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Guide to Energy Rating in Australia

Energy Effiecient House

Sustainable architecture is one of the thrusts towards an energy-efficient and environmentally sustainable future. In Australia, the concept is well-accepted and encouraged by the government. During the 1980s, a Five Star Design Rating (FSDR) came into play. It is an award given by the Glass, Mass, and Insulation Council of Australia together with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIDRO) Division of Building Research to builders who have shown exemplary performance in construction and design – sustainability included.

Energy Efficiency Standard in Australian Buildings

On the other hand, the FSDR system was not widely accepted. In order to transform the campaign into a nationwide thrust, the Australia Building Code introduced ‘energy efficiency’ into the Building Code of Australia (BCA). The Building Code of Australia is included in the National Construction series containing technical provisions for the design and construction of buildings all throughout Australian states. This paramount move has initiated the rise of the House Energy Rating, a standardized measurement of thermal performance. This also led to the upsurge of the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS) in 1993. This mandates that all structures – inclusive of residential and commercial buildings – should have a standard rating of 6 stars and above.

Reinforcing the demand for more thermally comfortable homes.

The star rating determines the thermal makeup of a particular household. A household can be rated from zero to ten stars – with zero as the lowest and ten as the highest. A low star rating would mean that the structure is not thermally conducive for occupancy. An under-performing household, in order to be thermally ambient, would need to increase its demand for artificial cooling or heating – this, on the other hand, increases energy consumption. Meanwhile, a thermally compliant household requires little to no artificial cooling or heating system – thus saving more energy.

Ventilation with high heat recovery

To prevent the construction of thermally under-performing buildings, the National Construction Code (NCC) requires minimum energy efficiency performance requirements. It also provides a number of options to demonstrate compliance with energy efficiency performance requirements. In general, the thermal performance assessment will evaluate the following: 1.) construction materials used, 2.) window glazing specification and orientation, 3.) insulation details, and 4.) orientation of the building. The evaluation may also take the following into consideration: heating and cooling loads, insulation of heating and cooling ductwork, artificial lighting, and swimming pool heating.

The above may be demonstrated in various ways including an alternative verification solution known as Deemed-to-Satisfy (DTS). Moreover, a NatHERS accredited software is used to make the assessment when conducting a NatHERS-DTS way. To date, there are three software programs accredited by NatHERS and these are the following: Accurate, BERS Professional, and FirstRate. Compliance to the NCC is frugal to be granted permission to construct a particular structure. Thus, compliance is necessary.

How NatHERS stars are calculated.

NatHERS star ratings are calculated based on the data encoded into the system and this includes the following: size and function of rooms, size, and specification of openings, building materials, type of construction, dwelling orientation, and location. The software will then simulate the amount of cooling and heating needed to make occupants comfortable in a typical year. Prior determining the temperature based on the varying seasons, it first simulates how the local climate heats and cools the house every hour of every day of the year.

Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme

Once temperature falls out of comfortable range, the software calculates the need for cooling and heating provided that measures such as opening or closing the window has been done. The total estimated annual heating and cooling requirements are then converted into star ratings. In order for the software to be at par, the software packages use the same climate zones, weather files, occupancy setting for a standard family, internal heat loads, and star rating scale for the home’s location. In terms of climate zones, Australia is divided into 69 zones. This allows the software to accurately calculate based on the given climate zone. Weather files, meanwhile, are based on the compiled records from the Bureau of Meteorology for each climate zone including additional information such as air temperature, humidity, solar radiation, wind speed, and direction.

Crafting a thermally ambient household begins in the design stage.

Sustainable architecture is one of the pivotal factors in creating a thermally effective structure. One of the cheapest methods to incorporate is the concept of passive solar building design. Passive Solar Building design, like this solar roof vents, harness the sun’s energy without using any form of active solar mechanism. It also utilizes a set of strategies aimed at reducing the need for mechanical heating or cooling. Moreover, it may also be used in line with the following concepts: thermal mass, thermal insulation, and shading or glazing.

Passive Solar Building

Building materials that are high in thermal mass can retain heat in a specific place. It also works hand in hand with thermal insulation to keep heat and prevent it from escaping. It is very beneficial during the cold season as heat is retained in the household without the use of artificial heating. Shades, meanwhile, prevent the sun from entering the threshold during warm summer days. Windows are also important to maintain thermal equilibrium.

There are so many concepts that can be incorporated into a house design to make it thermally convenient and energy efficient – and this is where energy rating consulting can help. We, at Ideas for Good, believes that energy rating provides specific structural strategies as well as carry out simulations to provide a detailed analysis of the thermal makeup of a specific structure even in the design stage. A Thermal Performance Assessor Consultancy accredited with the Building Designers Association of Victoria (BDAV), Bayside Energy Consulting provides a roster of services including Thermal Performance Assessments, External Window Assessments, Energy Compliance Assessments, Basix Energy Assessments for NSW, Deemed-to-Satisfy Assessments, and Artificial Assessments. The firm provides fast, reliable, and accurate NatHERS Energy Reports using FirstRate5 software and Energy Compliance Assessments using Deemed-to-Satisfy provisions of the National Construction Code.

For more information regarding NatHERS rating, check this video out:

Reduce Your Carbon Footprint With These Methods

devices

In the recent years, a lot has been said about global warming, particularly due to the severe side effects being experienced in different parts of the world. This is also referred to as the carbon footprint. Carbon footprint is simply the amount of greenhouse gases emission (carbon dioxide) caused by human activities. The impact of these gases to the environment is devastating. 

Since it’s practically impossible to stop carbon footprint, there are various ways to combat this problem.

How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Here are some of the ways to reduce CO2 emissions:

Stop or Reduce Eating Red Meat

Whenever carbon footprint is mentioned, most people think of the fossil fuels, but there are even bigger culprits that are less mentioned. Meat produces more carbon into the air more than the fossil fuel does. For instance, red meat consumes 11 times more water and produces 5 times emissions than its poultry counterparts. That is why reducing the amount of meat consumed can significantly help in reducing carbon footprints.

Unplug You Devices

It has been observed and proven that plugging electronic devices even when they are not charging sucks some energy. The sucked energy is a waste with each unit contributing to some degrees of greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, if you can unplug your devices anytime they are not in use, it will help in reducing carbon footprint. You can also use standby power saving devices to help in the carbon footprint reduction.

Drive Less

Cars have been described as one of the main emitters of greenhouse gases. Their massive numbers across the globe have them ranked among the leading contributors to this problem. You don’t need the car everywhere you go. You can opt for the public transport system, bicycle or even walk. If twenty car owners can go for the public transport, this would significantly reduce the production of the carbon footprint.

Plant a Garden

Planting a GardenPlants make use of the carbon dioxide gas in making food for their survival. In fact, if we had enough plants to absorb all the greenhouse gases produced, then we would not be struggling with the problem of global warming. Planting a garden outside your home can help in absorbing some of this gas thus helping in its reduction.

Line-Dry Your Clothes

Unlike in the past, nowadays people make of the dryers dry their clothes after laundry. It might be quick but what you don’t know is the huge amount of electrical energy that is consumed. It’s recommended that you line-dry your clothes so that you can reduce the volume of the greenhouse produced resulting from the use of the dryer.

References:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/7-instant-ways-to-reduce-your-carbon-footprint_us_59321992e4b00573ab57a383
https://bravenewclimate.com/2008/08/29/top-10-ways-to-reduce-your-co2-emissions-footprint/

Tips on How to Pick the Right Flowers on Your Wedding Day

Wedding Bouquets

Weddings are one of, if not the most memorable day in a couples life. There is a need to ensure that everything goes on as planned through thorough preparation. Professional wedding planners’ advise couples to start planning at least six months before the big day. This gives them ample time to compare and contrast the services offered by different companies.

Organizing your wedding is just like organizing a big corporate event, there are a lot of decisions to make. One of the major decisions that needs to be made is the type of flowers to use for decorating the venue, making your wedding day bright, beautiful and memorable. First, it is important to point out that there are thousands of flower types in the world. Hence, you must make informed decisions to get the best.

Picking the Right Flowers for Your Wedding

Theme

Wedding FlowersGo for flowers that blend and complement the venue. Some of the factors you should consider include artificial lighting, ceiling height, natural lighting, color of the walls, and the surrounding environment. Choosing flowers that enhance the available space will go a long way to make your event unique.

Visit a Florist

It is almost impossible to know all the flower species that exist in the world today. To save time and money, visit a local professional florist to get more insight into what flowers will be available around the date of your wedding. Take time to walk through the florist’s store or nursery to get a close look at the flowers. Go an extra mile and request  information on flowers that are in season as they are more affordable at that time.

Consider Your Dress

Wedding BouquetsThe dress is one of the first purchases that couples make. Overlooked by many, a dresses design can set the style for the wedding. For instance, a sleek and sheath dress works perfectly with a simple bouquet arrangement. On the other hand, a romantic lacy gown can be accented with a bunch of loose flowers.

Height

Needless to say, your body height should resonate with the size of your bouquet. If you are petite, choose a smaller bouquet that is in line with your body frame.

Personality

If you are not sure which floral style suits your wedding, take a close look at your closet to learn more about your personality. Your favorite designer can tell a lot about one’s personality. If you often shop for Kate Spade accessories, then monochromatic, bold, and bright colors are ideal for you. Alternatively, you could come up with a photo inspiration board packed with all the things you love such as fabric swatches, dresses, magazines ads and so on. All these things will help the florist learn and understand your favorite style and guide you as you make this all-important decision.

Think About Flower Alternatives

If you want to make your venue elegant and unique, spend money on a non-botanical décor. On the other hand, if you intend to have a vintage inspired wedding, a nautical inspired arrangement of flowers and famous books tied on a rope will give you a lifetime of memories.

Choosing the best wedding flowers does not have to be a tough decision, or a wrong one for that matter, if you take the tips in this article into consideration.

For more good lifestyle and health ideas and tips, go here.

How to Clean Your Vinyl Records By Hand

vinyl-record-cleaner

With the revival of vinyl industry, record and record player sales have seen a constant growth for the last decade. But for the newcomers, there are some few tips that you need to know to enjoy you your record for a longer time. First, you need to have a good turntable. Second, you must maintain your vinyl records in good condition. For the records to sound great every time they are played, you must keep them clean. This will also extend their lifetime since there will be little wear and tear. Dust particles are the main threat to record.

But how do you ensure that your records are properly and safely cleaned? You can either use the machine or do it manually. For starters, you may not afford the machine, but you can use your hands.

Tips on How To Clean Vinyl Records By Hand

Microfiber Cleaning Cloth

Microfiber Cleaning ClothIf you don’t have a good quality brush at your place or it’s out of your budget, then try a microfiber cleaning cloth. This is a non-abrasive piece of fabric will not end up scratching the disc. It is an easy way to keep the wax fresh and clean. It works very well at absorbing oils that could have entered into the grooves. The microfiber cleaning cloth also hangs onto dust and gunk thus leaving your record clean. It’s affordable, simple and readily available.

Antistatic Record Brush

As fan of vinyl, this is something that you should have in the home. It’s a great alternative to pads and very effective in removing dust particles in the record’s groove. The fact that it have thousands of tiny little carbon bristles, it easy to eat up any static on the vinyl surface to remove dust. The brush is useful for two reasons. First, it is because of the carbon brushes that make it possible to drain the static electricity that attracts dust onto the disc. Second, it enters into the grooves of the vinyl record to remove dirt (dust particles) lying within. That’s the reason it’s one of the most super effective vinyl cleaning method. It’s simple and cheap.

Mobile Fidelity Record Cleaning Brush

Anti Static Record Cleaning BrushWith this record cleaning brush, all your dust problems will be history. It’s a super-efficient manual cleaning method, particularly due to its wide surface area that covers more of your record. It’s a very easy tool to be used even by the starters. With its proprietary cleaning pad, it gets really deep into the grooves to wipe out all the grime and dirt that has been causing noise on your records. The brush is also designed with ergonomic handle to provide a good grip for easy and efficient cleaning. Just apply the right amount of pressure to scrub off the dust from the record, and you’re done. You can use this kit for both dry and wet cleaning.

Tonar Nostatic Record Cleaning Arm

The cleaning arm can have the vinyl cleaned as you play. It has a small brush fixed to the end that sits on the rotating record. What makes this method attractive is the fact that it reduces the stylus and record wear. Unlike the most of the manual cleaning, it does not lead to build up of static charges on the disc. In fact, it eliminates them thus keep your record clean for longer by reducing the attraction of the dust onto it. You can also place it in any convenient position on the deck and it will, still work. Tonar Nostatic is highly affordable and user-friendly.

Nagaoka CL-1000

Nagaoka CL-1000This tool uses a sticky roller to lift dust and grime from the upper surface and the grooves. The roller is made of a special rubber that never loses its original tackiness to the surface. It’s a very easy tool to work with since you only need to roll it lightly over the record surface. The best thing about Nagaoka CL-1000 is longevity. You will enjoy its service for a very long time and still maintain its original quality. You can also combine it with other record cleaning methods such as carbon fibre brush. It will help in removing dust that could have been left behind by the brush.

Disco Antistatic Record Cleaner

Disco antistatic is one of the best manual vinyl’s cleaner out there. It will clean your record’s grooves thoroughly than most of the available cleaning methods. It’s designed for ease of use, and thus even the starters can easily use it. All you need is to clamp the record between two plastics, use an axle to screw-thread the disc, then hang the disc in a thin bath of clean liquid. You then rotate the vinyl record manually for several turns on both sides, submerge it in the bath and gently scrub it. Then leave it to dry. That’s how easy it is to clean your record with this tool.

Milty Zerostat 3

Milty Zerostat 3Static electricity is main reason why your records are dusty. This is what Milty Zerostat 3 works on have your discs cleaned. The gun works by removing static charge build up on the surface of the record by generating the antistatic charges. With its suction tube, it becomes very easy to draw the dust and grime from the record. It is the perfect anti-static tool to have in the home. Apart from the records, you can also use it for cleaning other surfaces such as glass tables.

Cleaning Mat

A cleaning mat offers the perfect solution to dirty vinyl records. The mat is made from a soft velvet-like material that offers necessary protection to your discs- no scratching. It will hold the mat securely in place while you are cleaning. It highly recommended for wet and dry cleaning. It is user and cost friendly.

If your record is producing some clicking and cracking noises, dust accumulation could be the reason. You can use any of these manual cleaning tips to keep them sounding great. The tools are affordable and simple to use.

Calm Your Nerves and Get Rid of Stress With These 6 Amazing Benefits of Meditation

Benefits of Meditation

Meditation is an art that dates back to ancient times, all the way back to the first hunters who are said to have altered their state of consciousness by letting their senses be lulled into a deep trance after staring at the flames of their fires. Some of the earliest recorded documents regarding meditation stem from the teaching of the Vedas in ancient India. The practise of Meditation was mostly developed and polished into a refined art by Buddhism in India and in Taoist China.

Meditation does wonders for the mind by cleansing and giving it a refreshing feel which in turn also affects the health and stability of the body. Although it might seem like the person isn’t doing much physical activity, the real beauty of meditation lies in the physiological change undergone by the body owning to the spread of prana or healing energy to every cell. The following benefits of Meditation can be achieved by any other technique.

6 Indispensable Benefits of Meditation

 

Meditation is an Ideal Stress Reliever

Anti-stress MeditationThe result of this process is a joyful, peaceful, refreshing and enthusiastic state of body and mind that cannot be attained in any other way. Not only does it improve concentration and clarity, research has shown that meditation also improves the physical health and mental well being of a person by reducing stress, anxiety attacks and providing emotional stability.

It can be done in different ways either by focusing on the breathing, any particular sensation in the body or by focusing on a specific object.

Helps Improve Concentration

Meditation is especially helpful for school or college students who deal with a stressful environment almost every day. Research shows that it helps sharpen the mind and gain focus by relaxing the mind and easing it of racing thoughts. It helps decrease anxiety and brings about emotional stability by releasing serotonin which helps increase the mood and behaviour.

People in stressful environments learn to control their emotions and temper better due to an increased blood floor and breathing techniques which boosts the oxygen supply to the brain, thereby instilling a blossoming calmness through the insides. During exams, students who meditate show better results as it increases their concentration, focus and memory power. It also helps to better multitask and reduces the ability to distract often.

Encourages a Healthy Lifestyle

Healthy Lifestyle, MeditationA person gains a boost of energy from their inner well which also helps boost immune system and improve the overall health. Meditation also helps to reduce or obliterate any tension induced pains such as headaches, ulcers, muscle and joint problems or even cures insomnia.

It also helps lower the blood pressure, reduces anxiety attacks and lowers the levels of blood lactate. It has been shown to give a boost of energy and freshness that keeps the person going the entire day, encourages them to eat healthy food and live a satisfied lifestyle.

Helps Practise Self-awareness

Meditation helps a person attain self awareness and acceptance for an overall well being. It helps the person understand their shortcomings and embrace them instead of letting their temper take control to cause widespread damage.

It helps clear their mind and calms them down leaving no room for stress or constant worry.

Slows Down Aging

Meditation Slows Down AgingResearch upon the benefits of meditation has found out that it slows down the aging process by altering the brain physiology. In this regard it helps reduce the overall stress and its effects on the body, thereby slowing down the degeneration of the brain cell matter to add a few more years to life.

It also helps a person to relax which causes the nitric oxide compound to increase, directly causing the blood pressure to drop by inducing the opening of the blood vessels. Research showed that patients taking medicine for high blood pressure can stop their medication by practising medication regularly.

Guarantees Happiness and Contentment

People who practise meditation on a daily basis are said to be more content and satisfied with their lives, owing to the decrease of negative thinking due to a brain signalling in the left side of the prefrontal cortex.

This portion of the brain is responsible for positive emotions and meditation decreases the signalling activity on the right side which is responsible for negative thoughts and emotions.

Conclusion

To get the most out of meditation, it needs to be infused into the daily schedule and practised regularly.

It is like a warm glow that softens the harsh reality of the stressful world by helping you focus on maintaining your tranquillity and happiness.

5 Handy Hints to Make Your Life Easier

Painting House

It is tempting to ignore the steep price tag and hire a professional contractor to undertake home improvement repairs. Maintenance and repairs always seem intimidating and complex to someone who has never tried before. Others fear their attempts to fix the problem might make the situation worse. However, a simple DIY home maintenance plan can make a huge difference when it comes to cost savings. Here are some simple home maintenance works that you can do on your own thanks to the team at BreezyBnB.

Painting

Painting House and Fixing ToiletYou can easily repaint the interior of your house and give it a new look. However, repainting the entire interior is a lot of work and can be costly. You can save both money and time, by regularly touching up your paint job. The first thing you require is a spot-on color match. If there is some left over paint, just use it to re-touch the spots on your wall where the paint has flaked away or been chipped. The paint will achieve a near perfect look when it dries, leaving your house looking fresh and new again.

Toilet Repair

Leaking water from your toilet tank comes with two main problems. First, it will cost you money in the form of utility bills. Secondly, it will damage your bathroom floors and wear out the internal workings of your toilets. If you determine that the toilet tank is leaking, then you need to replace the toilet’s flapper. Before you do this, ensure that you turn off the water supply to the toilet. To replace the flapper, just remove the flush chain and slide the old one out. Replace with a new one and reconnect the chain.

Leaking Faucets

Most faucets leak due to worn out washers. Faucets contain rubber washers, which have a tendency of wearing out over time. To replace them, first turn off the main water supply. Proceed to unscrew the leaky handle controlling the water flow to the spout. Remove the old washer and replace with a new one. It is as easy as that.

Roof

House Repair TipsYou should check your roof periodically for any signs of damage. Discolored or damaged shingles should be replaced quickly to prevent water-damaged trusses, a drywall or even replacing the entire roofing system. When inspecting your roof, pay particular attention to the shingles surrounding the skylights, chimneys, and vents. These areas are the most prone to leaking.

Drafty Windows

Drafty windows are one of the main reasons why you are incurring high energy bills in the winter and summer months. Inspect the condition of the caulk line periodically. If it appears cracked, dry, or weathered, then you should remove it with a sharp knife or box cutter, and then replace it with a new bead along the seam. For additional utility bill savings, insulate your window using an insulating window film.

Conclusion

Keeping your property properly maintained saves you both money and energy. It increases the life of your existing structures and appliances while saving you money spent on utility bills. These are just a few tips that you can apply. However, if the project becomes too big, demanding or complex, just hire a service professional to get some assistance as you learn the ropes.

Green is the New Black!

organic-clothing

Organic cotton is just another term used to refer to cotton harvested and made from non-genetically modified plants. Note that, genetically modified plants are plants used in agriculture where the DNA of these plants have been modified using genetic engineering. These modifications were made to make them resistant to certain pests, diseases, and environmental condition. It also reduces spoilage.

The plants, the source of the organic cotton, were grown without the use of any synthetic chemicals like fertilizers or pesticides. Its presence also stimulates the regular and natural growth of all other biological entities in its surroundings due to its non intrusive trait.

The new trend nowadays is this shift from regular commercial cotton to organic cotton. This trend came from the growing awareness on the negative effects that come from buying and using materials that are made from commercial cotton.

Disadvantages of Commercial Cotton

Commercial cotton relies heavily on the use of insecticides and other pollutants. Cotton covers only a small percent of cultivated land (around 2.5 %) yet it consumes sixteen percent of the total amount of insecticides worldwide. The fumes from these chemicals pollute the air and water around it. And these chemical toxins stick to the cotton and can have numerous negative effects on the person who wears it.

Advantages of Organic Cotton

Organic Cotton ClothingThere is very strong belief backing the idea that organic cotton clothing is safe and easy on the skin which makes it ideal for people with sensitive skin. It is also ideal for infants, babies and toddlers.  Several consumers have attested to these claims and have cited other benefits such as: it is less likely to trigger any allergies and it even reduces respiratory problems.

Another notable benefit is its usefulness for children with special needs. Some CSN usually suffer from hyposensitivity which makes them extra sensitive to the textures around them. That is where organic cotton comes in. It is also a  great aid in terms of pacifying babies or toddlers who are going through a teething phase since organic cotton wristbands are non toxic and can be safe for children.

Having thus listed and recognized the numerous benefits of organic cotton, it’s no wonder that it has become such a booming trend. This is a true testimony that human beings are going back to basics and are really becoming more aware of their responsibility, not just for themselves, but also for the world around them.

Commit To a Healthier Lifestyle – Reduce you Sugar Intake

sugars

Everybody knows that sugar rots your teeth. Did you also know that sugar turns your body into a fat storing machine?

Sugar consumption results in your blood sugar rising and triggers the pancreas to release a surge of insulin to enables your muscles and cells to use the sugar in the blood. This blood sugar spike sets up a pattern of mood swings and cravings that sap your vitality and inflate your waistline.

As you crave more sweet or starchy foods, your body metabolizes them into sugar, which spikes your blood sugar and sets the vicious cycle in motion again.

In this respect sugar acts like an addictive drug. You should also stop eating so much processed sugar because excess sugar in the blood attaches to the proteins that enable the muscles, cells, and fat to respond to insulin. When these proteins are coated with sugar, they no longer respond to the insulin. This triggers insulin resistance, otherwise known as metabolic syndrome. People with insulin resistance are at risk for developing diabetes 2 and heart disease.

junk foodSome other reasons to stop eating sugar that you might not be aware of are that sugar is a primary contributor to blemishes, edema-related puffiness, under-eye circles, and wrinkles. Sugar destroys collagen and leads to the cross-linking of fibers that provide skin’s elasticity. This causes the development of wrinkles.

Sugar breaks down protein in the skin and the rest of the body in a process called glycation. This process results in brown spots, inflammation, sagging, and pre-mature aging.

All forms of sugar produce the same results, regardless of whether you use refined white sugar, raw turbinated sugar, or dehydrated cane sugar. Excess glucose and insulin also make your blood acidic, and as your body fights to neutralize it, problems can develop. In particular, sugar creates uric acid in your body. This raises your blood pressure, and can cause inflammation. The result can be any of the following: Diabetes, Obesity, Cardiovascular Disease, It speeds up aging, Dementia, Kidney, and Liver problems. These are only a few of the potential problems.

Following are some tips to avoid sugar crash:

  1. Eat a balanced breakfast with no added sugar (i.e. avocado on toast or museli)
  2. Limit sweets to 2 times a week or less if you can avoid it
  3. Stay away from white flour and eat plenty of vegetables
  4. Eat metabolically balanced but smaller meals each day (protein, fat, carbohydrates)
  5. Eat sweets only after a balanced meal (with plenty of protein)
  6. Eat plenty of complex carbs throughout the day (vegetables and whole grains) 7. Don’t consume processed sugar before you sleep

So try and reduce your sugar intake starting now! Take a look here for more great health tips and ideas.

Tips to Improve Posture and Reduce Lower Back Pain at Work

the correct posture for sitting

Office jobs come with their risks and hazards too as sitting all day exposes you to a myriad of health and wellness problems. Coupled with bad posture, sitting all day threatens your emotions, self-esteem, and even appearance.

Fortunately, you can escape this fix and balance your work and health by assuming the correct sitting posture and doing light exercises. Here are some tips to get you started from the team at Living Chiropractic in Sydney.

1. Get a Lumbar Pillow

Slouching is a bad habit that many people do unconsciously and hence find it difficult to avoid. As such, you should consider getting a lumbar pillow to get you started. The pillow will be a constant reminder for you to stop slouching as it will occupy some space behind you. Additionally, it will support your spine and make you healthier, more energetic, and give you focus to concentrate on your job.

2. Put that Foot Down

Crossing your legs may feel comfortable, but it is a potential health and fitness hazard. For wellness purposes, it is recommended to sit with both feet flat on the ground. The legs should be at a 90 degree position, so avoid stretching them out for long periods.

Like most people, you may find it difficult to adopt this sitting style. To get you started, consider using makeshift props for supporting your feet.

a lumbar support

A lumbar support pillow

3. Align Your Shoulders and Ears

You may often find yourself leaning too far forward or backward for prolonged periods. This not only leaves you tired but also makes your back ache. An easy way to beat this bad habit is to align your ears to your shoulders whenever you are seated. This will ensure that both your back and neck are always in an upright position as they should be.

4. Draw Your Shoulder Blades

Bad sitting postures will do a number on your appearance too as they result in rounded shoulders. To avoid this, practice pulling your shoulder blades back whenever seated. This will bring your chest out, align your spine and neck, and help you retain that firm and fit appearance that inspires self-confidence and self-esteem.

5. Move Around

Assuming the correct sitting posture is not enough. It is important to exercise the muscles and joints by moving around often. There are numerous excuses for you to get up every hour or so and move around: making coffee, visiting the bathroom, or just taking in some air.

Additionally, make sure that you make the most of your walks by moving substantial distances and performing strenuous activities such as climbing the stairs.

6. Exercise Your Chests and Shoulders

Light exercises offer great relief to fatigue and back pain, and they are so simple that they can be performed in the office without drawing attention. Perhaps the simplest of them all is shoulder shrugging, which entails just lifting and lowering your shoulders up and down.

The Wall-Angle is also effective and more engaging. It involves standing with your back flat on the wall, legs apart, and arms held up against the wall at a 90-degree angle. While in this position, all you have to do is move your arms up and down for at least 15 times.

desk yoga

Why not try your hand at some extreme desk yoga?

7. Embrace Desk Exercises

Desk exercises are more effective, diverse, and easy to perform. Some effective desk exercises include:

  • Desk yoga, which lasts only six minutes.
  • Stretch each foot out and moving toes upward and forward repeatedly.
  • Cross your left leg over your right left, place your right arm over the left leg and then twist slightly to look behind your left shoulder. Repeat this with the left leg and right shoulder.
  • Sitting upright, lift your arms upwards with your elbows straight and interlace your fingers. Proceed to bend slowly to your left and right sides for several times.

Conclusion

You do not have to condemn yourself to bad health for working in an office. Try out these tips and tricks to develop a healthy upright sitting position and keep your muscles and bones exercised throughout the day. Also remember to exercise occasionally during your free time to reverse the damage already done.

Uses For Old Coffee Beans You’ve Probably Never Thought Of

8 uses for old coffee

Although brewing coffee at home is an excellent idea, it’s  impossible to utilize every single coffee bean. Whether the beans go out-of-date or you just don’t like their taste any more, there are always some beans left behind.

No one knows this better than the team at Alternative Brewing, who go out of their way to keep their coffee fresh and tasting delicious by testing out hundreds of coffee accessories to provide to their loyal fan base.

This healthy caffeine addiction means there is always used pour over grounds or burnt beans around that need to be disposed of. Here are some of their best tips to help you use old coffee beans in a fun and effective way; from stopping creepy crawlies to creating an inspiring work of coffee bean art!

Ground Coffee Beans

coffee works as ant repellant

Keep the Ants Away

One of the best ways of keeping the ant colonies from invading your precious home is to randomly throw some old coffee grounds around the house. Keep your garden, kitchen, and family safe from those troublesome little insects. learn more about natural DIY pest control remedies in our previous post.

Save your Pets from Fleas

Relieving your pets from fleas can be a tiresome task. Rubbing old coffee grounds on the pet’s fur will not only keep these irritating pests away but it will also absorb the odour from the animal. Just don’t let your dog eat them!

Get Rid of Unwanted Odours

Coffee grounds operate exceptionally well when it comes to absorbing stank. You can place the grounds in an open container and put it in an area that stinks. After a couple of hours, the area will be free of the unwanted smell.

Spruce Up your Kitchen

Not everyone knows this but old ground beans are rich with acids and abrasives that are helpful when trying to scrub stains and spots. You can mix the coffee grounds with water and soap and clean your kitchen to perfection.

Whole Coffee Beans

chocolate coffee beans

Make Home-made Chocolate Covered Beans

Buying espresso beans covered in chocolate from stores can turn out to be extremely costly. With countless recipes available online, you can easily turn those stale and unwanted old coffee beans into a consumable and scrumptious dessert. Maybe you can even sell them at the local markets! check out our guide to making it big at your weekend markets.

Redecorate your Candles

You can acquire a number of ideas from the internet and create coffee and candle combinations that can bring a sense of luxury and extravagance to any room.

diy coffee candle

Enhance your Coffee Brewing Skills

Any old coffee beans are best utilized by trying out new methods of brewing at home. Although the actual indicator of a good brew is its taste, it’ fun and intuitive to play around with old coffee beans.

Some alternative brewing methods are a bit tricky to get right the first few times, so if you want to ‘go through the motions’ so to speak, then there’s no harm in using old coffee.Our number one suggestion however is to use them to test your coffee grinder!

coffee grinder for hario v60

Our primary use for old beans at Alternative Brewing is testing coffee grinders. With some automatic grinders like the Baratza range boasting more than 40 grind settings, it can be a waste to use fresh coffee to see the difference in coarseness for every grind. This way you can set your coarseness, test the effectiveness of the grind when bloomed and you can always taste it anyway to train your palette on different acidity levels.

Create your Very Own Masterpiece

Just like the coffee bean mural in Moscow, you can create an exquisite piece of art with the help of old coffee beans. Get your artist skills on and cover the sides of a canvas with unwanted old beans.

largest coffee bean mural in the world