How Businesses Can Combat Metro Manila’s Pollution

(And pollution in many other cities around the world, too!)

Metro Manila is arguably the biggest hub for commerce and business in the Philippines, seeing a vast population of workers everyday bustling across the stretch of cities to stimulate the economy. Right in the heart of Luzon, the national capital region stands a consistently busy area seeing dense crowds, many activities, and with it, some of the worst pollution seen in the country.

This state has made taking action on sustainability more critical for companies and businesses for the environmental impact and the employees’ well-being. Here are some changes that can be adopted to create positive change in the metro.

  • Eco-friendly installations

It’s become more popular and accessible for companies to make use of installations that add an aesthetic quality to their offices and base of operations while providing functional green benefits.

One popular way to achieve this is the living moss walls for the buildings and structures in the Philippines. These have been adopted by businesses that showcase being “green” and industries that want to add a splash of life into their environment.

Their benefit is that they are visually appealing and can fit into different interior designs nicely. They also actively provide better acoustic insulation and improve the air quality of the area. These installations make use of moss, which carries the benefits of having plants without the hassle of needing to constantly water them every day and expose them to adequate amounts of sunlight. These durable wall fixtures are easy to maintain and can work for any workplace.

  • Energy efficiency

One of the biggest impacts that businesses have on the environment stems from their energy efficiency. There are a variety of ways to make sure that spaces aren’t wasting energy and contributing avoidable emissions, especially since Metro Manila sees startling levels of air and water pollution, among others.

Properly maintaining ventilation and using mindful set-ups can significantly help airflow so that cooling systems don’t have to work as hard. It is one simple change that is easy to manage. Practices can be implemented that promote better energy usage with lights, equipment, and water. The use of more energy-efficient appliances, equipment, and tech can also curb a lot of the harmful environmental effects that litter the cityscapes daily.

  • Sustainable innovations

From infrastructure to operations, some of the country’s biggest players are becoming leaders for the movement of sustainability, which could incite other smaller enterprises to follow suit.

As new infrastructures are built to service operations, using materials and practices that are eco-conscious can turn the tide in climate change. Then, using the business’s platform to fund and promote causes and programs geared toward innovation in this sector can help follow through and maintain those efforts. Combining those two factors not only creates a new avenue for mindful modernization but also connects to the public in a new way.

By integrating these suggestions into a company’s practices and processes, businesses in Metro Manila can hope for a cleaner tomorrow. Even in different ways, climate change can be addressed by the workforce.

And this can go for any city or community in the world as well.

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Congress Picks Up the Bill

This article was originally posted on ChangeRoots.com 

Congress passes relief bill 

By now, you’ve heard about the coronavirus (COVID-19) that is spreading across the globe. As of March 18, 2020, all 50 states are reporting cases of the virus. The total count in the US has reached 5,881 confirmed cases and 107 deaths (source NYTimes). 

With city-wide shutdowns, people are spending and earning less, businesses are suffering and it looks like we’re headed towards an economic recession. 

Congress just passed the Coronavirus Relief Bill to support citizens and the economy with overwhelming bipartisan support on March 18, 2020. President Trump signed it that night.

What’s included in the bill?  

  • Pays for coronavirus testing 
  • Requires paid sick leave for those affected
  • Helps businesses pay for sick leave
  • Strengthens unemployment insurance benefits for those fired or have hours reduced
  • Helps low-income families afford food

What’s next? 

The bill passed Congress and has been signed into law by President Trump. Trump requested a separate and huuuuuge (like $1 trillion) stimulus package and things like immediate relief in the form of $1,000 checks for all citizens (s/o to Andrew Yang) and bailouts for industries impacted like airlines. That’s what’s coming in part 3. 

Recap:

  • Part 1: $8.3 billion to fund spurring coronavirus vaccine research and development (passed March 6)
  • Part 2: $100 billion largely focused on paid sick leave and unemployment benefits for workers and families (passed March 18)
  • Part 3: $750 billion – $1 trillion to prevent a recession (being drafted). This would be larger than the $700 billion economic relief bill passed during the 2008 recession. 

What’s the Post-partisan take? 

It’s a scary and trying time as information and the world around us seem to change daily. And while we’re in a state of uncertainty, we’re also looking for glimmers of hope. Congress passing a bill with such overwhelming bipartisan support? A huge glimmer. President Trump demanding relief by putting cash in the hands of struggling Americans, with Democrats supporting the demand? Triple huge glimmer. 

We’re seeing small examples of what we can happen when we put down political loyalty and pick up protecting the wellbeing of all Americans first. Now imagine if this was how we operated all the time. That’s the post-partisan world we’re fighting to create. 

What Does the Coronavirus Bill Mean for Me? 

If you get sick…

  • The government will pay for the test confirming you’re sick. 
  • Your health insurance (or lack of) determines how much the rest of your care cost. 
  • The government will pay your company to pay you for sick leave – if you work at a company between 50 and 500 people
  • If you are told to quarantine the government will cover part of your loss of income

If you get laid off because of coronavirus…

If you are an hourly worker and your hours get cut…

You may become eligible for food stamps

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Keeping Yourself Safer Behind The Wheel

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Driving is a pretty simple practice, really. Sure, the first few stages are a little confusing to a novice, but once those tedious little problems are ironed out, everything becomes a lot easier – it’s just like riding a bike! If nobody else was around and you were the only driver on the road, then there would probably be no issues whatsoever, right? That’s not the case, though. There will always be thousands of other road-users around at any given time, so you always have to be vigilant and on your guard.

Get Extra Lessons

Once you’ve passed your driver’s test, you’re good to go. That doesn’t always mean you’ve got all the necessary skills and prowess, though, does it? You just did enough to get past the exam. If you’re not confident enough in your own ability still, or you feel as though you could do with a few extra pointers, then it’s probably wise to take an extra course. These pass plus courses tend to focus on more difficult maneuvers. It’s also good just to have a professional beside you as you continue to build your ability. If you have a higher driving ability, then your chances of causing crashes or being a part of them lower. 

Make Sure Everything’s Good To Go 

You’d think this would be a given, but many people like to head off in their cars without checking anything – ever. If things are looking and feeling a little off, some will just carry on regardless. Don’t do that – it could cause problems for you and everyone around you.

Get Insured And Lawyered Up!

Car insurance is a legal requirement – though you see so many out there driving without any (it’s more than you think!) Third-party insurance is the mandatory type that everybody needs to have, and it’s a selfish, negligent act to drive without it as others will be affected if anything goes south due to your mistake. There are many other kinds of specific insurance policies around – you can visit here for more information if this sounds interesting to you. 

It’s always good to have the right lawyers around just in case you get into any further issues regarding your car. Somebody may press against you, and you could do with an aficionado or two to help you out if you feel anything is unjust. 

Don’t Show Off

For the love of all that is good in this world, please don’t think others will be impressed with how you behave in your car. 

Cut Out Silly Habits 
We all have little habits that we seemingly cannot control. When we’re in harmless situations that have no lasting repercussions, those habits are pretty benign and nothing to worry about. When you’re behind the wheel of a car, however, that’s when things change quite significantly. A lot of people are guilty of having silly driving habits – if you’re one of those kinds of people that can’t help but check their phone or neglect certain safety checks, then you’ll need to make amendments, won’t you? What you might consider to be small issues could end up ruining the lives of many others.

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How To Make Your Business More Economically Friendly

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Everyone is looking for new ways to make their company more eco-friendly that will also save you money in the long run along with controlling the amount of pollution you create daily. Even though many items seem great for boosting your projects they often aren’t great for the environment, so ensuring that you do some research before making a big purchase can contribute to saving the plant one bit at a time. 

Industrial air compressor 

Having an air compressor like at https://cbeuptime.com/compressor-central/ is the glue to the day to day running of your business. They can save you a lot of money in the long run as well as helping you to control your pollution. Large-scale air is released when electricity is produced so switching up your air compressor will be more economical. There are multiple air compressors that can help every sort of business. 

Cut down on your existing problems

We forget to assess how our daily routines can affect the environment, like disposing of any ink and toners from any printing safely using the facilities that are provided in the supermarket, stationery shops, and other places that can recycle them into new items. You can hire paper recycling stations if your business still uses paperwork that can be shredded and reused, or if your company can, then transferring your database and paperwork on to computers can save a lot of printing and help protect our forests. 

Lights and appliances

Switching light bulbs from the regular type to an energy-saving option can make a massive difference which can be done instantly and will save you money too. Every time you leave a room or when your business is closed for the day, briefing your staff members to turn off any lights and to switch any appliances off will leave you noticing that you are saving a lot of money. Don’t forget that items left on standby still use electricity. 

Green cleaning products

The chemicals that are in some cleaning products can be harmful to the environment and your health so keeping an eye out for non-toxic products will reduce this. You will also find that it will protect your staff members’ skin if it becomes in contact with them. Looking for moisturizers that are built into your hand washes can prevent your hands from cracking or getting dry or providing hand cream for your staff members to use throughout the day.

Plant trees or shrubs

Trees and shrubs can play a big part in our ecosystem. You could maybe create a team-building exercise to plant some trees to learn about how they can act as a filter for pollution. It can make the surroundings of your building look aesthetically pleasing and especially with trees you’ll find that they don’t need much maintenance to look after them.

Using these five ways to make your business eco-friendly will save you money whilst protecting the environment. It’s also very appealing to customers when you look to change what you do to save the planet.

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Solving The Clutter Conundrum That Is Your Home

Clutter is a more serious problem than you may think. Sure, it’s annoying that you might have to squeeze through some parts of the home and hurt your foot stepping on something you forgot was there. But it’s also known to be responsible for raising stress levels and even for worsening air quality due to the build-up of dust. It’s time to deal with clutter before it gets you sick or hurt.

Photo by Efraimstochter – Pixabay License

Get rid of more stuff

Simply put, ask yourself if all the clutter lying around is really a necessary part of your life. A weekly look at the clutter you have in the home could help you get a better idea of what you should throw away or sell instead of keeping around. This goes not just for the random papers, but clothes, and even furniture that is taking up more space than it currently justifies at the moment. Take a page from the minimalist’s book.

Have sorting bins in every room

Do you live a busy life that tends to see items picked up from one part of the room and quickly brought into another? Do you often lack the time to immediately tidy up after yourself? Placing strategy wicker baskets in each room could help. As such, if you spot something out of place but don’t immediately have the time to find the right space for it, you can toss it in your sorting bin, instead. Then, when you do have the time, you can go through the sorting bins in the home and make sure everything finds its right place again.

Use storage that fits your needs

A lot of us have storage space at home but aren’t using it as effectively as we can. If you just throw items on top of one another until that space is all full up, not only does it make it impossible to find what you need, but you might actually be using more space than you think. Check out how a closet designer creates custom closets to see how neat, divided spaces can actually open up more room for your stuff. Of course, it makes it a lot more organized, too.

Add some space

If you’re really struggling with the amount of possessions you have but can’t add any more storage or get rid of anything, then perhaps you simply need to add more space to the home. More space is more valuable when it comes to your home’s worth. But adding an extension or converting a basement or loft could also make the home a much more practical place to live, as well. Of course, this is a costly and long project to take on, so it’s good to have a purpose for the new space beyond fighting clutter.

Even if you’re not worried about the most dramatic impacts clutter can have on your life, the opportunity to open up some space in your home is going to make it a much more enjoyable place to be, so follow the tips above and free your home from clutter’s dreaded grasp.

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Three Clucking Good Reasons To Go Organic On Your Farm

Farming and agriculture are two of the oldest industries in the world. Our ancestors likely kept at least a few chickens, and so did their ancestors before them. In short; getting stuck into the ag-business means following in a long line of your forefathers. But, there’s a pretty high chance that the industry has changed since they were hoeing their fields and supporting their families.

Now, a focus on healthier food sources and what goes into them is forever driving farmers to consider their practices. This, alongside the vegan revolution, has left countless farmers struggling to pull the profits they once enjoyed. And, many are finding that farming alternatives like organic options are the best way to weather that storm.

Essentially, organic farming involves removing the chemicals from your processes. Instead, organic farms rely on natural pesticides and even antibiotic growth promoter (AGP) alternatives when it comes to supplementing livestock feed, etc. These may seem like pretty extreme steps away from what you know, but here are three clucking good reasons why this organic shift could be worth your while.

Image Source: CC0 License

# 1 – Potential for profit increases

Everyone knows that organic produce costs more, and this is perhaps the main reason to get started here. While standard farming practices have long been falling out of favor and losing money, the opposite can be seen from organic trends. In fact, produce from farms certified by bodies like USDA can typically sell for around 60% of average retail prices. This is particularly the case if you focus on farm shops, local markets, etc. Even better, you should find that consumers are more than happy to pay the difference if they can feel good about the purchase afterwards.

# 2 – An eco-focus

In the current climate, consumers are forever favoring greener companies with clear eco-focuses. And guess what? Going organic right now proves precisely that. After all, pesticides and harmful food additions are doing significant damage to water supplies, soil quality, and more. None of these is going to do you any good, and could even see consumers turning away. By comparison, that organic label proves you use only natural processes, meaning not only that your food is healthier to consume, but also that the ecological damage you cause to produce it is minimal or next to none.

# 3 – Land preservation

Along roughly the same lines, it’s worth noting that a shift to organic practices is far better for preserving your land in the long-run. Your resources (soil, water, etc.) will undeniably stretch further and reap better growing grounds than they would with the addition of nasty chemicals. As such, a farm that goes organic now is far more likely to stand the test of time than one that continues to practice harmful agricultural habits.

As if these benefits weren’t enough, making the switch to organic is often easier than you realize. All you need to do is think about alternative farming practices and habits that could make it possible.

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Changes to Your Business that are Best for Your Health

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Creative businesses can be brilliant outlets for talented professionals, but they can also take a toll – the kind of toll we are not always ready to confront or confess. I began my own entrepreneurial career as a successful makeup artist for weddings and events. I eventually moved into a storefront and expanded into wedding planning as well. Unfortunately, business success does not always equal personal wellbeing. I became overworked and my health deteriorated.

I knew things had to change.

Emily Sullivan Events was born of this time in my life and career, as was a laser focus on keeping my company small, overhead low and stress level down.

Do you see yourself in my story? More creatives do than you might expect. We pour our hearts and souls into our work, sometimes at a grave personal cost.

What kinds of changes would make a difference in your career and personal wellbeing?

Focus on the Basics

Taking stock of your personal and professional life is an important first step. What are your priorities? When you accept too many social invitations, even when they relate to business, what are you giving up? Time with your family? Opportunity to tend to self care?

Limit appointments and events to the ones that will help you achieve your goals without overwhelming your schedule. Give your family obligations, children’s events and time with your spouse as much weight, or more, as your business obligations.

Choose Your Team Carefully

Look for a team that complements your strengths. I searched for someone who could take some of the load off my plate and handle all of the physical activities. You might need someone who has the time to field phone calls, act as a leader on event days, or manage other employees day to day. Get the help you need to prevent you from overdoing things and putting your own wellness in jeopardy.

Keep Your Health In Check

You hear it from everyone – your doctor, friends and loved ones: you need to establish a routine that includes exercise, sleep and healthy meals. By the time the ramifications of ignoring these instructions start to manifest, it can be too late to repair the damage. The arthritis flare up that forced me to reconsider my business was my wake up call. It was the evidence that convinced me that the stress of the job was affecting my health. Don’t wait for your body to send such a dramatic SOS. Start incorporating healthy habits today.

Set Boundaries

Establishing your limits and making your boundaries known are the best things you can do. Accept that your to-do list will never be done, but you can still be successful even so. Don’t allow the world around you to influence your values or your self-image.

Life is simply too short to allow your business to rob you and your family of your best. Make the changes that will give you all a better quality of life before it’s too late. You simply won’t regret it.

This article by Emily Sullivan was originally published at honeybook.com

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Ready For A Lifestyle Overhaul?

Ready for a shakeup in your life? Have the last few months or weeks given you something to think about? Are you ready to create a more enjoyable, better and more personal lifestyle for yourself? 

So here are a few suggestions of where you can make changes to help you improve your lifestyle. 

Photo by Ramille Soares on Unsplash

Hobbies

Did you know that hobbies make you happier? Yes. There is a proven link between doing things we love, and raising our happiness hormones. So that makes hobbies the perfect antidote to stressful situations and life. 

Think about the hobbies you used to do as a child, remember how much you loved them? Do you still do them? Of course, interests change over the years, so you might need to find a whole new hobby! 

You might be thinking about refurbishing an old van and going on long driving trips. VanLife is a big movement, and focuses on travelling minimally, but comfortably. If you do decide that VanLife is for you, make sure you have a good car accident attorney on your speed dial! 

You might be looking for something a little slower paced. Baking bread is a great way to spend time and can be really wonderful for those who love a fresh, warm loaf with melted butter. 

Slow walks through the woods, combined with photography, can be so satisfying too. 

Health

In modern times we often push our bodies and minds into spaces that aren’t healthy for us at all. The pressure of everyday life and the people who need us can make it hard to say no. You can make small and simple changes by taking a multivitamin, drinking more water, and heading to the doctor for a check-up. 

Also, consider how much fruit and veggies you are consuming. And make a conscious effort to increase the amount. You can get an application for your mobile phone or a range of cool gadgets to help remind you to drink more water

Socially

Having the same social circle for years is really cool in the current climate or technology. But there are people out there you have yet to meet. Adding new people into your group, or generally just meeting others can have a huge impact on you and what you do. 

New people are going to like different things to you, their taste in music might open you up to new artists and bands. Their love of ice coffee instead of a traditional cup of tea, and even their hobbies. All of these new experiences can give you a fresh perspective and a new zest for life too. 

And if you know that you aren’t giving your friends the best of you, it might be time to think about why you haven’t been keeping in touch as much as you should be. Modern life means people are busy, but how often you keep in touch with people will make a difference to your everyday life. 

And finally, unplug from technology for a few hours every day, read, draw or go for a walk. 

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More Space, More Value: Home Additions that Increase Property Value

Thinking about staying or moving to another home in a few years? Whatever it may be, certain home additions are worthwhile undertakings, especially when they significantly increase the price of your home.

Patios and Carports

Many urban homes in Brisbane have carports, patios or sometimes both. These house extensions effectively expand a house without requiring extensive construction. A patio can increase your home value by 10 to 20 per cent, and a carport is an attractive addition for families with more than one vehicle. If you’re not planning to sell your home, you can still make use of an extended patio. It extends your living area while keeping the sun at bay and keeping your house cooler. The larger space is perfect for gatherings and barbecues, afternoon tea time or evening parties. A carport will protect your vehicle from the sun, maintaining its paint job and allowing you to drive off without suffering from suffocating heat during summer months.

Conservatories and Greenhouses

A garden won’t affect your house’s valuation, but a well-made conservatory or greenhouse would. A conservatory or a separate greenhouse will give your house a more refined look. You can make full use of a greenhouse even if you have no plans to sell your house. Australia is particularly hot, so make sure you choose your crops properly. Vegetables like tomatoes, cabbage, spinach and peppers are popular crop choices. If flowers are more to your liking, geraniums, petunias, chrysanthemums or orchids can be good options. You can even opt for specialty plants like cacti and other succulents or Venus flytraps and other carnivorous plants. Modern greenhouses can be constructed using polycarbonate sheets instead of glass, so you don’t have to worry about damage or accidents – especially if you have kids or pets in the house.

The Usual Backyard Cabin

Granny flats are everywhere in Australia. An extra living structure in your property will certainly raise its price, but you will probably choose to stay if you opt for a backyard cabin. While popularly used to provide a living space for older relatives, granny flats can have multiple uses. It can serve as an office if you work from home or run a business; you can even list it as a coworking space online. Use it as a workshop for wood-crafting or hobby space for the whole family. Keeping the mess outside of the house can make your family a lot happier and saner. If you don’t want to make a lot of changes, just rent it out as an Airbnb accommodation or perhaps a short-term lease. A backyard cabin is easy to maintain, and contractors can easily reconfigure it if your elderly parents finally decide to move in.

House additions cost money, but they make your house more spacious and comfortable or give it more character. The right additions pay for themselves by either raising your quality of life or raising your house’s valuation if you plan on selling in the future. So choose a project that best suits your needs.

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Sensible Times To Outsource In Business

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Outsourcing is something that all businesses can benefit from. But when should you outsource and when you should take on a task yourself? Here are just a few of the key times to consider outsourcing.

When it’s beyond your expertise

There are some jobs that you may simply not have the expertise to handle. While you may be able to teach yourself the required skills in some cases, this could still take a lot of time and energy.

Manufacturers for instance will often specialise in certain areas and outsource parts and other processes. You may specialise in casing for machinery but may require another company to handle electronics assembly. Without spending years studying electronics, there’s no way you can do this task yourself.

Legal support is another task that is commonly outsourced because it requires specialist expertise. Lawyers can help to explain business laws and may be able to help with tasks such as writing legal contracts, applying for trademarks or defending you against a lawsuit.  

You don’t want to be outsourcing tasks that are your speciality. If you can competently handle a task, save yourself the money by doing it yourself.

When it saves you money

Another great time to outsource is when it could possibly save you money. Outsourcing does cost money, but there can be times when you make a return from it.

One example could be outsourcing a delivery service for your online store. Hiring your own team of delivery drivers and buying vehicles is likely to cost a huge amount compared to outsourcing a delivery service.

It’s also often more economical to outsource one-off tasks to save you from purchasing equipment and resources. If you need to print off and mail newsletters but don’t own a printer, you’ll save a lot of money by hiring a printing and mailing company to handle it the task for you.

Always do the math beforehand so that you can be certain that you’re going to save money. Don’t outsource something that you can do cheaper yourself if you can achieve the same level of quality doing it.

When it saves you a lot of time

There are many tasks which take up a lot of time. By outsourcing these tasks, it gives you more time to focus on more pressing things.

A lot of companies outsource office cleaning because it takes up a lot of time – even if it is something you and your employees can do yourself. It allows your team to focus on their core responsibilities, while a team of professional cleaners can then focus on keeping your office tidy.

Similarly, you may want to outsource a task like answering the phone if you’re constantly being barraged by calls and can’t focus on other tasks. A phonecall answering company can take all calls for you, so that you’re no longer having other tasks interrupted.

Of course, there’s no point outsourcing a task like answering phone calls if you rarely receive phone calls. You’re much better off handling these tasks yourself if they only cost you a small amount of time.

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