Puppers and Cattos

orange tabby cat beside fawn short coated puppy
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To continue the theme from my last post I am going to highlight another company doing good for our furry pals (or not so furry if you have one of those cats that look like a Dobby from Harry Potter). This company was introduced to me by my soon-to-be sister-in-law when she sent a bag of treats for Lincoln (my exceptionally beautiful and happy Australian Shepherd) that are now her personal favorites.

The company is Open Farm Pet. They are creating ethically and sustainably sourced pet food for your pals. Now, that is a title that is thrown around quite frequently and many companies do the bare minimum to stamp that on their bag and add a few dollars to the price tag. But Open Farm Pet is TRULY ethical and sustainable. Honestly, it is better than most people food.

brown cattle on green lawn grass during daytime
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How can you tell? Well, for starters, they are certified humane. This means that they take care of and can track the treatment of the animals from birth to death. During that time they also go through several audits to keep them up to standard. And this is just for the ingredients! Open Farm also allows you to see exactly where they source these ingredients. But then they take it a step farther.

photo of person feeding dog outside
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The packaging for their products is also sustainably made packaging. They confirm on their site that they have a partner in TerraCycle, who is helping provide free recycling of your pet food bags and creating new products with them.

Overall, it is food for our furry pals that is well cared for and nurtured into an amazing product, and giving new life to the packaging that would otherwise end up in landfills. Check them out and grab some treats for all of those good boys and girls.

Our Parks

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I think there is something that needs to be called to attention. When I have been talking about the National Parks I have often been referring to them as our parks. I think this is such an important distinction.

badlands national park cloud cloudburst clouds
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These lands are ours. We are meant to care and look after them. While on the shuttle, winding your way in the shadow of Zion Canyon a voice talks about the responsibility that has been bestowed on us to care for and nurture the lands we have been given.

I personally that God gave us this beautiful, wonderful, mysterious, and oh so powerful Earth so that we may cherish and care for it. Just as you would respect anything else that is yours.

green grass beside sea
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Keep It Wild Co. shares this vision with me. They too believe that we are to nurture the land that we have so freely been given and should do what we can to keep them from harm. Keep it Wild reaches beyond National Parks and heads up cleanups in state and local parks as well.

They take the funds from their store and sponsor wilderness cleanups. You can buy some of their gear in support of the work that they are doing. OR you can even be a part of the cleanups! Check out more here: https://keepitwildco.ticketleap.com/

Keep it wild, my friends.

All the Buzz

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According to SOS-bees.org, in the United States alone the honey bee population has dropped by 40% since 2006. And now, as many of us saw, the first bee has even been put on the endangered species list. This should be a reason for serious concern.

Most of us are probably thinking about bad experiences with bees, bee stings, and the high number of people and animals who are allergic. This is such a small problem though in comparison to a life without our precious bee population.

 

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Why should we be concerned? Why should we act now? Well..

One-third of all food production depends on the pollination provided by bees. Let me say that again ONE-THIRD OF ALL  FOOD  PRODUCTION. Could you imagine a world with that much less? We already have a massive hunger problem in all corners of the world. If you go to foodaidfoundation.org they have actually stated that about one in nine people in the world do not have enough food to live an active life. So with a little math, a world without bees that would bring us to one out of every six people who would be underfed.

Now, there have been attempts to pollinate crops in other ways. Some people have actually resorted to hand pollination in dire circumstances. This means they are taking paint brushes out in the field to pollinate crops by hand. However, it is high cost for a very low return.

Now for the most important part. Hope. Our bees are not gone yet, and there are a multitude of things we can do to help save them! 

  1. Sign the petition at  sos-bees.org  — Your voice always matters.

  2. Support Greenpeace. Ugh, I can only say fantastic things about this organization. They are doing such wonderful things for our planet. But don’t just take my word for it! Check out:  greenpeace.org/usa The best part is in supporting them you are supporting more than just the bees, you are helping the water, the Artic, and so much more life here on Earth.

  3. Adopt a bee or bee-hive at:  beefriendsfarm.com (this even comes with honey from your adopted hive!) or  worldanimalfoundation.org (they give you a cute photo of your bee plus an adoption certificate– adorable)

  4. Shop organically for honey. Even better, buy honey from a local bee keeper at your farmers market. Spending a dollar or two extra on this sweet goodness will support your local bee population and help sustain the hives in your area.

  5. Plant bee friendly flowers. Now I am by no means a gardener but some of these are even easy for me to keep alive! (I have lavender and daisies) But for a list of 25 visit  beefriendly.ca

 

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BONUS:

Shop these brands who are doing their part to SAVE THE BEES:

  1. Haagen-dazs— ice cream that is also doing good? That is something I can get behind!
  2. Me & The Bees Lemonade
  3. Bee Raw
  4. Burt’s Bees ( pretty sure my husband’s chap-stick addiction alone is keeping this company in business)
  5. General Mills— Hello Cheerios!
  6. Friends of Honeybees
  7. Honey Colony
  8. Bramble Berry
  9. Whole Foods
  10. Sweet Home Farm
  11. Justin’s– I know you all love your nut-butters!
  12. Droga Chocolates
  13. Savannah Bee Company (I have 6 of their chap-stick tubes and am obsessed– Mint Julip is my favorite!)

 

 

Know of any more?! Tell me about it! Email me at: exceptionallyaverage@outlook.com

Next week we will continue our topic of the bees by talking about The SAVE Farm, and their mission. (Fun fact: It was a total God-moment meeting these guys by chance at a farmers market here in Kansas while I was writing this article!)