Category: Lifestyle

Top 5 Perks to Living in Canada

When it comes to North American countries, Canada is often in the shadow of the United States. People that visit North America tend to gravitate towards the United States, and often leave Canada as an afterthought. However, these people are making a grave mistake, as Canada has many things about it that make it just as good if not better than their southern neighbors. So why should you look for Calgary houses for sale and become a Canadian resident? Here are the top five perks of living in Canada. 

Diversity

America is often hailed as a melting pot of different cultures, but Canada is equally diverse. In fact, cities like Toronto are among some of the most diverse cities in the world. Canada attracts thousands of immigrants every year, successfully integrating them into their culture and accommodating them. There are obvious advantages to being so diverse, as you are exposed to all different sorts of experiences, cultures, and cuisine. If diversity is something that you strongly value, then Canada may just be the place for you. 

Health Insurance

In the recent Democratic Primary, one of the hot button issues that were discussed was the idea of Medicare for All. In America, there is no single-payer option that provides coverage for everybody. However, in Canada, everyone is covered by government insurance, much like in the Medicare for All proposals. Having health insurance that encompasses everyone has obvious advantages, as it means citizens will always be covered by insurance even if they lose their job or can’t pay for it out of pocket.

Education

Education is an extremely important part of our society. It is during education that the future generations will be prepared for what’s ahead of them, setting them up for great success. The difference between a good education and a bad education is stark, and failings in education could put our children behind to the point where they’ll never recover. Thankfully, Canada has an amazing public education system and spends more per capita on education than any other country in the world. As a result, if you move to Canada you’ll know that your children will receive a great education and will be well prepared for the future ahead. 

Crime Rates

Crime is an extremely scary thought and something that everyone hopes to avoid. Not only can crime cause massive financial damage in the form of damages or stolen goods, but it can also come with various mental costs as well. After being a victim of crime, you may no longer feel safe, even in your own home. Thankfully, Canada has some of the lowest crime rates in the western world. Break-ins and other crimes are relatively rare in Canada compared to other parts of the world, meaning that you can sleep much easier at night. 

Economic Conditions

Canada has one of the best economies in the world, making it a major player in the global market. As mentioned before, Canada has a great education system, leading to a well-educated and well-prepared workforce. Such a great workforce is obviously extremely attractive for companies, so many top countries call Canada home. As a result, there are plenty of job opportunities for people in Canada, and many people in the country reap the rewards of such a strong and stable economy. 

10 Tips to Deciding What Kind of Entertainment to Book For Your Event

Your event deserves the best, and your guests are hopefully already expecting it from you.  From circus clowns to rising stars, there are infinite choices for entertainment- but which performer suits your party best?  Here are ten things to consider for your next event.

1 Guests

Consider your guests!  Characters, or cosplayers, may be perfect for a child’s birthday party, but not quite right for your uncle’s retirement party.  Think about who your guests are, what they’re expecting, and how you can provide that.

2 Theme

Although not every party needs to have a theme, it seems like most of them have one these days.  If your party has an era-specific idea, don’t go for something that has nothing to do with that era.

3 Purpose

Do you want someone to play music for your guests, or someone to interact and entertain?  You can give your guests a little of both with Irish dancers to hire or decide to go one strict route instead.

4 Location

Are you renting out a huge auditorium, or is the party in your small office space?  Consider how many people are attending and if there’s a designated space for the performer.  You shouldn’t hire a heavy metal group for a small space, but in the same breath, a single character performer may get lost in a party with hundreds of people.

5 Activity Expected

Do you think your guests are expecting to dance, or do you think they’d rather sit back and watch a performer instead?  Consider what type of energy you want the event to have.

6 Venue Rules

Some venues won’t allow you to use a live performer of which they don’t approve.  Look into the rules for your space, and check if what you’re wanting is acceptable.  Most of the time, within reason, there aren’t any problems- but it’s always better to check ahead of time.

7 Budget

This tip is paramount when hiring a performer.  If you can’t afford a band of acrobats, don’t try to recruit or plan for one.  Keep within a budget and plan how much you’re willing to pay before you decide to hire a performer.

8 Timing

Are the holidays coming up?  Is it closer to Valentine’s day, or prom?  Some entertainers will be less available at times like these because they’ll get booked months prior.  If you want a specific performer, and you know it will probably be a busy time for them, put in a down payment as early as possible.

9 Alcohol

If your party has drinking involved, you need to let the entertainers know ahead of time.  Some performers, like cosplayers or party clowns, may refuse to perform where there are open bottles of wine or beer, while others may be more enticed by it.

10 How Long Is Your Event

For most events one performer may be enough.  If your event spans longer than four hours, it may be time to look into finding one or two more performers.  No singer, or dancer, can keep it up for more than a handful of hours before exhaustion ruins their performance.

The Ins and Outs of Foundation Repair

Rural living is challenging in its own right, but invigorating, too. After all, you have to build up a support system around your property to ensure that, should something go wrong, you have all the supplies you need to get you through.

What are you supposed to do, though, if the foundation of your home starts to leak?

The good news is that no matter where you are, professional foundation repair contractors will be able to help you restore your home. Where, though, do you start?

What Causes a Foundation Leak?

It often feels like your foundation starts to leak for no reason at all. This, however, is not the case. Most foundation leaks form after weeks or months of exposure to extreme stress. Hydrostatic pressure, specifically, is a kind of pressure that builds up outside of your home when you’ve taken on heavy rain. This pressure erodes the materials making up your foundation while also causing those materials to rapidly change in temperature. To try and compensate for the changes in temperature, your foundation will expand and contract. If this happens too many times, cracks will start to form.

That said, large trees can also have a negative impact on your foundation’s stability. If you’ve planted trees with invasive root systems near your home, those roots may start to break through your foundation in their search for groundwater.

Signs to Look Out For

Foundation leaks and basement leaks are going to look similar to the untrained eye. However, foundation leaks tend to have the biggest impact on the structural supports inside of your home. With that in mind, you’re going to want to keep an eye on your internal supports for signs of damage. The most common signs of a foundation leak that you’ll find inside of your home include:

● Bowing walls

● Shifting floors

● Gaps at the joints of your foundation

● Sticking doors

● Foggy windows

● Water-damaged belongings or furniture

● Mold

Some homeowners want to believe that if they let a leak go, it’ll eventually disappear. While the symptoms of a leak may leave you alone for a little while, especially if the rain dries up, the crack in your foundation is going to remain. If you let a foundation leak go for too long, you may find yourself dealing with:

● Vertical cracks in your walls

● A cracked chimney

● Cracks running horizontally across your foundation

● Home sinking

Fixing a Foundation Leak

Once you’ve determined whether or not your foundation is leaking, it’s time to fix it up. Some of the most common foundation repair solutions include:

● Piering

● Underpinning

● Leveling and slabjacking

● Sealing

● Subfloor drainage

Reaching Out for Professional Guidance

If you’re concerned about saving money, or if you’re looking to save time, you may consider trying to fix up your foundation yourself. While this is a good idea in theory, you may actually end up causing more harm than good. It requires a specific education and experience to successfully fix a leaking foundation. Without those credentials, you could not only make your leak worse but rack up a higher bill with the professional you do eventually have to call.

When in doubt, ask for guidance. The foundation repair professionals working in your area will be able to provide you with a free inspection and quote, after which you’ll be able to select the foundation repair solution that suits your home best.

Above all else, don’t wait. Take back your home ASAP with a personalized foundation repair solution.

Using Household Waste to Create Fuel

The modern world relies on energy; to run, to produce, to transport – the list is endless. Around the world, different organisations and countries are competing to find the most energy-efficient, environmentally-friendly and abundantly available sources of energy out there. One option which would tick all the boxes is energy created from waste (EfW); specifically, household waste. Things we throw out every day often end up in landfills or polluting the oceans. By putting waste to good use we can produce energy and save our planet simultaneously.

Though there are several organisations that take it upon themselves to collect household waste and convert it to energy in mass waste-to-energy plants but similar benefits can also be achieved on a domestic scale. Surprisingly, this can sometimes be more beneficial and below we will explore how and why.

Where does our waste go?

We stress on our children to not litter, and throw trash in the bin, but do we know where the contents of this bin end up? Even in developed countries, a major portion of waste is collected through garbage disposal and dumped in controlled landfills.

The reduce, reuse and recycle attempts may have lessened the impact by a fraction, but we can’t deny the problem of massive landfills. Around the world, a million plastic water bottles are bought every minute! Our global waste is expected to grow from 2 billion to an even horrifying 3.40 billion tonnes by 2050.

The collection process uses heavy garbage disposal trucks that produce a large amount of harmful emissions every day. This may seem normal and harmless but when you consider the number of miles these loaded trucks travel every single day, 365 days a year – it’s easy to see that they create a major portion of the air pollution. Waste-to-energy plants may also use transportation to gather waste but even this disadvantage can be avoided by recreating the process at a household level.

In addition to air pollution, the trash also causes land pollution. Firstly, a large amount of land is required to store all the trash. The trash then takes many years to break down in these sites. By using waste as an energy source, we can create a sustainable use for it.

Gasification of Food Waste

The gasification process happens when carbonaceous substances are converted into carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and a small amount of hydrogen at a high temperature in the presence of oxygen, which produces synthesis gas. Using this method, leftover food waste can be turned into gas, which can then be used for a number of purposes ranging from cooking to heating.

It’s even possible to produce your own biofuels using food waste at home. This method is better suited to warmer, tropical climates to aid the production of gas. These biofuels are much less toxic than fossil fuels and give off 75% less harmful emissions when used.

Used Oil as Car Fuel

Fuel prices have been on a steady soar upwards no matter what country you consider. This is because fossil fuels are a limited source, yet their demand just keeps growing. This has led to a number of cheaper and subsequently greener alternatives gaining popularity. These greener energy sources range from solar power, to wind energy to electric power.

One very simple alternative is to power your diesel cars with correctly treated leftover and used vegetable oil. Despite being a sustainable repurpose for oil that would’ve otherwise been discarded, it’s not really any better than diesel as far as the harmful emissions are concerned. Nonetheless, these vegetable based oils cancel out the carbon they emit due to it being absorbed by the plants as they’re growing.

Using household waste to produce energy has several advantages. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. By repurposing waste as a source of energy, you prevent your garbage from ending up in landfills, oceans, and incinerators which only worsen the pollution issues. These measures will not just be lighter on the environment, but your pocket as well and the best part: it can all be done right at home.

The use of plastic bags has fallen by 90% since introducing the 5p charge but there is still more to be done

It’s great news to hear that the sale of plastic carrier bags in England’s major supermarkets have dropped by 90% since the 5p charge was introduced. 

The plastic bag charge came into effect in England on 5 October 2015, with all supermarkets and large stores legally required to charge a minimum of 5p for single-use plastic bags in store. 

According to figures the average English shopper will now use just 10 bags a year, compared to 140 before the charge came in. 

However, it was also stated that England is still lagging behind Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. This is because in England the fee only applies to shops with more than 250 employees, rather than all retailers.   

What can be done to cut down on plastic use? 

Whilst it may seem a bit cliché to use the phrase “reduce, reuse, and recycle”, it really is as simple as that. 

Whilst retailers need to be offering alternative packaging options, it’s also down to us to change our habits so that less plastic is needed so that less is being produced. 

Take a look at some of the ways you can reduce your plastic use: 

Take your own containers to supermarkets 

Many big supermarkets will now allow you to take your own containers to fish and meat counters so that you can bypass packaging on the items on shelves. 

Other supermarkets, namely Morrisons, have changed their stores so that customers can take in tubs for other items such as cereals, nuts, fruit and veg, and many more. This is a huge step to reducing the amount of plastic that we are using in households. 

Swap to eco bags

Whilst reusable bags such as those made from jute and cotton still require a lot of energy to produce in factories, they have a much better lifespan than plastic options. 

They are also much more durable than plastic bags, making them perfect for shopping trips and transporting items from place to place. Paper bags are compostable which makes them an ideal choice for an eco bag option. 

Recycle products you can’t put in your home recycling bin

When recycling at home there are some things, such as crisp packets or chocolate bar wrappers, that local authorities won’t accept in their recycling boxes and which may end up in the waste bin instead. 

There are now ways that you can recycle these items. Take a look at websites such as TerraCycle, who will be able to point you in the direction of local recycling boxes for items you can’t put in the boxes provided by your local authority.