods we seek are not the best out there. Cakes and pastries, a popular choice for many, teems with excessive carbohydrates and sugar. Other stuff, such as takeout food, contains many calories but doesn’t satisfy hunger compared to whole, natural foods.

Eating junk foods is also related to increased levels of stress. It’s counterproductive to reach out for a piece of a donut or a huge bowl of ice cream when you’re stressed and trying to be calm and focused. Reverse the effects of stress-eating and aim for proper nutrition instead. When feeling stressed and out of focus, choose healthier options like beans, nuts, fruits, and vegetables instead of processed goodies. Natural foods can also help provide vitamins necessary to reduce brain fog and make you more focused and calm.

When to Ask for Help

If you practice these natural ways to feel calmer and more focused, but you still feel overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to ask for help. The inability to focus and keep calm can be a symptom of an underlying condition, like ADHD. When your lack of focus and calm puts you in difficult situations in your daily life, a visit to the doctor is a must. Your doctor can confirm if it is indeed ADHD and rule out other possible conditions. 

Medications intended for ADHD, such as Adderall XR or Strattera, are likely to be prescribed, helping you focus on your tasks and calms you down. Yes, maintaining calmness and focus during stressful times can be a challenge, but it does not mean it is not achievable. With proper exercise (at least three times a week!), meditation, and good nutrition, you can finally regain your calm and return your focus to the essential aspects of life.

Making Remote Work Sustainable for 2022 and Beyond

In 2020, working from home was far from a personal decision for many employees, as the global pandemic forced everyone to adapt to the new circumstances and make their homes their offices. Nevertheless, a lot of workers found remote working to be more efficient than their usual, on-site positions. A survey conducted by Flex Jobs revealed that an astounding 65% of respondents wish to remain full-time remote employees permanently. Some of the major benefits of remote work they listed were cost-efficiency and increased productivity. On the other hand, the biggest challenges the participants reported were the inability to step away from work and unreliable technology. Some also noted that this way of working took a toll on their mental health. This means that to utilize these benefits, some adjustments need to be made. Keeping this in mind, here are the essential steps to making remote work sustainable for 2022 and beyond. 

Establish a well-rounded digital workplace

When the pandemic forced most companies to send their employees to work from home, no one was prepared. The most common way to manage remote teams was by using popular apps that allow for group video calls to hold meetings and exchange information through email. Although these options serve their purpose, to make the work-from-home situation a long-term solution, there need to be some upgrades. Thus, building a reliable and fully-developed digital workplace is highly recommended. What this entails is employing pieces of software that can easily be integrated with each other while choosing the ones that are best suited for the tasks at hand. Apart from that, the employees need reliable hardware, so providing the necessary equipment for them can help prevent the issues with the tech. 

Introduce remote work training

Training employees for their job position is always a viable option to help them reach their full potential. Applying this exact principle to remote work environments can increase motivation and foster productivity. That’s because switching to a remote position requires learning how to navigate all the new software used to build the digital workspace. Being immersed in this novel environment can be a handful, leading to confusion and stress. Thus, training workers how to carry out their duties while working remotely gives them time to process all the new information and make a smooth transition. Even work-from-home veterans can benefit from training, as no company is the same. Having a fully trained staff can help companies with effectively managing a remote team.

Woman
A young woman is working at her laptop

Maintain regular communication with the remote employees

Finding ways to effectively communicate with customers on a remote business model is certainly one of the keys to running a successful business. While clients are undeniably important, so is communicating with the employees. Even though they aren’t present in an office, that doesn’t mean they should be neglected. Since working from home can be isolating, these workers may need extra motivation. Checking on them constantly would disrupt the workflow but finding ways to translate the socialization that usually happens in the office can be very beneficial. Apart from the usual meetings and essential communication, this can include encouraging teams to have virtual coffee breaks. Additionally, there could be virtual team-building events, and if possible, occasional meetups in person. This could help workers still feel like essential members of the team, despite seemingly working alone.

Setting boundaries to ensure work-life balance

There’s no denying that there are numerous perks of remote work that appeal to employees, as well as companies. However, one of the major challenges that arise from this approach is that the boundaries between life and work become a bit murky. Many have reported that they find it difficult to find a work-life balance, especially if their hours are flexible. There are a few different factors that may cause this problem, some of which can be fixed by the remote worker if they find a way to schedule their workday better. However, in some cases, it is not up to the worker. It can be impossible to step away from work when there aren’t any set boundaries, meaning that anyone can contact the employees for work-related purposes at any given time. Thus, establishing the time frame when everyone can be contacted is essential.

By putting in some effort to create a well-established and practical work environment, one can turn remote work into a long-term solution. The key is to provide tools that will make the workflow run smoothly, as well as ways to encourage the employees in the virtual environment.

What Constitutes Sexual Harassment at Work?

Imagine you’re in this situation.

You’ve recently begun working as the manager of a new bar. You’re a little nervous about taking over as the new boss, but a senior colleague appears to be more than willing to show you the ropes, and you don’t question it — why should you?

Then you start to see this coworker behaving in ways that make you feel uneasy — a remark here, a slip of the hand there. You shrug it off and go about your business – perhaps you misunderstood?

Until something happens, a line is crossed, and you can no longer ignore it.

At what point does a situation like this constitute sexual harassment in the workplace? It’s an important question and one that is being asked more and more every year.

Is it acceptable to lean over someone at work? What about admiring them for their good looks? Is it ever acceptable to try to kiss a coworker? Where is the dividing line?

What Does The Law Say?

Me too
A young woman is holding a paper with the message me too

Sexual harassment is defined as any unwanted sexual behaviour (i.e., something sexual or related to your gender). Some of the feelings you may get if experiencing this include;

  • An offence to your dignity
  • Makes you feel threatened, humiliated, or degraded
  • Makes the surroundings unfriendly or offensive

Having ‘dignity’ simply implies being deserving of respect, which we are all legally entitled to. So, if you’re treated in a way that violates your dignity, it’s another way of expressing you’ve been mistreated and still feel that way. As a result, when it comes to sexual harassment at work, it is being treated with disrespect because of a sex-related issue.

It’s vital to remember that whether or not unwanted sexual conduct violates a person’s dignity or creates an offensive environment is determined by the victim’s viewpoint and whether or not their reaction is fair. 

This essentially means that a third party would believe the victim’s reaction is the same as that of any other ‘regular person.’

Most of us will be able to identify with these emotions somehow. However, like with the rest of the definition, the wording is based on how the behavior ‘makes you feel,’ not how the person who is doing it means to make you feel.

It doesn’t matter if you intended to harass someone sexually or thought it was just ‘banter. If it makes the other person feel uncomfortable, then it’s sexual harassment.

What’s the best way to tell if you’ve experienced sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment can happen to anyone, regardless of gender or sexuality; the unpleasant behavior can come from someone of the same or different sex.

A pattern of inappropriate behavior, repeated by someone in the workplace, that the victim has asked to cease, but that continues despite the victim’s request. On the other hand, one-offs can be considered sexual harassment, and it doesn’t matter if someone else doesn’t see things the same way you do.

Sexual comments or jokes, unwanted sexual advances or touching, suggestive looks, gazing or leering, intrusive sexual questioning, spreading sexual rumors, and sending sexually explicit emails or images are all examples of sexual harassment at work. 

If you find yourself in this position, then you may want to think about getting the assistance of highly seasoned sex crime attorneys to help advise you of where you’re going next.

Summary

Sexual harassment is not a joke, nor is it something you should ignore. Nobody wants to or should have to work in an environment that makes them feel uncomfortable, and if your sexual behavior is making someone feel that way, it’s considered sexual harassment, and you should take action to prevent it from continuing to you or someone around you.

Riding an Electric Mountain Bike: What You Need to Know

Cycling is a great form of exercise that burns a lot of calories without putting too much strain on the body. If you are considering getting a mountain bike, consider getting an electric mountain bike. Such a bike allows you to ride for longer, go on steeper trails, and take your bike out a lot more. Riding a mountain bike is slightly different from riding a conventional bike. Here are some tips that can help you get the most out of your electric mountain bike.

A Higher Cadence is Better

You need a lot of torque if you take your bike out on a trail. A major benefit of an electric bike is that the motor can provide the extra torque you require for a better riding experience. One thing to note is that the bike provides more torque as you increase your cadence. Your cadence is often dictated by how many revolutions you make per minute. A higher cadence, around 50-60 rotations per minute, makes the motor more efficient and gives you the power you are looking for when out on a trail.

Be Careful With Turbo Power

Turbo power refers to the amount of power you get from the motor to assist your rides. A higher power setting gives you more assistance but drains your battery quickly. This can be disadvantageous if you hit a steep part of the trail and do not have the power to assist you as you climb. 

To get the most out of your bike, try to use the higher battery power setting on steeper parts of your trail. One thing to remember is that switching from a low power setting to a higher one can cause you to flip backward. To avoid this, try to increase the power gradually, slide forward and lean forward when using the higher power setting.

Consider Getting Insurance

While most people understand why you need insurance for your car or home, many cyclists do not think that they need insurance for their bikes. An electric bike, especially a mountain bike, can be pricey, and thus you need to protect it by getting the right insurance. The good news for cyclists is that there are companies that now provide electric bicycle insurance. Companies like Velosurance provide cover for crashes, theft, and loss in transit. Velosurance also allows you to add additional coverage to your plan to include uninsured motorist coverage liability protection and medical bill coverage. Their e-bike insurance coverage covers all electric bicycles below 750 watts.

Master How Your Bike Rides

An electric bike is heavier than a conventional bike, which changes how you ride the bike. The bike will follow any trails and contours on the ground, so watch out for that. When you jump over something you will drop faster than you would if you were riding a conventional bike, so this is something else to keep in mind.

A heavier bike also means you have more traction. You will be able to ride in areas where you would have slid on a conventional bike. The additional traction also makes you feel like you can ride faster but avoid doing that, especially on a trail.

Watch Out for Strikes

Anything sticking out from the ground can cause pedal strikes on the downstroke. Because you will be riding the electric bike at a higher cadence, that increases the chances of a strike since there are more downstrokes. This means you have to be careful when picking your line and vigilant of where you ride. When negotiating tricky parts of a trail, you can opt to coast on the bike.

To avoid this issue, many electric mountain bikes have shorter crank arms. Shorter crankarms make an electric mountain bike feel weird, especially when you consider you will be riding at a higher cadence. You will feel like you are spinning the wheels faster than you are. The good news is that this feeling goes away once you ride the bike for some time.

Learn How to Anticipate Stopping

Electric bike
An electric bike is driven in the mountain environment

The battery and motor added to the bike make it faster and heavier. This means an electric bike does not stop like a conventional bike; you need more time to stop. This means you need to anticipate corners and anywhere else you need to reduce your speed. 

Electric bikes also come with pedal assist, which helps you carry momentum around corners, so lean more into the corner as you go through one. 

An electric bike can be an excellent option for those who want to ride on trails but do not want to expend too much energy. They can help you take on more challenging trails and make climbing steeper portions of these trails easier. Just remember to charge your bike and conserve as much power as possible, so you have it when you need it.

Because You Matter: These Are Your Rights as a Seaman

Thankfully, there are several statutes that provide protection to seafarers and maritime workers. As someone who works out at sea, you already know some of the dangers you face on a daily basis, and having protection is vital to ensure you’re looked after and aren’t taken advantage of in any sense of the word.

With this in mind, what are your rights as a seaman? The most common laws in the US fall under The Jones Act, a piece of regulation specifically designed to protect sailors, but what exactly is it, and what does it do? In today’s guide, we’re going to find out.

The Jones Act in the US

The Jones Act is a piece of legislation enacted by the United States

It was enacted into federal law in the 1920s to protect seafarers who were injured or murdered on the job or while serving on a vessel or fleet of vessels. Bear in mind this isn’t Worker’s Compensation. 

The Jones Act allows sailors to sue their employers for carelessness that caused their injuries, with a three-year statute of limitations from the date of injury.

You’re not sure if you’re a seaman under the Jones Act? You should consult a maritime accident attorney for the facts, but there are some criteria we’ll explore in the next section that you can look into that should give you a clear idea.

While the Jones Act isn’t too specific, any crew member who spends over 30% of their working time aboard a ship, or potentially a number of different ships, can be classed a seaman and therefore full under these rules and acts of protection.

Workers on crew boats, cruise ships, supply boats, drilling barges, workboats, derrick barges, dive boats, and drillships all fall under this category.

Work on a vessel (or fleet of vessels) in navigation; contribute to the vessel’s mission and purpose; and, be more or less permanently assigned to the vessel (or fleet of vessels) (or fleet of vessels).

If you’re not sure if you qualify as a Jones Act sailor, a marine lawyer can help.

What Are You Protected Against?

Military
A schematic view of the marine soldier

The Jones Act provides rights to sailors who are harmed on a vessel as a result of employer carelessness. As a member of a vessel’s crew, you have the right to work in a fairly safe environment. 

You have the right to collect damages if your employer, the vessel owner, or any other firm is liable for creating a dangerous environment that leads you to be hurt.

The Jones Act differs from Worker’s Compensation in that if you can prove blame, you can recover a much wider range of damages than you could under Workers Compensation, which does not need proof of negligence. 

Seamen covered by the Jones Act are entitled to past and future lost pay, medical care, pain and suffering, general damages, and maintenance and cure. Maintenance and cure, as a reminder, is an age-old seamen’s privilege under General Maritime Law, which compels an employer to give an injured seaman with essential medical care and lodging and board in the case of an injury or illness while in service to a vessel, regardless of fault.

Summary

If you’ve been injured or taken advantage of at work as a seaman, you’re not sure what your rights are, or you’ve found yourself in a strange situation and you’re not sure how to move forward, hopefully, this article helped, but if you’re not sure, then be sure to seek legal advice that can tell you exactly where you stand. 

The Ugly Truth About Plastic

Plastic is an integral material in our everyday lives, but unfortunately,  it has extremely destructive capabilities to the environment. Plastic pollution refers to the build-up of plastics in the environment, it is a huge environmental issue that has adverse effects on the planet. The issue is worsened by our actions, with some of us not fully comprehending the negative effects. Therefore, it is important that we fully understand the damaging effects plastic pollution is having on our environment and capably tackle the issues at hand. This article will discuss the dangerous effects plastic pollution is having on the Earth’s environment, and outline tips on how to aid in its prevention.

One of the main factors contributing to plastic pollution is the rapidly increasing production of disposable plastics. According to Oceans Plastic Free, plastic production requires an enormous amount of energy and resources. This process causes carbon emissions and contributes to global warming. Furthermore, recycling plastic is extremely inefficient- only 9% of plastic ever produced has been recycled. Two-thirds of unrecycled and incorrectly disposed plastics come from land-based sources, which eventually find their way into our oceans. 

A large number of plastics in our oceans creates detrimental effects on our marine life. Plastic takes up to 500 years to fully break down and eventually fragments into smaller and smaller plastics called microplastics. There are 51 trillion microscopic pieces of plastic in the planet’s environment, this equates to roughly 500 times the number of stars in our galaxy. These microplastics are extremely harmful to our marine life, with a lot of marine creatures becoming trapped or confusing them for food; causing blockages and pain in the stomach and intestines. One in three fish caught for human consumption contains plastic- directly affecting humans. Are we eating plastic? And if so, how harmful is it to humans? In seawater, plastic absorbs crucial chemicals that have been linked to endocrine disruption and certain cancers. Regardless of whether we eat fish or not, 70% of the oxygen we breathe is produced by marine plants-which is more the reason for us to protect our marine life. For more information, take this quick quiz regarding plastic pollution:

It is clear that plastic pollution is extremely damaging to the environment, but it is impossible to remove all plastic pollution from our oceans. Only 1% of marine litter floats, with the vast majority of it sinking to the seafloor. It is also impossible to remove all microplastics from our oceans due to their microscopic nature. However, there are various ways in which we can help. For example:

  • Refuse plastic whenever you can- try not to use plastic straws, plastic bags, etc. Use a reusable straw, or carry a reusable coffee cup to prevent waste.
  • Recycle- make sure you recycle any plastics and split up your waste into different bins.
  • Try to buy things that aren’t in plastic packaging- for example, a lot of items are unnecessarily wrapped in plastic. Try to avoid buying these items where you can.
  • Buy products in bulk- this will prevent excess plastic waste.
  • Stop buying water- plastic bottles contribute to a large amount of plastic waste, stop throwing away plastic bottles, and switch to reusable water bottles to reduce waste.
Recycling
A well-known recycling sign

It is clear that plastic pollution has extremely damaging effects on the environment, but becoming eco-friendlier can be a massive help. As a community, we can collectively make a significant difference and continue to make improvements in this increasingly worrying situation. The future of the planet rests on our shoulders, and the smallest of changes to everyday life can make the world of a difference. 

4 Natural and Holistic Health Remedies for Stress

Stress affects everyone to a different degree, but research has found that it does compromise everyone’s health to some extent.

Stress affects everyone to a different degree, but research has found that it does compromise everyone’s health to some extent. In addition to raising your risks for mental illness, stress can also compromise the immune system and expose you to a variety of physical health problems. Fortunately, there are several ways for you to relax and reduce your stress levels.

Get More Exercise

Your mind and body need exercise for a variety of reasons, and you should be getting a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate to high-intensity exercise each day. In addition to helping you guard against physical disease, exercise will help you to relieve stress. As you experience difficult situations, your brain responds by releasing the stress hormone cortisol. This was originally intended to prepare the body for the fight or flight response, but those reactions are no longer needed in modern society. As a result, cortisol continues to build up until something is done to counteract the effects of that hormone. That’s where exercise comes into the picture. As you engage in physical activity, your brain will release endorphins, which are also known as “feel good” neurotransmitters. Since you can’t feel stressed and euphoric at the same time, your brain will stop producing cortisol and your existing stress level will subside. This is why you always feel happier after a workout or playing a game.

Try Meditating

Meditating is not as easy as it sounds, so you should be prepared to practice consistently on a nightly basis. It involves focusing your thoughts on a single image or thought that you find relaxing or pleasing. As you start out, try to maintain that thought for just 15 minutes. If you feel your mind starting to wander, simply return your focus to the pleasing thought. You can use incense sticks to help you out. Don’t scold yourself or allow yourself to feel frustrated. As you practice, you’ll be able to keep your mind focused for longer. When you do have more success with meditation, you’ll feel your concerns and worries drift away. Each session will leave you feeling relaxed, and that will give your mind the break it needs to stop producing cortisol. Instead, there will be more serotonin in your mind, which is a hormone that promotes energy and better mood control. Meditation also helps to strengthen cognitive functioning, which is why people tend to solve more problems after meditating.

Undergo Physical Therapy

There are several different types of physical therapy and most of them are effective in regulating stress without the use of drugs. One example is deep tissue massage, which involves massaging various muscle groups throughout the body to reduce inflammation. As the inflammation subsides, the pain and restricted movement you experience in those areas will also be alleviated. Since the brain sends out cortisol in response to pain signals, you’ll also feel less stress. A related type of physical therapy includes reiki healing services, which involves using the ancient Japanese practice of applying pressure to certain parts of the body. By pressing hands against the body in certain areas, the Japanese practitioners believed they were redirecting the flow of energy. There is a similar belief in acupuncture. While both types of therapy are effective, there’s no evidence that they do redirect energy. They may just be effective in that they help the individual relax, allowing stress hormones to subside.

Get Back to Nature

Nature
Beautiful spring flowers are found in the forest

There are several ways you can get involved with nature and animal life. You can get the benefits of this activity right at home by petting your cat or dog. Research has found that interacting with a pet helps reduce stress levels almost immediately. In one study, seniors relaxed and exhibited better mental health simply by caring for pet crickets. In other studies, it was found that spending time outdoors had similar effects. The symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other emotional health problems were alleviated when individuals spent a minimum of 30 minutes outdoors in a natural setting. Whether you go to a beach, park, or forest, getting back to nature can have a positive effect on your stress levels. You can double those benefits by exercising outdoors.

If you have tried several methods of relaxing and still feel the symptoms of stress, talk to your doctor. There may be a medical reason for your heightened stress levels. Your doctor may also recommend lifestyle changes that will make it easier for you to alleviate stress naturally.

Being Energy Efficient This Winter: a Guide for the Eco-Conscious

Making our money go further is something that is important to us all, now more than ever. Following an incredibly challenging eighteen months, we feel confident there will be some people reading this and beyond who have felt the financial brunt of the pandemic in some way or another. It has not been easy. 

As we gradually emerge from the grips of the pandemic, there will undoubtedly be some people who are remaining mindful of their spending and overall budgets and want to continue maximizing their money wherever possible. The winter months can be some of the costliest times of year for some people. From the holiday season through to the increased need for heating in bitterly cold weather, there is no doubt this causes worry for some people. 

While that is the case, there are things you can do to bring your energy costs down without compromising on your comfort in any way. Interested in being energy efficient this winter but unsure where to start? You have found yourself in the right place at the right time. 

Detailed below, you will find our top tips for being energy efficient. No matter where you live or the size of your property, read on for more! 

Tackle Gaps and Draughts

Cold winds entering your home are sure to counteract the efforts you are making to heat up the property. While we have no doubt you would ensure that doors and windows are shut during the colder months, as a means of trapping the warm air indoors, it is easy to forget about the smaller gaps. While some people might turn a blind eye to these, there are other gaps in the foundations of your home that can be hard to notice.

Dealing with these gaps in the run-up to the colder months will ensure that you are preventing any cold air from getting into your home. Draught excluders are ideal for putting across gaps under doors should you have them. Blankets make an excellent replacement should you struggle to locat4e draught excluders for your property. 

Silicon-based sealants are best suited to fill in any gaps that you have surrounding windows and doors. Giving your home the once over before the winter months arrive will greatly reduce your heating costs and ensure you are as energy-efficient as possible. 

Switch To Energy-Saving Products

Energy saving lamp
Energy-saving led bulb is represented schematically

It goes without saying, but when wanting to save energy in your home, the first step would be to swap to energy-saving products. While that is undoubtedly the case, we understand it can be unclear where best to start when switching to energy-saving products. With so many out there on the market, it can be hard to know where to start, but the first step is to make the all-important decision to swap to energy-saving products. 

Exploring what products are out there and the energy-saving rates they offer is also recommended. From here, you can establish how much you should expect to save over time. LED light bulbs, for example, are an incredibly common swap that people make nowadays and one that is effective. 

There is also a range of resources out there detailing precisely how much you can save by making a swap like this, both now and in the future. If you are interested in finding out more about LED light bulb savings, check out the helpful guides from reputable companies like Carbon Switch. Go forth knowing that the swaps you are making are having a positive impact on your energy efficiency and bank balance alike. 

Use Natural Resources 

Heating your home in the winter and maintaining a comfortable temperature can be challenging at the best of times. While nothing stops you from relying on the heating system in your property, this could result in your energy costs being higher than you would have hoped, which is what you want to avoid, after all.

While that could be the case, there are ways that you can use natural resources to keep your energy costs low while also ensuring that your home is at a comfortable temperature. This includes the likes of using the sun’s warmth and rays to heat your property. Keeping curtains and blinds open to allow the natural sunlight into your home will naturally heat the room. To maximize this, ensure that you close your curtains and blinds when the sun starts to set to ensure the heat is trapped and remains where you want it. 

We recognize these are but some of the ways you can be energy efficient this winter and that there are a variety of other techniques you could also use alongside them. Regardless of which methods you choose to implement in the coming weeks and months, we hope your efforts pay off and emerge into the spring with a lower energy bill than usual! 

5 Tried and Tested Ways of Promoting Your Vegan Restaurant

Learn five strategies for drawing hungry customers to your vegan restaurant, and turning skeptics into converts of clean, sustainable eating.

You’ve painstakingly scrimped and saved to open your vegan restaurant, recruited an A-team of staff, and curated a smorgasbord of delectable dishes for your menu. Now, there’s only one thing left to do:

Get the customers coming in!

Even a vegan restaurant with the yummiest food in the world won’t survive for long if its tables are perpetually empty. Read on to learn five tried-and-tested strategies for bringing in hungry customers, and turning skeptics into converts of clean, sustainable eating:

1. Craft an attention-grabbing brand message

Every brand has a story. What’s yours?

More importantly, is it something that will make customers sit up and take notice, or will it put them to sleep?

With veganism being a relatively new trend, your vegan restaurant already has an edge in terms of novelty. However, push your brand message further and state what you stand for. By doing so, you’ll entice like-minded customers to add your restaurant to their list of must-visit places.

As an example, take a look at this quote that vegan restaurant Vegan Beat Athens posted on its Instagram account:

Veganism
Check out this Instagram post credit to @veganbeatathens

Here, the restaurant has made the bold declaration that veganism is about doing the least harm and the most good to the environment. And if you identified with that statement, you may just go: “YES! This restaurant totally gets me.”

Then, feeling buzzed with such positive vibes, you may make a note to try and drop by the restaurant for your next vegan meal.

2. Produce eye-catching restaurant posters

Say the word “vegan” and people unfamiliar with vegan food may think that it’s all green, just “rabbit food” and, well, basically not very appetizing. This is where you’ll have to prove them wrong, by creating eye-catching posters of your vegan dishes.

If you need to, work with a food stylist to make your dishes look absolutely scrumptious. Then, once you’ve taken photos of your dishes, create posters with them and put your posters up everywhere. In your restaurant, on social media, on your website—the list goes on.

For instance, here’s a poster that VeganBurg, a vegan restaurant in Singapore, published on Instagram to promote a limited-edition Christmas menu:

Truffle bello
Check out this Instagram post credit to @veganburgsg
Truffle bello
Check out this Instagram post credit to @veganburgsg

The best part? You don’t need to be a graphic design expert to produce drool-worthy posters of your food. Graphic design platforms such as PosterMyWall offer restaurant poster templates that you can easily modify through a drag-and-drop interface.

So go ahead and make those gorgeous food porn posters. You have our full permission.

3. Show customers how your food is made

Restaurant food doesn’t just magically appear on a plate, ready to be served to customers. Instead, it is lovingly cooked and plated by chefs passionate about their craft. So why not show off this process by creating behind-the-scenes videos of how your food is made?

By doing so, your customers can see for themselves all the tender loving care that goes into preparing their orders. It may get their mouths watering to the point that they make a beeline for your restaurant!

You can even go up a notch by showcasing how and from where your ingredients are procured. A well-informed customer is a happy customer. 

Just watch Spanish vegan restaurant Vegan Junk Food Bar’s video of its staff member assembling a vegan burger:

We don’t know about you, but we’d like to reach through our screen, grab that burger and sink our teeth into it. Mmmm.

4. Use social proof to draw in new customers

What’s better than talking up the tastiness of your food on your own? Customers doing this for you.

Customers’ amazing testimonies of your food can do wonders in getting their friends and family to visit your restaurant. However, don’t let the benefits stop there. Amplify your customers’ praises as widely as you can, so that others will see them as well—and also be inspired to check your restaurant out.

On Instagram, vegan restaurant Bistro Vonish reposted an Instagram Story from a customer who waxed lyrical about the restaurant’s black garlic bruschetta:

Black Garlic Bruschetta
Check out this Instagram post credit to @bistrovonish

The customer then replied to the post to thank the restaurant again for its good food.

Likewise, don’t forget to express gratitude to your customers when resharing their reviews! Tag the customer in your post, thank them for their glowing sharing, and end with an invitation for them to dine with you again in the future.

5. Hold a giveaway

Who’d ever turn down the opportunity to win free food? Probably no one. So if you hold a giveaway of your food, you could significantly boost brand awareness of your restaurant as people try their best to win!

Simply follow these steps:

  1. Announce your giveaway on social media.
  2. Share that participants will need to leave a comment on the social media post promoting your giveaway, and tag one friend (or more) when doing so.
  3. After the deadline for commenting has ended, pick your winners!

The tagging requirement in step two is important. After all, you want your social media followers to introduce others to your restaurant. Especially if their friends are vegan food lovers too, and would likely be interested to try your dishes.

Vegan restaurant Eat of Eden has executed this giveaway formula down to a T:

With the prize being a vegan sharing platter costing £28, the restaurant is definitely getting a ton of publicity worth much more than that!

Attract customers to your vegan restaurant today

So there you have it—the recipe for promoting your vegan restaurant. While cooking up great food is an important part of the formula, you’ll also need to add other “ingredients” such as:

  • Baking strong messaging into your brand,
  • Whipping up stunning promotional posters and videos, and
  • Publicizing all the good things that customers have said about your food so far.

Perfect your promotional efforts, and your restaurant might just pack in the crowds and make a name for itself in the competitive food and beverage space. Not only that, you’ll introduce the uninitiated to the goodness of fresh, and delicious, vegan food. And that’s the icing on the cake.

Go Green: Ideas for an Eco-friendly Dining Room

Renovating and updating the style of your home is always a thrilling and amazing experience where you can show your style and make a few changes. In the last decade, people started paying more attention to the environment and sustainability, and eco-friendly style is now a huge part of most renovations. Just like any other room in the house, a dining room can also be sustainable which doesn’t mean you’ll have to lower your expectations when it comes to the design and appearance. Beautiful natural materials are a great addition to any home, regardless of the style in other parts of your home.

Lighting

This is one of the most important things that need to be done right at the start of the renovation process. If you want to make sure your new dining room is properly lit, you need to think about, all the space that needs light, so you can make changes before doing anything else.

Of course, the table should be the center of the room so this is where you’ll want to add the most light. Many modern wood chandeliers could also be combined with natural materials such as metal and glass to add more style. Use LED bulbs to make sure you’re paying attention to the sustainability factor, but also to create a nice and soft light in this room.

Natural materials

Dining room
A dining room is very nicely designed

Anything from a rug to different types of tapestry or a macrame wall hanging can be made from sustainable materials to keep the eco-friendly vibe going. No matter what style you have in your home, there are many ways to use these items to boost the aesthetics of your dining room.

When it comes to boho and vintage interiors, a nice macrame wall hanging on a piece of a branch could be a nice way to decorate your walls and add an interesting piece to the overall design. In addition to that, you can always use a rug made from jute or any other sustainable material that’s easy to clean and maintain but still looks amazing.

Dining room furniture

Furniture is the center of the dining room and when it comes to finding the best option, going for a durable wood set is the safest way to go if you want to have a dining room that lasts for decades and decades. Many homeowners value the art of handcrafted pieces which is why they opt for timeless Amish dining room furniture that’s known for being the perfect balance between design and comfort.

This will allow you to create a special place where you’ll be able to host dinners, enjoy meals with your family and always have that special piece of furniture that’s long-lasting and visually appealing.

Accessories and additions

Whether you’re using your dining room every single day or not, you need to add accessories and things you can use for your meals. When searching for different things to boost the appeal of your dining room, make sure to always find items made from sustainable materials.

Candles, vases, plates, and different types of glasses are the most common items people keep in their dining room built-ins so make sure they’re all made from durable and eco-friendly materials. From different types of wood, stone, and glass to fabrics that will follow that same style, there are many options to choose from, so be as creative as you want.

Flooring

Dining room
A dining room is well decorated in eco-friendly manner

There are two types of people when it comes to, choosing floors for the dining room – those who like carpets and those who prefer hardwood. The first group likes to have carpets to keep the same style they have in other parts of their home.

On the other hand, these can be hard to clean and maintain, so hardwood floors are usually a safer option. You have a lot of natural materials to choose from – from bamboo to natural wood that’s a bit more expensive, but also a great investment for any space you’re renovating.

If you take some time to plan, you can create a welcoming dining room that’s also sustainable and can become a great place for creating new memories. Just because you want to take care of the environment doesn’t mean you should give up the modern and sophisticated interior, so use these ideas and start turning them into reality!