How to stop the flood of election junk mail?

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

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

How can you help stop this unnecessary waste of paper? Imagine the strain on our environment and the large volume of greenhouse gases generated from all the trees cut down, electricity 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 conducted by the Australian Catalogue Association. So there is no way to stop it being deposited in your letterbox along with the other junk mail catalogues enticing you to buy all sorts of things you don’t really need. It is likely the same in other countries.

Step 1. Incorrectly addressed political mail
A lot of 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 every 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 limit 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.

Social Media for Brisbane Businesses Explained

On-line social media has totally revolutionized not only the way that people interact with each other, but essentially the way that customers fundamentally interact with businesses.

With over 800 million users worldwide, Facebook on its own is a gigantic marketing body, and of course there are many others such as Youtube, Twitter, Linkedin and Google Plus. Although we are subject to a lot of media hype and hysteria, social media sites have fundamentally changed the way that any type of business with a public presence operates, and are now as necessary to a business as an email address and a web-site.

But with all the clear differences that social media has brought to marketing, it is crucial to gain a realistic assessment of its capabilities and results.

With any kind of new marketing bandwagon comes a great many shonky or inexperienced companies and “social media experts” that prey on naïve businesses by over-hyping but under-delivering.

Millions of dollars and incalculable time is wasted on useless social media ideas every day. But social media is not magic. Without good marketing and business fundamentals behind you, a social media presence will fail and -depressingly- be a waste of time and money.

Despite hyping the impression of ‘free’ advertising with its lack of start-up and hosting fees, social media must have a continual presence, fresh content and site maintenance to show good results, and that demands valuable time that most businesses can’t afford to spare. That’s why Social Media Brisbane can do all the work for you, while welcoming for approval and oversight by clients.

Examples of how people commonly go wrong with social media include:

• Bad Content
Uninteresting or stolen articles, out-dated advice, and embarrassing attempts to be current are common when it comes to content published online. Be real: people on the internet are quite shrewd, and will recognise deviousness and condescension a mile away.

• Impatience
Developing a strong online social network takes time and persistence. A successful network cannot just sprout up in a day, it takes time and content to see results. Often a business will start up a social media profile, watch their results for a couple of weeks and then give up in annoyance when they don’t get the unrealistic results they expected.
This also ties into:

• Consistency
Spacing content out on a regular schedule over several platforms is a lot more effective than using up all your content at once or especially not updating at all. Nobody likes a spammer, but with the overload of information that we receive on a daily basis, if there isn’t a regular reminder of your brand’s presence you will quickly be forgotten. Just a fortnightly update can be fantastic for maintaining and growing relationships with customers.

We here at Social Media Brisbane are highly experienced and know exactly how social media operates, and treat it as a part of your marketing strategy rather than the one and only tactic.

And most importantly, we also integrate revolutionary Search Engine Optimisation procedures into our work, something no other social media group does.

Choosing consultants that value gimmicks over content and who endlessly throw around buzzwords such as “viral” or “Web 2.0” instead of showing strategy and results will simply result in it having been an exercise in frustration.

If you are looking for a social media consultancy based in Brisbane, contact the Brisbane SEO Company today on 3166 9622.

Get Exciting Kids’ Entertainment With A Brisbane Childrens’ Magician

If you are organising a children’s party and want to make sure that it is full of energy, fun and the best entertainment, then you should consider hiring a talented magician for the occasion. The amazing range of tricks a magician can do inspires awe and excitement in everyone watching the show. Having a magician is the perfect way to liven up a party. Kids will absolutely love watching him make the impossible happen right before their eyes.

Johnny the Jester is a brilliant Brisbane childrens’ magician who performs magical shows for a range of kids events in venues across the greater Brisbane region. His incredible live shows are extremely popular with the kids who have a great time watching him perform awesome magic tricks or give fascinating demonstrations with live animals.

This childrens’ magician has had plenty of experience with working with kids and has done a great number of live performances. Johnny the Jester has been doing magical shows for fifteen years for various occasions and events across Australia and overseas. He has performed at many birthday parties, childcare centres, and schools. Because he is so popular, he also does live entertainment shows to huge crowds at a number of major shopping centres. With his level of experience and success at being a childrens’ magicians, he will be sure to wow at your child’s party.

His shows are filled with fun, games and excitement. Johnny the Jester’s magic show includes all sorts of marvelous tricks that will wow the kids and make them laugh. He also uses live animals in his performances such as Stewart the rabbit and Dorothy the dove, making them disappear and reappear to the childrens’ amazement. His popular magical python show is a hit with the kids. It is not only entertaining, but interactive and educational as well, teaching children about the different snake species in Brisbane.

Johnny the Jester caters for a variety of events in the Brisbane region, from birthday parties and school holiday fun to fetes. He can accommodate his shows for small groups of children to as many as 170,000 – so number is certainly not an issue. His magical shows can be performed indoors or outdoors, inside in the house or in the backyard. The shows go for a total of one hour, giving a great length of magical entertainment for the children to enjoy. Parents can sit back, relax and take pleasure in the show themselves.

Johnny the Jester is regularly entertaining and is available for bookings all days of the week. If you choose to book him for a weekday magic show, you can take advantage of the discount he offers. On weekdays he is also able to arrange free balloon figurines for children.

As you can see, getting a Brisbane childrens’ magician will add fun and enjoyment to any children’s party. And there’s no one better to do it than Johnny the Jester, a talented and experienced magician who provides interactive and highly entertaining live shows that will bring laughter and joy to all children who attend.

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.

Can I really save fuel with a Truck Wheel Alignment?

Most heavy vehicle owners in the transport industry are asking themselves – How can I save money on my running costs? How can I save on fuel consumption? Will a truck wheel alignment help?

Research & studies conducted around the world show that around 80 percent of medium to heavy vehicles are incorrectly aligned, or have a mis-alignment. If your truck, trailer or bus has incorrectly aligned wheels & axles, you have what we call increased rolling resistance when travelling on the road. This means the engine is working harder than required to push the truck along the road, and the end result is an increase in fuel consumption. Given that fuel can account for up to 50% of the operating costs of a truck or fleet, smart operators must explore all avenues to reduce fuel consumption.
Generally speaking, correcting even slight alignment issues have been shown to result in a saving of 3 – 10 percent on fuel.

3% doesn’t sound too significant does it? Lets take a closer look – One truck runs Brisbane to Sydney (return) 3 times a week (6,000 kms). That’s 312,000 kms a year. Fuel consumption average is 1.85 litres/km. That’s 577,200 litres, current local prices are around $1.49 per litre. Fuel cost for the year – $860,028.00. If you reduced fuel consumption by 3%, you would save $25,800.84!!
Your scenario may be different, but you can see that small changes can make a big difference to the bottom line of your business. There are other areas where you can save on running costs, which will be covered in another article.

If you own one truck or one hundred, and you are not having a regular truck wheel alignment performed as part of your maintenance schedule, you really need to contact your local truck wheel alignment specialist for a chat.

Truckologist is a mobile truck wheel alignment business based in Brisbane, Australia.