The PRWIRE Press Releases http:// 2014-12-18T22:47:32Z Xmas overhaul for old tech gadgets 2014-12-18T22:47:32Z xmas-overhaul-for-old-tech-gadgets-1 17th December 2014, Melbourne – With Christmas fast approaching, TechCollect, a free not-for-profit national electronic waste (e-waste) recycling service, is asking Aussie households to recycle their unwanted computers and TVs, before Santa makes another drop off.   Australia is leading on a global scale when it comes to technology consumption with an estimated eight billion dollars[1] spent on Christmas gifts each year – and the latest technology gadgets continue to top the wish list.    “As consumers, our hunger for new technology continues to grow, and with many of us on the lookout for the latest gadgets, we create an increasing pile of used resources.  Technology products contain resources that can be recovered and put back into the manufacturing process which saves our finite resources and energy; in fact, it is many times more efficient to recover resources from products than to mine new resources,” said Carmel Dollisson, CEO, TechCollect.   “These resources are lost forever if disposed of inappropriately such as to landfill and, worse, may be damaging to the environment. With Christmas just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to take responsibility for the products we consume when we have finished with them.  If you have unwanted computers or TVs lying around the home please take them to your local TechCollect drop off point for responsible recycling.”   Top 5 tips for the Xmas overhaul:   1.       Xmas wishlist: What’s on your Christmas wishlist? Are you replacing a laptop or television? If so, put a note in your diary to recycle the older device, and make a visit to your local e-waste drop-off point after Christmas.  You can find TechCollect sites at techcollect.com.au, or if there isn’t a TechCollect service in your area, check out Planet Ark’s website recyclingnearyou.com.au for other options for free drop-off. 2.       Declutter: While a lot of e-waste ends up in landfill, a lot more gets stashed in cupboards, garages, spare rooms and shelves. If you were the lucky one chosen to host Christmas this year but you’re not sure where to fit everyone, it’s the perfect time to declutter. Recycle it all and your home, guests and the environment will thank you. 3.       Handmedowns: Do you have a computer or TV that is still in good working condition that you’re not quite ready to let go of yet? Give it to a family member or friend and make it an early Christmas present. 4.       Detangle: Those random power cables from your old TV, computer and printer can also be recycled by TechCollect, even if you don’t know which cable belongs to which device – bring them with you to your nearest TechCollect site. 5.       Spread the Christmas cheer: What is your place of work doing with their old computers and IT equipment? Encourage them to send a company-wide email with a call out for old technology devices, so they can do a group drop off to a local collection site.   ENDS   For more information or to find your nearest TechCollect e-waste collection site, visit www.techcollect.com.au or call 1300 229 837.   MEDIA CONTACT: Howorth Communications Tara Mills Tara@howorth.com.au 03 8695 3511 0415 506 014   ABOUT TECHCOLLECT: TechCollect is a free national e-waste recycling service funded by many of Australia’s leading technology importers and manufacturers dedicated to responsible recycling, including Toshiba, Canon, Epson, HP, Fuji Xerox, Dell, Panasonic and many others. TechCollect is committed to setting the highest Australian standard for responsible recycling of e-waste. It is Australia’s only Government approved, industry backed, not-for-profit e-waste recycling service under the National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme. Visit techcollect.com.au for more information and to find your nearest collection site.   ABOUT THE NATIONAL TELEVISION AND COMPUTER RECYCLING SCHEME: The National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme combines government regulation with industry action to take responsibility for safe recycling of electronic waste. The scheme is funded and run by industry and regulated by the Australian Government, with the aim of providing Australian householders and small business access to free e-waste recycling services. For more information visit www.environment.gov.au/topics/environment-protection/national-waste-policy     [1] Commonwealth Bank, National consumer expenditure breakdown, 2013 Timber Supplier in Brisbane Warns Homeowners: “Don’t Make These Mistakes.” 2014-12-18T06:14:27Z timber-supplier-in-brisbane-warns-homeowners-don-t-make-these-mistakes Brisbane, QLD, 18 December 2014 - When it comes to timber decking, the DIY phenomenon is alive and well in Brisbane. Jack Kyle, owner of Narangba Timbers, a timber supplier serving the Brisbane area, has seen the rise in DIY timber decking first hand. Recently, on his company blog, Mr Kyle provided a guide to twelve mistakes that DIY builders often make when building timber decks. Any of the mistakes can severely downgrade the quality of a project and Mr Kyle hopes he can keep not only his customers, but readers across Australia from making any of the mistakes that can ruin a timber deck. These are the highlights of the post.Rusty Nails and BoltsNails, bolts and any metal hardware for an outdoor deck should always be galvanised to prevent rust. They cost more, but failure to use them can cause a deck to start falling apart within two years. Local Council RulesHomeowners should always check with their local council before undertaking any deck project. Failure to do so can result in them having to tear down their entire deck in some cases. Crooked Decking BoardsTo avoid an amateur, unprofessional appearance, Mr Kyle recommends using a grid system every five boards, a straight chalk line and wedges to ensure proper placement of boards.Leaky RoofA leaky roof is often caused by tightening screws so hard they damage the rubber washers and allow water through.Sagging CeilingsThis is usually caused by the support beams being too far apart, not providing adequate support. Hitting Underground ServicesHitting an electrical line can cause electrocution. Hitting a gas line can cause an explosion or fire. Hitting a water line can cause a flood. Australia has a service entitled, “Call Before You Dig.” It can be reached by dialing 1100.Timber Cracking or BreakingIf more than one-third of the width of a board is cut out to join the pieces together, it can cause a structural deficiency. That often causes cracking, breaking or both.Sagging DeckThis is usually caused by using softwood instead of hardwood. Narangba Timbers recommends hardwoods such as Blackbutt and Merbau.Putting it All TogetherMr Kyle’s blog post addresses other problems, such as sinking deck, rotting timber posts and grey or black stains on deck boards. According to Mr Kyle, “We love it when our customers are happy with their projects. Sadly, the mistakes we mentioned on our blog are the most common and people who make them usually end up doing a lot of extra work to fix the problems caused by those mistakes.”Mr Kyle concludes: “We hope that everyone reads the post before starting their project. It makes a great checklist, even for experienced DIY homeowners. It’s easier to do it right the first time.”Narangba Timbers is a timber supplier that provides timber decking, timber flooring and a host of other products to the Brisbane area. They specialise in high-quality, ethically-sourced timber and world class customer service. To place an order or to read Mr Kyle’s blog post about the twelve mistakes that can ruin a timber deck, call 1300 795 675 or visit their website: http://www.narangbatimbers.com.au/. Turtles will be home for Christmas 2014-12-15T07:17:40Z turtles-will-be-home-for-christmas Santa had an early Christmas gift for two green turtles from Australia's Reef HQ Aquarium Turtle Hospital this morning (15 December, 2014), as they were successfully returned to the wild at Alma Bay, Magnetic Island, Queensland, Australia in time for Christmas. The two turtles, named Buffy and Tuesday, were found injured in the waters surrounding Magnetic Island – 20 minutes off the coast of Townsville, North Queensland – earlier this year and, after some rehabilitation, are now healthy enough to return to their feeding grounds. Approximately 300 people formed a guard of honour leading Buffy and Tuesday into the ocean and while Tuesday was cautiously slow to make her way down the sand an into the water, speedster Buffy was clearly eager to get home, quickly taking off as soon as she smelled the salt water. Reef HQ Aquarist, Krystal Huff said today's release provided a great opportunity for the community to not only see turtles in the wild, but to get a first-hand glimpse at the work conducted by the Turtle Hospital. "Releasing turtles back into the wild is easily the best part of my job," said Ms Huff. "It's a bitter-sweet experience, because we do get to know each of the turtles and their different personalities while they're in the hospital, and it's like saying goodbye to a friend; but it's very, very rewarding." SeaLink Queensland, which manages the ferry service between Magnetic Island and mainland Townsville, has ensured the Turtle Hospital will be able to continue its work by donating just over $8,500 to Reef HQ Aquarium and the Magnetic Island Network for Turtles (MINT) at the release. SeaLink Queensland's General Manager Paul Victory said the donation would support wildlife tourism through programs designed to educate people and give them the chance to get up close with the natural wildlife found on and around Magnetic Island. "We want to find initiatives that educate people or provide opportunities for people to get up close to wildlife -- they'll be projects such as open days and specials occasions like today's turtle release that we think will help get people closer to nature and discover the abundant opportunities there are to do so on Magnetic Island," said Mr Victory. "The Christmas school holidays are a great opportunity to do just that. One of the great things about Magnetic Island is you can swim all year round, you can see the rock wallabies, the birds here are amazing, you can feed sea eagles on the Aqua Scene Tour and our bush trails are great -- you'll even start to see some waterfalls as the rain comes." Reef HQ Aquarium's Director Fred Nucifora said Buffy and Tuesday are expected to stay around Magnetic Island, as turtles are very loyal to their feeding grounds. "All the reports coming in say that the seagrass beds around Magnetic Island are recovering well following Cyclone Yasi, and MINT will be on the ground here on Magnetic Island keeping a close eye out for Buffy and Tuesday -- I think there's nothing but a positive future for both those young turtles," said Mr Nucifora. "It's an amazing feeling for myself, the staff and our volunteers to be part of the turtles' rehabilitation process, but the key focus of the Reef HQ Aquarium Turtle Hospital is community engagement. Yes, rehabilitation is vitally important, but intergenerational change through education is critical to the ongoing sustainability of turtle populations in the marine park," said Mr Nucifora. "Just seeing the number of young faces on the beach here today is really, really heartening because these young people will be the future custodians of the Great Barrier Reef and the animals that live there. The kids being here, and becoming more aware of turtles and the importance of the role they play in the environment, as well as some of the challenges they face from human activity, will better position them to be our decision makers in the future." If you find a sick or injured turtle, please contact 1300 ANIMAL (1300 264 625) for assistance. High resolution photos are available for download at https://www.dropbox.com/sh/xjag4e5e51z1kp8/AABTz6YbTM24x5ktUq7T4Gi6a?dl=0 Timber Fencing Supplier in Brisbane Provides Best Practices Guidelines for Timber Fences 2014-12-15T06:38:49Z timber-fencing-supplier-in-brisbane-provides-best-practices-guidelines-for-timber-fences Brisbane, QLD, 15 December 2014 - Timber decking has become ubiquitous in the Brisbane area, but one timber supplier warns homeowners that they should be aware of best practices and local council regulations before building a timber fence. Timber fences are often used to divide properties and define boundaries. They can provide privacy from the street and from neighbours. They decrease traffic noise and can keep private conversations from being easily overheard by neighbours. They are also used to keep pets and small children from leaving the yard. Timber fences also form protective barriers from swimming pools and other areas that could represent danger to children.Jack Kyle, owner of Narangba Timbers, a premier supplier of timber fencing in the Brisbane area, recently published a basic guide to building a timber fence on his company’s blog. Mr Kyle stressed the importance of knowing local council regulations, especially for those who own swimming pools. Mr Kyle also provided some recommended best practices from Timber Queensland, a timber industry trade group.According to Mr Kyle, “Timber Queensland has been helping to define standards and practices for the timber industry in various forms since 1938. They are a non-profit organisation that serves as the de facto voice of the timber industry in Queensland. They represent everyone in the timber industry, from retailers such as us to plantation growers, manufacturers and builders. They have done a great job of helping the timber industry police itself and adhere to the high standards that homeowners and other consumers deserve.”Timber Queensland updated their recommended practices for timber fences in March 2014. Their data sheet has a wealth of basic and detailed information on how to ensure that a timber fence is built in a way that it will perform well for a number of years. Mr Kyle presented the basics on his blog, preferring to leave the more technical data for those who are building a fence. According to Mr Kyle, “Our customer service staff in charge of timber sales is second to none in the Brisbane area. They are always happy to provide any information a customer needs to ensure that their project is of the highest quality. We put basic information on our blog as a public service, but always invite those who require deeper information to call us and talk to a customer service specialist. Our staff is well-trained and can help any project go as smoothly as possible.”According to Timber Queensland and to Mr Kyle, it is important to choose the right materials to guarantee a high-quality timber fence that will still be standing in twenty years. Mr Kyle concludes: “The best way to make sure any timber project is a success is to use the right grade of timber. There is no substitute for quality.”Narangba Timbers is a retailer which supplies timber fencing, timber flooring and other timber products to the Brisbane area. They have a wide selection of domestic and imported hardwoods and softwoods for every timber project. Their customer service staff is among the most professional and knowledgeable in Australia. To learn more, call 1300 795 675 or visit their website: http://www.narangbatimbers.com.au/. Living Longer Living Better (LLLB) Opens to Mixed Reviews 2014-12-15T04:12:11Z living-longer-living-better-lllb-opens-to-mixed-reviews Australia, 15 December 2014 - In 2011, the Australian Government Productivity Commission authored a report called “Caring for Older Australians.” The report found, among other things, that improvements were needed in such areas as more choices for residents and sustainable funding for aged care. Former Minister for Mental Health and Ageing Mark Butler strongly advocated a program that would take care of those problems.Among other things, Mr Butler decried the “cookie cutter approach” and advocated “more choices” for aged care recipients. On the strength of this sentiment, a program was created: “Living Longer, Living Better (LLLB).” Many in the aged care industry supported the program as one that would improve the quality of aged care by increasing competition and removing limits on the number of bed licences. It was thought that competition would bring out the best in the aged care industry and help avoid a projected shortage of as many as 279,000 beds by 2050.LLLB was lauded by many as a proactive step towards solving a future problem and improving the current situation for aged care recipients. However, since it took effect in July of this year, reviews are mixed. All Residential Aged Care Recipients can Now be Required to Pay a BondBefore LLLB took effect, “low care” recipients were required to pay a bond, while “high care” recipients were not. Since two thirds of residents were considered to be “high care,” this meant only one third were required to post a bond. The standard bond is usually between $250,000 and $300,000. Under LLLB, all residents are required to post a bond. That works out to three times as much bond money than before and three times as many people being burdened with paying a bond.“The Cookie Cutter Approach”Minister Butler also remarked in 2011 that consumers didn’t want a “cookie cutter approach” and that LLLB would provide choices while eliminating the “cookie cutter approach.” He postulated that competition would produce more diversity in the approaches to aged care and provide more choices for residents. According to senior citizen advocates, this has not happened yet. The Tall Trees Care Communities ApproachTall Trees Care Communities is a small organisation of communities which provide an alternative to the typical nursing home or aged care facility. They serve the Brisbane and Gold Coast areas. According to Co-Founder Phil Usher:“We talked to our own parents and got feedback from a lot of elderly citizens when we were deciding how we were going to create Tall Trees Care Communities. The two things that they wanted most were their independence and their dignity. Nobody likes being treated like a number or having all of their decisions made for them every day. So we decided on the model of consumer directed care.”Phil Usher concluded, “Our residents couldn’t be happier. And neither could we.”Tall Trees Care Communities are a group of nursing home and aged care alternatives in the Brisbane and Gold Coast areas. To learn more about Tall Trees and their unique approach to consumer directed care, call (07) 3442 9378 or visit their website: http://www.talltrees.net.au/. Forced changes in egg production not all they're cracked up to be 2014-12-14T23:38:34Z forced-changes-in-egg-production-not-all-they-re-cracked-up-to-be Forced changes in egg production – not all they’re cracked up to be Tamworth egg farmer Bede Burke produces eggs and chickens, and also has broadacre cropping and cattle on 3,500 acres. He was planning to move into free range egg production, until he heard about the avian influenza outbreak in Young in October 2013. He shares his thoughts about the potential hazards ahead for egg producers.    In Young, the disease spread from wild migratory birds to paddocks the free range hens had access to, and all the birds in the property – 200,000 free range and 250,000 caged totaling more than 450,000 hens – had to be destroyed. Once you have an exotic disease, it’s notifiable and you’re no longer in control of your farm. We watched that happen, and realised that even a one percent chance of outbreak is untenable. We can control the health of our caged birds in their current conditions, and we can protect them from disease and predators.Sustainable productivity under threat We have invested a great deal of time and money into developing a sustainable, fully-integrated business. Our grain goes into the chicken feed, and the manure contributes to soil health. We understand that, like all farmers, we needs to minimise our carbon footprint and improve efficiency to meet the growing demands for food. But all this could be under threat, with moves from the major supermarket chains and some food outlets to eliminate caged eggs from the menu. Woolworths has announced that it will no longer stock caged eggs by 2018, and in September it ceased stocking caged eggs in the ACT completely. Coles has already removed caged eggs from its home brand offer. Yet 60 percent of the eggs sold in Australia are still caged eggs. Because we sell eggs via wholesale channels, we do things a little differently. We ship 80 pallets a week, or 30 million eggs a year, to about a dozen customers. We pack by age groups, keeping the eggs from our older breeders separate. This gives us and our customers a lot more flexibility.Demand for affordable eggs From what I’ve seen, consumers still want choice, and there is still a market for price point eggs. As Woolworths in ACT found with its barn laid category. It wasn’t selling at $4.69 per dozen, so the supermarket made successive price movements down to $3.19 to generate sales. I believe this is a test case for new pricing Woolworths may consider adopting across all its supermarkets.Risk of disease and illness Former Victorian Premier Denis Napthine[1], a former veterinarian, has also said publicly he has no objection to eggs from caged hens, if the birds have “appropriate welfare conditions.” The Australian Veterinary Association’s policy is that commercial egg production systems should provide for the health, nutrition and psychological wellbeing of the hens. I know that egg production moved from floor to cage in the 1960s for good reasons. We can now control the environment for our birds to the extent that we haven't needed to use antibiotics for more than thirty years. Yet free range farmers tell me they’re running out of options to deal with diseases such as fowl cholera, spotty liver, enteritis, and parasites. The problems with free range farming can be immense – not to mention the regulatory requirements. I can provide every one of my 106,000 laying hens with the exact nutritional balance they need to produce well and be healthy. It’s a recipe packed with local ingredients including grain grown and milled on our property, protein meals comprising canola, cotton seed meal with vitamins, minerals and the essential amino acids added. You can't control that with free range. Ironically, a unique cause of death in new free range chickens is due to excess grass consumption, leading to grass compaction. The domestic hen is not a ruminant; they do not thrive in these conditions Australia’s egg producers made significant investment in caged production facilities in the late 1990s, and with small groups (no more than six) per cage we can manage the birds more easily. We have eliminated the impact of broodiness as the eggs naturally roll away from the hen in the cage. We can keep them at a comfortable temperature whether there’s a heatwave or frost outside. We remove the manure twice a week, so for the first time we’re farming without flies. You can't do any of that in free range. Academic research into the health and happiness of hens also indicates free range is not necessarily best. The University of Bristol’s Veterinary College in the UK[2] compared hens in conventional cages, furnished cages (with nests and perches), barns and free-range. The study found that poor animal husbandry had a much bigger impact than the type of housing – and the lowest prevalence of problems occurred in hens in furnished cages, not free range.Better for humans, and the environment It may seem counter-intuitive, but research also indicates the quality of a caged egg is better. A 2002 University of New England study[3] found good, consistent diet and care were the main ingredients for a quality egg, and keeping the eggs clean is a big challenge for free range and barn laid eggs – with a high risk of food wastage. Caged eggs also create a smaller carbon footprint. Because it’s controlled, it takes less energy to produce a dozen eggs. In free range we see feed consumption go up 20 percent but the output is actually lower – and highly variable when the temperature changes. As Chair of the Egg Committee for the NSW Farmers’ Association, I work closely with the Australian Egg Corporation Limited and others on research matters to do with egg production and I’m worried by the domino effect a decision like Woolworth’s could cause. We want to work with industry and government to find better a solution.  The impact of the decision by Coles and Woolworths is already massive. It’s changed the mindset in our industry. We can’t invest in new infrastructure; we can't grow this part of our business. It’s disappointing to say there has been no engagement with industry in making this decision.  You can have healthy, happy caged birds – you just need to be close to them, and do whatever you can to alleviate stress. This is not just a debate about free range versus caged. This is about the future of our industry, and the way we produce a primary food source for Australia.A butterfly effect If major retailers switch to ‘free range only’ there are consequences beyond the hens: The cost of eggs becomes prohibitive for low-income families Fast food franchisees can no longer source eggs locally, increasing food miles and impacting smaller local producers The amount of energy needed to produce a dozen eggs will rise More birds will be affected by predators and disease (and the use of antibiotics could rise again) No or reduced consumer choice, disenfranchising those consumers who currently purchase over 50% of eggs produced Bede Burke – bedeburke@bigpond.com 0427 606 270   [1] Source: http://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CB8QFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.goodfood.com.au%2Fgood-food%2Ffood-news%2Fnapthine-has-no-problem-with-eggs-from-caged-hens-20140905-3exwu.html&ei=EXNRVLPzEIqB8gX9_oH4BQ&usg=AFQjCNGZzYI3rHqIAdPxJl8KV3qybHMa4g&sig2=osGLQFo5GAOBphiKdaR4fg&bvm=bv.78597519,d.dGc [2] Source:http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-24915471, http://www.farmonline.com.au/blogs/agribuzz-with-david-leyonhjelm/free-doesnt-mean-happy/2679362.aspx [3] Source: http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2002/10/11/696876.htm?site=science/tricks&topic=latest       Lavazza release their 2015 Calendar - The Earth Defenders 2014-12-14T23:16:40Z lavazza-release-their-2015-calendar-the-earth-defenders The 2015 Lavazza Calendar is a photographic exploration of men and women in Africa actively protecting the world around them and the food traditions of their cultures. Released both in print and in a multimedia online format, The Earth Defenders (the 2015 title) is a beautiful journey highlighting Lavazza’s focus on the Slow Food project and the people making it possible. The 2015 Calendar features 12 photographs by Steve McCurry under the creative direction of Armando Testa. The images showcase the different cultures, landscapes and produce found throughout Africa and the people working tirelessly to ensure their continuation. “Steve McCurry,” comments Michele Mariani, Executive Creative Director at Armando Testa, “is the ideal person to interpret the spirit of the 2015 Lavazza Calendar. A Calendar with a very important topic, that tells a story of people and one special place, Africa” The Lavazza calendar has become a celebrated annual tradition since its inaugural addition in 1993 with photographs by Helmut Newton. This year is a particularly important release as it is available in a limited edition where every calendar sold contributes directly to the “10,000 food gardens in Africa” project. The goal is to build 10,000 gardens in schools and villages in Africa. More information on the Calendar including videos and photos can be found: http://www.bluepod.com.au/view/the-2015-lavazza-calendar/388 Lavazza Blue and Espresso Point coffee is proudly distributed in Australia by The Blue Pod Coffee Company who supply free on loan coffee machines to Australia workplaces, www.bluepod.com.au – 1800 800 255 Custom Builder Reveals Why Sliding Windows are so Popular in Perth 2014-12-12T04:48:53Z custom-builder-reveals-why-sliding-windows-are-so-popular-in-perth Perth, WA, 12 December 2014 - When it comes to modernising a home, sliding windows can often represent an inexpensive but effective solution, according to one small business that designs, creates and installs custom windows and doors. Sliding windows combine ease of use with a more modern look and a versatility that has a lot of homeowners converting their homes over to them.High Durability with Minimal MaintenanceSliding windows are simple in design and have few moving parts. In addition, the smaller timber frames on sliding windows are lighter than traditional window frames. With less weight and less to go wrong, sliding windows tend to last longer than traditional windows. Also, maintenance is limited to keeping the track clean and lubricated.Ease of MovementSliding windows are much easier to move than the traditional window because they sit on a track and move sideways. Traditional windows have to be lifted. They tend to be snug in their frames and stick easily when the timber swells. Sliding windows move on wheels and to the side, removing the two biggest factors that often make traditional windows difficult to open.VersatileSliding windows are versatile. They can be easily opened to small widths or larger ones without the need to prop them up. They tolerate screens well. They also accept many different types of glazing, from safety glass to low-e glass and single or double glazing. Both double glazing and e glass are extremely energy efficient, helping homeowners save a lot of money on energy bills.Aesthetically PleasingMany homeowners prefer timber framed sliding windows solely because they look great. Stained frames integrate nature into the indoors while painted frames can be painted to match the colours of the indoor decor. Sliding windows also lend a more modern look to most homes.Tish Thompson is the office administrator for Doors by Nature. Doors by Nature creates custom sliding windows, sliding doors, bifold windows and bifold doors in the Perth area. Ms Thompson has seen firsthand how homeowners have warmed up to sliding windows during the last few years. According to Ms Thompson, “Sliding windows and sliding doors are becoming really popular around Perth. A lot of people are looking to modernise their homes but don’t want to do a full scale renovation. Sliding windows and doors are a great way to do just that and not spend a lot of money. Sliding windows have a horizontal orientation as opposed to the vertical orientation of traditional windows. It makes a big difference in design and can totally change the appearance of any home.”Ms Thompson continued, “Our customers are genuinely surprised with the results we get when we replace all of the windows and doors in a home. Many say it‘s like getting a new house while just paying for windows and doors. ”Doors by Nature is a firm that builds custom sliding windows, sliding doors, bifold windows and timber bifold doors in the Perth area. They provide full service from design to creation to installation. To learn more about how they can modernise your home, visit their website at http://www.doorsbynature.com.au/ or call 1300 345 116. Natural Enzyme Product Neutralises Pet Odours with No Chemical Residue 2014-12-12T03:46:56Z natural-enzyme-product-neutralises-pet-odours-with-no-chemical-residue Perth, WA, 12 December 2014 - Until recently, the “dirty little secret” of the artificial grass industry has been that pet odours are unavoidable for any homeowner with an artificial lawn who chooses to have pets. However, a Perth artificial grass manufacturer has formulated a solution to pet odours that has generated a high volume of satisfied homeowners who no longer have to tolerate pet odours in their artificial grass. The product is called, “LawnReborn.”What is LawnReborn?LawnReborn is a liquid that uses enzymes and “friendly” bacteria to consume waste and neutralise the chemical byproducts that cause pet odours. Harsh chemicals only mask pet odours. When they are used, homeowners end up flushing toxic chemicals into their groundwater. In addition, chemical solutions can also degrade artificial grass or infill due to many cleaning agents being caustic. LawnReborn is a non-toxic, non-chemical solution to pet odours on artificial grass. It uses enzymes and bacteria instead of surfactants and caustic agents. It transforms pet waste into harmless natural substances which don’t harm artificial grass, infill or the environment. Since LawnReborn is non-toxic, it can be safely used around children and pets. If the homeowner oversprays, LawnReborn won’t harm nearby plants. Many enzyme products are dehydrated and turned into powder, making the homeowner turn them back into liquid form by adding water. LawnReborn is shipped as a liquid, keeping all enzymes and bacteria in their original, natural form. This ensures high quality and maximum efficacy. Using LawnRebornSalmonella is often a concern with bacterially-based products, but LawnReborn is certified salmonella-free. LawnReborn is shipped in 946 ml bottles. Each bottle contains enough LawnReborn to treat an artificial lawn measuring approximately 100 sqm. Since most pets have their “favourite spots” where they habitually do their business, the actual area that needs to be treated is often far less than 100 sqm. LawnReborn is applied by spraying it on the area being treated. Then, the homeowner simply allows LawnReborn to do its work: absorbing waste material and killing unfriendly bacteria. This one-step process is usually enough to eradicate pet odours.Justin Everley is the Director of Green Planet Grass, the firm that helped develop LawnReborn. Mr Everley is a leader in the artificial grass industry’s efforts to be environmentally responsible. According to Mr Everley: “LawnReborn is a great product. While we think it works best with our GPG Pet Grass System and our exclusive PetFill, it works with standard artificial grass infill, too. What we really like about LawnReborn is that it is a natural solution to pet odours. Pet odours have been a constant problem for homeowners since the beginning of artificial grass, but LawnReborn stops them cold without using any toxic materials to harm pets, children, plants or the environment.”Green Planet Grass is an artificial grass manufacturer and installer from Perth. They offer a wide range of Australian-made products for diverse applications such as residential, commercial and sport. To learn more about Green Planet Grass and about LawnReborn, call 1300 792 642 or visit their website: http://www.greenplanetgrassperth.com.au/. Childcare Centre in Perth Protects Children by Adhering to Strict Standards of Hygiene 2014-12-11T03:46:50Z child-care-centre-in-perth-protects-children-by-adhering-to-strict-standards-of-hygiene Perth, WA, 11 December 2014 - At all three Cuddles Childcare Centres in the Perth area, hygiene is a top priority. They take great pride in not only keeping their centres clean, but ensuring that staff and children alike practise responsible hygienic practices. Their centres all combine a combination of daily, weekly and monthly protocols to ensure that their centres are clean and safe for children and staff alike.It Starts with Clean HandsDue to estimates from organisations such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing (PPPHW) that handwashing can reduce the incidence of many contagious diseases by as much as 50%, handwashing education is a mandate for all Cuddles Childcare Centres.The staff at Cuddles Childcare Centres follow the same strict protocols that foodcare workers would follow. Children are also educated in washing their hands according to these guidelines. Children are taught to wash their hands every time they blow their noses or go to the toilet. They also wash their hands before and after meals or whenever they touch anything that puts them at risk for contaminating themselves or others. Cuddles even has a hand sanitising station for guests at the front of each centre.According to Michelle Coleski, Operations Manager of Cuddles Childcare Centres, “Handwashing is a healthy habit that is easy to teach children. It is the foundation of a lifetime of healthy habits. It is well-documented that the likelihood of contracting many diseases, colds or flu are cut in half simply by keeping one’s hands clean.”In addition to being educated about handwashing, children are also educated about oral hygiene. This also can help spreading colds and flu. When handling food, the staff wears hair nets and gloves, ensuring that food is served under food industry sanitation standards.Keeping it Clean and SafeAt Cuddles Childcare Centres, the staff performs routine cleaning tasks every day before they leave. In addition, a professional cleaning crew cleans each childcare centre every weekend. Doormats are replaced every week also. Once every month, green bins are cleaned as are the school vans. Every three months, pest control professionals visit each Cuddles Childcare Centre. Also, the air conditioners are serviced every three months, as is fire equipment. Why Cuddles Childcare Centres are so Committed to HygieneThe dedication to hygiene at Cuddles Childcare Centres comes from the top. According to Ms Coleski:“At Cuddles Childcare Centres, we make every decision by asking ourselves which course of action is best for the children. There are a lot of things that can’t be predicted and are beyond our control. However, we can definitely control how clean our childcare centres are and how the staff and children practise hygiene. Close attention to hygiene provides the environment that is best for the children.”Cuddles Childcare Centres have three locations in the Perth area, which also cater to the suburbs, including Cannington, Queens Park and Wattle Grove. Their motto is “learning through play” and they provide children with numerous opportunities for group and individual play on a daily basis. They go to great lengths to ensure hygiene in each of their centres. To learn more about Cuddles Childcare Centres, visit their website: http://www.cuddleschildcare.com.au/. Aussies turn to blenders for healthier lifestyles 2014-12-09T23:04:27Z aussies-turn-to-blenders-for-healthier-lifestyles Australians are turning to blenders to lose weight and improve their health, according to new research. Consumer research company Canstar Blue found that three out of five adults who purchased a new blender in the last two years did so as part of a healthier lifestyle change. And 75% of those said their new blender helped them achieve their weight loss or healthy-living goals. “For those who struggle to eat their recommended daily intake of fruits and vegetables, blenders can be an ideal solution,” said Canstar Blue spokesman Simon Downes. “It seems that Blenders have never been such a prominent part of Aussie kitchens and the majority of consumers clearly see the health benefits of owning one – indeed 85% of those we surveyed said they would replace their blender if it stopped working.” But when it comes to keeping the weight off and maintaining a healthier lifestyle, experts insist that blenders are just one ingredient to long-term success. Kate DiPrima, spokesperson for the Dietitians Association of Australia, says blenders can be a great tool for helping to improve diets, but it’s also important people don’t forget how to chew food – and don’t consume too much. “The big positive of blenders is that people are going to get more fibre-rich foods into them,” she said. “And unlike traditional juicers, blenders keep in all the goodness. “But people should also be cautious when shovelling food into their blender – because they might be taking in more calories than they realise. I’m all for people getting more beetroot and celery into their diets, for example, but the act of chewing fruits and vegetables is also important to help you feel full up.” Canstar Blue found that 46% of consumers don’t use their new blenders as much as they thought they would, while 28% admitted it was an impulse purchase. And after buying their blender for health reasons, two in five said they started to use it for unhealthy options. Exercise physiologist and nutritionist, Dr Bill Sukala, says he understands why some people fail to get the most out of their blenders. “It’s true that blenders help motivate someone towards a healthy lifestyle, but the big question is whether or not it is sustainable over the long-term,” he said. “A blender might help dieters trade the burgers for broccoli in the short-term, but a radical diet overhaul might be too drastic to maintain. I suggest incorporating a blender into your routine slowly over time and make changes for yourself that are realistic and sustainable. “A blender is only a single slice of the healthy eating pie. A healthful lifestyle requires a multi-pronged approach which includes not only healthy eating, but regular physical activity, no smoking, alcohol in moderation, and stress management techniques.” The Canstar Blue survey, of 790 adults, found that the majority use their blender a few times a week (37%) or a few times a month (29%). Just 15% said they use their blender every day and 7% use it more than once a day. One in 10 said they very rarely use it at all. When it comes to things consumers wish they had researched more before purchasing their new blender, 39% said things that cannot be blended, while 35% pointed to ease of cleaning, 26% said noise levels and 19% capacity. Nutribullet has picked up Canstar Blue’s Most Satisfied Customers Award for blenders, with five-star ratings for performance (speed and quality), ease of use, ease of cleaning, consistency and overall satisfaction. “Nutribullet comes with high expectations, but consumers are happy those expectations are being met with fantastic results,” said Mr Downes. “Consumers want to see a fantastic and consistent performance from their blender and that’s what they’re getting from Nutribullet.” Unique Envirotouch switch reduces electricity bills 2014-12-09T05:35:35Z unique-envirotouch-switch-reduces-electricity-bills Good afternoon, here's something new that I'm sure your readers would be interested in...Unique Envirotouch switch reduces electricity bills Thermofilm has introduced Envirotouch, a unique range of intelligent, timer-based switches that provide simple control of lighting and electrical devices that could save householders hundreds of dollars a year.   There’s no other product that delivers these features at an affordable price says Thermofilm, an award-winning Australian manufacturer of innovative and stylish energy efficient products.   The four point-of-use Envirotouch models will reduce energy usage and thereby cut power bills and greenhouse gas emissions. Additional features will lessen the risk of fire and injury.   Envirotouch switches include multiple preset, count-down timer options or cycles, so with the press of a button the Envirotouch will automatically turn off the light or appliances after the desired time.   Typical applications include control of indoor and outdoor lights, heaters, bathroom exhaust and room fans, lamps, coffee machines, irons, electric blankets, battery chargers and pumps.   One model also allows users to set up daily automatic cycles, which is perfect for heated towel rails, security lighting/TV/radio, and the pool cleaning system.   Appliances that can be switched off automatically when not in use, such as irons, heaters and fans, have the added benefit of improving their longevity and minimising risk should they not be turned off.  Savings   Calculated savings for typical residential applications include:   $146 pa for a 2400W heater left on for 2 hrs per day x 365 days. $117 pa for an 80W towel rail left on for 16 hrs per day x 365 days. $110 pa for 5 x 50W halogen lights left on for 3 hrs per day x 365 days.   At the touch of a button on the switch, users can automatically select the running time from multiple preset options: 15, 45, 60 and 120 minutes. For example, a child’s bedroom light could be 15 minutes and an electric blanket could be 90 minutes.   Reducing energy consumption also means users are reducing their carbon footprint with less greenhouse gas emissions.   This cost-effective solution comes at a fraction of the cost of existing options^ and can be retrofitted to existing switches and sockets or installed in new projects for the same cost as standard outlets. They must be installed by a qualified electrician. The Envirotouch switches are also able to be used with plug-in appliances via a 3-pin socket to give intelligent control.   An additional feature is an imminent “turn-off” indicator, which dims the lights to warn that turn-off will occur in three minutes.   The recommended retail price of Envirotouch switches starts from $75.95. Stockists include selected lighting retailers and electrical wholesalers.   More information is available at www.envirotouch.com.au   ends   ^ Prior to Envirotouch, the only option that could provide timer-based control of lighting systems and other devices were costly, centralised systems. The Envirotouch switch can provide easy, point-of-use control of lights and appliances without the need for expensive control systems. High res images can be downloaded from www.wmcpr.com.au/category/pr-press-office/  About Thermofilm: Thermofilm Australia is an Australian-owned designer, manufacturer, distributor and exporter of a wide range of premium, energy-efficient and stylish electric heaters for residential, commercial and institutional markets; indoor and outdoor. It also has a range of outdoor furniture and lifestyle products including Bliss innovative LED products. General enquiries to 03 9562 3455 and sales@thermofilm.com.au  www.thermofilm.com.au  Media enquiries: Issued on behalf of Thermofilm Australia, 27 Rosalie Street, Springvale VIC 3171 by WMC Public Relations Pty Ltd. Contact Greg Trezise, National Sales Manager, Thermofilm Australia. Tel: 03 9562 3455 (switch), 03 8581 6338 (direct) or 0402 127 375. Email: g.trezise@thermofilm.com.au   Unique Envirotouch switch can save thousands on overheads 2014-12-09T04:43:40Z unique-envirotouch-switch-reduces-energy-costs-saves-thousands-on-overheads Good afternoon, here's something new that I'm sure your readers would be interested in...Unique Envirotouch switch reduces energy costs Thermofilm has introduced Envirotouch™, a unique range of affordable, intelligent, timer-based switches that allow easy, point-of-use control of lighting and electrical devices to deliver financial savings and reduced carbon emissions.   There’s no other product that delivers these features at a price point of less than $80 says Thermofilm, an award-winning Australian manufacturer of innovative and stylish energy efficient products. Savings gained on one single switch being used for five years in a commercial lighting application amount to $1104 (NPV $798.88) and 5466 kg of greenhouse gas emissions abated. [refer to table below]   The new range includes multiple preset, count-down timer options or cycles, so with the press of a button the Envirotouch switch will automatically turn off the light or appliance after the desired time.   Typical applications include control of indoor and outdoor lighting, electric heaters, fans, heated towel rails and mobile air conditioning units.   Envirotouch is ideal for school classrooms, offices, hospitals, aged care facilities, universities, government buildings, retail shops, high-rises, halls and staff kitchens. In fact, it’s perfect for any area that can benefit from controlling lighting and electric devices.   Mr Greg Trezise, national sales manager for Thermofilm, said prior to Envirotouch the only option that could provide flexible timer-based control of hard wired applications, such as lighting, were expensive centralised systems.   “All four Envirotouch models will produce savings through reduced energy usage with a simple point-of-use control.   “Reducing energy consumption also means users are reducing their carbon footprint with less greenhouse gas emissions.   “At the touch of a button on the switch, users can automatically select the running time from multiple preset options: 15, 45, 60 and 120 minutes. For example, select 45 minutes for classroom lights or 30 minutes for a heater, and they will switch off automatically.”   This cost-effective solution comes at a fraction of the cost of existing options^ and can be retrofitted to existing switches and sockets or installed in new projects for the same cost as standard outlets. They must be installed by a qualified electrician. The Envirotouch switches are also able to be used with plug-in appliances via a 3-pin socket to give intelligent control.   An additional feature is an imminent “turn-off” indicator, which dims the lights to warn that turn-off will occur in three minutes.   The recommended retail price of Envirotouch switches starts from $75.95. Stockists include electrical wholesalers and selected lighting retailers.  Savings   Calculated annual dollar and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission savings for some commercial applications include:   $171 and 911 kg GHG for preventing lighting of one 15m x 15m room for 2 hrs per day during working days of the year.   $76 and 405 kg GHG for preventing lighting of one 10m x 10m room for 2 hrs per day during working days of the year.   $61 and 324 kg GHG for preventing one 2400W heater being left on for 2 hrs per day during working days of winter months.   More information is available at www.envirotouch.com.au   ends   ^ At present, the only option that can provide timer based control of lighting systems and other devices are costly, centralised systems. The Envirotouch switch can provide easy, point-of-use control of lights and appliances without the need for expensive control systems.   High res images can be downloaded from www.wmcpr.com.au/category/pr-press-office/About Thermofilm: Thermofilm Australia is an Australian-owned designer, manufacturer, distributor and exporter of a wide range of premium, energy-efficient and stylish electric heaters for residential, commercial and institutional markets; indoor and outdoor. It also has a range of outdoor furniture and lifestyle products including Bliss innovative LED products. General enquiries to 03 9562 3455 and sales@thermofilm.com.au  www.thermofilm.com.au  Media enquiries: Issued on behalf of Thermofilm Australia, 27 Rosalie Street, Springvale VIC 3171 by WMC Public Relations Pty Ltd. Contact Greg Trezise, National Sales Manager, Thermofilm Australia. Tel: 03 9562 3455 (switch), 03 8581 6338 (direct) or 0402 127 375. Email: g.trezise@thermofilm.com.au   Unique Envirotouch switch reduces energy costs 2014-12-09T04:06:39Z unique-envirotouch-switch-reduces-energy-costs Thermofilm has introduced Envirotouch™, a unique range of affordable, intelligent, timer-based switches that allow easy, point-of-use control of lighting and electrical devices to deliver financial savings and reduced carbon emissions.   There’s no other product that delivers these features at a price point of less than $80 says Thermofilm, an award-winning Australian manufacturer of innovative and stylish energy efficient products.   Detailed savings calculations have been undertaken, including a 10-year Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) analysis. This shows that for a typical commercial lighting application (15m x 15m room with BCA lighting of 10W/m2), total savings can be $1,957 (NPV $1,217) with 9108 kgs of GHG emissions abated and a payback period of only 0.44 of a year. [refer to table below]   The new range includes multiple preset, count-down timer options or cycles, so with the press of a button the Envirotouch switch will automatically turn off the light or appliance after the desired time.   Typical applications include control of indoor and outdoor lighting, electric heaters, fans, heated towel rails, small appliances and mobile air conditioning units.   Envirotouch is ideal for school classrooms, offices, hospitals, aged care facilities, universities, government buildings, retail shops, high-rises, halls and staff kitchens. In fact, it’s perfect for any area that can benefit from controlling lighting and electric devices.   Mr Greg Trezise, national sales manager for Thermofilm, said prior to Envirotouch the only option that could provide flexible timer-based control for hard-wired applications, such as for lighting systems, were expensive centralised systems.   “All four Envirotouch models will produce savings through reduced energy usage without the need for expensive control systems.   “Reducing energy consumption also means users are reducing their carbon footprint with less greenhouse gas emissions.   “At the touch of a button on the switch, users can automatically select the running time from multiple preset options: 15, 45, 60 and 120 minutes. For example, select 45 minutes for classroom lights or 30 minutes for a heater, and they will switch off automatically.”   This cost-effective solution comes at a fraction of the cost of existing options^ and can be retrofitted to existing switches and sockets or installed in new projects for the same cost as standard outlets. They must be installed by a qualified electrician. The Envirotouch switches are also able to be used with plug-in appliances via a 3-pin socket to give intelligent control.   An additional feature is an imminent “turn-off” indicator, which dims the lights to warn that turn-off will occur in three minutes.   The recommended retail price of Envirotouch switches starts from $75.95. Stockists include electrical wholesalers and selected lighting retailers.  Savings   Calculated annual dollar and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission savings for some commercial applications include:   $171 and 911 kg GHG for preventing lighting of one 15m x 15m room for 2 hrs per day during working days of the year. $76 and 405 kg GHG for preventing lighting of one 10m x 10m room for 2 hrs per day during working days of the year.   $61 and 324 kg GHG for preventing one 2400W heater being left on for 2 hrs per day during working days of winter months.   More information is available at www.envirotouch.com.au   ends   ^ At present, the only option that can provide timer based control of lighting systems and other devices are costly, centralised systems. The Envirotouch switch can provide easy, point-of-use control of lights and appliances without the need for expensive control systems. High res images can be downloaded from http://wmcpr.com.au/category/pr-press-office/About Thermofilm: Thermofilm Australia is an Australian-owned designer, manufacturer, distributor and exporter of a wide range of premium, energy-efficient and stylish electric heaters for residential, commercial and institutional markets; indoor and outdoor. It also has a range of outdoor furniture and lifestyle products including Bliss innovative LED products. General enquiries to 03 9562 3455 and sales@thermofilm.com.au  www.thermofilm.com.au  Media enquiries: Issued on behalf of Thermofilm Australia, 27 Rosalie Street, Springvale VIC 3171 by WMC Public Relations Pty Ltd. Contact Greg Trezise, National Sales Manager, Thermofilm Australia. Tel: 03 9562 3455 (switch), 03 8581 6338 (direct) or 0402 127 375. Email: g.trezise@thermofilm.com.au Exclusive Artificial Grass Infill called “PetFill” Neutralises Pet Odours 2014-12-08T03:36:41Z exclusive-artificial-grass-infill-called-petfill-neutralises-pet-odours Perth, WA, 8 December 2014 - Green Planet Grass installs artificial grass in the Perth area. They offer an exclusive system for pet owners called GPG Pet Grass. Pet Grass has an important component called “PetFill,” which is designed to be a solution to the ever-present problem of pet odours in artificial grass.Standard Infill and its ProblemsStandard infill for artificial grass is usually made of silica sand or rubber pellets. Bacterial ammonia, the main odour-causing ingredient in pet urine, tends to adhere to both of these materials. Eventually, this causes pet odours. In addition, once the bacteria have attached themselves to standard infill in “colonies,” they are more difficult to get rid of. Consequently, despite the “sales pitches” of many artificial grass companies, the combination of pets and standard artificial grass invariably combines to form an odour problem. Once the odour is established, it becomes more and more difficult to make it go away. There are many sprays on the market that serve only to mask the odours for a short period of time, but none that can solve the problem of chronic pet odours.The Solution: the Green Planet Grass Pet Grass SystemGreen Planet Grass has completed more than 4,000 artificial grass installations in the Perth area. They solicit feedback on every job and keep detailed records. They use this feedback to constantly “tweak” and improve their products. Due to a large number of requests that they formulate a product specifically for pets, they researched, developed and created GPG Pet Grass, which combines their existing products specifically in ways that are beneficial for pet owners. In addition, they developed a special infill for Pet Grass called “PetFill.”PetFill is made of a honeycomb-shaped molecular structure that absorbs the odour-causing agents of pet urine and converts them into ions which are then flushed into the ground every time it rains, due to sodium ions in rainwater. The end result is that pet odours are drastically reduced and in some cases totally eliminated when PetFill is a part of the artificial grass system for a pet owner.Justin Everley, Director of Green Planet Grass, an environmentally responsible artificial grass manufacturer in the Perth area, feels that the GPG Pet Grass System and its PetFill represent the best solution to the problem of pet odours and artificial grass. According to Mr Everley:“We considered a lot of feedback and spent a lot on researching and developing our GPG Pet Grass System, and PetFill is a major component of that. It is the missing link that helps Pet Grass provide superior performance and solves the pet odour problem which has plagued homeowners with pets and artificial grass for years.”Mr Everley concluded, “Pet Grass provides the best solution for those who want to have both pets and artificial grass without pet odours.”Green Planet Grass manufactures and installs synthetic grass. Their offices are located in Perth and their manufacturing facility is in Western Australia. They manufacture artificial grass for a wide range of residential, sport and commercial applications. To learn more, call 1300 792 642 or visit their website: http://www.greenplanetgrassperth.com.au/