Eco credentials and slow movement

John and Sally are Valkyrie Craft

Sally and John have backgrounds and long term interest in Environmental Science. They live in a rural area of Northern Ireland on its north coast on a 10 acre holding situated within a designated AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) and not far from an ASSI (Area of Special Scientific Interest). Since 2007 they have been committed to managing their smallholding to maximise biodiversity, which includes reforesting, coppice plantation for bio-fuel and timber for traditional crafts, a native species orchard, organic market garden and managed grazing.

Eco awareness and practice

Traditional crafts are often highly conscious of reducing waste and sourcing locally available materials – they are often crafts that emerged in times when regional and global accessibility to materials was more limited, both by expense and by availability of transportation systems, and when waste management was the responsibility of the individual.

Valkyrie Craft is no exception.

Valkyrie Craft and eco-practice

  • Materials are chosen on the basis of longevity – we aim for our boats and paddles to last. Consumerism is against our ethos.
  • Where possible we source materials locally to support local businesses and to minimise our impact on the environment. Sadly, we do have to import some essential materials due to the sorry state of manufacturing in the UK and the neglect of our forestry over the last century.
  • As far as is practical we choose hand tools over power tools.
  • Wood shavings and sawdust are recycled in our own garden for weed control and animal bedding or used for fuel in the workshop stove.
  • Off-cuts of timber are reused in non-boat building wood work or, if unsuitable, used for fuel in the workshop stove.
  • Chemical waste is kept to a minimum, essentially being small amounts of thinners and coatings for the boats. Paint and polyurethane go onto the boats, not into a bin!!
  • Cardboard packaging is recycled through the council or used for weed control in the garden.
  • Plastic packaging and bubble wrap is reused for our own packaging or recycled where possible.

SlowSustainable, Local, Organic and Whole

The Slow Movement is a multifaceted one including Slow Living, Slow Food, Slow Travel, Slow Work etc etc. Its essence is not about speed but about quality and depth. The following aspects of the Slow Movement apply to how we aim to work at Valkyrie Craft to make quality products which serve our customers, our business and the world in which we live.

Slow in this context is not a description of speed but of intent. In building boats and crafting paddles John aims to work solidly, without haste.

  • Slow is a life philosophy, a state of mind and being, a reflective approach, and methodical process to daily life
  • Slow is purposeful and fulfilling
  • Slow is holistic, timeless, and based on wisdom and spirituality
  • Slow is about pacing, being steady and consistent
  • Slow is taking a long-term view
  • Slow is about well-being and doing everything as well as possible instead of as fast as possible
  • Slow is conscious, intentional, mindful, and living deeply
  • Slow is balance, ease, sanity, and low stress
  • Slow is connection with yourself, those around you, and the world
  • Slow is counter-cultural because it goes against the norm that “faster is better”
  • Slow doesn’t treat everything in life as disposable
  • Slow is fighting back against the current state of busyness and “time poverty”