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Tips For Home Investment – List of Green Features For Remarkable Homes

The massive impact of an ailing environment is already manifesting in many pressing issues and dilemmas the world is facing today. Global warming, climate change, air pollution, flood and the like are just few of the problems rooted from the destruction of the ecology. For home buyers and owners, there are viable alternatives for you to contribute in the protection of the environment through opting for green features incorporated in the design, renovation and construction of your home.

There are Eco-friendly or green means and approach you can use in order to assure that your activity and investment is making the most minimal impact on your surroundings. So what exactly are some green features to look for and utilize in a home?

One of the topmost alternatives for green houses is energy efficiency which is basically manifested in choosing efficient household appliances, high efficiency water heating system, air sealing and extra insulation and advanced framing technique.

Advanced framing and extra insulation is known to reduce the construction costs hence increase energy savings through minimizing lumber demands and production. Through proper water heating system, you also cut off the pipeline energy loss. Choosing household appliances and equipment especially with the labels that meet energy efficiency criteria helps you reduce the initial costs of your appliances as well as your electricity bills.

Ensuring the indoor air quality of your home is another viable feature of an Eco-friendly home. You can do this through the right choice on your carpet, ventilation and paints. It is important to choose carpets with less allergen-attracting components and low-pile features in order to improve the quality of air in your home interior. Use low-toxic and low-VOC paints and make sure that your home is well-ventilated to avoid potential air quality hazards. You can use quiet and automatic electric fans or through heat recovery ventilators.

Lastly, it is of utmost value and importance that you deliberately use materials and equipment for your home project that is amenable in conserving natural resources. For instance you may opt for plastic lumber, engineered wood, brick and fiber cement siding. Plastic lumber materials are actually preferred as reliable construction materials for houses and buildings. This is a good alternative in building benches, decking, docks and fences among others. For engineered wood, a good example is laminated veneer lumber that composes of raw materials with superior performance quality which are equally viable options to traditional items used.

Most importantly, consider recycled building materials which are still of high quality without the hefty price tags. It is also making sure that the demand for construction materials is reduced which eventually means that you are also lessening the demand for the production of needed items from the environment particularly trees.

Green alternatives and features are naturally integrated in modern day houses and establishment due to its incomparable benefits to both home owners and the ecology. Educate yourself of the different green choices you have which are advantageous in your investment as well as sound and wise choices to nature.

How Do You Put Heart and Soul Into Teaching Adults?

Teaching adult students can be a transformative experience, for educators and students alike, when both immerse themselves in the learning experience through the exchange of ideas and discourse which sparks critical thinking. Teaching adults is more commonly called instruction or facilitation, and is often viewed as a specific function with associated requirements that depend upon the person’s status and classroom environment. Some persons choose to teach adults as a career in a traditional university and others choose a non-traditional route, such as an online school or corporate classroom.

But why does someone, or why would someone, decide to teach adults as a career choice? I have found there are persons who are good with the delivery of information, effective facilitating a learning process, or excel as public speakers, and those are often the underlying reasons for being in a classroom and holding a job related to some form of instruction. Other persons are subject matter experts or effective researchers, and they enjoy sharing their knowledge with students in the classroom.

Those reasons provide the basis for a teacher or instructor to be effective with the process of teaching or instruction, deliver a lecture in an engaging manner, or have the knowledge necessary to teach; however, what can further transform an instructor if he or she should seek to become a mentor and coach? More importantly, how does someone infuse their heart and soul into their teaching practice? Is it necessary for every instructor to care that much about their role? Is it important for the students to interact with someone who exhibits that type of passion? These are the questions I will explore further, based upon my work as an educator.

Influence of the Academic Environment

There are two types of academic environments, the traditional classroom and online environment. Most of my experience has been teaching adult students and faculty as students in non-traditional online classes. This is an important distinction to make as I have not been assigned the title of professor and I have not been assigned to teach in a traditional classroom, except for a few community college classes that were taught as an adjunct. Instead of preparing for weekly lectures, I have worked in an industry that requires classroom engagement and interactions during weekdays, weeknights, and on the weekends as well. In other words, there may not be stated hours; however, there is an expectation the students will be a top priority regardless of the day of week.

Also consider that in this environment I do not see my students, unless they have uploaded a photo or I hold a live seminar. I have no idea what most of my students often look like and that did take some getting used to as I came to the higher education field from a corporate training field, which means I have always interacted one-on-one with students. In a virtual environment, I am in constant communication with students as they need assistance or I complete my required facilitation tasks. This means I have learned how to take static, written communication and use it in a manner that can still convey a sense of warmth through the choice of words and tone used.

Consider the Adult Student’s Perspective

Now consider what the adult student might experience or feel when they enter the classroom. Based upon my experience in the non-traditional academic field, most students are working adults, whether they were my undergraduate or graduate students. This means their school work may not always be their only demand each week as they may have other responsibilities that includes a career and a family. These students usually seek out a degree for specific needs, often related to their career. When they interact with others in the classroom they are not always open-minded to begin with as they have their own beliefs, opinions, established patterns of thought, and habitual ways of thinking. They see the world in a particular manner and point of view.

Students also hold expectations, whether they express those expectations or not to their instructors. They expect the class, and others, to conform to what they want or need, confirm what they already believe, meet their personal and professional needs, and operate according to how they have experienced the world. Sometimes those expectations are met, and other times there is a clash of ideals, beliefs, and opinions. When expectations are not met, there can be a disconnect and that is when the instructor’s disposition and assistance matters most. Regardless of what students expect, they are interacting with an environment that is going to make demands of them, present ideas and information that may conflict with what they know or think or believe, and it is their instructor who is going to influence them and matter the most.

What is Heart and Soul for Teaching?

If the instructor matters so much for students, can an instructor simply adopt a caring and supportive attitude to help them engage in the learning process? From my experience, a caring instructor is more effective than someone who demands strict compliance and cannot empathize with students. What I am referring to though goes beyond caring and I refer to it as the heart and soul of teaching. For me, it has occurred as a product of time, along with a process of trial and error. When you put your heart and soul into a career, you stick with it during the times when you feel alive and are fully engaged in it, along with the times when it challenges you and teaches you new life lessons. When you put your heart and soul into something, and then you feel you have lost it, the joy seems to go out of your job and then it is time for a change of some kind.

Teaching has always been second nature for me. It is one of the first memories I had as a child, even before I knew what I was really doing, and throughout my career I found myself in a classroom no matter what my job titles might have been at the time. It was a natural progression for me to move into corporate training and then into higher education. Working as an online adjunct for many years did challenge the heart and soul I put into my career and I reached a point where the stressful conditions overcame me and I allowed it to create a negative mindset. I finally had to stop the excuses, unplug from technology, and take a sabbatical. I used that time to go back and remember who I am, why I love my career, and I came back renewed and reinvigorated. It was a matter of changing my focus from the conditions to the control I have over my thoughts.

For anyone who cares about their career, and believes they have put their heart and soul into their job or work, your students will notice it. They will be influenced by it, especially during the times when they feel challenged by something they have read, something they have heard, or something they are required to do. Your ability to care and empathize, while being a coach, mentor, and teacher, will serve you and them well. You are going to also feel challenged at times by circumstances, situations, conditions, and expectations. If you can stay focused on your ability to empower your students, and how much they depend upon your consistent attitude and disposition, perhaps you can maintain your balance during the challenging moments that do eventually subside.

More Investment, Better Prospects in Canada!

With the global economy on the rise again, the immigration sector is all set to boom again. Similar to other countries, Canada intends to welcome a pool of around two hundred and sixty five thousand immigrants. Attracting highly skilled immigrants from other developing nations to contribute to the economy of Canada has been a key feature. The country also considers its immigrant population as its asset that has led the country to its current heights. The Canadian government is expecting more investors to contribute to its economy leading to fresh employment opportunities. Although, recession has had its impact which led to the clearance of only eleven thousand and six hundred visas under the business category to be dispatched in the year 2010.

In spite of recession, the government is keen to attract as many foreign investors as possible who have the right skills, knowledge and attitude apart from having access to the market segments outside Canada. With extensive promotions and campaigns being implemented by the government, this rate has come up to ten percent of the total immigrant population. Additionally, the Canadian High Commission has offices in various embassies abroad that specifically cater to these high end business investors and entrepreneurs. There are a few countries that are being eyed for investors. These include France, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Syria and South Korea.

The business visa programs under the Federal category consist of three different categories. These are:

  • Investor
  • Entrepreneur
  • Self Employment

With this, each province in Federal Canada sets its own eligibility criteria based on its needs and skill shortages. Plus, the provinces take their steps to attract investors.

The eligibility requirements for investors in all the provinces are:

  • All the applicants or the investors must have an impressive background in business.
  • They should have minimum net assets of C$800,000.
  • They should be willing be invest an amount of C$400,000 in Canada. In other words, the entrepreneur has to give a loan that is free of any form of interest to the Canadian government, for a period of five years.

For the entrepreneurs’ category, the following are the key factors:

  • The entrepreneur must have a minimum net worth of C$300,000.
  • He has to declare or testify in the presence of a visa official that after becoming a permanent resident in Canada; he would spend a minimum of a year of the first three consecutive years participating and controlling the business. He must control at least one third of the entire business.
  • A minimum of one full time job opportunity should be created and catered to a local Canadian citizen who is not related to the entrepreneur.

Those applying under the self employed category must adhere to the following criteria:

  • Applicants applying under this category must have had a brilliant track record as an entrepreneur.
  • They should have enough funds to buy or invest in a business in Canada.

Above all, irrespective of the three categories, the common assessment criteria include:

  • Age
  • Academic Qualifications
  • Experience in Business
  • Language Skills – English/French
  • Adaptive Ability

Each of the above factors is allotted a certain number of points. A minimum of thirty five points must be scored in order to be eligible for immigration to Canada.

All the applicants are permitted to bring their immediate family members that are spouse and children. No separate applications have to be filed for the dependents as they can be included in the same visa application submitted by the applicant.

Apart from the above, the province of Quebec which is dominant by the French speaking population has its own set of criteria for each of its immigration programs. In order to be eligible and apply for the same, an applicant must have excellent French language skills.

All in all, Canada being one of the developed nations of the world, inviting businessmen from other countries would simply deck the country with better career prospects. As for the new business, it is a boom for them as they get to spread their venture across continents.