This week is World Water Week! Check out the Tap Project

india_2.jpgWhoops! I’m coming in a bit late on this one, but there’s still time! From March 16th through Saturday March 22nd, The Tap Project (a UNICEF-founded project that started in NYC and now has spread to other cities across the nation) invites people to dine out at participating restaurants and donate as little as $1 for their glass of water. Money raised goes to providing safe drinking water to children in developing nations. Check out the website for the Tap Project and click on “restaurants” to see the cities and their participating restaurants. You can also donate on that website. One great thing to do even if you don’t plan on dining out: get this website into the hands of your favorite restaurant, and encourage them to participate next year.

For every dollar raised a child will have 40 days of safe drinking water. Having just done a posting on our country’s bottled water habit, I feel like this could be a bit of a way to make up for our wasteful ways. Being conscious of wastefulness when other people don’t have the luxury of being wasteful with their resources is a big step in the right direction for creating a sustainable lifestyle, don’t you agree?

Are you still on the bottle??

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It’s beginning to be outrageous to me that people are drinking so much bottled water without realizing its tremendous environmental impact. Though the nutritionally aware part of me is glad that people are drinking water instead of soda, the sheer volume of bottled water consumed has created a product with enormous impact. Though many other beverages also travel a great distance to consumer, these beverages do not flow from your home faucet nearly for free.
Things to consider:

You’re paying a huge amount of money for something that may or may not be as good for you as your tap water (and up to 40% of bottled water is simply tap water, bottled). If you’re worried about quality, you can buy a great faucet filter for not much money- if you add up what you’re paying per gallon of bottled water in a year ($1-$2 per bottle, vs. .0015 cents per gallon of tap water), you might be surprised at the total – what else could you have purchased with that money?

I love this quote from this fantastic article from Fastcompany.com : “In San Francisco, the municipal water comes from inside Yosemite National Park. It’s so good the EPA doesn’t require San Francisco to filter it. If you bought and drank a bottle of Evian, you could refill that bottle once a day for 10 years, 5 months, and 21 days with San Francisco tap water before that water would cost $1.35. Put another way, if the water we use at home cost what even cheap bottled water costs, our monthly water bills would run $9,000.”

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Dog playing in the Snow

This video is an absolute riot – Happy Winter! (this is better with the sound off, in my opinion).

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Wow! Dogs Help to Study Endangered Wildlife

dogtrackingbyboat.jpgThis is an amazing article about how dogs’ amazing noses are helping wildlife ecologists to better study endangered species. Did you know that dogs can identify up to 18 separate species from the smell of their feces? Not only does that make finding a particular species in a vast area of wilderness easier, but dogs can also track a variety of whale species from the deck of a boat, even tracking them from up to a mile away. Look at how much fun that dog’s job is for him!
Read the whole article here:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21980526/

Research Study Shows Dogs Can Classify Complex Photos And Place Into Categories | Itchmo: News For Dogs & Cats

doglearning.jpgThis is an interesting article discussing dogs’ abilities to identify and categorize images. I love that there is really an increase in cognitive studies of dogs – for a species that is so closely tied to humans, we know so little, scientifically speaking. Here’s the article I found on Ichmo:
Research Study Shows Dogs Can Classify Complex Photos And Place Into Categories | Itchmo: News For Dogs & Cats

Tennessee Girl Calls For Change After Dogs Die From Antifreeze Poisoning | Itchmo: News For Dogs & Cats

The Humane Society of the United States estimates that 10,000 animals die each year from antifreeze poisoning. And, Haley Ham wants to do something about that.

This 11-year-old girl from Tennessee lost her two dogs, Sam and Jessie, when someone in the neighborhood gave the dogs a poisonous stew with antifreeze as the main ingredient.

Antifreeze smells and tastes sweet to pets, and a few tablespoons can kill a dog, and a couple of teaspoons can kill a cat….

Read the whole article here:
Tennessee Girl Calls For Change After Dogs Die From Antifreeze Poisoning | Itchmo: News For Dogs & Cats

Reduce the chemicals you use by using more vinegar

vinegar.gifIt’s amazing how much we as a society have come to rely on stronger and stronger chemicals to get our cleaning done, and how much the simple remedies have gotten lost over time. One of the very best cleaners around is simple vinegar mixed with water. Try it on your windows or your kitchen floor. So many pets are suffering from itchy, rashy hotspot-plagued skin issues. Many people automatically assume that food is to blame (of course poor quality fats and proteins can cause nasty skin issues), but we forget that the chemicals we use to clean our floors, carpets, clothing, etc can really add up for the pets that live in such close contact with these surfaces. Check out this link that lists some of the many household uses for vinegar. Here’s another one!
*Raw Apple Cider Vinegar has many many uses for pets, both inside and out. Here’s a great link that discusses the benefits for skin and coat especially, and for combating yeast.

Honest Kitchen Prevails in Lawsuit to Proclaim Human Grade Ingredients

force.jpgThis is excellent news for Honest Kitchen – one of our favorite pet foods. They are the only food manufacturer in the US to have proven to the FDA that every ingredient they use is suitable for human consumption – they are even made alongside other products that are for human use. They were not allowed to sell in Ohio, as the Ohio Dept of Agriculture wouldn’t allow them to print “human food grade” on the package. They took them to court and won, as the statement is true. they do not claim that the product is for humans, only that the ingredients are of such quality that it would be safe for humans to consume. It is of course formulated to meet the nutritional requirements of dogs and cats. Here’s the whole article (thanks to Itchmo for this link):

News for cats and dogs – Court Rules That The Honest Kitchen Can Describe Pet Food As Human Grade On Labels