Monthly Archives: August 2017

The Basics of Resource Consent Application

Aerial View Of Vineyard in New ZealandA resource consent is authorisation provided for specific uses of New Zealand’s natural and physical resources.

What Is the RMA Act?

The 1991 RMA Act demands that local councils sustainably manage the effects certain activities have on the environment. Councils are responsible for granting or restricting activities that might impact the environment.

Do You Need a Resource Consent?

The kind of consent you request will largely depend on the activity you plan to do. It also depends on how your local district classifies the activity you are planning. Also, do not immediately assume that since a consent was not a requirement in one town, it will be the same case in another.

Always Ask Your Local Council

It is always best to communicate with your local council. Do so before planning an activity that could affect your community or neighbours. The council staff will advise if you need a resource consent. They will also determine if your planned activity is admissible or not.

Types of Resource Consent

There are five kinds of resource consents. One is the land-use consent. The second is the subdivision approval. The third is a water permit. The fourth is a discharge permit. Finally, the fifth is the coastal permit.

Let’s say the council requires a resource consent from you. Staff will inform you of your planned activity’s classification. It is also their job to tell you the specific information you would need to support your application for a consent. Lastly, they will tell you the duration and cost of the process.

All in all, always contact the council with regards to activities you plan. Do not just proceed without advising the council. At times, you might also need the approval of people whom your activity might affect. Lastly, there may be instances where the Environment Court will decide on your application instead of the council.

3 Tips for Making an Effective Business Booklet

Stack Of Promotional BookletsUsing a booklet as a marketing tool for your business can be a great idea. Not only are they cheap to produce, but they can also be effective in spreading your message to your target audience in a reader-friendly format as compared to a website with so much information or a social media page with numerous posts.

When designing a promotional booklet, however, there are certain things you should keep in mind to make it work.

Know your customers

Before proceeding with the actual design process, you need to ask the right questions first. For example, who is your target market and why should they purchase your product? What are the advantages you offer compared to your competitors?

Do you offer lower prices or better services? What customer problems does your brand address? These basic details are crucial to catch and retain the attention of your reader – your potential buyer.

Use words and images strategically

Go for bullet points and short headlines to engage your reader. Most people usually have a short attention span so it really would not be good if you bombard them with lengthy paragraphs or several pages of plain text. As far as using photos, you have to do so sparingly and strategically.

Do not try to fill your material with too much pictures because that can be very distracting. Also, try to avoid putting a picture of your building on the cover. Most readers find that boring! Instead, use images that are catchy and relevant. 

Read, edit and repeat

Before proceeding with the printing of your booklet, make it a point to read all the text and make necessary corrections ahead of time. This way, you could avoid the hassle of having a bunch of printed booklets filled with typographical errors and grammar mistakes.

Check the spelling, grammar, and even the information included (such as your contact details, etc.) to make sure that you got everything done right.

Three Important Features to Consider When Buying Kid’s Bikes

Father and son bikingA parent's decision to buy their young child a bike isn't one to be taken lightly for many reasons, including, but not limited to, the age and safety of the child. Of course, there have been a lot of changes in the way bikes are constructed. The inclusion of materials, such as titanium and carbon fibre, have made the activity a lot safer. But some parents may still have some doubts.

Starting out bike riding early is an important step in a child’s development as it enables them to develop their balance in addition to strengthening the body and cardiovascular system. Pre-schoolers, however, have more particular needs, according to Play'n'Learn. So, buying pre-school bikes requires consideration of certain features and a few of them are discussed here.

Weight

This is a very important consideration. An adult will typically ride a bike that is about twenty percent of their weight. The rule of the thumb is to ensure the child’s bike is about forty percent of their total body weight but reality makes this hard to accomplish. It can be hard to gauge a child's weight as they are still growing, so most children ride bikes that are about fifty percent of their body weight. The alternative, therefore, is to ensure the bike is as light as possible.

Geometry

The construction of the bike is very important as it determines the kid’s comfort and ability to manoeuvre the bike with ease. The wider the distance between the wheels and proper placement of the handlebars, the more balanced the bike will be for the child. A low centre-of-gravity means that a kid can ride easily without tipping over.

Q Factor (Bike Width)

The Bike Width simply refers to the space between the inside edges of its pedals. The effect of the Q-Factor reflects in the comfort of the child in riding the bike. The tendency to splay their feet is high if the distance is too wide. Thus, a narrow Q-Factor provides a better riding experience for the child.

The above factors are very important in ensuring the child receives the gains of riding pre-school bikes during those formative years.

Second Life & Grief: Coping Through Technology

Couple supporting each other during a funeralVirtual reality is “virtually” everywhere. From gaming to architectural rendering, the technology has been useful for many industries and it’s given people opportunities for new experiences. Researchers are even exploring the technology’s use in the grieving process.

Grieving and Virtual Reality

McDougal Funeral Home defines grief as “our natural reaction to losing something, or someone, that we deeply care about.” It adds that while there are guidelines as to how people are supposed to handle it, everyone responds to it differently, as it is an individual experience.

As the population in the United States gets older, half of the women over 65 years old will have lost their spouses while one-sixth of men of the same age will be widowers. Research suggests that participating in virtual reality support groups can help bereaved older adults.

The Study

Graduate students of clinical psychology at the University of Arizona analyzed how effective online support resources are for older adults. With participants consisting of men and women over 50 years old and who have lost their spouses, researchers tested how interactive virtual groups and online readings would help cope with the loss.

Grouped into two, the participants had to take part in an eight-week study period. Researchers later found out that both groups showed an improvement in sleep quality, stress, and loneliness.

What was interesting, however, was that those who participated in the interactive support group, called Second Life, had self-reported improvement in symptoms of depression.

Second Life is an online platform developed by researchers from the university. It lets participants create their virtual versions and chat with other people as a part of a study.

There’s so much stress and emotion that come with grief and sometimes, there’s only so much you can take. It helps to reach out to support groups in the community. Alternatively, social and static online platforms may also enable you to cope with the loss and move forward.

Homeowner remotely opening the air conditioner

Selecting the Right Air Conditioning System for Your Home

Homeowner remotely opening the air conditionerScouring several air conditioning shops just to look for the right system is not an easy task. It can be confusing to find your way among the many available products on the market, including ducted air conditioners, which you can get from firms such as Conduct Air Conditioning.

Before you resort to a game of “eeny, meeny, miny, moe” just to make a decision, here are tips to help you choose wisely:

  • Do not just wait for the extreme heat waves to amp up before deciding to get a unit for your home. Getting one before the extremely hot season will ensure that your system is prepared for optimal operation as soon as you need it.

Planning the installation in advance also offers you the chance to re-examine your choices. Besides, you will probably benefit from a better price range and make use of the various financial assistance programs.

  • Select a system that comes with a good warranty, as there are models that cover 10-year warranty on labour and parts. Keep in mind that a good warranty guarantees years of reliable and quality, as well as, hassle-free operations.
     
  • If you want to set up an air conditioning unit on your wall, then make sure to get in touch with a certified dealer. They are the ones who have the knowledge and ability to recommend you based on your particular cooling requirements, like your budget and kind of residence.

A qualified dealer will ensure that the set up goes smoothly to guarantee you peace of mind and comfort.

  • You can lower your ecological footprint and reduce the utility costs by turning off your air conditioning system at night. Open up your windows at night when there are lower humidity and temperature levels to let the refreshing breeze take over the room temperature.

Give your family a cool and comfortable home to de-stress from the stresses of work and school. With the right air conditioning system, you will be able to give them the comfort that they need.

Why Amtico Remains a Popular Flooring Choice

Worker installing flooring tilesAmtico flooring is an eco-friendly alternative to other flooring materials that have been around since 1964 with office and manufacturing facilities based in the US and the UK. In fact, the FLR Group adds that Amtico flooring is one of the most popular options in the United Kingdom.

What Is Amtico’s Main Component?

The main component of Amtico flooring is a resin that has been compounded with high-quality plasticisers and mixed with stabilisers. These ingredients are then subjected to high pressure and temperature which produces very thin but extremely resilient floor tiles. Amtico floor tiles are all non-porous, very durable, aesthetically pleasing, and easy to maintain.

Why Choose Amtico?

Amtico floors are all made of six layers of the highest quality vinyl available and use a Rotocure process. These floor tiles do not contain filler-based cores, so you can rest assured that you will experience no shrinkage, stability, and delamination issues with your tiles. With proper installation and maintenance, these tiles can handle heavy traffic without chipping or cracking. Amtico is also able to capture the look and feel of natural wood and stones flawlessly.

Benefits of Amtico Floor Tiles

Amtico flooring may only be a replica of real wood and stones, but it is more durable and easier to clean and maintain. These tiles come with a 25-year residential warranty. Not only that, but the ownership of these tiles are also transferable. This means that even after selling your house, the tiles are still under warranty which is something potential buyers may see as a plus factor. Amtico also includes their tailored floor and bespoke service when you buy their products. This service allows you to personalise your tiles by choosing the cut you want. You may even mix and match different designs to your heart’s content.

Wrapping It Up

Aside from being durable and resilient, Amtico floor tiles have beautiful designs and many other customisable options. This is why it remains the number one choice of various industry giants who need durable flooring that can withstand heavy foot traffic.

Pets are Not the Only Ones to Blame; Humans Bring In Fleas, Too

Worker checking for house pestFleas are a huge nuisance. Their very presence suggests that a room, or indeed an entire house, is unclean. They also bring a bevy of health problems like skin irritation for humans and infection and tapeworms in pets.

Unfortunately, fleas are difficult to get rid of if you have a pet. These parasites cling to animal fur and live off their blood. They also multiply fast, with females laying up to 40 eggs a day. Speaking of which, Yes Pest Pros, Inc., an expert exterminator of household pests, says that fleas are prone to nest in carpets, rugs and pets’ beddings. 

But even though pets are the main cause of flea infestation, these parasites can still live in pet-free homes. Here’s how it happens.

Hitchhiking Parasites

Animal fur is basically a magnet for fleas. Faux-fur fabrics, or at least fabrics with soft, synthetic fuzz, also have the same quality. So, although fleas don’t have wings, they can leap very high and attach themselves to fur-like fabrics. They may prefer a combination of fur and warm-blooded skin, but it doesn’t stop them from clinging.

Walking through grass, entering the house of a pet owner, and playing with animals exposes you to these parasites. Moreover, if the route you take on the way home takes you past an infested house, you may inadvertently give fleas a free ride to your house. Fleas can burrow into the seams of fabric, staying there until a warm-blooded body is nearby.

Lastly, you are also at risk of getting fleas if you have next-door neighbors who allow their pet cat or dog to roam around freely.

Challenge of Eliminating Fleas in a Pet-Free House

Pet-free households often realize too late that they have a flea infestation. Fleas in the pupa stage can remain in that state for months at a time until it gains access to a host, after all. To make matters worse, though, unsuspecting people might dismiss early signs of flea bites for typical bed bug bites. It’s only when the infestation gets bad enough that they begin to take action.

It pays to watch out for fleas even if you don’t have pets. If you think your home has an infestation, call a pest control service immediately.