Self-driving cars: The future of driving

Self-driving cars: The future of driving

August 19, 2019

Technology has come a long way, but how far exactly? As much as we’re concerned, we don’t know. But one thing’s for sure, there’s no stopping its reign! And with the advancing technology, movie science fiction is within our reach.

One that comes to mind is the recent advancement for self-driving cars. So what do we know about autonomous driving technology so far?

Self-driving cars infographic

Check out the full blog here.

5 classical piano pieces for beginners

5 classical piano pieces for beginners

September 25, 2019

Learning how to play the piano? If you’re looking to up your skill, try your hand at classical music!

Behind the rich and compelling melody of every composition, it takes serious flair and determination to master the intricate rise and fall of their notes. Practise your skills with these classic piano pieces.

Find out more about these classical piano pieces here.

Glam up your bathroom on a budget

Glam up your bathroom on a budget

July 30, 2019

Planning on having a bathroom remodelled? Aside from the style and functionality, you also have to consider your budget. How else will you be able to upgrade it?

Check out this infographic for tips on how to redesign your bathroom on a budget.

Glam up your bathroom on a budget infographic

Read the full blog here.

Maintaining a newly paved driveway

Maintaining a newly paved driveway

July 29, 2019

Congratulations on your newly paved driveway! We bet it looks amazing and complements your house pretty well.

Not to ruin the mood but have you already thought about the maintenance plan for your driveway? Remember, the best way to keep something at its best condition is by using it properly and with regular maintenance.

Let’s go through the three most common driveway material options available – asphalt, grass and gravel.

Under each driveway option, we’ll discuss the pros and cons and how to get them in their best condition throughout the year.

Asphalt

Asphalt driveways are the most common option we’re familiar with, along with concrete. This material is flexible, cost-effective and convenient to apply.

Asphalt driveway

The main components of an asphalt driveway are rock, salt, asphalt cement and tar-like petroleum product.

Typically, a fresh asphalt driveway will be around 4 to 8 inches of compacted granular fill to serve as a solid foundation and draining base, then topped with 2 to 3 inches of hot asphalt.

Pros and cons

Compared to concrete, asphalt is much more flexible and less prone to cracking. It’s also hardier in winter conditions and sets faster by cooling rather than curing.

The best part about this option is you can easily fix any cracks with a driveway sealant. It can survive either extremely hot or cold weather conditions, too.

On the downside, if want your home as an investment, asphalt will not add much value to your property.

Maintenance

A well-installed asphalt driveway will be durable and strong much like concrete. Although it’s a cheaper alternative to concrete, you might still want to save for regular maintenance of your driveway every 2 to 3 years.

For best results, thoroughly clean your driveway at least twice a year. Begin by removing all the dirt and debris build-up with a stiff broom and strong hose spray. Afterwards, apply a good quality seal-coat to create a water-resistant surface.

Aside from this maintenance schedule, just be sure to immediately fix any small cracks and holes to avoid any more damages from happening.

Grass

If you’re looking for a stylish alternative from the common driveway options such as asphalt and concrete, a grass paved driveway might be the material you need for your home.

Turf is not a common option for driveways and parking areas because of the perception that it’s too high maintenance and weak for high-traffic areas.

Fortunately for you, grass driveways are not just the stuff of dreams anymore. With driveway pavers, you can now have a stylish yet strong and durable driveway area that will make your home look more natural and beautiful.


The best part about grass driveways is that you can let your imagination go wild with different patterns available. The design possibilities are endless, you just have to find the style and grass paver that suits you best.

Pros and cons

With support from driveway pavers, grass can both be stylish and durable parking and driveway option. Although unconventional, grass driveways are not only cheaper but also better for the environment.

Grass driveways also reduce the need for expensive drainage solutions because of its natural permeability.

Once installed with good-quality plastic pavers, grass driveways can function as good as a regular cement driveway.

However, if you choose to turn your lawn into a parking or driveway area without installing permeable pavers or reinforcement mesh, this will easily damage your turf.

Maintenance

Turf may be difficult to maintain especially if it experiences constant vehicle and foot traffic. You may get brown patches everywhere which just doesn’t look good.

Fortunately, with grass pavers, you can achieve an aesthetically-pleasing driveway without sacrificing strength and durability for style.

Turf for driveways and parking spaces should still be treated like regular grass, that involves regular watering and fertilising schedules.

Gravel

If you’re looking for the cheapest driveway option, gravel is your best bet. They’re easy to install and also available in many looks, making it an ideal choice for homeowners on a budget.

Gravel driveway

Gravel can range from any loose rocks or stones that’s smaller than cobblestones. Although course and quite uneven, gravel provide great water flow and drainage for the area.

Pros and cons

As mentioned, a gravel driveway costs lower compared to more conventional options like asphalt. Your budget for a regular cement driveway can take you further if you opt for gravel instead.

Gravel driveways also provide excellent permeability in your area, saving you on separate expenses for drainage and stormwater solutions.

Probably the biggest downside for gravel driveways is that they can easily lose their form and shape, especially with constant traffic.

Maintenance

Since gravel is hardy and durable, the maintenance that usually comes with it is with levelling the surface area every now and then. The loose stones can form potholes and mounds with vehicle and foot traffic.

Although this issue may be an inconvenience, fixing it is not as hard or expensive compared to getting cracks on asphalt or concrete fixed.

The best way to avoid any mounds or pesky potholes is by installing permeable pavers. This gives the driveway structure and strength without compromising style for your home.

With proper maintenance, gravel driveways can last a lifetime, something really good for investments.


These driveway options each have their strengths and weaknesses and depending on your living conditions, lifestyle and house, at least one or two can work out really well for you.

When it comes to maintaining your driveway, fresh or not, it’s important to be consistent with it. It’s better to be bothered by the task every now and then than to deal with more serious damages that usually cost more.

Clever tips for spot-on jewellery photos

Clever tips for spot-on jewellery photos

July 25, 2019

Want to know how jewellery stores manage to have beautiful shots of their accessories? It requires a great deal of skill and expertise!

Unlike other objects, taking photos of a jewellery piece is quite challenging as you have to capture its sparkle and brilliance. Otherwise, the shot won’t look as elegant as it should be.

Whether you’re a professional or an aspiring photographer, here’s what you should know about jewellery photography.

What you’ll need

Quality results require the best materials. To ensure you get outstanding shots, you need to invest in superior equipment. Continue reading below to discover the must-haves for incredible jewellery photos.

DSLR camera

A DSLR camera is every photographer’s best friend. Whatever your subject is, it will allow you to take high resolution photos. Don’t worry – a mid-range DSLR will do the work. But remember, the higher the number of megapixels, the better the quality.

DSLR camera

For beginners and hobbyists, you can use your smartphone or compact camera. However, don’t expect excellent results from these gadgets.

Tripod

When it comes to jewellery photography, you’re aiming to capture as much of the tiny details as possible. The slightest movement will spoil your shot! To make sure your photos won’t get blurred, using a tripod is necessary.

Light source

Without a light source, jewellery such as diamond rings and earrings would seem dull. Light is what makes them sparkle after all! You can use natural sunlight, a table lamp or whatever light source you can get to display the gleam of the metal and the gemstone’s radiance.

Optional:

Macro lens

Sure, standard lens would work fine. But if you want to up your game and capture a jewellery piece in full detail, you can use a macro lens. For starters, you can begin with a focal length of around 60mm.

Macro lens

Studio tent or umbrella

Yes, light is important in photography, but too much of it can also ruin your photo! To avoid an unnatural-looking shot of the jewellery, use a studio tent or umbrella to diffuse light and soften its intensity.

Though you can get creative by going for household items such as curtains or a piece of paper, there’s nothing like using professional equipment to get the best results.

Tips to get the perfect jewellery shot

Once you have the right equipment, capturing a spot-on jewellery photo all goes down to skill and expertise. Here are some tips to help you out!

Keep the background simple

Because the jewellery piece is the subject, it has to stand out! The perfect solution to this is to set up a background that will put the focus on the jewellery. Using plain and neutral backdrops is the way to go as this highlights the radiant piece even more.

As much as possible, steer clear of patterned background setups. The jewellery won’t come out as classy and sophisticated.

Adjust the focus

Most DSLRs have an automatic focus feature. However, this won’t help in jewellery photography. Oftentimes, it would only focus the foreground and leave the area towards the back somewhat blurred. This is called the bokeh effect, which is a big no-no for jewellery photos.

To make sure you get sharp and crisp shots, you should adjust the focus manually or use a wide area setting such as one-shot mode.

Set the right aperture

A factor that greatly affects focus is aperture. It controls the amount of light that reaches the camera’s image sensor. To photograph jewellery, a smaller aperture setting is ideal to limit bokeh. It will allow you to take a shot of the subject in precise focus. Stick to f11 or f16 setting to capture the piece in full detail.

Find the best angle

To capture the best features of the jewellery piece, finding the best angle is important. This is especially significant for jewellery with micro pave gemstones such as halo engagement rings and diamond bands.

As mentioned before, lighting greatly affects a jewellery piece’s sparkle. To ensure that the lights are positioned optimally, adjust them while looking at your camera to help you find the perfect spot.

Control reflection

When positioning your light source, see to it that it’s not so close to the jewellery as it is more likely to produce excessive reflection. This creates unsightly, too-bright areas on the piece, commonly seen on polished metals and lustrous gemstones.

To avoid affecting the jewellery’s look, you should be mindful of the objects around the photoshoot area as they can reflect on the item. This is why using a studio tent or umbrella is ideal for jewellery photography.

Light Tent DIY

Check the white balance

If you have various light sources, you may need to check on your camera’s white balance. It balances the intensity of the colours to ensure that your jewellery has a true-to-life appearance when captured.

Other handy tips

Need extra tips to get the perfect shot? Here are some more!

  • Be sure that your jewellery piece is clean and in its best condition. Top-grade equipment and expertise are of no use if the item itself is not attractive!
  • To get a more even lighting, use multiple light sources of the same colour and intensity.
  • Choose daylight balanced fluorescent bulbs. These produce natural-coloured light and don’t heat up easily.
  • Use strings to capture earrings and pendants in mid-air. Just make sure you have a plain background to make it easier to edit out the strings.
  • Have more than one jewellery piece to photograph? Consider the rule of thirds!
  • If you can’t achieve the perfect brightness, exposure and white balance on your camera, you can always use photo editing applications.
  • Don’t just take one photo. Take multiple shots so you can select the best one!

Mastering the art of jewellery photography is a step-by-step process, so don’t worry if you don’t get it right the first time. With practice, we’re sure you can nail that perfect shot!

What are you waiting for? It’s time to set up your equipment and try your hand at jewellery photography now!

Here’s how to improve your business’ security

Here’s how to improve your business’ security

July 18, 2019

As a business owner, you will never want to risk the safety and security of your business and employees.

Achieving a secure environment for your company is not just about deterring cookie-cutter theft incidents. It’s being prepared for different kinds of issues involving company property, employee behaviour, and many more.

Since security systems are now more accessible even to smaller businesses, it’s common even for the simplest offices and merchants to have some form of security cameras installed. But are they helping you keep an eye on your business the best way possible?

What makes a good security system?

Whether you’re using the latest in security technology or not, a good security system is something that gives you an ease mind and provides what it says it does.

An effective security system is something that’s efficient at providing you surveillance for your property 24/7, whilst not wasting any features it offers.

There are times when security providers offer complex CCTV solutions and over-the-top plans just to charge more than necessary.

To be sure that you are getting the best security plan for your business, it’s important that you hire a reliable and credible provider. Find a security systems company in Newcastle that you can trust to help you.

In summary, what makes a good security system for your company property is three simple things:

  • Highly secure, flexible, and easy-to-use security system
  • A comprehensive alarm and reporting system
  • Ability to provide proof or assistance post-incident

Getting the best security for your business

Protecting your workplace is an extension of securing your business and investments. With so many threats out there, it’s better to be safe than sorry. So, how do you get the best security for your business?

By seeking professional help, you will be provided with a clear and thorough assessment and solution that will help you understand the existing risks your property is vulnerable to and how to counter such threats.

To understand what security providers do, let’s go through the step-by-step process professionals perform to find the best security solution you need.

Step 1: Property risk assessment & threat analysis

All business areas are unique in their own way. Even if your office has the same floor plan as the office next door, the planning would still be different. It will have different entry and exit points, weak spots, built-in security options and so much more.

It’s also important to consider your location. Whether your building is in an isolated or busy area will determine the type of security plan you will need.

These factors help you understand and see all the possible risks and threats to come, therefore property assessment should be the starting point when designing a security plan.

When creating a security plan, consider and analyse these following variables that could affect the safety of the premises:

  • Existing security systems
  • Personnel with access to the property
  • Crime rates within the area of the building
  • Valuables in the building
  • Weaknesses in the security system

Step 2: Evaluate pre-existing security measures

After listing down all the weak areas and lacking security measures of the workplace, it’s time to check the existing security systems and their effectivity.

This step does not only mean the efficiency of CCTV systems, rather it covers everything including the door and window locks, property fencing, parking lot security and lighting. Though simple and straightforward, making sure that these areas work properly can already help in deterring any possible threats.

As for other equipment like intercoms and security cameras that are already installed in the area, check their effectivity in providing surveillance and more. Sometimes, outdated security systems will have blind spots and poor performance.

Step 3: Design security plan

With whatever findings you gather after evaluating the security status of your business property, it’s best to work your way around based on the risk and threat assessment. This will help you understand what the area needs best based on the weaknesses found.

In creating a security plan, you will need to consider a couple of things including perimeter security, CCTV surveillance, alarm systems, intercoms, key card access systems and information security.

These factors will determine the general idea of the security plan. It will help you list all the equipment you’ll need, what brand of cameras to use, if 24/7 monitoring will be a need, etc.

Although this step seems easy, it actually plays a crucial role in the process.

Step 4: Install the security system

Once a concrete security plan has been finalised, it’s time for installation.

A customised camera system will cater to the business area’s weak spots and zones that need more surveillance and monitoring. With little monitoring over your security equipment, the installation should be done properly to avoid any premature damages and other unwanted incidents.

Using top-quality brands is essential to fit different applications and budget. Aside from using high-quality equipment, CCTV installation is best performed by a professional team to avoid mistakes and ensure effectivity.

Step 5: Implement compliance with security measures

Just as any security system is important, the compliance and contribution of your staff and employees play a part in the safety of your workplace.

With well-informed and educated employees, you can encourage them to help in monitoring the business area when possible.

Although nobody wants to be burdened or disturbed by company procedures, it’s still vital for employees to comply with the company’s security practices. Simply reminding staff to always keep doors closed and follow security measures can help contribute to the overall security of the workplace.

Step 6: Periodic evaluation

No matter how advanced and well-planned a security system is, things get outdated or damaged over time whether we like it or not. That is why regular maintenance and check-up for your security plan is important.

Planned preventive maintenance with your security provider will ensure that your security system remains effective. This routine gives you an idea if there are equipment that needs to get updated, some wiring that needs to get fixed and the like.

It acts as a way to avoid false alarms, unnecessary security guard callouts and unplanned services just to check if something is wrong with the security system.


In order to improve your business’ security and find the most effective solution, you need to be aware of the shortcomings and risks present.

It’s never about how many CCTV cameras are propped in your workplace. It’s how effective your security plan is in protecting you, your business and employees.

How is turf grown and harvested?

How is turf grown and harvested?

June 28, 2019

There was a time when we had to manually plant grass seeds to produce a charming lawn. We had to patiently wait and put in work for several months for it to fully flourish!

In many instances, some of us even had to spend years trying to fill in the spots that haven’t been seeded properly. Not to mention the tedious maintenance routine we had to follow!

Thankfully, with the help of modern technology, we are able to enjoy a convenient way to get a lawn without going through all the hassle of growing it from seed.

Are you curious as to how instant lawn came to be and how the whole process works? Keep reading to find out!

A brief history of turf in Australia

Did you know that instant turf was not originally grown for residential or commercial applications? Instead, it was used to feed cows!

It all started in 1930s at the Hawkesbury Valley. Due to the increasing demand for turf supplies from dairy pastures, farmers began to sell this by cutting the grass in portions with the use of axes and spades. Because of the area’s temperate climate, it allowed turf to grow quickly, making it an ideal trade for farmers in those days.

Now, instant turf is used for various applications – from homes to business establishments and public properties.

How is turf grown?

It’s common knowledge that the beautiful turf rolls laid on our properties come from farms. That’s about everything most of us know. However, there’s so much more to discover about how instant turf is produced. Read on to dig deeper into the growing process!

Soil preparation

To ensure that the grass will grow healthy and vibrant, there are some things that need to be done to enrich the soil. After all, it is where the turf gets all the nutrients it needs.

First, the soil is tilled, raked and cleared off of any debris. Then, a layer of compost consisting of grass clippings and turf from previous harvests is spread throughout the area. After that, the land is tilled again to aerate the soil, and at the same time, mix in the compost.

The quality of the soil is very important to the growing process. If not prepared well, the grass will struggle to establish itself into the land and will take quite a lot of time to grow.

Seeding

Once the soil has been enriched and prepared, the seeds can now be planted. Choosing a high-quality seed blend is crucial to ensure that the turf will have all the expected grass characteristics. Using a machine, the seeds are spread evenly across the area.

However, there are some hybrid grass types that can only be grown from sprigs. This is because they are bred and are considered as entirely new turf varieties. Some examples of these are Sir Grange and Sir Walter grass which possess all the ideal turf qualities that most people require. Just like grass seeds, hybrid sprigs are also planted with the use of machines.

Care

After seeding, the work doesn’t end there! To make sure that the grass grows well, an environment that is conducive for growth should be maintained.

In a few weeks, the seedlings are expected to sprout. By then, they will need to be constantly watered so they won’t dry out.

Applying fertiliser is also a must throughout the turf’s growth stage. Once in a while, it needs a healthy dose of iron, nitrogen, phosphorus and magnesium to facilitate the photosynthesis process.

Lastly, regular mowing is essential to help the turf establish a strong root structure. This is done three to four times each week, where around one-fourth of the grass’ total growth is trimmed.

Finally, it’s time to harvest!

Depending on the turf variety and level of care, it can take around 10 to 24 months before the grass is ready for harvest.

Gone are the days when farmers had to use axes and spades to cut turf. Today, there are machines that are designed to lift strips of turf into rolls. Harvested along with the grass, the layer of soil will serve as a base for the grass to grow when it’s finally laid on your property!

What happens after harvesting?

Turf rolls can’t be kept out of the soil for too long as the moisture will eventually dry out.

Ideally, grass should be installed into the soil within 24 hours of harvesting. This explains why all turf suppliers will require you to prepare your site prior to the delivery of your instant turf.

Once the turf rolls are delivered, they need to be installed straight away. They should be tightly butted together.

Make sure there are totally no gaps! Air that settles between the turf rolls will dry the edges out.

After installation, the lawn should be watered immediately. It should then be kept moist at all times in the first week or two to ensure that the grass will take root.

See to it that after the turf has taken root (which usually takes around five weeks), fertilise the lawn to help the turf settle in its new environment and to keep it nourished as well.

As for the farm, they would have to start the whole process all over again to grow another batch of lovely green turf.


Growing healthy turf is a long and daunting process. It requires knowledge, expertise, tender loving care and most of all, loads of patience!

Yes, advancements in technology has allowed us to get a lawn even without growing it ourselves. But none of these would have been possible without the clever minds behind this innovation – our hard-working turf farmers!

How do grass pavers work?

How do grass pavers work?

June 27, 2019

Having a grassed area can do a lot for a property. It can be a beautiful recreational space for the family, or it may serve as a parking lot for a building.

But such activities can damage grass and can turn some areas into bare patches of dirt, making it difficult to maintain an area’s aesthetic appeal. They can prevent the grass from absorbing the water and nutrients it needs to thrive.

But with grass pavers, you don’t have to worry about these problems as they help mould beautiful driveways or parking areas.

What are grass pavers?

IMAG0822

Considered aesthetically appealing, easy to use and environmentally friendly, grass pavers are used for the construction of permeable pavements.

They promote and strengthen the growth of grass, manages the pressure and intensity of vehicles and other loads, are cheaper and more stylish than other materials. This is why they are considered great alternatives to asphalt, concrete, gravel, bitumen and other paving options.

There are two major types of grass pavers. One is made of concrete and is best for driveways since this material can stand up to the weight of cars. And the other is made of strong recycled plastic and is also known as a porous paver.

 

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There’s a wide range of problems that a grass paver can solve, such as:

  • It allows parking on grass without damage
  • It prevents rutting and compacting
  • It stabilises soil and prevents erosion
  • It promotes the growth and strength of grass roots
  • It reduces the need for an expensive drainage solution by properly managing storm water

How to install grass pavers

Permeable grass pavers

(Image source: www.overstock.com)

If you’re planning to have a grass paver system, you might want to consider reading this step-by-step guide on how they’re installed:

  1. Put a base of soil or a mixture of crushed gravel and sand to help level the surface.
  2. Place the plastic grid system or blocks of pavers.
  3. Fill the pavers with soil and compact it. This will help create a strong surface for vehicles while protecting the root system of the grass.
  4. Spread out grass seed.

Installing these pavers can be easy and, unlike asphalt or concrete, requires only some time and labour.

Where to install grass pavers

Grass pavers can be installed on residential and commercial properties. Here are some of the most common places to put them:

Residential

  • Driveways
  • Front lawn parking
  • Wheelchair access
  • Walkways and paths

Commercial

  • Truck and bus parking spaces
  • Emergency vehicle access
  • Golf courses
  • Boat and caravan parking
  • Overflow car parking areas
  1. Better strength

Grass pavers provide a wearing surface that can manage the pressure of heavy weight vehicle movements and other dynamic loadings.

This means they can manage being driven on by any vehicle for many years, including large trucks, without damaging the grass or the soil.

  1. Storm water management

Grass pavers help with one of the biggest sources of water pollution – storm water.

Since grass pavers are permeable and use loose filling materials such as soil, stormwater can easily and evenly soak the ground. This helps avoid flooding and, with the right drainage system, allows the grass to filter out pollutants which then returns cleaner water to aquifers.

Unlike permeable driveways, those made from concrete or asphalt absorb a lot of unnecessary heat and water.

  1. Easy to install

(Image source: starttraffic.com)  

Unlike asphalt or concrete that requires expensive equipment and a lot of time and labour to install, grass pavers are less laborious and time-consuming. The grid system requires no instrument to assemble. You can simply cut them into corners.

  1. Erosion control

Since grass pavers support the weight of vehicles and other loads, they prevent the soil from compacting, which weakens the surface.

The hollow paver not only promotes the growth of grass but also protects the root system, which increases the whole surface’s strength.

  1. Aesthetically pleasing

Permeable Driveway

Grass pavers can make any grassed area look pleasing to the eyes. Thanks to the protection that the grid system offers, lush green grass can grow on your lawns even when vehicles are being parked on it.

With grass pavers, you don’t need to choose between strength and style because you get to enjoy the best of both worlds!

Disadvantages

  1. Maintenance

Though maintenance for grass pavers is very minimal, they do experience the same problems as any other lawn out there.

Having grass in between these pavers also mean the growth of other unwanted plants such as weeds. So, it’s important to water, mow and fertilise your lawn when necessary.

  1. Not appropriate for every location

As mentioned above, there are quite a few residential and commercial places perfect for these pavers. But if you try to use them on places near the foundation of a structure or on clay-rich soil, they would not be able to function properly.

Choosing the right paving system

It’s true that grass pavers are much more sustainable and environmentally friendly than traditional paving solutions. But there are still a lot of factors in choosing the most ideal option for a property.

(Image source: www.externalworksindex.co.uk)

With the features listed above, you might already have an idea if a grass paving system is the most ideal choice for your property. Now the next step is to find professionals that could give you proper guidance – making sure everything goes smoothly, and the pavers are functioning properly.

When hiring a professional, make sure they understand the purpose of the property they’ll work on to get the most out of your desired paving system.

4 must-have woodworking tools in your shed

4 must-have woodworking tools in your shed

June 24, 2019

Pursuing woodworking—whether as a means of livelihood or an in-home hobby—requires having the right tools on hand. But that doesn’t mean you have to fill up your workshop with so many power tools to get started.

Here are basic woodworking tools to help beginners set their hands on a number of projects.

Must-have woordworking tools in your shed infographic

Like any other skill, woodworking requires more than just high-quality equipment. Putting great time and effort to learn is important to advance where you lie in the craft.

Read the full blog about woodworking tools here.

Everything you need to know about green waste

Everything you need to know about green waste

June 21, 2019

“In 2016-17 Australia generated an estimated 67 million tonnes (Mt) of waste including 17.1 Mt of masonry materials, 14.2 Mt of organics, 12.3 Mt of ash, 6.3 Mt of hazardous waste, 5.6 Mt of paper and cardboard and 5.5 Mt of metals.” – Australian National Waste Report 2018

 

An individual produces waste on a daily basis more than we usually notice.

Although we couldn’t instantly solve the problem of more sustainable waste management, simply learning to segregate, recycle and properly dispose of trash is already a great start.

After a huge clean-up or renovation, you probably have several types of waste you need to dispose of. But the question is, with all the kinds of trash around, how do you know which ones go to a rubbish skip, which ones go to recycling and what happens next?

Common waste types

With all the waste we produce every day, here are the most common types we accumulate:

  • General waste – any household rubbish such as cardboard and paper, toys, plastic, furniture, metals and clothes fall under this category. Usually, these rubbish can still be segregated into smaller groups for recycling and more.
  • Green waste – also referred to as organic waste. This waste type is anything that’s considered biodegradable and can be easily composted such as food and garden waste.
  • Liquid waste – common in both household and industries. Liquid waste is anything that includes polluted water such as manufactured liquid waste, wash water, organic liquids and more.
  • Construction rubbish – this usually includes heavy-duty construction materials collected during a renovation or demolition. Bulky materials like bricks, tiles, asphalt, concrete, wood and dirt are the most common.

What is green waste?

Green waste is any biodegradable or organic material that can be composted for household gardening or commercial agriculture. Out of all the garbage we produce, this type is probably the easiest to repurpose or dispose of.

Under the right conditions, the organic waste decomposes and breaks down faster compared to other rubbish types. This makes it easier to deal with even if it comes in large proportions.

The most common green waste you will have on your household include:

  • Leaves, plant and grass clippings
  • Tree branches and twigs
  • Flower trimmings
  • Fruits, vegetable and grain scraps
  • Rotten meat
  • Food-soiled paper and cardboard containers

Dealing with green waste

There are three general ways  to deal with all the waste you accumulate:

Recycle

With a busy lifestyle, segregating waste for recycling may seem like a lot of work. Why not just throw everything in a rubbish bin and let others sort it for you, right? Well, that’s a mindset that should be disposed of.

Aside from doing your part in helping the environment, recycling your green waste will also benefit you with lots of good composting products for your garden. You get to save money on fertilisers!

Properly disposed and repurposed organic waste decompose with oxygen. This natural decomposition process produces materials that are good for gardening like compost or mulch.

Recycling also means you prevent waste  from ending up in landfills, which usually causes any organic material to decompose without oxygen – a big no-no for the environment.

Compost

Often partnered with recycling is composting your waste. As mentioned, composts make a great alternative for store-bought fertilisers. Not only are you saving on your garden expenses, but you also help the environment.

Composting also help with preventing soil erosion. Reduced erosion means better plant growth and healthier plants, soil and trees mean less pollution. That’s the beauty of doing something as simple as composting waste.

Hire skip bin services

There are instances where household recycling or composting green waste is just not an option for you and that’s okay.

Many green waste skip bins are available for hire to help with these kinds of proper disposal.

Hiring skip bin services in your area is a great way to deal with your household waste in an eco-friendly and hassle-free way. These companies know exactly what to do with different kinds of waste, especially for large-scale clean-ups.

Common misconceptions about green waste

Although this waste type is considered easier to deal with, it’s still not safe to assume that anything that classifies as green waste can be dumped in compost or landfill and be left like that.

  • Just because green waste is biodegradable, doesn’t mean it can be dumped anywhere. Because green waste decomposes fast it can be thrown with other waste types and dumped in landfills, right? Wrong. Disposing biodegradable materials in landfills force them to decompose without oxygen. The absence of air produces methane and other greenhouse gases, something more dangerous for the planet.

  • Paper can’t be composted because it’s not an organic waste. Actually, if shredded into smaller pieces, you can throw in the paper along with your grass clippings and food scrap compost. Although coloured paper is not recommended to go in compost bins because it may contain toxic heavy metals, other paper scraps like newspaper and cardboard are fine.
  • Composting green waste attracts pests and rodents. Obviously, if you dump all kinds of food waste in a compost pit, you’ll definitely attract a couple of rodents and vermin. But if you just stick to fruits, vegetables, papers and steer clear from meat and dairy products, you can avoid any pest invasion from happening.

You don’t always have to deal with waste by yourself. There are a lot of skip bins for hire in Sydney that’ll help you better dispose of rubbish in the most hassle-free and eco-friendly way.

 

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Always remember, it’s important to be aware of the amount of rubbish we produce on the daily. It may not be a pretty thing to tackle but it’s necessary.

We don’t have to stress over whether we’re doing enough or not. Simply starting with segregation, proper recycling and waste management is already a great start.

 

Fashion 101: How to dress like a duchess

Fashion 101: How to dress like a duchess

June 19, 2019

As kids, many of us have  dreamt of becoming royals. We once imagined ourselves in cascading gowns and brilliant tiaras, walking through an elaborate grand hall.

But as we got older, we’ve come to realise that all this only ever happens in fairy tales. A bummer, really.

But don’t worry. In reality, royals rarely wear these extravagant and fancy outfits. They instead wear simple and comfortable clothes while still maintaining a highly sophisticated appeal.

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When it comes to royal fashion, we can’t help but look up to Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge and Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex. Their fashion sense is an image of elegance and class! Good news is that unlike our childhood fantasies, their style is very much achievable. You just need to make the right fashion choices.

Need hints? Here’s what usually makes up a duchess’ wardrobe:

Modest clothing

As personalities who are highly admired and respected, every member of the royal family strives to look prim and proper at all times.

It is said that the duchesses, just like every other family member, follow a set of royal fashion rules. If you pay close attention to all their public appearances, you’ll notice that their modest manner of dressing is what makes them distinctly presentable and majestic.

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If you’re building up a wardrobe that’s fit for a duchess, go for knee-length dresses and skirts, long-sleeved blouses, collared shirts, jackets, cardigans, blazers and coats. It’s best to avoid tops with low necklines and dresses with long slits to maintain a highly regal look.

High-quality fabrics

Quality is everything when it comes to royal fashion. On your next shopping trip, invest in clothes made of high-quality fabrics, so they won’t wrinkle easily while you’re wearing them. Plus, they’d last longer!

 

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As much as possible, steer clear of fast fashion brands as they usually manufacture clothes using subpar materials. Trust us – though they’re significantly cheaper, investing in quality will save you more money in the long run.

Opt for clothing made from durable fabrics such as wool and heavy cotton, so you can wear them again and won’t have to buy too often. Keep in mind that there’s no shame in repeating outfits. After all, our favourite duchesses have done this many times!

As for the design, garments with solid colours are your best bet. They’re easy to style with and effortlessly give off a polished look. If you love prints, choose those with simpler and smaller patterns. Large prints create a more casual and somewhat unrefined vibe – but if you can pull it off, why not?

Tailored outfits

Don’t you just admire how composed and confident royals appear to be every time? Tell you what, the secret lies within their outfits!

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The trick to looking sleek and sharp is wearing well-fitted clothing. Over-sized clothes can make you look shabby, while wearing clothes that are too tight is a bit of an unflattering choice.

When trying on clothing, the fit has to be just right – a breathable outfit that will streamline your figure. If the outfit is a little loose around the waist, you can always use a belt. Or better yet, have it altered according to your measurements.

Skirts and dresses

How often do you see the ladies of the royal family in trousers? Rarely, right?

Skirts and dresses are the staple of every duchess’ wardrobe. Not to say that wearing pants is entirely forbidden, but this dress code is set according to Queen Elizabeth’s preference. Of course, everyone in the family is expected to comply.

When it comes to skirts and dresses, you have a wide variety of choices. Just see to it that as mentioned above, you pick out the right style, fabric and size.

 

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If you happen to wear a pleated skirt or a billowy dress on a windy day, be careful not to have a major Marilyn Monroe moment. To prevent it from blowing up in the wind, a clever tip from the Queen herself is to sew lead curtain weights on the hem – and it perfectly works!

Fine jewellery

A duchess’ look is never really complete without having a hint of sparkle to go along with her outfit.

No. We’re not talking about extravagant tiaras and museum-worthy jewellery pieces. The truth is, except for official and diplomatic events, royals often wear simple yet elegant jewellery. After all, jewellery is not meant to outshine them but to complement their appearance.

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Wearing fine jewellery, though as simple as a pearl necklace or a pair of diamond stud earrings, can level up your look from basic to exceptional. That’s how essential these accessories are if you’re to replicate a duchess’ majestic appeal. Works like magic, to be honest.

Now, there’s a wide variety of jewellery to choose from – and it’s important that you select the ones that will solidify the look you’re going for.

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Eyeing for a ring? Choosing one that’s reminiscent of Kate Middleton’s famed blue sapphire ring is a timeless option! You may also want to look into trilogy diamond rings. They have been all the rage since Meghan Markle’s engagement to Prince Harry!

Heeled shoes

Our lovely duchesses are often admired for their poised and refined stature. Well, they mostly owe it to their shoes – and science actually.

Because wearing heeled shoes elevates our heels, we are naturally inclined to take shorter strides and stand straighter. It also causes our hips to sway a bit more, adding extra finesse and flair to our movements.

When shopping for shoes, go for closed toe heels. These are guaranteed to give you a she means business vibe. Also, take care not to choose heels that are too high. An inch or two is enough to spruce up your look.

Fancy hats

Fashionable hats have been the signature style of the royal family, especially for official events. It’s because ladies are required to don one in formal engagements such as weddings and christenings.

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If you’re attending a formal occasion, don’t forget to add a touch of charm to your look by wearing an elegant hat. For something chic, it’s best to stick to a fascinator or a cocktail hat.

Becoming a duchess might be so far out of our reach, but who’s to say that we can’t dress like one? Try out these tips and you may just be mistaken for royalty!

Hack of the Month
  • "Yes, you can tell the temperature of your environment with cricket chirps. To do this, count the number of chirps in 25 seconds, divide by 3 and add 4. The result will be very near to the actual outdoor Celsius temperature. (Ex. 42 chirps in 25 seconds / 3 + 4 = 18°C)"