How to stop the flood of election junk mail?

Wherever you live in the world, whether it is a State, Presidential, Local Council or Federal election, your mailbox will groan with the weight of materials aimed at getting your vote. It might be the electronic age, but it seems that a letter in your letterbox is still considered the most efficient way of getting a message across.

While an informed electorate is essential to the democratic process, there appears to be a glut of over-sending of junk mail for political purposes – and no clear way on how to solve this. What’s worse, the content of most of the political flyers is simply mudslinging about their opponents with little to no intellectual substance. Is anyone else reminded of children in the playground?

How can you help stop this unnecessary waste of resources? Imagine the strain on our environment and the large volume of greenhouse gases generated from all the trees cut down, printing and transport of the materials. Grab a cup of tea or your water bottle and let’s get down to it.

We know in Australia that material that is deemed to be political, educational, religious and charitable is exempt from “No Junk Mail” signed letterboxes according to standards developed by the Australian Catalogue Association. So there is no way to stop it being dumped in your postbox along with the other junk mail catalogues enticing you to buy all sorts of things you don’t really need. It is probably the same in other countries.

Step 1. Incorrectly addressed political mail
Much of your mail may be addressed to past occupants of the house. You need to “return this to sender” with the note “no longer at this address”.

Step 2. Contact each political party or politician that is mailing you
There is no central database so you will need to call the office of each individual sender and ask to be removed from their mailing list. Remember to be nice! You catch more bees with honey than vinegar.

Step 3. National Standard to stop political junk mail
Write a letter to the Electoral Commission asking them to implement a National Standard to curb the volume of pieces each political party is allowed to put in each household’s letterbox.

Step 4. Polling day
Don’t forget to recycle any materials you are given on the day – often the Greens Party has a box at the booths for such materials on polling day!

Written by Tracey Bailey, Director of Biome Eco Stores in Brisbane, specialists in water bottles and eco friendly, reusable choices for your home, body and lifestyle.

Tips for Kids Parties

Children’s parties have come a long way in the last decade due to more options, more expectations and more expense placed on an annual event that runs for only 2-3 hours. Being involved in the children’s party industry for 15 years, I have seen every type of party from the informal backyard gathering to a veritable carnival with everything imaginable hired.

However, a child’s party doesn’t require an event planner or a big budget to be wonderful. Here are some great tips to get the party started and the kids having a ball.

1. Stick with tradition. Kids feel comfortable when predictable elements occur, and if they are overlooked, it will not go unnoticed! Must-haves are: Food, birthday cake, and the all important Party Bag! If you provide at least these three things, you have the basics of party.

2. What games to provide. There are so many options: Party games; hire an activity or entertainer or have it somewhere that will entertain the kids for you. The Golden Rule is: DON’T OVER-DO IT!

One or two entertainment events are more than enough. The fact is, the kids will be expected to eat now, cut the cake now, watch the gifts being opened now, etc etc.. When you throw in entertainers, activities and games, children may easily be overwhelmed, plus the party whizzes by without the kids having a chance to actually play with abandonment.

3. Play time: This element should be the top party essential. Allowing time for the kids to run about, play, talk and laugh with each other is valuable. It suits children of all ages and capabilities, and -, it’s free!

4. Age-appropriate entertainment. This tip may seem like a no-brainer, however many parties can have children feeling bored or bewildered. For example, hiring a magician-clown for two-year olds left most of the children terrified. Another example is a bowling party for four-year olds. The children had no interest in being competitive and after several bowls, the excitement had definitely worn off. Even Pass-the-Parcel can cause distress when played with children too young to realise they haven’t missed out, they just have to wait their turn. If you are hosting a party for mixed ages and genders, there’s a wide range of entertainment that appeals, such as face-painting and balloon-twisting.

5. Relax! When planning a party, plan with your child and use your instincts – you know what they will enjoy most. On the day have a mini paper list so that you don’t forget anything, like when to get the party pies in the oven or to hand out the party bags.

And most importantly, enjoy YOURSELF too…after all -it’s a party!

Best of luck!

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Delux Painting – Services of the Best Painter Daisy Hill Offers

Painting your residential or commercial property is a tedious and time-consuming task, and you may end up spending more money by performing this job by yourself. With this in mind, it makes perfect sense to choose only the finest professional painter Daisy Hill offers. By relying on experts, you can ensure top quality results that are worth every cent you pay.

Wide Range of Services by Delux Painting
Delux Painting takes pride in its years of expertise in the industry. In fact, the company has a team of dedicated and highly skilled painters that works toward fulfilling your requirements efficiently, so you can expect total satisfaction with the kind of job delivered to you. These professionals are also known for their thorough and effective techniques in painting, as well as their careful attention to even the slightest detail. Thus, your satisfaction is guaranteed with the outstanding services provided by these experts.

At Delux Painting, you can choose from a number of services that will meet your needs and concerns including the following:

Interior Painting
Painting your home’s interiors can be a quick and inexpensive way to revive your property’s overall look while adding value to it. However, this task can take so much of your time, particularly when you have other important matters to attend to. Hence, you should consider hiring expert painters who can provide you with reliable color advice, in-depth consultation and top-notch workmanship that will exceed your expectations. By hiring experts from Delux Painting, you can be sure that your flooring and pieces of furniture are protected while each section of your home is painted. In addition, these experts will thoroughly clean up the mess after a day’s work to minimize stressful disruptions to your schedule. Even when you are on a tight budget, you can consult professional painters at Delux Painting for affordable services that will suit your budget.

Exterior Painting
During the warm months, it is inevitable for most homeowners to spend more time outdoors. If you want to update the look of your outdoor space, you may have the walls of your home repainted to revive the spectacular appearance. Delux Painting uses high quality paint in repainting your home’s exterior that will ensure you of its durable and long-lasting quality. These specialists will also perform essential steps before painting such as surface preparation to provide outstanding results.

Body Corporate and Commercial Painting
By choosing professionals at Delux Painting, you can have the assurance that the exterior paint and materials used are of the finest quality. These painting experts also implement extensive preparation, which serves as a key to ensuring you of breathtaking exterior paint finish in your home that will last for about a decade. Lastly, these expert painters make sure that their quality of performance meets the highest Australian Stanadard, so you can have peace of mind by hiring these professionals.

Property Renovations and Remodelling
Delux Painting has years of experience in renovating and restoring the appearance of old homes. For instance, painting specialists understand the proper techniques that should be implemented before applying fresh paint to any surface. They make sure that old paint is removed thoroughly before they can cover any imperfections in painted surfaces. Among the steps included in the preparation process include sanding, filling gaps and applying putty on specific problem areas. After performing these techniques, fresh paint is applied carefully to the area in order to yield excellent results.

Timber Rejuvenation
Another service provided by Delux Painting is timber rejuvenation, which aims to restore the aged and unsightly appearance of timber materials in your home’s exterior to make your property look astounding. These expert painters only use the finest quality timber decking oils and durable paint finishes that enhance the sturdiness and integrity of your deck for a number of years.

Remarkable Services that You Can Depend On
Delux Painting is a renowned private business that specializes in a number of services such as interior/exterior painting, timber rejuvenation, commercial painting, remodelling and renovations. By consulting these experts for your needs, you can be sure that only the finest services are provided to you by highly qualified, experienced, courteous, reliable and professional painters. With superior workmanship and great value for your money, choosing Delux Painting for your needs is the best way to go.

Double Glazing Windows

Acoustic double glazing depends on the addition of a secondary glazing layer offset from an existing window, optimally by 100mm. Soundblock offer two solutions to double glaze windows for noise and thermal insulation – Magnetic Acrylic Double Glazing and Acoustic Aluminium Double Glazing. Article body:

What is Window Double Glazing?
Double glazing depends on the addition of a secondary glazing layer offset from an existing window optimally by 100mm. Add our acoustic double glazing to your windows or specify our solutions on new projects. Double glazed windows reduce noise transfer by up to 70% and eliminate heating costs by 35%.

Double Glazing System – Magnetic Acrylic Windows
Magnetic Window Soundproofing System works very simply by installing a PVC sub frame on the inside of your window. This double glazing system greatly improves noise reduction. The acrylic window is sealed in place, creating an air space with the existing window, thereby producing an insulating barrier.

Double Glazing System – Acoustic Aluminium Windows
This double glazing system reduces the transfer of noise from outside to inside. These sound proof windows can be specially manufactured to meet specific size requirements. The Soundblock Aluminium Window System is an add on glazing system, creating a double glazed unit to greatly reduce noise transmission through existing windows by up to 70%. In Addition it provides extra security and safety to the property.

How to Soundproof Windows
To successfully soundproof your windows you need to have a sufficient distance between your primary window and the edge of your internal window reveal. Ideally this gap is 100mm. This will allow an acoustic secondary window, either our Soundblock Acrylic Magnetic or Soundblock Aluminium windows, to be installed to effectively provide an overall sound reduction of 40-43db.

Noise reduction and soundproofing solutions
Established in 1999, Soundblock Solutions is a respected privately-owned Australian provider of soundproofing products and solutions. We can help to provide a quieter, more comfortable environment in any environment, whether it’s in the home, office, industrial, restaurants, hotels or marine.

Representing leading Australian manufacturers of acoustic products, Soundblock offers a huge range of double glazing and window sound insulation and noise control products for domestic and commercial use. We will determine your specific noise problems and supply and install the most effective product or combination of products for your specific situation. Talk to us for expert advice and a comprehensive, cost-effective solution for all of your soundproofing, double glazing, noise control and acoustic requirements.

Soundblock are the experts in noise reduction and have found using window double glazing systems, that noise can be reduced by up to 70% or 41dB. Soundblock offer two solutions to double glaze windows for noise and thermal insulation.

Styles of Yoga

Yoga originated in ancient India, and is one of the six orthodox schools of Hindu philosophy. Derived from the Sanskrit word meaning “union”, its primary goal is to help the student achieve union with the divine by way of specific poses (asanas), breath (pranayama), and meditation to achieve a state of spiritual liberation. Though yoga in the Western world focuses on health and fitness, it is important to appreciate yoga’s long history as a vital component of the Hindu philosophical and theological system.
As one of the most popular of natural therapies in the West, there are many types of yoga available for those seeking health and wellness. The following covers the more popular yoga styles in the West, and helps you have a clearer understanding of the basics of each yoga style so that you can choose one which best suits you and your needs.

Hatha
Hatha yoga is a generic title which describes any yoga style, and most yoga classes advertised in the West will be hatha yoga, unless otherwise stated. When a yoga class is advertised as hatha, it usually refers to a slow-paced and gentle introduction to yoga, incorporating basis poses and simple breathing exercises. Before attending a hatha yoga class, it is wise to ask the yoga teacher where he/she trained and what the class will consist of, e.g. yoga poses, pace, meditation and mantras etc. This will help to to decide if the yoga class will be beneficial for you.

Vinyasa
Vinyasa yoga is perhaps the most common for those wanting yoga purely for fitness. This form of yoga combines a sequence of flowing poses with rhythmic breathing, and is designed as an intense body-mind workout. As a generic term for any form of yoga that involves poses synchronised to the breath (where there is a flow as the poses run together), Vinyasa yoga is also used to describe yoga styles that have derived from it, such as Ashtanga and Power Yoga.

Ashtanga
As mentioned, Ashtanga is a form of yoga that has derived from the concept of Vinyasa yoga. It is fast-paced and based on six series of poses that increase in difficulty as each series moves through one to the next without stopping. As there is no time for adjustments, once a series of yogic poses and breathing are underway the student is encouraged to move through the series of movements without stopping, making for an ideal full body work-out that will stimulate and improve circulation and detoxification, and get that heart rate pumping!
Power Yoga
Another form of yoga derived from Vinyasa, Power yoga is a Western product based on the fundamentals of yoga tradition. More likely to be part of a gym curriculum, Power yoga weaves common yoga poses and breathe techniques to a rigorous exercise workout, designed to strengthen the body and promote flexibility. Power yoga is great as part of your training and fitness routine, but rarely addresses the philosophical aspects of yoga.

Bikram yoga
Designed by Bikram Choudhury, this form of yoga is better known for its use of sauna-like conditions to promote detoxification of the body through sweat. Bikram yoga classes are held in studios designed to replicate India’s climate, mimicking a hot and humid temperature. Here students work through a series of 26 traditional yoga poses (usually slow-paced and gentle) as they sweat and, as a result, promote fresh blood and oxygen to circulate throughout the body. This form of yoga is ideal as a detoxifying exercise to boost the immune system.

Sivananda
For those seeking a more philosophical approach to their yoga, Sivananda yoga is based on the philosophy of Swami Sivananda and his five principles:
1. Proper exercise
2. Proper breathing
3. Proper relaxation
4. Proper diet
5. Positive thinking/meditation

Sivananda yoga classes work through twelve basic poses. As a slow-paced form of yoga, the emphasis is on the full exploration of each pose so that the eventual mastering of each pose is achieved as part of an overall philosophical approach.

Iyengar
Iyengar yoga is based on the teaching of B.K.S Iyengar, one of the most influential yogis of all time. This form of yoga focuses on the subtleties of each pose, which are held much longer than traditional forms of yoga. Focussing on the physical alignment of the body in the poses, students are encouraged to attain perfect poses through consistent practice. This is based on the philosophical belief that once the body is in perfect balance by means of mastering each pose, the mind with reflect this balance. In addition, unlike other forms of yoga, Iyengar also uses props such as belts or chairs to accommodate any needs or structural imbalances in the body, which makes it a good option for those with poor mobility.
Anusara
Anusara means “to step into the current of divine will” and is a modern form of yoga created by American John Friend, with its origins derived from Iyengar yoga. Its practice focusses on three key areas:
• Attitude – by opening to grace one can awaken his/her true nature.
• Alignment – integrated awareness of the different
• Action – pose as expression of the heart and inner freedom.
This form of yoga reintroduces traditional Hindi elements of yoga, however is primary health orientated as it focuses on inner and outer body alignment.
Kundalini
Considered the most comprehensive of yogas, Kundalini is derived from the tantra yoga tradition and refers to the flow of energy and consciousness that exists within us. Incorporating poses and dynamic breathing techniques, combined with specific mantra chanting and chakra awakening, Kundalini yoga acts as a holistic philosophy that keeps the body and mind strong and flexible in times of stress and conflict. This yoga style is suited for those wanting a holistic approach to their yoga practice.

There are many other forms of yoga available, with more yoga traditions and styles being introduced into the West every year. Like all things, however, it is best to have a clear idea of what you hope to achieve from yoga and then find a style that best suits that. Happy yoga practicing from Radiant Heart Yoga Woolloongabba, Brisbane.