ESTA or Visa? Do You Need Both?

For residents of certain countries, of which the UK is one, stays not exceeding 90 days can be undertaken without the conventional visa. Provided you apply for an ESTA (Electronic system for Travel Authorization) before you travel. Full and complete details can be found by visiting www.application-esta.co.uk.

For your convenience, let’s go through some of the basics to get you on your way.

Qualifying Reasons for Visiting the US

The reasons people visit the States are varied, but certain ones will easily qualify you for a USA ESTA.

  • For a holiday or to visit relations

  • Attending a convention or conference

  • For training purposes

  • Business consultation

  • To take part in a sports or musical event

You must also have booked your return trip and be travelling with a recognised airline or sea carrier.

As always, there are reasons that are not permitted such as study, employment, media work or if you intend to become a permanent resident. For more detailed information visit the ESTA website.

You Will Need a Valid Passport

Every member of your group or family will need a valid passport that has 6 months remaining, after you get back from the US. The passport can be either the latest E-passport or one of the earlier ones that can be read by a machine.

The Application Process is Easy

Applying couldn’t be easier and can be done online. All that is required is to complete a simple ESTA visa application by answering a few questions and providing some personal details. You will need to give your family names and country where you live, as well as email address and phone number. Your passport details will be required, and you will have to answer some questions about your health, any criminal convictions, whether you have been refused entry before, and if you are involved in espionage, terrorism or asserted your immunity from prosecution.


If at any point during the application you are unsure how to answer you can get help thanks to the support team available anytime.

How to Get Your Kids Outdoors and More in Touch With Nature

The cold hard truth of it is that our kids are getting further and further away from nature everyday. For many of us, technology has become part and parcel of our everyday lives. The next generation has become very reliant on technology devices, so much so that they’ve stopped looking around and appreciating the outdoor experience and the microscopic world on their very doorstep. Obviously, parents are starting to feel a little anxious about the change of ifestyle and wondering what they can do. A recent article published by The Times titled “David Attenborough: Children Reject Nature” has heightened parents awareness that it’s not just about how active their kids are. More understanding of the natural world and where things come from is required. Which is why, here at Gardentics, we thought we give you a few ideas.


Sounds quite fancy and complicated, but this is simply a large wooden post with a magnifying glass on the top. Position it over a small table and encourage your kids to go and find some bugs they can get up close and personal with. It doesn’t have to be bugs if you’re a little squeamish. Flowers and leaves work equally well. The great feature of this is that you can install it in pretty much any type of garden.

Forrest Schools

This idea has been catching on all over the UK, and you may find one operating in your area. They started up by a group of passionate people eager for children to be more engaged with outdoor experiences and the natural world. There is a curriculum and lesson plans, just like an ordinary school. However, the lessons revolve around the natural world and being outside. Early Years Foundation Stage learning areas approved and outlined by Ofsted are met by some of these schools. Time can be booked at these centres during school holidays and there are even a number of nurseries. Your kids can attend and learn all about nature, the different types of plants and how to look after them.

Climbing Trees

Many of you must have enjoyed this pasttime when you were kids, and it’s a great way for children to enhoy being outside. It also develops their balance skills and key strength. It’s not as dangerous as you think either. If you’re a little worried about accidents and injuries there’s the option of building a tree house.

Walks in the Countryside

There are a wealth of National Trust areas around the UK, where families are always welcome. For example, visit the Brecon Beacons in Wales and the New Forest in Southampton. Many of these beautiful spots are free to visit. All that is required is a small donation to help with their upkeep and to keep the areas clean. Young kids will love walking in the fresh air, tracking down wild flowers and watching out for wildlife and cows. To finish the day off you can take a dip in a local river or enjoy a picnic in the countryside.


This is just a small selection of the ways that you can help your kids get back in touch with nature. The simplest ideas, such as forest walks and tree climbing, are sometimes the best. For more regular and structued activities there is the option of a Forrest School. They will learn how to preserve and look after the natural world, make friends and have a good time. There are so many different ways to enjoy the countryside and experience outdoor activites. So many in fact, that there is something for everyone. The ideas don’t take a lot of effort, or money in many cases, and we all need to encourage the next generation to love being outside. Just like we did when we were young.  


Paris has been the inspiration for countless artists, musicians, filmmakers and writers for hundreds of years. Many budding writers still make it a port of call in their literary journey. Wander round this beautiful city, and you’ll find many interesting sites and locations where some of the most well-known authors have sat and penned their latest masterpiece. Even without these literary visitors Paris has plenty to offer bookworms, with more than 1,000 bookshops and around 100 libraries.

Fancy wandering in the footsteps of some of the most illustrious literary visitors? Here’s 4 of the top literary haunts:

Les Deux Magots

Located in the bohemian district of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, sit back and relax while soaking up the charm and grace of this infamous haunt for some of Paris’s literary giants. Hemingway, Picasso and Breton frequented this establishment in the 1920s, not long after it opened. The 1950s brought Camus, Sartre and de Beauvoir to the door. Why not see if it stimulates your own creative juices?

Maison de Victor Hugo

The former home of Victor Hugo, author of Les Miserables and other classics, has been transformed into a free museum. The house dates back to 1605, so is well worth a visit, but if it’s literary inspiration you seek, go and enjoy this homage to a great author.

Culture Rapide

Monday evening is English language poetry reading night in this Belleville cafe. Meet some of the up and coming Parisian poets, and why not try out some of your own pros on the audience? If you’re a little reticent to share your latest words just sit back, watch and enjoy.

Shakespeare and Company

This English language bookshop can be found in the Sixth Arrondissement of Paris, and was founded in 1919 by Sylvia Beach. This remarkable lady was a friend and supporter of writers such as Gertrude Stein and F Scott Fitzgerald. The author of Ulysses, James Joyce, found support from Sylvia, who decided that his novel was worth publishing.


These are just a small selection of the literary gems worth paying a visit to, when you stop of in the glorious city of Paris. There is in fact so much to see that you might want to extend your visit. A few short days just won’t be enough. 

What are the Options for Waste Disposal in Yorkshire?

When it comes to getting rid of your waste in Yorkshire, there are a number of different options. The local district or borough councils are responsible for collecting various types of waste. There are also recycling centres you can visit yourself, and a number of different waste collection companies who can also come and collect your waste. The fact that there are so many different options can make the whole waste disposal problem a trifle confusing. Let’s help by looking at some of the different options, and how to dispose of different types of waste in a responsible way.

Waste Disposal Options in Yorkshire

Household waste collections – these are provided by the district and borough councils. Collections are for household rubbish which cannot be recycled. Wheelie bins or bags are provided, depending on where you live and the type of property.

Household recycling collections – these are also provided by district and borough councils. The collection is regular and is for various items that can be recycled. What those items are depends on the service but can include paper, cardboard, aluminium, glass and certain types of plastic.

Recycling banks – these are provided across the country and are usually situated in car parks or near supermarkets. Items that can be recycled in this way include glass and paper, plastics, cans and textiles.

Bulky waste collections – this collection is for items such as washing machines, televisions, carpets, furniture, mattresses and other white goods, Organised by district and borough councils, there is usually a fee. Asbestos, building rubble and black bags of waste can also be disposed of via this collection service.

Garden waste – this service is provided by some district or borough councils and produces compost from the garden waste. The service that has to be paid for.

Household waste recycling centres – there are household recycling centres in many of the towns and cities throughout the UK, not just in Yorkshire. These sites will accept electrical items, home, garden and building waste, paper and cardboard, household and hazardous items.

Private waste disposal services – there are a variety of different companies offering waste disposal services throughout Yorkshire. They are able to handle all types of waste and will also offer useful advice and waste disposal information. Oates Environmental is one such service provider. Based in various locations throughout Yorkshire, you can call on them for a variety of waste disposal services.



We’ll Bring a Breath of Fresh Air to Your Home With Our Professional Carpet Cleaning Service

Carpets and rugs bring a warm and cosy feel to any home. But constant traffic will soon leave them looking tired and grubby. Regular vacuuming, no matter how often you do it, will be able to remove a lot of the detritus and debris. But every now and then you should really treat them to a professional clean. You could have a go at doing it yourself. But by the time you’ve hired the equipment and cleaning products, and found the time to do it, you’d be better off calling in the experts. And we have just the experts you need in the form of a highly trained, competent and enthusiastic team of professional carpet cleaners. Who will come to your home at a time that suits you, armed with top quality equipment and cleaning products you simply can’t buy over the counter at your local corner store.

Give us a call – we know you’ll be surprised at of our prices.

The benefits of calling on a professional carpet cleaning service in London

  • We use specialist equipment and cleaning chemicals provided by Prochem
  • We use environmentally firendly carpet cleaning solutions
  • Everything is included in our prices
  • Contact us by phone, email or use the online chat option 7 days a week
  • Our carpet cleaners are well trained and experienced
  • No carpet cleaning job is too big or too small

Our carpet cleaning service will spruce up your home in no time at all

Carpets and rugs come in all different sizes, colours, shapes and materials. Which means there is no one size fits all cleaning solution. Our London carpet cleaners have the experience to clean all types of carpet and with cutting edge equipment, detergents and chemicals in their cleaning arsenal you can be sure of the best possible outcome. Your carpets will be much cleaner and fresher smelling than you ever thought possible. And with added stain protection will look almost like new for much longer. Although this protection treatment will cost a little bit extra.

We are a professional, reliable and trustworthy cleaning company that provides top quality cleaning services for all areas of your home. You can rely on our help 7 days a week, whether you need carpet cleaning, domestic cleaning or general cleaning cleaners,

Our cleaning technicians have years of experience and all the necessary training to take care of your house cleaning needs, anywhere in London within the M25 ring. Our cleaning methods are kind to the environment and gentle on your pocket. We can thoroughly clean your home from top to bottom and everywhere in between, with professional equipment and cleaning solutions supplied by Prochem. Don’t delay because you think such a top notch service will be too expensive. It’s more affordable than you think.


Call today for a free quote or to book your carpet cleaning service. You won’t regret it and your home will appreciate our care and attention.   

The Pros and Cons of Different Solar Panels

If you’re considering installing solar panels in Erie, Co you need to understand the different types and what are the benefits. In general, there are three different types OT choose from.


These were the first types of panel used to produce solar energy. They are manufactured using cells which are cut from silicon in a cylindrical way. The cells look very much like wafers and are combined to make a monocrystalline panel. There are a number of different benefits including high performance rates. The highest, in fact, in the industry. They outperform thin film panels, for example, by four to one. Warranties offered are usually very generous, often as long as 25 years. Compared with polycrystalline, they perform much better when the light is low.  There are a number of disadvantages, some of which are quite significant. They are a high quality option, which also makes them very expensive. Break down of the circuit often occurs when the panel is shaded or obstructed. A lot of waste is made during the manufacturing process, which is never a very popular feature. Another disadvantage is that their performance decreases when the temperature increases..


These are also manufactured from silicon, but in this case the silicon is poured into a mold, rather than cut. This means that the manufacturing process produces very little waste. The technology used also allows more cost-effective panels to be made. The disadvantages are in efficiency, which is much lower that monocrystalline. When installed, the panels require much more space to produce the same energy as monocrystalline.

Thin Film

These are manufactured by layering photovoltaic elements such as amorphous silicon or organic photovoltaic cells. There are a number of advantages but they don’t outweigh the disadvantages. They are very lightweight and suffer few problems when it comes to shading and obstructions. Light conditions also have little influence on the performance. Easy to mass produce, makes them an affordable option. However, they are not very efficient and require a lot of space. For a commercial enterprise this may not be a problem. Residential installations, where space is limited, are not suitable for this type of system. Associated costs are also higher and they do not have a very long lifespan. Weather conditions can have a big impact of these panels and it is highly unlikely that a manufacturer will offer a long warranty.


Armed with this information you are now in a better position to decide which is the best type of solar panel for your needs. If you have any questions or would like more clarification, contact a company providing an installation service for solar panels in Erie, Co.