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New Mattress Laws

bed

The mattress game just changed with an environmental turn. California, Connecticut, and Rhode Island passed mattress-recycling regulations in 2013, changing recycling fees, registration requirements, and how the entire process works. The Mattress Recycling Council (MRC) helped push these states to make the necessary changes to their legislation, and they hope to do the same across the rest of the country.

bedThe timeline for implementation of these laws vary from state to state, with Connecticut leading the charge last July. Rhode Island and California are set to take on the changes around the same time next year. But, what do the changes actually entail, and are they practical for other states to adopt?

The first significant change concerns the registration requirements mattress retailers need to incorporate into their system. Mattress retailer actionwood.com from Salt Lake City said businesses will need to register basic information with the MRC, shifting the responsibility for end-of-life disposal from manufacturers to the council. Vice President of the International Sleep Products Association (ISPA), Chris Hidgins, says retailers can sign up for registration through the MRCs website.

Under the new scheme retailers and contract-sales, manufacturers need to collect a small fee for every mattress and foundation they sell. The collected fees, which are subject to tax, will serve as the funds for the recycling process each mattress will go through at the end of their life cycles. Online mattress shops are also not exempt from collecting the fee.

Retailers print these fees on the tab to ensure customers know exactly where their money is going. Many external factors may affect the MRCs effectiveness in delivering these services to certain states, such as the cost of labor, real estate, and transport.

The MRC is a non-profit so it needs to fulfill its obligations as efficiently as possible. The council will release annual reports on its activities, and risk liquidation of support if they fall short of their mandate. Recycling mattresses are a new phase in the green game that has many bumps ahead of it. Hopefully, the authorities can hammer the details, and create a system that’s beneficial for everyone involved.

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Choosing the Right Shower Enclosure for Your Bathroom

bathroom

Everybody uses the shower. It shouldn’t be just a functional area of the home, though; it should look good too. Its design is part of the appeal of your entire bathroom, so you if your shower is boring, you might want to give it a new look. Before renovating the shower area, however, you have to decide what enclosure to use. This will give you an idea how much space you’ll have left. Here are some examples that you can use as a guide:

bathroomCubicle Doors

Those who prefer to go traditional choose this type of enclosure. It fits into any corner of the bathroom, making it ideal for small to medium spaces. All you need is a hinged, sliding, or bi-fold door for the cubicle. This option is ideal for people on a budget.

Wet Room Shower Screens

This enclosure is usually made of glass. Home renovation experts or glass manufacturers like Perth City Glass recommend installing it directly onto the tiled floor. Shower screens are similar to cubicle doors, but protect a bigger part of the bathroom from splashes. There are different types: wall-to-wall screen with fixed panels, corner shower screens, curved glass corners, and rectangular frameless screens.

Walk-in Showers

Do closed spaces bother you? Then try this option, as it promotes airflow and doesn’t close the shower area completely. This is for bigger bathrooms because you’ll need a wider area to keep one side open. The shower can have either two or three walls, which separate it from the rest of the area.

Bath Shower Screen

This type of enclosure is a good choice for households with limited space, making a separate room for the shower a challenge. This allows combining the toilet and shower together. The bath shower screen, which is usually made of glass, covers the tub (or shower) area to avoid splashing.

The right type of enclosure depends on your preferences and the size of the shower area. Picture your bathroom with each of these options, choose a remodeling company or two, and ask for a quote. As with any remodeling projects, you need a good combination of the right form and the right cost.

 

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What Makes an Eco-Friendly Home?

eco friendly homes

eco friendly homesGreen home designs are some of the growing trends in residential structures today. According to expert builders, green home building is an approach that aims to lessen any harmful effects on the environment. Apart from reducing their carbon footprint, these innovative home designs also allow homeowners to cut down on energy bills. If you’re building a new home, it pays to consider the following elements that make a home eco-friendly:

Energy-Efficient Windows

Windows are useful for letting natural light from the sun come into your home, as well as for providing heat and ventilation. By installing your window accordingly, you can minimise your need for electric lighting during the day. Installing double-paned windows, Berstan Homes shares, can make your house even more energy-efficient. These types of windows are made of two glass panels with an airtight space between them, which creates better indoor insulation. They are effective in keeping heat or cold from coming out.

Energy-Saving Lighting

Regular incandescent light bulbs tend to waste around 90-98%of the energy they use. This is because they produce more heat and less light with the energy they absorb. Instead of incandescent light bulbs, use compact fluorescent lamps (CFL). CFLs generate light with less than a third of the total amount of electricity that incandescent lamps use. They even last far longer.

Effective Thermal Insulation

Installing insulation is one of the best eco-friendly approaches you can apply to home building. When you insulate your home, you are reducing your energy requirements. You do not have to turn up the air conditioner during the hot summer days as the insulating materials let the air flow freely when the room becomes too warm.

Making your home eco-friendly means you are doing your part in saving the environment. Besides, a green home doesn’t just boost energy efficiency, but also makes your family feel more comfortable in any weather.

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Cutting Through the Lies: Debunking Myths about Meat

high quality meat

high quality meatThe endless propaganda about meat consumption makes some people think twice about buying meat or including it in their diet. Some say that red meats contain plenty of bad cholesterol, and others even say that it is the cause of certain illnesses.

It’s the time to put an end to all this false information. Here’s a quick discussion on the myths and realities about meat consumption and health:

Meat Makes You Fat

While red meats are often high in calories, eating such does not make a person fatter than usual. There is no need to give up your steaks or other favourite beef and pork dishes because it is not the sole reason you are gaining weight. In reality, these meats are among the best sources of protein, the most weight-loss friendly macronutrient.

Studies also show that a high-protein diet can boost your metabolism and automatically cut your calorie intake. Just make sure that you buy high quality meat, eat it in moderation, and prepare food the healthy way.

Meat Causes Heart Disease and Diabetes

Some people associate the consumption of meat with conditions like heart disease and diabetes. According to a 2010 study of over a million individuals, though, there are actually no links between the consumption of unprocessed red meat and diabetes or heart disease. The two conditions are primarily caused by poor lifestyle choices. You can eat meat, but it’s important to make sure your meals are balanced and that you exercise, too.

Meat is Not Important for Health

Some people argue that meat is unnecessary and that its inclusion in diets has no real health benefits. While people can survive without eating meat, you can’t ignore the fact that it has plenty of nutrients that are good for the body. Quality meat is rich in vitamin B12, protein, and important fat-soluble vitamins.

When it comes to buying meat, it is best to choose lean cuts. You should also add herbs to your meal and use the right cooking methods with less oil and butter.

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What You Need to Bring In Your Next Australian Road Trip

car tow bar

Australia is famed for its natural wonders and exciting adventure destinations. It is little wonder many families regularly go on long road trips – to take in the natural beauty of the country. With all that Australia has to offer, there is always somewhere to go and something to see.

car tow bar

For those who recently migrated to the country or those who want to explore everything the Land Down Under has to offer, you are in luck. It is easy to start your outdoor adventure, whether it is a trip to the outback or a fun weekend at the beach. Rev up your road trip with the following reminders:

Long-Haul Essentials

Long-haul road trips can take a turn for the worse midway to your destination. Kill time or make your short stops more interesting by installing car features like LCD screens and video game systems. You can also install it in your trailer if you have one for your convenience.

Trailer Towing

Easy as it may sound, trailer towing during long road trips is not for the uninitiated. There are many things to consider, from proper weight distribution to the right towing rig. You can start by determining the tongue weight of the trailer and measuring the gross trailer weight. Tom’s Towbars reinforces what is constantly said by the Department of  Transport of Western Australia: get these numbers right from the very start so you can make the necessary safety adjustments before heading out.

Emergency Supply

Changes to your itinerary along the way are inevitable – sometimes it’s so that you can have a more memorable experience. It is always best to stock up on emergency provisions and supplies whenever on a long trip. You will never know when the emergency stash will come in handy.

Power Inverter

Lastly, a reliable power inverter is always a must, especially if you have a trailer. This can help secure the power when there is no source available nearby. Use it sparingly, though, so you will have a good power backup anytime you want.

There is so much to see in Australia, and all it takes is to step forward to go on one memorable adventure. By taking these things into account, you can make more out of the experience and explore Australia.

 

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SEO for Small Business: A Checklist

seo services

seo servicesProper search engine optimisation will bring your website to the top of the search results. If you want to be on the first page, you need to understand how SEO works and learn strategies to improve your site’s online visibility.
Here’s an SEO checklist for beginners and small businesses:

• Research and Assess

They say keywords are not as important today, as they had been in the past; however, keyword research gives valuable information that you can use on your site. For instance, you’ll learn keywords that people use to find you online. Furthermore, you may discover your competitors’ search terms, which will help you form a better strategy for your brand.

• Onsite Optimisation

Onsite optimisation includes creating Meta data for all of your webpages, building a site map, and running web analytics. It also includes performing cross-browser compatibility testing. Remember, visitors can view your website on different screen sizes. Making sure that it appears seamlessly on a desktop computer, a tablet and a mobile phone helps decrease your bounce rate and improve your SEO score.

• Offsite Optimisation

Part of optimising your website for search engines is adding it to different local listings. If you have a physical store, add your business on Google Places, Yahoo Local, and Bing Local. Search engine optimisation services providers and experts also recommend adding your business to Apple Maps, Google+ Local, and Yelp to improve online visibility and target the right market.

To improve your web ranking, consider getting links from high PR websites and sharing your content on different social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. Unlike in the past decade, social media is now an important part of SEO.

• Monitor and Manage

Search engine optimisation is an ongoing process. To stay on top of search results, you need to track your website’s performance and may have to tweak your strategies frequently. You should also stay up-to-date with the latest changes on Google’s algorithm, as the search engine updates their processes regularly.

There are many ways to appear on top of search results. Apart from paid ad placements, you can drive organic traffic to your site by optimising it for search engines.

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Celebrating the Bump: 3 Hot Baby Shower Trends

Pregnant

Modern baby showers are starting to use more adult themes and have become significantly more practical. These days, dads-to-be take part in the celebration, too. Whether you are planning a baby shower for a friend, sister, cousin, or whomever else, here are some of the hottest baby shower trends parents-to-be will surely love:

PregnantPastel Theme

Baby blue, baby pink, and baby green have always been popular. Pastel colours will always be a favourite when it comes to baby shower trends—with people everywhere constantly reinventing the theme. According to Birthdays Wrapped Up, combining traditional pastels with white or an off-white eggshell colour can bring a touch of classy energy.

For a baby girl, combine baby pinks with rich browns. For baby boys, combine any shade of blue with browns, reds, and off-white for a bold yet soft palette.

Gender Reveal

Instead of finding out the baby’s gender in an ultrasound room, share the excitement with the shower guests. Ask the doctor to write the gender on a piece of paper, and have it sealed in an envelope. Give the paper to the baker—ask him to make the cake neutral on the outside and either pink, if it’s a girl, or blue, if it’s a boy, on the inside. When parents cut into the cake for the first slice, everyone will find out whether it’s a boy or a girl.

There are many other creative ways to find out if the baby is a boy or a girl. Think of different ideas and always have the ‘wow’ factor in mind.

Man Shower

Can you imagine your husband and his friends cooing around tiny baby clothes during a shower party? Okay, maybe not, but how about a beer party with a diaper drop at the door? Yes, dads are doing it. This kind of baby shower, often called “man shower” or “daddy diaper party,” is a guys-only gathering.

Guests often bring a pack of diapers for the soon-to-be dad. Generally, men love the idea—it’s a great excuse for a few hours of drinking and hanging out with the boys. You will end up with enough diapers that will last for months, too, so it’s really a win-win situation.

The last thing you want to do is use the same ideas that’s been done over and over again for baby showers. These fads can be your inspiration for your next creative and fun-filled baby-on-the-way bash.

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Handling Breakables: Packing Fragile Items for Shipping and Storage

Bubble wrap for cushioning

Packing fragile items requires you to pay extra attention to all sorts of details. It is important to use the right cushioning materials and proper packing techniques to make sure fragile items remain safe for the duration of transport to your new home or while in a storage unit.

ICL.net.au shares a few tips on packing breakables for shipping and storage:

Quality Cardboard Boxes

Choose boxes made from corrugated cardboard or those with double or triple corrugated walls. Quality boxes protect your belongings and reduce the chances of items breaking, meaning less worries on your end. It is also best to match boxes according to item size and weight. Use double-walled boxes for heavy and large items. Refrain from using old boxes when packing breakables.

Bubble wrap for cushioningCushioning Materials

Use inflated products like bubble wrap to cover fragile items. You can also use packing peanuts to fill corners and other tiny spaces inside a box. For items like glass bottles and containers, use cardboard dividers for shock absorption. The use of proper packaging tape is also advisable when it comes to sealing your packages.

Packing Items

Place items in the centre of the container box with proper cushioning around it. Make sure to cover any sharp edges with foam or cardboard to avoid piercing the box. For additional security, double box the fragile item. You can place the box containing the fragile item in a slightly larger box and fill the spaces with cushioning materials.

Labelling Packages

Mark packages or boxes with ‘fragile’ or ‘handle with care’ labels. This will alert shipping handlers or movers that items inside may break. Don’t forget to label’ this side up’ for boxes that need to stay in a certain position whenever stationary or lifted. Mark all sides of the box so the labels are visible from any direction.

With the right material and techniques, you can pack your breakables successfully. Choose a reliable moving specialist and shipping container solution to ensure that your delicate belongings get to its destination safely.

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Proper Care and Maintenance to Prevent Water Damages

Kitchen sink

Discovering signs of water damage in your home can be extremely frustrating. Thing is, there really isn’t anything you can do but deal with it. Failure to address issues like leaks and water stains will only aggravate the problem.

When it comes to water damage, Lexington residents need not worry because there are many experts that can help fix the problem. Below is a guide on how to take care of your appliances and parts of your home to prevent water damages.

Kitchen sinkDishwasher

Check under the sink regularly for any sign of leakage. If the dishwasher’s base is warped or discolored, there might already be a constant leak that needs addressing. Soft flooring material or damage to neighboring cabinets may also be signs of water damage.

Refrigerator

The hose connection of refrigerators with an icemaker should be securely attached to the water supply line. Watch out for wet spots on the floor as this may be a sign that the icemaker is about to burst.

Sink

Check the caulks around your sink and replace anything that looks like it is deteriorating. Also, check the pipes for possible leaks. Clean your pipes if full drainage takes more time than usual because something might be blocking the pipes.

Toilets

Avoid throwing down the toilet, even toilet paper and other seemingly soluble products, as this may result in a clogged drain. Be careful with chlorine tablet cleaners because excessive use causes rubber parts or internal plastic to corrode, which may lead to leaks.

Preventing water damages will save you the trouble of replacing or repairing appliances and shelling out money. Always remember that while some issues might seem like minor problems that you can address yourself, sometimes it isn’t worth taking a chance. Professional help is always better if the problem involves anything that can potentially contribute to structural or foundational issues.

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Apple Loses ‘Siri’ Patent Case To Chinese Company

iphone-white

iphone-whiteTechnology giant Apple Inc. has lost a lawsuit against a Chinese company over intellectual property rights to intelligent personal assistant “Siri.”

A lower court in China ruled against Apple, upholding the validity of a patent claimed by Chinese company Zhizhen Network Technology. It protects the rights of the latter on “Xiaoi,” software similar to iPhone’s “Siri.”

Rejected Request

Apple took the Shanghai-based technology company and China’s State Intellectual Property Office to court in 2012. In an effort to win the case, Apple asked China’s patent review board to declare Zhizhen’s original patent ineffective, but the request was rejected.

Apple said it plans to take the case to the Beijing Higher People’s Court.

Open to Reasonable Discussions

“Unfortunately, we were not aware of Zhizhen’s patent before we introduced Siri (speech recognition technology) and we do not believe we are using this patent,” a Beijing-based spokeswoman of Apple said. “While a separate court considers this question, we remain open to reasonable discussions with Zhizhen.”

Xiaoi was granted the patents in 2009. Apple’s Siri, on the other hand, only made its formal debut in 2011 with the release of the iPhone 4S.

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