Your Holiday and the Environment

Green Holidays

As the pages fall from the calendar and time spins inexorably on, it is amazing to think just how close we are to the month of June. Genuinely, it seems like time speeds up the longer it goes on – although the reason for this is more to do with us having lived longer, so each day will seem comparatively shorter as we move along our own personal time lines. Regardless of this, though, the closeness of June means that we are moving steadily towards the time for summer holidays. Every year the summer months see people in their droves heading for some far off destination for a little bit of rest and recreation. But for the environmentalists among us, is there a danger that the conflict between our desire to have fun and our desire to stay true to our morals could spoil it all for us?

Looking at it another way, are we as people doing enough to protect the planet that we have, particularly when it comes to traveling to another part of it? Holidays are important. We work all the year around to feed and clothe ourselves and our families, and in order to be able to do it all over again we need that release which only a holiday can bring. Balancing this holiday with our environmentalist concerns, though, is never the easiest task. The reasons for this are more complex than just wanting to jump on a ‘plane and feeling that we cannot – although, of course, that does play a part for many of us.

Holidaying serves a necessary purpose – allowing us to relax. For many, this gets in the way of having a truly green holiday. In order to really let go of the stresses and strains of a working life, some of us need to put as much distance between ourselves and our place of work. This will, naturally, impact upon the environment more than a cycling holiday in a neighbouring state. How can we not feel guilty about that? It’s easy to say “just don’t fly”. But how realistic is it?

Once we get to the point where we are putting ourselves under immense pressure and personal guilt for having a natural impulse, we are not helping ourselves. Taking a more realistic, even compromised, position so that you get the holiday you want without doing excessive damage to the environment does not make you a monster. There is a lot you can do to offset environmental damage, all the more so if you look at greener airlines who will allow you to fly where you want to go while still doing what you can to lessen the environmental impact.

Many airlines these days are practising more realistic policies on fuel use by changing the way they fly, and performing better and more maintenance on the aircraft to stop emissions as well as making the flight more efficient. Changing where you go on holiday is something you can do to help the environment, but looking at where else you can make compromises is something that enables you to have some more freedom of choice.

To streamline and minimize blog maintenance, I will be discontinuing maintaining the Thegreenlivingblog.com website (however, I will still hold the domain). I will gradually move all articles from this site to A Dawn Journal. This article originally published on the above website on May 29, 2009.

How to Incorporate a Business in Canada

Steps to Starting or Setting up a Corporation

First Published: Jun 13, 2011 EntrepreneurJourney.com

 

n Canada, setting up a corporation or incorporating a business is a straightforward process. Depending on the nature of your business and how accurately you file required documents, it is possible to start your new corporation within 1 – 2 business days if you submit your documents online. For example, my own federally incorporated business entity A Dawn Dot Net Corp. was approved in slightly more than 24 hours. Today, I am going to discuss how you can start a corporation in Canada in simple words.

Although there are many small steps involved incorporating a business, at the end it comes down to these three major steps you need to complete to start a corporation in Canada.

 Pick a Name – You need to decide on a name and even before that you need to know whether your corporation is going to be a federally or provincially incorporated corporation. A federally incorporated business can do business anywhere in Canada. A provincially incorporated business will have to be physically in the province where it was incorporated. Once you know what you would like your corporation to be called, you will have to search for your name availability using the NUANS (Newly Upgraded Automated Name Search) and obtain a NUANS name search report.

 Complete Articles of Incorporation – These are the documents that you file with the authority setting out to provide the legal structure of the corporation – in other words, Articles of Incorporation describe a corporation's purpose, rules, and regulations. For example, how many directors there will be. Where the registered office will be located. Where the remaining property goes if corporation winds up. What classes and how many shares the corporation can issue. Can these shares be transferred or should there be restrictions so the corporation remains private? And so on. Articles of Incorporation are what make each corporation unique. Articles of Incorporation are also known as Certificates of Incorporation.

 Submit Documents and Payment – The last step is to submit the documents mentioned above and any other necessary documents along with the payment to Corporation Canada or provincial authority.

Last Word

Although it is possible and may not be difficult to do everything by yourself online, I recommend you seek the expertise and assistance of a qualified professional. While setting up my corporation, I noticed that it would have been difficult for me to fill up some of the forms and submit everything online fast like the way my accountant was able to do. There are so many rules and regulations that I could not have been possibly known, had my accountant not mentioned those to me.

Your Money or Your Life Book Review

Your Money or Your Life

First Published: ADawnJournal.com Oct 16, 2008

I just finished reading Your Money or Your Life (YMYL) and I decided to do a review of this book for ADJ readers. Before talking about the book, let me give you some information about its author, Joe Dominguez. Vicki Robin is the co-author of YMYL.

Joe Dominguez

The late Joe Dominguez worked as a Wall Street analyst for ten years before retiring at the age of thirty-one. At that time, Joe had a portfolio of $70,000 and he had lived on a yearly income of $6,000 derived from that portfolio. YMYL was published in 1992 and Joe and Vicki donated all monies they received from the bestselling book and their other activities to the New Road Map Foundation—a non-profit organization Joe and Vicki founded to promote the reduction of our consumption. The book’s dedication is very fitting: “We dedicate this book to all of the people who are actively engaged in leaving our planet in better shape than they found it.” Joe Dominguez tragically died of cancer in 1997.

Let me describe the following main issues the authors tried to present in this book.

Life Energy

Life energy simply means the time we have here on earth. It can be broken down into hours or minutes. Let’s say you work 40 hours per week. It means you are trading 40 hours of your precious life energy for money. You are paying for 40 hours of your life with money. How you spend your life energy is up to you. You could spend these 40 hours doing something else, such as spending time with your family or spending time on your own terms—not working for someone else. The book has a nice chart showing the average remaining life expectancy based on your age. For example, if you are 40, you have 329,601 hours (thirty-seven years) of life energy remaining before you die.

It’s Not Making a Living, It’s Making a Dying

By working a traditional nine-to-five, we are killing ourselves. Just look at all those employees at the end of the day, whether they are coming out of an office building or a factory. We are killing our sense, relationships, health, soul, self-confidence in our jobs. We are sacrificing our life energy, our very lives, for our jobs. This is happening so slowly that we hardly ever notice that making a living is taking us closer to death; it’s actually making a dying.

We Make a Dying at Work so We Can Live It Up on the Weekend

We spend our precious life energy on the weekdays to earn money so we can spend it on the weekends. We work to pay our daily expenses, but we end up spending more than we make on things we do not need. So we go back to work to get money to pay interest on money we’ve already overspent. If you look deep into it, in the end you are wasting your life energy to pay for your credit cards or loan interests. Is it worth it to spend two month’s (or more) worth of work or life energy just to pay your interests?

What Is Your Real Hourly Wage

You may be making $25 an hour on paper, but that’s not your real hourly wage. Since we are trading our life energy for money, take a hard look at how much you are really earning. When you factor in all the job-related costs such as commuting, costuming, meals, stress, job-related illness, vacations etc., to your surprise you will find that your hourly wage is a lot less than what you have been making on paper. As a matter of fact, a $25 per hour wage can end up paying you $15 per hour after considering all the related expenses. Is this worth trading your precious life energy for?

We Are a Cancer to Earth

Our consumption-based society is sold on materialism. However, we do not realize that the Earth is the source of everything we use and resources are depleting so quickly that very soon the planet will not be able to accommodate our demands. We are a cancer to the Earth and one day this cancer will spread to a level from which there will be no return.

A New Road Map

Your Money or Your Life teaches you how to be financially independent by following a new road map. Once you a reach that point, you will no longer need to work for someone else. You start living on your own terms and start trading your life energy for yourself. The authors call this “The Crossover Point.” At this point, your expenses can be covered by your investment income and you will be all free from your nine-to-five and making a dying.

Things I Liked and Didn’t Like

The book has lots of tips on frugality and 100 sure tips to save money. Even if you don’t agree with the authors that a nine-to-five is actually making a dying, you can still use these tips to save lots of money.

I find the book a little too long. It could have been made at least 1/3 shorter. YMYL has too many real-life stories to conclude the authors’ perspectives—which I find annoying sometimes. Also, YMYL recommends that you put all your money in one place: in government bonds. I do not agree with this idea, as it will not provide any diversification. I still believe in the old adage, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”

My Rating

I am giving Your Money or Your Life a “Must Read.” I recommend it highly, especially if you are tired of being trapped in a regular nine-to-five schedule.

The Main Problem Making Money With Google AdSense

Making Money Online With Google AdSense

First Published: May 22, 2011 EntrepreneurJourney.com

AdSense makes money; there is no doubt about it. However, it’s not a perfectly flawless system you should rely on to make your only source of income. Today, I am going to touch base on this a little bit based on my AdSense experience.

The main problem I am having with Adsense is the tremendous level of fluctuation. There are days when I make good money from Adsense, and there are days when I make not so good money. You may say that proper AdSense optimization should solve this problem. Yes, I thought the same way and experimented optimization only to figure out that this heavy fluctuation is out of my hand. It’s kind of like the Internet has its slow traffic days and high traffic days and we have no control over it.

If I have a situation in which I have no control, I try to resolve it working on something in which I have full control. In the above scenario, instead of wasting too much time on fixing Adsense, I worked to diversify my ad revenues. Besides Adsense, I am running Infolinks, Chitika, and some private ads (mainly on A Dawn Journal). My least expected ad system Infolinks is actually making me the most unexpected money. There are days when my Infolinks revenues beat Google Adsense. I know it is hard to believe, but it has happened a few times in the past.

Just like about anything else in life, online money making sources need to be diversified as well. The century old Adage “don’t put all your eggs in one basket” applies to Internet entrepreneurship as well and you should never bet all your sites on one income source.

BMO Air Miles MasterCard (No Annual Fee) Doubles Its Rewards

No Annual Fee Air Miles MasterCard

BMO recently increased earning on its zero annual fee BMO Air Miles MasterCard. Cardholders will get 2 Air Miles for every $20 spent at participating Air Miles partners. Earn rate will still be 1 Air Miles for every $20 spent on everything else.

Some of the participating Air Miles partners across Canada are Sobeys, IGA, Shell, Rexall, Safeway, and many more. You can also double-dip at these partners if you provide them your physical Air Miles card or Air Miles card on your smartphone app.

Let’s look at Air Miles earn rates at some other Air Miles premium cards.

BMO World Elite Air Miles MasterCard - $120 annual fee. Earn 1 Air Mile for every $10 spent across the board.

American Express AIR MILES Platinum Credit Card - $65 annual fee. Earn 1 mile for every $10 spent at Air Miles partners + eligible gas, grocery, and pharmacies. 1 mile per $15 for everything else.

American Express AIR MILES Platinum Credit Card - No annual fee. Earn 1 mile for every $15 spent at Air Miles partners and 1 mile per $20 for everything else.

As you can see, BMO’s free version of the Air Miles MasterCard provides value when you use it at participating Air Miles, especially when compared to all other cards. It has the same earn rate (at participating partners) as premium cards and a better rate than Amex’s free version of the Air Miles card.

If you are an Air Miles Collector and looking for a no annual fee Air Miles credit card, BMO’s Air Miles MasterCard is definitely worth a look.

If you would like to watch this article in a video, please visit here:

BMO No Annual Fee AIR Miles MasterCard Offers 2X Miles for Every $20