Common Catering Mistakes

When it comes to parties, night meals catering enhances the ambience and overall theme of the event. Guests will remember the food more so than any other aspect of the occasion. This is why it is important to give a little extra when it comes to planning food service at your next party. Catering involves a lot of crucial details that can either make or break your event. Be sure to know the tips and tricks to good catering service to avoid making these common catering mistakes.

Hire an Experienced Caterer

Many people try too hard to get the best deals in town; when sometimes, the best deals aren’t always worth it. Anyone can claim to be a professional caterer, but experience cannot be denied. Be sure to hire an experienced catering company to ensure your food delivery runs smoothly. It is difficult serving 100 people at the same time, and a person who is experienced at this is more likely to be successful at it. Experience is very important. When something unexpected happens, an experienced caterer knows how to roll with the punches. It will promise a better catering experience for your guests as well.

Avoid Fancy Foods

It is very easy to get a little fancy when planning appetizers and hor’dourves for a crowd. This can be a mistake. Not only can it be hard pleasing everyone’s individual tastes and palates with complex flavors and ingredients; it doesn’t really leave options for vegetarians, vegans, and people with food allergies. For this reason, it’s a better idea to keep a general appeal when it comes to flavor and selection. Choose foods that are popular and simple; and be sure to have some healthy options too.

Always Do a Taste Test

Every professional caterer should offer samples of their food, and of the dishes they intend to serve at your event. If they do not offer this service, call another company! This is a crucial step when it comes to planning food service for a party. You should be able to taste test and see exactly what the company has to offer, before making a final decision. This allows you to see all your options and go with the company that suits your needs the best.

Producing an Artist Logo For Your Brand Identity

Concept Boards are an essential tool that allow a designer to communicate their thoughts and visions through imagery. Creating a logo design for the organization is not always easy; however, it is actually the most important job that any entrepreneur needs to achieve. Company logo mostly depends upon the kind of the organization as well as the type of the consumers that the organization has. Your custom artist logo ought to be created carefully. Incorrect emblem designs will always cost a price that the company pays in the form of ineffective communication.

You will find 5 basic standards that needs to be included in a logo. They should be:

• Simple

• Unforgettable

• Suitable

• Adaptable

• Everlasting

Logos need to be easy in designs so that the customers can understand it. The emblem is memorable only when it is distinctive. If it resembles something else then it will recede from the memory of the audience and they may connect it with other products or services. Furthermore, artist logo design ought to be in line with the nature of the business and the identity that the company wants to build.

3 Way to Get a Customized Logo Design

1. These days, businesses use social networking to choose the best logo designs for their company. For example, some hire designers to produce couple of logos for their company and then conduct internet voting to select an appropriate design depending on the number of votes. This can additionally work as a subliminal PR activity and will produce customer-oriented hype. Not everyone opts for this and that is why other options are searched for to create a strong and communicative logo.

2. Search for creative logo designers. They have years of experience and understanding of producing logos and emblems, so they are the best choice. Hiring experienced will increases the likelihood of having the most suitable designs. The top designers often have their own websites. Visit these websites and check their portfolio to understand the type of work they do. Remember they are experts and they will charge a lot for their talent and work. Small businesses are tight on budget and will find it difficult to spend huge amount of money on their brand identity.

3. Starters can also find the services of new or freelance designers. New art graduates will be ready to use their skills at a cheaper rate. Their fee would not be that much and will even surprise you with creative and innovative results. Have a look at their profile and ask for a couple of sample artist logos for your company.

Once you are satisfied with your logo, register it as the trademark of your company. In no way, deny the significance that logo designs hold as a brand identity. No matter how small is the business, it needs logo to register itself in the mind of its consumers.

Four Tips To Perfect Your Pilates Teacher Training

Do you want to be a Pilates teacher?

Northern Beaches physio has an enviable reputation for managing complex and chronic spinal pain. We don’t blame you – being paid to spend your day immersing yourself in the wonderful benefits of Pilates while guiding others on their journey sounds like a dream come true.

So what can you do to make sure that you’re receiving the best Pilates teacher training, and giving the most value to your new students? Here are four tips to perfect your training, and to help you on your way to becoming a successful Pilates instructor.

1- Practise makes perfect

One of the most integral parts of learning anything is to practise, especially if you’re going to become a teacher. During your training, you will learn many different parts of becoming an instructor, from matwork to Reformer tips, and by practising these and pursuing your own Pilates goals you’ll be an inspiration to your class! Attend classes, practise in your free time at home, and make the most of any Pilates instructors who offer one on one classes. This is great to pick up new techniques or verbal cues, so keep notes of any flows or comments that you found especially helpful. Then you can try your hand at instructing a session for family and friends. This will help you get used to leading a class, and you might find some parts of your instructing you’ve overlooked that need work.

2- Write class plans

Preparation is key for any Pilates class, so prepare yourself by writing a class plan out beforehand. The class plan is where you can outline your structure of the class, and use it to prompt you as the class progresses. Practice the plan yourself so you can experience it first, and iron out any creases that it may have before your students attempt it themselves. For Pilates classes using the Reformer, make sure that you understand the resistance level and any adaptations that your class may need.

3- Stay fresh

Like any job, you could become complacent. Your students won’t want to come to your class if they are completing the same routine over and over again, and their instructor is regurgitating the same prompts and information. Make the most of refresher courses and opportunities to upskill such as clinical Pilates, and ante/post-natal Pilates. You could also find yourself a mentor who you can glean information and motivation from, to keep you on track and abreast of any new Pilates developments.

4- Pick the right training institute

The most important step to perfecting your teacher training is to find the perfect training institute. Kaya Pilates instructors are all trained at Elixr School Of Pilates, who also offer regular intakes through Kaya Health Clubs for people who may wish to train. ESOP is Australia’s leading provider of Pilates training, with courses structured around the latest in industry-leading sports science principles. ESOP is endorsed by Fitness Institute of Australia and is certified by Fitness Australia, which is why we are proud to align our services with theirs. If you would like to train through Australia’s leading Pilates teacher training providers, please inquire at our reception.

The Car Repair Facts You Need To Know

Don’t listen to other advice about the best car paint protection. If you have experience with car troubles, you will surely attest to the frustration they cause. It can be very difficult to find a good, reliable mechanic who charges reasonable prices. You are in luck, however, as this information will help you next time you need to find a great mechanic.

Before allowing an auto shop to do repairs to your vehicle, ensure you are aware of the total cost. If you are unclear about certain things, clarification is needed before repairs are started. You don’t want to be shocked by a huge bill to pay.

Make sure that you wash your car frequently to reduce rust and corrosion. Every car is going to rust in the future, but this can be delayed if you just get all of the chemicals and salt off your car when you can. Make sure you regularly wax your car so that you protect the paint.

A record of maintenance and repairs should be in your car. You may want to have them in the glove compartment, so you can get to them easily if you need an emergency repair. The auto shop will definitely want to see any records. It will aid them in figuring out any issues.

Every time your car is repaired, make sure you keep records of the event. Should your vehicle encounter other problems down the line, it will helpful for the auto technician to see past records. If you lack such records, you may end up paying more money for diagnostic work.

See if you can find reviews about the body shop of your choice on the Internet. This will let you know how others feel about the services they provide. The knowledge can be very helpful when it comes time to make a final decision on which place to go to with your car.

Make sure the mechanic you hire is properly qualified. If they avoid your questions or give you the run around, they may not be reliable. You need to trust a mechanic, and if you do not feel that trust, find another one.

If you are having extensive repairs done, make sure that you get several estimates. Most shops are on the up and up, but some will charge you for things that aren’t necessary. Take your time and find a shop you feel you can trust. Also, look for someone who has experience with your type of car. These repair shops are better equipped to understand and repair any problem your car has.

Do not forget about your windshield wiper blades. Replace them when they’re not clearing the windshield well. Wiper blades should be replaced at a minimum of once per year, or more than that if you reside in a particularly wet climate.

Look to your friends for their opinions on reputable car mechanics. With the benefit of advice from acquaintances and family members, you’ll be better informed about the different options open to you. That said, check up on who they refer as well. Use the web as a resource to find information about car repair shops.

Monitor your dashboard lights regularly. These lights give you a good indication of when your vehicle needs some maintenance. Ignoring these warning lights will not make the problem go away.

Keep in mind that DIY repairs for your car are risky. Don’t ever do repairs alone. Buy only the highest quality tools that will last and not break under pressure. This holds true particularly in the case of the tools needed for changing tires. The jack you buy needs to support your vehicle well. That’s why it’s smart to use a good hydraulic floor jack with approved jack stands.

Don’t try to diagnose complicated issues. Cars are complex and it takes expertise to fix them. Problems can be more complicated than they initially appear. Allow the automobile repair shop to correctly diagnose the problem. Tell them every detail and let them do the rest.

There are some shops that do devious things to your car if you are not paying attention. It is a scam that is used to make more money off of uneducated people. Before going in, mark up your tires with chalk. If you find the chalk is missing later on, question the shop about what happened.

Consistency is key when it comes to auto repair. If you have a mechanic that you trust, then stick with them. Shops do not all give you the same diagnosis of your vehicle’s problems. They might also charge you more for the work done.

Keep a plastic accordion file in your car and put all your auto repair receipts in it. You can set your filing system any way you desire. Some people choose a chronological filing system while others may choose to divide them into the types of maintenance or repairs that were performed on the car. No matter which way you choose, having complete car records can help the mechanic when you need more repairs and help you if you aren’t satisfied with a repair. This will also come in handy if you decide to sell your vehicle and want to let the buyer know about how much you invested in the vehicle.

If you receive a repair estimate in excess of a couple of hundred dollars, get things in writing. A written contract between you and the mechanic regarding repairs is your best insurance if you happen to end up in court. A written quote can also help keep you from any additional charges.

Set dollar limits on how much work can be done to a car without permission. Whenever you visit a shop, you should never allow the mechanics to perform very costly repairs on their own. Inform them that they must contact you for approval before proceeding with any repairs over the stated dollar amount.

No one is a fan of getting their car repaired, but sometimes it’s just something that has to be done. When you need to make repairs to your vehicle, use the information from the article. Making smart auto repair choices and dealing with reliable professionals will make the whole process a lot less stressful.

Powder 101 – Skiing in The Powder

Families begin the day heli skiing Canada together, but kids can return to the lodge when they tire to participate in fun, supervised, indoor and outdoor activities.When it comes to skiing, so many people are intimidated by the soft and fluffy. It may be a fear of falling and not being able to get up, it may be a fear of twisting a knee, or it may just be a fear of failure and or embarrassment. Whatever the fear is, there is path to conquer it. If you permit your fears to deny you the pleasure of powder skiing, it’s time to move them over and allow the blissful, sweet powder to lightly puff into your face and experience a new sensation that you will find no where else.

The number one thing you can do to make powder skiing easier, is to take a lesson! There is nothing better than having a professional correct your stance and balance, and build up your confidence gradually, preparing you for steeper and deeper powder days. The second thing you can do for yourself is invest in a good pair of powder skis. They are wide and shaped differently then on-piste skis, they are designed specifically to make powder skiing easier and more enjoyable for everyone.

So let’s address the aforementioned fears:

#1. Fear or falling (and not being able to get up)

First problem solver – always ski with a buddy. Not only is it much safer, it’s way more fun! Your buddy can help you get up if you are stuck, or better yet, take a picture to laugh at later.

Getting up in the powder starts just like getting up from any other fall, first, get your skis below you and together. Step two is to stand up (not an easy feat at the best of times). To make it a bit easier, take your poles, put them together and use them as a brace to push yourself up. If you lose your skis, create a platform in the snow, level and flat, oriented across the slope for which to put your skis back on.

If the fear is still preventing you from skiing powder – go take a few intentional falls in not-so deep powder just off the piste, and practice.

#2. Fear of knee injury

A common skiing injury, and a very real fear on heavy or wet powder days. In difficult conditions the snow has a way of grabbing at your skis, trying to separate them. In these instances, choose a wide ski, with a reverse camber (boat shaped) to allow more floatation on top of the snow. Then, take a narrower stance, bringing the feet slightly closer together than your on-piste skiing to create a platform from which both legs operate simultaneously. Getting your feet working together prevents the pull and split from independent action.

One of the best things you can learn for powder skiing is how to allow the snow to create pressure in the turn (as opposed to the arc of your skis, as what happens on a groomed run). The idea is that you “bounce” through the powder, sinking at the end of the turn and “popping up” immediately for the start of the next. This “popping up” out of the snow, allows us to turn the skis easier, and can only be done once you have simultaneous leg action.

#3. Fear of Failure (and/or embarrassment)

This happens in every sport at every level at every age. Each one of us is different physiologically, psychologically and emotionally, and we cannot all preform at the same level, at the same time, in the same manner on the same day. It’s a fact.

Be gentle with yourself, and enjoy the small gains. It may not be tomorrow, but if you don’t try today, it may never happen.

Things to Look For in a Conference Venue

Neptune Food & Wine the conservatory space at this Windsor food and wine venue is perfect for small function rooms Melbourne gatherings of up to 36 people. Planning a conference can be both exciting and daunting, depending on the scope of the event and the size of your budget. The most important thing to remember when planning a conference is that everything you do should help your guests feel welcome, comfortable, engaged, and ready to hear your conference’s message. If you keep this in mind while evaluating various conference venues, you’re sure to have a successful event.

Making your Attendees Feel Welcome

From the moment your attendees arrive at the conference venue, they should feel welcomed. You want attending the conference to seem like fun, not like an ordeal full of logistical hassles.

If most of your guests will be driving to the event, it should be easy to find reasonably priced parking. If most of your guests are from out of town, the venue should be easy for them to access from the airport by taxi or public transport. Ideally, the venue will also have good access to restaurants and hotels.

When your guests arrive at the conference venue, it should be easy for them to find the registration desk as well as the various rooms for their activities. You don’t want to choose a venue that is too big or impersonal where your guests will feel like rats in a maze as they rush from one event hall to another.

Making your Attendees Comfortable

People tend to spend a lot of time sitting and eating at conferences, so it’s important to choose a venue that can accommodate these activities comfortably. You want to make sure that the venue offers rooms that suit the size of your group well. Overstuffing a small room and under-filling a large room are equally bad and will make your guests feel awkward and uncomfortable.

Neglecting to arrange the seating properly will also make guests uncomfortable. Make sure that whatever venue you choose offers multiple seating options, such as theatre-style for presentations, banquet-style for meals, and boardroom-style for small meetings.

If the conference venue offers catering, ask to sample the menu beforehand. You want to make sure that everything will be fresh and delicious, because the quality of the food and table service will affect your guests’ impression of your company.

Engaging your Attendees

When it comes to engaging your attendees, obviously a lot depends on the quality of the content you offer in various presentations and activities. However, even the best content cannot be successful without good technological support.

When choosing a conference venue, make sure each room has a good microphone and sound system, as well as a multimedia projector and internet access if necessary. Ask for a demonstration of any computers or programs required to use these devices, and make sure that they will be compatible with your company’s content. Make sure that you can still see and hear the presentation even from the back of the room. If your guests will be taking a lot of notes or doing group work, you should also ensure that there is adequate lighting in each room.

Anaerobic Digestion Makes Renewable Energy From Rubbish

Waste disposal Northern Beaches not only help to collect the garbage but also to keep us humans healthy. A Waste Management system which is suitable for processing mixed (black bag) waste has been developed from technology first developed in Israel.

It recovers resources from waste while producing renewable energy and helping to reduce carbon emissions. In other words it releases energy from our rubbish, and reduces the quantity of rubbish which might otherwise be sent to landfill, while at the same time reducing climate change.

This is truly a win-win situation!

The ArrowBio process has been developed through a series of pilot and demonstration plants to a level ready to be used commercially in many countries, and is best described as a water-based mechanical biological treatment (MBT) facility with energy recovery.

ArrowBio’s process has been developed in such a way that it can either be used as a stand-alone solution or in conjunction with other technologies. For example it can be sited within sustainable energy parks to provide a source of energy as well as recycled materials for further processing. The recycled materials are re-used as feedstock by the other businesses based within the park to create a variety of products.

Two Stage Anaerobic Digestor

ArrowBio sets out to fully recover and wash the recyclable elements of the waste, so it should be favoured by environmental groups which tend to object to alternative processes which handle mixed waste, like incineration, on the basis that the ability of incineration to handle mixed wastes reduces the necessity to separate and recycle. The argument is that incineration makes it too easy to neglect recycling, so it should not be used.

The process has at its core a two stage anaerobic digestor which has been optimized for better energy yield than competing systems, from every unit mass of organic matter processed.

Extracting the maximum available gas yield, is in fact a stated primary aim of the ArrowBio processs.

This is recognised as good policy environmentally, and of course the gas and, or electricity generates revenue, which helps to pay for the upkeep of the plant.

The process consists of two distinct yet integrated components: a “front-end” wet Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) and a “back-end” advanced anaerobic digestion system.

The wet MRF combines standard solid waste handling technology in combination with liquid and slurry pumping, water based processing facilitates, passive separation, and cleaning of recyclables and their automatic conveyance around the facility, while also suppressing odours and dust.

In the wet MRF, the action of the water cleans, and recovers, ferrous metals, non-ferrous metals and plastics separated by type. These are then sorted into recycled materials of various grades that can be sold directly into the recycling market.

A “hydrocrusher” has also been successfully developed by ArrowBio which forms part of the wet (anaerobic) process. In effect the biodegradable waste is jetted with high pressure jets of water through a series of pipes. Food and paper is torn apart, greatly increasing the surface area available to biological action, while simultaneously suspending the organic chemicals in a watery solution.

Any waste that is not recoverable or that is not sent through the anaerobic digesters exits from the ArrowBio facility as a residue, and is normally present in only in minor quantities.

The first part of ArrowBio’s anaerobic digestion process is known as the acidogenic stage, and the second is a methanogenic stage. The biomass achieves optimum efficiency compared with single tank AD, and optimisation of pH levels, temperature and residence times is achieved automatically.

The plant has low emissions. The ArrowBio design needs no costly gas scrubbing stage, and the largely water borne technique does not produce the troublesome (dust, odour, etc) emissions experienced from some other processes.

Recognition of the sustainability benefits of Anaerobic Digestion in releasing energy from our trash is rising fast.

Find out more about this technology for the future, at the Anaerobic Digestion Community web site, and more about the ArrowBio AD Process as well.

How to Use Aromatherapy in Yoga-Pilates Classes

Sit back and relax in a beauty salon Northern Beaches that has it all, from your traditional treatments facials, waxing, massages, manicures, pedicures and eyebrow tints. Several years ago, during a yoga class, I lay on my mat in corpse pose with a lavender scented towel over my eyes. I could hear the instructor walking around the class giving each towel a gentle spray and placing it carefully over each student’s eyes. Once she reached me to cover my eyes, I began to clear my thoughts and get comfortable. AHHH! I immediately felt alone as if this yoga practice were just for me. At that moment, I allowed myself to surrender to the mat and just breathe. As my breaths became slower and my body felt as if it were floating, I let the scent take me away to a comfortable and quiet place. My body felt as though it was submerged in water, weightless, my mind at ease as my thoughts were limited. I was just being. As a pilates/yoga instructor, from that moment on, I have encouraged each of the participants in my classes and private sessions to experience that for themselves. There is nothing better than to take a mental vacation and become completely physically rested. This mental “vacation” mode should be offered at the end of the yoga class, during the final relaxation. This is my favorite segment of the class, as it should be for each participant. It’s a time to let our minds absorb what our bodies have accomplished, to ease the stress and tension in our muscles and allow oxygen to flow through our blood and bodies with ease.

In each of my yoga classes, I now take notice of my participants for that day and then choose the modality of aromatherapy products to use. Aromatherapy is the study of a scent with the use of essential oils and has actually been known for centuries. Essential oils are tiny droplets from different parts of a plant, the stem, root, leaf, flower, fruit or bark. They are the “essence” of the plant. When you brush up against a rosemary plants or walk into a rose garden, you can smell the fragrance; the essential oils are released into the air. Essential oils are not mystical or magic things, they are as real as herbs in the garden and they have been proven by science to have therapeutic benefits to our bodies and our minds. Aromatherapy can be used for healing because the essential oils have natural anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-inflammatory properties. Have you ever gotten a whiff of a familiar aroma and it took you back to a beloved childhood memory, a fun vacation, or your favorite relaxing place? Have you noticed if the familiar scent creates a relaxing, calming, stimulating or energizing affect on you? When we inhale a scent, it is carried through our nerve pathways to the brain, specifically, the limbic system of the brain, which affects our moods and emotions. Depending on which fragrance (oil) is used, it can be relaxing, sedating, memory enhancing, balancing, rejuvenating and even used as a natural pain reliever. For example, lavender is calming, peppermint is stimulating, rosemary promotes inspiration and blood flow, citrus oils brighten the skin and sharpen the senses and lemon is even cleansing.

The basic necessities for my yoga/ pilates class, of which I offer that little something extra in relaxation are: an eye cloth or eye pillow, aromatherapy linen spray, body oil and a yoga mat sanitizer. The eye cloth used is 100% bamboo fibers, which is naturally anti-bacterial and feels soft and cozy to the face. I’ll spray a gentle mist of aromatherapy Linen Spray onto the eye cloth and place it over the eyes. I always ask that if someone does not want the aromatherapy, or has any allergies, to place one hand on their belly as a sign of “No thanks”. For those participants not wanting aromatherapy, I recommend the flaxseed eye pillow; it requires no scent for its relaxing qualities. The natural weight of the flaxseed provides just enough weight on the temples, along with some pressure on the eyes to aid in relaxation. There is definitely a difference in how relaxed we allow ourselves to become once the eyes are covered and the light is filtered out. The linen spray may also be spritzed around the room for an air freshener before class. If your mind/body studio has community mats for your classes, Yoga mat sanitizer is a great way to keep the mats sanitized and rid the foot smell. The Massage & body oil is taken from a soy lotion candle. During yoga practice the candle sets the mood and ambiance while the participants enjoy a theraputic fragrance and at the end of the practice it aids in a massage oil for a relaxation . It can be gently rubbed in circular motion on the temples or back of the necks. Whether the aromatherapy is a spray or an oil, whether it is inhaled or applied directly onto the skin, the therapeutic benefits reap rewards to our body and our minds.

So go ahead…take the time for your body and mind. Visit to learn more.

Dusty Mardis is a yoga & pilates instructor and personal trainer with 10 years experience. Her B.S. in Exercise Science and love for the mind/body programs initiated the beginning of her business , Body & Mind Time. The aromatherapy products are specific toward yoga/ pilates studios and are a wonderful addition to the classes and for the use of the participants. For more information on the aromatherapy products vist

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Is Your Home Wiring Safe?

General wiring, installing power points and lights, through to data cabling and switchboards is what electrician Brisbane 24 hours expertise sa well. As an Electrical Contractor, each day, I’m called upon to come to a residence and try and locate the reason that there are electrical issues or outages. I drive what I refer to as a rolling supply house stocked with over 10,000 residential electrical parts on my truck so that I am prepared to fix any problem on the spot. Getting back to the title question, residential wiring is usually still safe after many years of service. However, there are many different types of residential wiring, depending on the age of your home. Some of the very first electrical systems in houses and apartments was called Knob & Tube wire. It worked well at the time it was installed, pre 1920’s and into the 1930’s, but is no longer considered safe. Many insurance companies will not insure a home that still uses Knob & Tube wiring. During the 1930’s, steel conduit became the standard method of residential wiring. The conduit began at the fuse box and traveled from outlet box to outlet box, from wall outlet to light outlet to switch outlet. Wire was pulled through the conduit to each needed location for switches, lights and receptacles. In my opinion, this was the best method ever conceived, even to this day. During the 40,’s & 50’s, many homes were wired with a spiral steel jacketed cable called BX. Inside the spiral steel jacket were either 2 or 3 conductors, or wires, usually copper or sometimes steel. Steel was used often during WW2. After the BX stage of wiring came Romex. Today’s Romex is a plastic jacketed cable containing 2 or 3 conductors (wires) similar to BX. Romex and BX are very similar in that the outer jacket is stripped where it enters the outlet box so that the conductors can be spliced or attached to the switch, light fixture, or receptacle from inside the outlet box. Both the BX and the Romex were stapled by hammer to the joists & studs. BX was difficult to strip. Romex was much easier and faster to strip. A sharp knife is my preferred tool, whereas BX requires a special tool that cuts through the steel jacket. During the late 1940’s, there was Romex in existence, but the outer covering was a cloth and oil based substance. It changed to various types of outer coverings until the early 1970’s when it became the standard plastic covering that we continue to employ today.

The safest residential wire, in my opinion, is the type that is protected best from critters, nails, and any other means of cutting into the wire. Knob & Tube is definitely not safe. Early Romex tends to shred where stapled to studs and attic joists, causing the potential for a shorted circuit (when a hot wire comes in contact with the neutral wire or ground wire). A short is supposed to trip the circuit breaker or blow the fuse. If the breaker does not trip, the short will continue to get hot and can very easily start an electrical fire. If you own an older home, have a professional licensed electrical contractor come out and evaluate your electrical system. Did you know that in many older homes, the kitchen light fixture has burned up the wires in the outlet box above it? Most older kitchen lights use a sealed drum type of light fixture. The maximum wattage of light bulb for a sealed drum fixture is 60 watts. Many people over the years have installed 100 watt bulbs in their kitchen fixtures to make the kitchen brighter! The fixture becomes an oven.

The best wiring methods in my opinion are post 1970 Romex and also early steel conduit. With steel conduit, it’s so easy to completely rewire the entire house. Just connect new wire to the old wire and pull it through the conduit! And if you still have glass plug fuses instead of circuit breakers, it’s time for a meter upgrade or a panel change-out. Just today I went on a service call and quickly found the problem. However, I came across something inside the panel that had I not looked inside, the potential for a fire was possible. Someone had added a 15 amp circuit into the box. Instead of placing that 15 amp, 14 gauge wire on a new 15 amp circuit breaker, the electrician doubled it onto another breaker with a wire already attached. It was a 20 amp circuit breaker! Good thing I checked.

If you are concerned about whether or not the wiring in your older home is safe, you should call in a licensed electrician or electrical contractor to take a look and do a safety inspection. Often if you are having some repairs done, the contractor may do an inspection and give you a verbal report at no charge. If they are not already there, you can expect to pay a few dollars for an inspection, however the peace of mind you will have knowing your wiring is safe is worth a few dollars.

James Dent is an Electrical Contractor based in San Diego. He is the owner of Point Loma Electric, a residential electrical service company for over 23 years. James has a Master Electrician certification and began training as an electrician apprentice at the age of 17 at his fathers electric service company, Dent Electric, in Vienna Virginia.

Point Loma Electric serves all of San Diego County for both residential and commercial electrical issues. However, Point Loma Electric specializes in older homes residential service.

If you would like to know more, please visit our blog or website at []

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The Pitfalls of Self-Administered Corporate Waste and Recycling Programs


Garden organics are collected in your lime green-lidded bin every second Wednesday by waste disposal Sydney. Instead of going to landfill your garden organics are recycled into mulch, soil conditioners and composts. The most revealing question to start with is… “where do Waste & Recycling services rank on your Company’s list of priorities?” The follow-up clarifying question is… “how much of your Company’s budget is allocated to Waste & Recycling services?” The answer for well over 90% of Companies is that Waste & Recycling services are one of the lowest ranked priorities, with a minimal spend compared to other budget categories. This is one of those categories that typically keeps getting pushed out, ignored, or swept under the rug due to higher priority items.

So why are we spending time talking about such a low priority category? Simple… in the 21st Century, Waste & Recycling has become much more than a line item on a Company’s budget. We are now in the age of Waste & Recycling statistics effecting the actual viability of your Company. Today, due to the pressures of the Recycling “boom”, Companies are now feeling the pressure of 3 simple words… “Corporate Social Responsibility”. These 3 simple words refer to “operating a business in a manner that accounts for the social and environmental impact created by the business.” What is tied into Corporate Social Responsibility?

You guessed it, Recycling! Today, Investors, Shareholders, Stakeholders, Customers and even Employees are looking at the impact your Company is having on the environment. If you are not showing consistent improvement in this area, your Company could be bypassed for funding, or lose Share/Stakeholders, Customers, etc. Really, it has become that much of a focus. And the focus in this area is only going to intensify. There are already organizations out there ranking Companies by their CSR scores.

Limited Time & Resources

The next pitfall is Limited Time & Resources. Every Company has a limit to the number of projects they can complete in a given time, and how many resources they have to allocate to those projects. Since Waste & Recycling falls at the bottom of Company’s priority scale, the result is very little if any time and resources being allocated to it. This means that “if” it gets addressed, it is assigned the least amount time to work on, and the least amount of resources to help with the project.

This scenario leads to poor processes, and poor management of Recycling and in effect “Corporate Social Responsibility”. It also opens Companies up for fines for not adhering to Environmental Regulation, as well as the aforementioned public scrutiny of Investors, Share/Stakeholders, Customers, etc. It can eventually ignite a public firestorm of bad publicity.

Limited Staff Expertise

Another pitfall of a self-administered Waste & Recycling Program is that the Company’s staff has very limited, to no expertise with this category. As previously discussed, developing and implementing an effective program requires industry expertise. This is an up-to-date working knowledge of the marketplace in all areas where the Company has locations. This includes which haulers have different types of facilities, which haulers provide the best service and price in each market, what favorable contract negotiations are available, what are the latest recycling technologies available, etc., etc.

The vast majority of Companies sadly have many types of non-expert personnel running their Waste & Recycling RFP’s and in many cases their entire programs. These personnel include Corporate Procurement, Operations, Facility Maintenance, Environmental Health & Safety, General Admins, and even Interns. The people in these positions have so many other priorities that rank higher than Waste & Recycling, that they have little to no understanding of the industry itself, much less the inner workings, hauler insights, new recycling technologies, etc. Again, this band-aid only covers the problem until some action or inaction related to Recycling or Corporate Social Responsibility, brings the eye of public scrutiny and a potential of multiplying Company problems.

Ever Changing Environmental Regulations

Ever since the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899, which later was largely superseded by the Clean Water Act, Environmental Regulation in the US has continued to grow in size and scope. The biggest push began in the 1960’s with the passing of such legislation as the Clean Air Act of 1963, the Solid Waste Disposal Act and the Water Quality Act in 1965, and the Air Quality Act of 1967. The environmental movement gained such momentum during that time that 1970-1980 is referred to as the Environmental Decade. This decade produced the creation of the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency).

Change has been the key word in recent decades. Many key Acts have been amended, some more than once. The key changes for Companies is understanding what classification their Waste falls under and how the laws require it to be handled. It also should be noted that this can vary by state. Are the facilities where your waste is disposed of legally certified to manage your type of waste? This is important because the Company producing the waste is considered the owner of the waste even after it is removed from their location and taken to a disposal site. This can leave a lot of liability on the table if the Company is not managing their waste appropriately. Fines and penalties can be quite hefty, not to mention the potential of law suits. It is no longer as simple as just disposing of waste. Today, waste needs to be managed.

Steven L. Davis resides in Charlotte, NC and is Vice President of Client Development at New Market Waste Solutions, which manages Waste & Recycling for Global 500, Fortune 500, and other large to mid-size Companies throughout the US & Canada. Steven is considered an Industry “thought leader” and “management practice leader”, helping Companies develop and implement complete 360 degree approaches to managing their Waste and Recycling effectively.

Steven is available to consult with your Company regarding how to develop the most effective Waste & Recycling Management program! For more information about Steven, additional publications, consulting, as well as media interviews, or Steven speaking at your next event, please contact:

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