Siding and the Environment

In today's increasingly environmentally-friendly climate, the construction industry has begun to get something of a bad reputation for utilizing materials that are known to be harmful to the planet. The siding industry is no exception. With vinyl being one of the more popular and affordable materials for siding installation, the siding industry is often accused of contributing to the demise of the planet by introducing the modifying chemicals of PVC (polyvinyl chloride) into the atmosphere. Of course, the benefit of PVC is that it is inexpensive and quite easy to work with. But in the eyes of the average environmentalist, the advantages inherent in PVC do not outweigh its destructive impact on the planet.

So which types of siding are the best options as far as the environment is concerned? According to Ruben Jeruco, solid wood is probably the most environmentally-friendly siding material available today. Although wood siding requires a fair degree of maintenance, the fact that it is renewable makes it attractive in the eyes of those who are environmentally-conscious. Fiber cement siding is also known to be a reliably earth-friendly product. Offering the same great look and feel of wood but without the significant maintenance, fiber cement is another good choice for people who do not want to run the risk of destroying the planet.

Although it is quickly becoming a less popular choice among homeowners, aluminum siding is actually regarded as fairly environmentally-friendly. Although its production requires a significant amount of resources, aluminum siding is often made of recycled materials, making it a winner in the eyes of those who think green. Finally, natural stone and classic cement stucco are both regarded as earth-friendly siding options; however, the cost involved in stone and stucco puts both choices out of reach for homeowners with limited budgets.

Of course, despite the fact that vinyl is often regarded as the planet's greatest enemy, vinyl siding might not actually be as ecologically destructive as some might think. Vinyl siding requires far less maintenance than most other types of siding once it's installed, few environmental resources are needed in order to preserve it. Vinyl siding is also said to use little energy as part of its manufacturing process. So while the material itself is definitely not the most earth-friendly, vinyl might not be quite as bad as some people think.

If preserving the environment is important to you, then make sure that your siding contractor is aware of your feelings as he helps you select your siding material. With so many earth-friendly siding choices available, you can improve the exterior of your home without having to choose between conservationism and aesthetics. And while you may pay a bit more for your eco-friendly siding, you'll be rewarded with the peace of mind that comes along with knowing that you're doing your part to preserve our planet for many generations to come.

7 Best Tips For Healthy Clay Pot Cooking

Clay pot cooking is the oldest and time-tested method for healthy cooking. While people are struggling to fight the ill effects of modern ways of cooking, with this safe and simple way of cooking, nobody ever had complaints. This is probably the reason people are slowly going back to their roots by switching to clay cookware.

There is a new challenge with clay pot cooking today it is rare that people are making it with the health value in mind so the clay pots available in the market are unfortunately chemical laden and coated with toxic enamels and glazes (like ceramics). The more beautiful and colorful they look on the outside, the more toxins they may leach while cooking. The cheaper they are, it’s possible that additives are used to make them faster and smoother. It’s important that you choose a truly healthy pot and here are 7 tips to choosing and using the best clay pots:

1. Always Choose Primary Clay

Primary clay is the purest form of clay – it has absolutely no toxins. Only primary clay is naturally inert, so doesn’t react to food like metals and ceramics. There are many clay pots available in the market that are made from secondary or tertiary clay but they have contaminants that may leach into your food while cooking.

2. No Chemicals, Glazes or Enamels

Most makers start using chemicals to make the process easier. In fact, every mechanized process needs the raw material to be treated with chemicals. The glazes and enamels might make your clay pots and pans colorful, attractive and even robust but they contaminate food. So always choose a cookware made from unglazed primary clay (or pure clay).

3. Seasoning Is Important

Seasoning your pure clay pot as per instructions is very important for cooking delicious food every time and it also increases the life of your pot. Pure clay is naturally non-stick, so after proper seasoning, if done right, the food should never stick to the bottom.

4. Choose Ingredients Carefully

You have finally chosen the healthiest clay pot – great, but it will all be in vain if you won’t use the right ingredients. For healthy clay pot cooking, make sure you choose all-natural organic ingredients that are unprocessed and nutrition-rich. A balanced diet is all you and your family needs for a healthy body, so always pay attention to the nutritional value of your ingredients.

5. Cook At Medium to Low Heat

Pure clay pots are great retainers of heat and the near infrared heat radiating from their walls cooks food evenly with gentle heat. It keeps nutrients intact and food cooks in almost the same time at low-medium heat as it does on high heat in metal/ceramic cookware.

Cooking at low-medium heat not only prevents food from burning and sticking to the bottom, it also improves the durability of your pure clay pot.

6. Choose A Pot That Manages Steam Well

Steam management is an important aspect of healthy cooking. In conventional cookware, the steam pressure inside the pot gets too much while cooking with harsh, near-infrared heat from metals/ceramics. So their lids have vents to release excessive steam in order to protect the pot from exploding.

Not many are aware that steam is water-soluble nutrients. As the body can’t store them like fat-soluble nutrients, they are needed every day. If the steam is released freely while cooking, the food becomes nutritionally deficient.

An ergonomically designed pure clay pot and lid make sure when steam rises from food, condenses at the inner surface of the lid (the lid being cooler than the pot) and settles back into the food before cooking is complete. This way, the water-soluble nutrients are preserved and your body is nourished with them regularly.

7. Clean With Water – No Soap

Regardless of what the label says, all soaps are toxic. When you are using a 100% non-toxic cookware, it’s important that you keep it away from anything toxic or chemical laden. Pure clay pots are naturally porous, so food doesn’t stick to the surface. You can always clean them with bare hands in normal water. Though you can scrub it a little if burnt food sticks at the bottom.

By following these simple yet useful tips, you can do wonders with healthy clay pot cooking. This will not only keep your body nourished with essential nutrients but will also protect you from common infections and diseases by strengthening your immunity.

London Business Hotels

With London’s global position as one of the most significant cities in the World in terms of business and industry, it’s very important that London has a good level of quality accommodations for the many corporate visitors who travel to the capital on business trips through the year. Particularly with the City of London still maintaining its position as the centre of World finance, there are an abundance of overseas and domestic visitors needing the comfort and facilities of first class hotels in the city.

Since the days of the 70s when perhaps the Park Lane Hilton was seen as the place to stay when on a business trip to London, all the major international hotels have build hotels aimed at the business traveler in the city, in fact most hotel chains have numerous properties throughout the capital (Hilton Hotels now number 34 in total including the airports and the London outskirts!). Holiday Inn, Accor Hotels, Marriott Hotels and Thistle Hotels but to name a few, all have business hotels through London with a high level of comfort and a large range of facilities aimed mainly at the corporate traveler. New players to the London market also boast very good business hotels – H10 for example and the Park Plaza Hotel chain have gone out of their way to provide rooms suited for business people – the Park Plaza Westminster, for example, is an all suite hotel featuring rooms with a small lounge and kitchenette in addition to a generous sized bedroom and fabulous location close to Westminster Bridge. Privately owned up market hotels are also designed with corporate in mind – the Cadogan Hotel near Harrods department store and the Ritz Hotel in London’s Piccadilly street both provide not just good facilities and first class quality but also a discerning service for the more upmarket level of clients associated with such grand business hotels.

Rooms in all these type of hotels have the typical facilities you would expect such as desks with office type chairs, minibars, full room service and satellite TV programmes with pay movies and en suite facilities with a full complement of complimentary toiletries, heated towel rail and power showers (or ‘rain’ showers). Internet connectivity generally via Wifi is also a must nowadays with more and more hotels finding themselves forced through competition (and negative comments from guests) to providing this service free of charge. The business hotels provide the guests with excellent dining facilities – generally a full English breakfast and a choice of restaurants within the hotel for dinner at surprisingly reasonable prices. After a busy days doing business in the city, sometimes a good rewarding drink is required and the hotels accommodate well with their welcoming cocktail bars which, particularly during the happy hour period from 5 – 7pm, can be the place to be if you’re in the right hotel!

California – The Best Center For Careers in Teaching

Over the past few years, the teaching career has become one of the major and most preferred professions in the United States. Many educational institutions and experts predict that in next few years the education industry will need to hire two million new teachers. Today it will not be wrong to state that the industry has gained great importance and was responsible for generating jobs for millions of people in the United States. If we carefully look at the present circumstances of the teacher ratio in various states of the United States, California ranks at the top level. The California's teacher work is the largest in the country, with more than 300,000 public school teachers serving a student population of over 6 million. In fact, California is one of the few states in the United States where teaching is one of the fastest growing careers.

Over the next decade, it is also estimated that public schools in the California will require hiring 195,000 teachers more. Rising student enrollment and an increase in the number of teachers retiring are few factors that have contributed to the growing demand for teachers. Although the state excels in agriculture, manufacturing, aerospace and entertainment, but this "land of golden opportunities" promises to be the most rewarding employment destination for teachers.

The state even offers several opportunities for teachers to find well-paying and satisfying jobs. In addition to this, the state even offers its teachers the highest salies in the nation. The teaching salies in this state have proven to be highly competitive with other professions requiring similar levels of education. According to the recent analysis done by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the state's $ 60,426 average elementary to secondary teacher salary is one of the highest in the nation. The following breakdown may further aggravate the salaries range, a teacher can earn in this state:

  • Elementary teacher salary: $ 58,850
  • Middle school teacher salary: $ 60,820
  • Secondary teacher salary: $ 61,970
  • Special education teacher salary: $ 60,306

This career even offers some additional benefits that may come along with being a teacher in any California school. These days many universities have programs that make it easy for teachers to get additional training and certification and the state holds teacher quality as a big factor in the overall effectiveness of their educational system. California teachers enjoy special incentives including bonuses, mortgage assistance and tax breaks. However, it is important to understand that like most states, the number of years of experience and the level of education can have a big impact on the salary of teachers in California as well.

If you are a teacher who likes the idea of ​​year-round sunshine, consider a teacher career in California. Although the employment outlook for teaching largely depends on one's experience, but if you are experienced in a subject that is previously understaffed, the probability of securing a well-paying job or participating in incentive programs can be very good in this state.