Green Home Improvements: Take Advantage of Tax Credits for Energy-Saving Home Improvements

Green home improvements have been encouraged in recent years through the offering of tax incentives. For people interested in making their homes more energy efficient and gaining the tax benefits at the same time, here are some tips to help you understand what types of green home improvements qualify for a tax credit and how to make sure you don’t miss out on the opportunity to earn your benefit.

Some green home tax credits are expiring at the end of 2010. Although we are approaching year-end, there is still time to take advantage of some of these money-saving incentives for energy-saving home improvements, but you must hurry.

Tax credits are offered on a wide range of green home improvements and upgrades. Some are very inexpensive to do; other can be quite costly even with the tax credit. Here is a summary of what is available for 2010.

The simplest and least expensive energy-saving home improvement that qualifies is adding insulation. Insulation for your attic can be purchased for no more than $50 to $100, and if you install it yourself (which is fairly easy and straightforward to do) there is no additional cost. This will earn you a tax credit of 30% of the cost.

For more expensive investments, tax credits of 30% of the cost, up to a maximum credit of $1500, are available now for the purchase and installation energy efficient furnaces and air conditioning units, energy efficient windows and doors, and water heaters. The credit includes the cost of materials and also the cost of installation for all these items except for the installation on doors and windows (don’t ask me why windows and doors are excluded; it makes no sense, but that is the law).

It is important to remember that these tax credits apply only to your primary residence. Second homes and rental homes and apartments do not qualify for the items listed above.

But I have saved the best part for last. There are even better tax benefits available for rooftop solar panel arrays, small residential wind turbines, and geothermal heat pump systems. For these specific green home improvements, the tax credit covers 30% of all costs, including installation without any upper limit. Even better, for these specific energy-saving investments the tax benefits can be claimed for your primary residence and second homes. Unlike the previous cases, new constructions are also okay. And get this: these government-provided subsidies are not expiring at the end of 2010. Tax credits for solar panels, wind turbines, and geothermal heat pumps are available through the year 2016.

Wellness Coach Vs A Health Mentor

Forgive the tone here, but I cringe when I see many health assessments. A real assessment should be just as much a road to self discovery for the client as it is insight for the health coach. It is our duty to get the client not just to trust us and open up about health behaviours they probably don’t wear proudly on their sleeve, but we should be helping them be strong enough to look at themselves from an analytical perspective. We help them realize this is the golden reboot to dealing with those little voices lurking within, chanting what they should and should not be doing. This is not about guilt and self torture, this is about go forward to liberation, pride, fulfillment and happiness.

There is no such thing in proper health mentoring as a predetermined, set nutrition program, weight management, exercise… the nutritional needs drastically vary between clients. Maybe nutrition for Brian, who eats a good clean diet most of the time, so he has great eating habits but binges on donuts, cookies and cheeseburgers and loses control. What if Kelly is a mom, works full time, stressed out of control and spins like a maniac on weekends and too much of her food is ordered from a drive through… can we tell her to take a couple of hours each day to make the perfectly balanced meal… we have to go with the demands, and work with the clients needs.

Do we know if the client’s frustrations are due to their circadian rhythms dancing to a totally different beat? How bout using smoking as a stay thin strategy, but they don’t consider themselves a smoker because its only a couple a day “and I could quit any time I wanted”.

What if Susan is suffering from high blood pressure and can’t figure out why… maybe she is in a very stressed out marriage, her adrenal fatigue and stress hormones are totally out of whack?

Traditional health coaching packages can have serious holes, and allow for critical health saboteurs to continue ravaging the health of the person. So it’s not just about knowing how to eat healthy, telling people to go to a gym they are just not going to make it to more than once a week, if at all, it’s working with strategies to get what I call a behavioural scan, reach those personal scary points, deal with them, try out and provide many paths. The more paths a person has to success, the more confident and empowered they feel.

If you are planning a corporate program for many… please think about this. MANY providers proudly claim they can offer the exact same program in Toronto, Seattle, calgary, Phoenix, Halifax… really is that necessary, or is it better to know that your employees from Seattle to Halifax are all offered a thorough program which will uncover the employees’ needs and they will get the guidance to really achieve positive health outcomes.

The R in relapse is for reality. Understanding that failure is only a failure if we didn’t learn from it. From experience grows wisdom. Our goal is show you there is no sacrifice at all… but a welcome to an inner peace and exhilaration, driven by your own physiological rewards. Your sense of freedom, self control and empowerment drives your energy, focus and desire to conquer. We turn the cacophony, into a symphony!

Exchanging Christmas Gifts At The Office

Buying the perfect Christmas gift for someone at the office can be a difficult task. There are so many ways that you could go wrong when trying to buy a gift, especially if it is a gift for someone you work with or work for. The last thing you want to do is offend someone when you are trying to please him or her. This can be avoided by following some general gift giving rules and by using some common sense.

Buying a Christmas gift for the office Christmas party is one the most difficult gift giving situations to deal with, especially if you have to buy a gift for someone you do not know very well. Here are a few tips that may help:

– Never give food items as a gift to someone you do not know very well. You never know when someone might be allergic to that particular food item.

– Never give distasteful gifts, such as lingerie or gag gifts of a sexual nature, at the office Christmas party. Even though these types of gifts are meant to be fun, they will often embarrass not only the recipient but also those who are watching him/her open the gift. If the person is a good friend, you can still give them this type of gift, just save it for outside the work place.

– If you have to buy a gift for someone who is from a different cultural background, do some research before you choose a gift. Be very careful that you do not choose a gift that can not be perceived as cheap or offensive. Some items have a completely different meaning and value in other cultures.

– When giving a gift to your boss it is probably a better idea to give a joint gift with all of your coworkers. Giving a gift to your boss on your own can create tension in the workplace. It may make your coworkers feel that you are trying to manipulate your boss in some way or that you are the bosses pet.

– Keep the cost of the gift to a minimum. Do not spend more than $15 or $20 on a gift for a coworker. Anything more than that may send the wrong message or it may even offend other coworkers.

– Finally, NEVER, EVER reuse a gift that was originally given to you as a gift. This is called re-gifting and it is a gift giving no-no. Re-gifting shows that you are cheap and that you did not put any thought into choosing a gift. It is also very disrespectful to both the person who originally bought you the gift and the person to whom you are giving the gift. If you do not like a gift that someone gave you, either return it or just give it to someone else. Do not use it as a Christmas gift for someone else.

Buying a Christmas gift for someone at the office can be a bit tricky. Buying an inappropriate or offensive gift could easily create an awkward working environment. Follow the guidelines above and use some common sense when purchasing a Christmas gift for a coworker. You do not want to be the one that creates waves at the office Christmas party.

Paid to Play Video Games – The “Video Game Tester” Fantasy

Every day around the world, some gamer out there is thinking; “wouldn’t it be great If I got paid to play video games?” To them, it’s just a fantasy and they don’t take the thought seriously. That’s too bad because it is very possible to get paid to play video games. If you continue to read this article, you’ll find out how.

Before you understand why anyone would want to pay you to play video games, you need to understand how the gaming industry works. The gaming industry is a high-stakes industry, with a lot of money on the line; $50 billion a year is taken in by this industry. A singular flaw that slips past programmers and hits the video game market can cause severe consequences for any company; for instance, mass returns, complaints about the company’s lack of dedication, negative word-of-mouth publicity as one gamer tells the next and so on and so forth. The result of one simple bug or glitch can cost a company millions of dollars and cause employees to lose their jobs. It may be a bit extreme, but that’s how serious the video game industry is…. One screw up with one game could end it all.

Here’s how this type of catastrophe is avoided — game developers pay video game testers to go through their game and look for bugs and glitches. They also pay them for general feedback on the game’s interface, design, and it’s overall performance & “fun” rating .

The fact of the matter is game developers and programmers approach video games in a very different matter than regular gamers do. Their main focus is writing code and developing the game’s engine, not playing the game itself, which is exactly why they need video game testers. The testers job is to basically play the game like a machine and tediously go through all the different levels many, many times while searching for problematic bugs and glitches.

Video game testers can work directly with the programmers and developers, but generally speaking, most seasoned testers prefer to work at home rather than at a video game testing center. The company will send the games they need tested via snail-mail. The video game tester will then sit down and play the game using the instructions given, making crucial notes along the way. If a bug is found while playing, they must know what actions led up to the triggering of the bug and document those things accurately; he can;t just say “there’s a bug in the game.”

If you’re interested in becoming one, I urge you to to explore the different resources that are out there. There are certain characteristics you need to have in order to get paid to play video games. Most of them are quite easy to improve upon, while others, not to much. Either way though, the benefits of being a professional video game tester are tremendous; especially when you consider that you’re doing something you’re passionate about and making good money at the same time.