We’re on a mission to save the world from waste. What kind of waste, you ask? Wasted time, wasted money, and wasted resources. As you know, when you’re running a business, the name of the game is to be as successful as possible. What determines that success? At the end of the day, delivering a stellar product with a loyal customer base, no matter what that product may be, is a huge part of the game. But any good businessperson knows that behind the scenes, efficiency is a key component to delivering that product. This means that properly managing your time and resources, while still delivering your product as promised, is essential to also keeping your business profitable.
Helping your business to decrease its waste output is one of Actsoft’s major goals in the delivery of our product. We strive to help your business make the most of its employees, time, and resources, to reduce unnecessary expenditures while maximizing profitability. In addition to profits, one side effect that comes with the implementation of our software is actual physical waste reduction.
Take our GPS Tracking feature. When you have a fleet of vehicles, it’s imperative that your drivers all adhere to the same principle: drive the most efficient route possible, always, without exception. Navigating along unnecessarily long routes is tantamount to throwing money away. And the negative impact of needlessly burning excessive fuel in the process is horrible for the environment. Our software helps you keep your drivers on the road to efficiency and, in the process, you’re playing a part in preserving our planet’s natural resources.
In a continuation of our celebration of the amazing natural wonders of the world, this week we’re taking a look at incredible caves from near and far. These fascinating destinations are prime spots for aspiring spelunkers to explore and discover a whole different world. Here, five of our favorites.
Waitomo Glowworm Caves, Otorohanga, New Zealand
Located about halfway up New Zealand’s North Island, a bit inland from the western coast, are these caves that, while impressive in their own right, are made that much more spectacular by their inhabitants. Dangling from the roofs of these caves are thousands of bioluminescent glowworms, casting an eerie-yet-serene bluish glow on the waters below. Book a 45-minute boat ride along the underground Waitomo River for the opportunity to see these fantastic creatures for yourself.
Cave of Crystals, Chihuahua, Mexico
Superman’s Fortress of Solitude has nothing on this surreal cave in north-central Mexico. Not open to visitors due to the extreme nature of the ecosystem responsible for the crystals’ growth — think temperatures as hot as 136 degrees F with 99 percent humidity, thanks to an underground magma chamber that lies just below — this place is still more than worthy of a mention. The largest of the behemoth crystals, which have been growing for tens of thousands of years, stretches nearly 40 feet in length and weighs some 55 tons.
Caverns of Sonora, Sutton County, Texas
Dress accordingly if you’re gearing up for one of the two-hour tours through this central Texas cave. Temperatures inside may only average 72 degrees F, but with 98 percent humidity, it’ll feel a lot hotter. But as you wend your way along the roughly two-mile-long guided tour, you’ll soon realize it’s worth the minor discomfort. The caves are covered with myriad calcite crystals, the most unique being rare helictites. These are stalactites that, during early formation, begin to shift their growth to the side rather than straight down, forming odd shapes that resemble fish fins, butterflies, worms, and ribbons. When you’re done exploring the wonders of this cavern, take some time to pan for gemstones on the ranch grounds outside.
Škocjan Caves, Divača, Slovenia
Regarded as one of the most important cave systems in the world, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is the largest known underground canyon and, due to particular conditions, it’s home to a unique ecosystem, making it possible for a mix of Alpine and Mediterranean species to grow side-by-side. Tours of the caves run much more frequently in the summer months, but are available year round.
Lascaux Cave, Dordogne, France
Another member of the UNESCO World Heritage club, the complex passages of this cave system aren’t so much revered for the natural features that have formed throughout the years; rather, it’s the 600 or so parietal wall paintings that date back some 17,000 years. Depicting mostly local creatures, such as aurochs, horses, and deer, as well as native vegetation, these cave paintings provide an important insight into the earlier inhabitants of the surrounding land, though many theories about these people are still cause for much debate. The archaeologically significant site may not be open to tourists, but you can tour an exact replica to get a feel of what it would be like inside the real deal.
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As we’ve discussed in the past, it’s our mission to help your business run as smoothly as possible, while also eliminating waste. With the reduction of physical waste, your company can collectively contribute to the betterment of the planet and environment and, in doing so, see better financial returns.
For example, if you have a fleet of vehicles, the last thing you want is for your drivers to be running their trucks with abandon. Idling needlessly burns fuel, thereby chipping away at your bottom line. On top of that, fumes are pumping into the air when they don’t need to be. With our software, you can set up alerts to monitor your drivers’ behaviors and take appropriate action if need be. This way, you’re able to lower your company’s fuel consumption, while also doing your part to lessen your carbon footprint.
To continue our celebration of the natural wonders of the world, this week we’re highlighting the best swimming holes from around the country. These natural bodies of water have a habit of showing up in the most awe-inspiring places, and time and again are served up against spectacular backdrops.
Sliding Rock, Brevard, North Carolina
What better way to kick off your tour of swimming holes than with one that doubles as a waterpark? Just 40 miles southwest of Asheville, this place is less about lazing about in the water all day, and more about a naturally occurring 60-foot-long smooth boulder that doubles as Mother Nature’s waterslide. Visitors patiently wait in line — yes, there is actually a formal queue set up, with on-duty lifeguard — eager to slip across the rock’s slick surface and plunge into an eight-foot-deep pool of frigid water.
Queen’s Bath, Princeville, Kauai, Hawaii
Situated adjacent the ocean, this tide pool — replete with schools of fish and other oceanic critters — is actually a sinkhole that was created when a lava tube collapsed and subsequently filled with water. Queen’s Bath is accessible only after a bit of a hike, part of which includes traversing rocky terrain, so be sure to bring reliable footwear. Year round, this swimming hole is a beautiful and serene excursion, but you’ll want to avoid it in the winter months. From October through May, the surf can be exceptionally severe, making a visit here hazardous.
Homestead Crater, Midway, Utah
Not all watering holes are for cooling off in. This one is located within a 55-foot-tall volcano-shaped cave, formed some 10,000 years ago. The mineral-rich waters below remain consistently heated to a sizzling 90–96 degrees. The manmade entrance into the cave lets you stroll in at ground level, so don’t worry about rappelling down. Once inside, you’re welcome to swim, snorkel, or scuba dive in the sultry waters; you can even sign up for a paddleboard yoga class.
Juniper Springs, Ocala National Forest, Florida
Pack your camping gear for this spring, because it’s located smack dab in the middle of a picture-perfect recreation area, complete with facilities such as restrooms and canoe rentals, so you’ll probably want to book a site and spend a few days here. Hundreds of springs of varying sizes bubble up to form the sprawling swimming hole, surrounded by a canopy of palm and oak trees.
Chena Hot Springs, Fairbanks, Alaska
Another that isn’t going to cool you down, the beauty of this one is that it’s accessible year-round, despite Alaska’s bitter cold winters. The intense concentration of minerals here is said to have healing powers; whether you believe that or not, one indisputable fact is that a dip in the pool is beyond relaxing. Bonus: Stay at the resort for a possible late-night glimpse of the Aurora Borealis, the greatest natural light show on the planet.
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