These Home Builders in Ontario Are Building Something Inspiring

There’s a lot of negativity in the news about the state of housing here in Canada. On one end of the spectrum, you’ve got a booming housing market that’s making investors rich; on the other, a shortage of affordable housing that puts homeownership far out of reach for money. But some Royal Home Builder in Ontario are taking on innovative, inspiring projects that offer a glimpse of a better future for the housing situation.

south ontario home

Custom Homes for First Nation Residents

Housing is a pressing issue in Ontario’s north, particularly among some First Nation communities. Many reserves rely on prefabricated government homes that haven’t stood the test of time. In fact, some of these homes are barely standing – not to mention overcrowded.

A team of urban planners from Ryerson University is hoping to change that by putting the power of design into the hands of First Nations communities. For the past two years, they have been working with members of the Nibinamik Nation to plan custom homes that fill the gaps in the community’s housing situation.

The team has consulted with individual families and the community at large to design ideal homes. Some of the ideas include an emphasis on community gathering areas, bedrooms large enough to accommodate larger families, sustainable energy sources, and storage space for hunting gear.

The ability to craft one’s own home is so enormously empowering. Although the community is still waiting on the go-ahead for government funding, the project holds great promise. Home builders in Ontario could soon be building custom homes that could make a huge difference in this small community. And that’s awesome.

Radically Eco-Friendly Homes

When you read the words “prefabricated home”, you probably picture something along the lines of what a Google image search for the term delivers; small, squarish homes that look like they rolled off a factory line. They’re cool, to be sure, but they aren’t exactly popular.

Royal Homes’ custom prefab homes are bringing fresh ideas to the world of eco-friendly home building. They’re not the prefabricated home builder on the block, but there’s one important thing that sets them apart from the rest: once in place, Royal Homes’ custom prefab homes are indistinguishable from a house built the old-fashioned way.

That’s an important difference. If eco-friendly prefab building is ever going to go mainstream, the houses have to actually look like homes. While the uber-modern shipping crate homes have a niche appeal, they aren’t what most people desire in a home.

And that’s what makes these homes inspiring. They make sustainability beautiful. That could be the key to finally getting people on board with eco-friendly housing.

Safety Saves Lives on the Job

Have you ever worked in a position that required you to work high off of the ground? If so, did you have adequate training before you started that work? Working at heights safety is not something to be forgotten; just like any job with an element of risk, proper instruction is key to preventing injuries.

Although great strides have been made in this area, more than 40,000 Canadians per year are injured in falling accidents at work. OHS, Canada’s Occupational Health & Safety Magazine, reports that the most common reasons for these accidents include poor lighting, slippery surfaces, missing protective devices, poorly maintained equipment, lack of safety equipment, poor (or no) training, and workers having to rush in order to meet deadlines. All of these are unacceptable.

It is up to employers to provide a workplace and equipment suitable not only for workers to do the job, but to do it with a proper degree of safety. Unfortunately, poor management practices often only come to light following a tragedy. Ideally, both employers and workers should keep their eye out at all times for problems before they happen.

Employers also need to take the time to properly train their employees. Many of the workers suffering terrible accidents are young and new to this sort of job. These individuals especially need careful instruction and mentorship when beginning a position.

Working at heights training in a classroom is usually the first step. Students learn about all of the risks and safety procedures before they receive additional instruction on the worksite. Do you have concerns about the safety in your company? All workers have rights as stated by the rules of the Ontario Ministry of Labour. Visit their website to learn more about safety standards and how you can help to ensure safety in your workplace.

How to Reduce Hydro Bills

Hydro bills getting you down? Yes, Ontarians got a bit of a break when the governing Liberal Party made some changes last year, but hydro bills can still take a big bite. This is particularly true if you live in a good-sized house and have a large family. We all love the basic conveniences of modern life, but do they have to cost so much?

Fortunately, there are ways to effectively reduce your monthly hydro bill that are easy to implement and will not have a drastic effect on your preferred lifestyle:

Turn Things Off

Well, let’s start with one that seems perfectly logical. Don’t leave the lights on in a room when you’re not there; that’s easy! However, it gets more complicated as there are electricity drains happening you might not even be aware of. Just because your electronic equipment is turned off doesn’t mean it’s not using power. You would be shocked to know just how much juice these devices consume when in standby mode. If you are not using them, unplug. You can make this easier with a plug bar that has an On/Off switch.

Do Things During Off-Peak Times

Most areas have set times described by power companies as Off-Peak, Mid-Peak, and On-Peak. The latter times are when electricity consumption is typically at its highest, so power companies charge more. Confine activities like laundry and running your dishwasher to the off-peak times, which can be as much as 40-50% less per kilowatt hour.

Smart Thermostats

Thermostats have come a long way in the past few years. They are very easy to program and, with some models, you don’t even have to be home to do it. Automatically lower your temperature at night and stay within a certain range during the day. The annual savings will more than justify the cost of a new thermostat.

 

Speed Reading: Benefit or Impediment?

Do you remember the movie SHORT CIRCUIT from your childhood? The robot, No. 5, had a number of fun talents, including the ability to read entire books in a matter of seconds. It is a talent I have thought of on many an occasion, especially when faced with a stack of books and an impending deadline.

Of course, humans can learn to speed read, but we will never be a match for No. 5. We supposedly have the capacity to read as many as 1700 words a minute, a mind-boggling figure. However, the question is, do we really get a chance to understand and retain those words when they are flying by our eyes that quickly?

The jury is still out on this. Experts generally agree that if you are reading to learn, then speed reading is not a good idea. Your ability to read and retain information begins to deteriorate once you pass 400 words per minute. The losses in retention then accelerate dramatically from 600 words per minute and up.

However, speed reading can have one very helpful attribute. If you are speeding through blocks of text trying to find information, then you should be able to locate said words successfully. However, you should then stop and read that section at your regular speed, should you wish to retain what’s there.

If you want to improve your reading speed, one of the big things is the elimination of sub vocalization. This is the practice of saying what you’re reading. This doesn’t even have to occur out loud; you could simply be hearing the words as you read them. This can help some individuals to get a better understanding of what is on the page, but it is also slowing them down. As a first step to speeding up your reading, jettisoning this habit is key.

Pets Can Be a Wonderful Way for Children to Grow

Most of us had pets as a child, but have you ever thought back on just how that cat, dog, or rabbit influenced your growth as a person? Children live in the moment and derive great pleasure from the time they spend with their animals. However, in those same moments, they are also learning things unconsciously that better allow them to adapt to and succeed in the world.

Some families might wonder whether it is a good idea to get their youngest a pet, given the responsibility and costs involved. However, here are some points that might help convince parents that this is a good idea that goes beyond the fun pets can provide.

Responsibility

Pets don’t care for themselves and some parents rightly worry that they will end up with this burden, should the child ever lose interest in the animal. However, caring for a pet can really help to teach children the importance of responsibility. If their animal is not properly fed and cared for, they can become sick and even die. While no one would ever wish for this to happen, it can be a stark and necessary lesson.

Exercise

More and more children these days are becoming obese from having sedentary lives, thanks to computers, smartphones, and video games. Pets (dogs, especially) must be regularly walked, so that means getting out of the house and indulging in some physical activity a few times a day. Playtime with a dog can also be highly beneficial in this regard, for both the child and the canine.

Personality Growth

Some children are quite anxious, while others are easily stressed, and/or lack self-esteem. A study by the U.S. Public Health Service revealed that all three of these conditions are less likely to occur in children that have a pet. Animal companionship can also improve both relationship development and communication.

How to Make the Hospital a Less Stressful Experience

No one likes to go to the hospital. In fact, some dread it so much, they don’t go even when they know they should. Even the best hospitals would be hard pressed to produce a patient experience that did not provoke at least a little anxiety, but many medical facilities are not up to snuff these days and that just makes things worse.

Here are a few ways such places could improve the experience:

Emergency Room

This is a part of the hospital particularly dreaded by most people, and for good reason. The waits can be endless, there tend to be many, many people there at any given time, very few doctors and nurses, and communication is often lacking. People here are often in serious pain and worried about their immediate health; stacking them up on gurneys in a hallway for hours on end does nothing to alleviate that stress.

Hospitals need to expand their facilities, so such things do not happen. They should also schedule enough doctors and nurses so that there are enough to accommodate patient volume during peak times.

Cleaner Rooms

Many hospitals are constantly running over capacity, so as soon as one patient gets out of a room, another one immediately moves in. However, that is no excuse for the occasionally filthy conditions. Also, wear and tear in bathrooms and sink areas must to be addressed. A room needs to appear clean and welcoming; some look more like a third-rate motel.

Better Communication

Some doctors and nurses are so overworked, they rush through examinations and patient consultations. That leaves them feeling confused and stressed. It is imperative to fully communicate all details regarding even the most basic procedures. Medical personnel should also be willing to answer any and all questions, while making sure that patients understand this information.

Sympathy Flowers 101

Flowers have been given as a sign of sympathy following death for thousands of years. The intention is to introduce a feeling of color and life back into a time when sadness is prevailing for friends and family of the deceased. While there are no hard and fast rules about how this is done, the following suggestions can help if you are not sure:

It is a traditional to send flowers to a funeral home or wake, but you can also send them directly to the family and/or primary person who is grieving. Some families ask that instead of flowers, you give a donation to a particular charity: it is still permissible to do both. You can also send flowers to a place of business associated with the diseased.

Families or groups of co-workers often go in together for a floral arrangement, but it is perfectly fine for you to also send one on your own. The vast majority of funeral homes will let the families have any flowers left behind and some will even deliver them. Some homes may have restrictions about the sort of plants that may be displayed (e.g. nothing in glass vases), however, so you might want to call ahead and check before placing an order.

Sending flowers to a funeral is appropriate for most any religion. However, if you are not sure, check with a friend of the family that is knowledgeable in this area. If flowers are not the best way to go, ask about what other gesture you can make instead.

If you wish for an arrangement to really reflect the deceased, choose flowers or an arrangement style that has some connection to them and their tastes. This can be something well known to everyone or just something that was special to your own relationship.

Working With Troublesome Clients

Very few companies are entirely autonomous; to succeed in business, you have to work with other people. That can be through mergers or temporary alliances, such as clients. Everyone desires to have smooth and harmonious relationships, whether in their personal lives or in business, but we all know that is not realistic. There will always be people who we do not have great dealings with and it will be a struggle to keep things reasonably harmonious.

Are you continually having trouble with some of your clients? Not sure what you can do to fix things? Try some of the following tips:

Admit it when you are wrong

Nothing can make a situation between a business and its clients worse than if the business is caught lying. If for some reason you made a mistake or otherwise failed to live up to your obligations, admit that shortcoming. Lying, or trying to blame the client, will just make things worse and quite likely terminate the relationship.

Live up to your end of the bargain

If you make a deal with the client, you need to fulfill your end. Before signing a deal, weigh how much time it will take to live up to these obligations and decide whether the relationship is even worthwhile for you to enter into in the first place. Trying to figure that out after the relationship has already started is not productive and will likely not give you the answer you seek.

Come up with the best approach

Based on your experience with this client, or other clients over the years, come up with a form of communication that works. For example, some clients like a direct approach, while others like to be finessed; try out different methods and stick with the approach that seems to yield the best results.

Quality Dental Tools are Important for Your Practice

 

Have you ever taken your car to a mechanic and found their shop to be rather old and unkempt looking? Then you took a look at the tools and they, too, seemed out of date and rather worn. That probably did not leave you feeling very confident about this person’s ability to fix your car.

We have never heard of a dental office in modern-day North America that looked like a rundown car repair shop, but clients can still tell when things seem a bit off. If your dental equipment looks to be on the older side and possibly even a bit damaged, it suggests that you are not putting the time and care into your practice that your average client would expect.

A high-speed dental hand piece is a precise and important piece of equipment that you should not skimp on. High-quality equipment will last for years when it is properly maintained. When the time comes to replace it, you need to opt for the same level of quality. Dental tools from Sable are dependable because they care about satisfying the needs of both dentists and their clients. That means equipment that will perform as described when you need it and will last for an extended period without undue repairs or replacement.

In recent years, China has emerged as a prime manufacture of many things, including dental equipment. Manufacturers there position themselves as being a low-cost alternative to suppliers in North America and Europe. Unfortunately, those savings come at the expense of quality: the raw materials are just not on the same level and neither is the craftsmanship used in assembling the equipment. Sometimes you have to spend a little more to get the results you need. Sable specializes in offering dependable, high-quality dental equipment that is also affordable no matter what your size of practice.

Foods That Improve Mental Health

There is an old saying that goes, “You are what you eat,” and is often brought up in reference to junk food. A regular diet of things like hamburgers, french fries, and milkshakes will take a definite toll on your physical health after awhile. But did you know that what you eat can also negatively affect your mental health?

Therapists working with people who have mental health challenges tried various strategies to help their clients overcome these problems. While talk therapy and medication are often cited, one lesser-known strategy is diet. While the food these individuals eat will not fully solve their problems, a change in diet can often make mental health challenges less potent.

Antioxidants

You have probably heard about how antioxidants are great for your physical health, but they are actually also beneficial for your outlook. People with large amounts of carotenoids (a form of antioxidant) in their system tend to be more optimistic and upbeat, which is the antithesis of depressed or anxious. Antioxidants are found in fruits and vegetables, so make sure that you have the recommended amount of both each day.

Junk foods make you feel more stressed

so-called comfort foods may indeed make us feel better for a time, but they are actually also making us more stressed. Heavy amounts of sugar and salt are not beneficial for people dealing with issues like anxiety and depression (or anyone, really). In the long run, a healthier diet will make you feel better.

You will get more sleep

Another thing that junk food is not good for is promoting healthy sleeping habits. People suffering from anxiety and depression often do not sleep well, which makes them feel really tired and that in turn heightens the already existing problems. The equation is simple: a better diet equals better sleep.