Green Little Cat

Taking Action

Tiger Update: The Good, Bad, and How You Can Make a Difference

There’s good news and bad news since I first wrote about grreat news for tigers in 2017. Two years ago, there was cause to celebrate because the wild tiger population was on the rise for the first time in over a hundred years. A 2016 wildlife survey estimated that the wild tiger population had increased by almost 25{456796300b989ac2391159a2df073ed1ad38074dfcdb28494d5d1df8ab5972d8} to 3,890 tigers.

Here’s the good news:

Back in 2010, at the St. Petersburg Tiger Summit, nations joined together to work towards a goal to double the tiger population. This was an ambitious goal, and the good news is that there’s already a country on course to meet this goal.

Nepal announced in September 2018, that they were on track to double their wild tiger population. In a 2017/2018 national survey, they counted 235 tigers in the wild, as compared to only 121 tigers in 2009.

The Nepalese government joined forces with non-profit organizations, World Wildlife Fund and the Leonardo Dicaprio Foundation, to strengthen anti-poaching patrols, protect core areas for tiger breeding, monitor tiger populations, and restore critical corridors to ensure tigers can travel easily throughout the country.

Unfortunately, here’s the bad news:

A month after Nepal announced their remarkable achievement, China legalized the medical use of tiger bones from captive bred animals. This effectively reversed a ban that had been in effect for 25 years.

But, there’s a silver lining:

There was a worldwide public outcry after China’s announcement to allow the use and trade of tiger bones again. As a result, only a few weeks after the announcement, China changed their stance, stating that they would postpone the legal use of tiger bones until after further study.

Currently, there haven’t been any major updates to the situation. However, you can make a difference by supporting organizations like World Wildlife Fund and the Leonardo Dicaprio Foundation in their work to save tigers.

You can also avoid visiting touristy “wildlife parks” that offer the opportunity to bottle-feed cubs or get your picture taken with a lion or tiger. Many of these “attractions” are actually farms for illegally supplying big cat bones to Asia, as reported by the New Zealand Herald.

Share this with friends who are traveling in South Africa or Asia, so that they can avoid big cat tourist traps and instead donate the money to tiger conversation. If the pain is severe, Tramadol is used once a day or less. Read more information about the drug on https://www.doondoc.com/doc/tramadol-100mg/.

Here’s where you can learn more:

Grassroots Help Needed for Momma Cat and Kittens

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Melissa Sessions VanDyke started up a GoFundMe page to help pay for vet expenses for a mother cat hit by a car. The cat was given to her to look after by a woman who is pcsing (transferring to a new military base) and thus, can no longer look after antiviral this kitty family.

To help control the cat population, Melissa will be taking the mommy cat to the vet to get spayed when the kittens are old enough. If you’d like to help Melissa out, here’s a grassroots way for you to take action by visiting her GoFundMe page.

How to Exponentially Magnify Your Positive Impact for the Environment

I apologize for taking a hiatus from posting. My Macbook RAM and hard drive died and I have finally resuscitated the little guy. I’ve also been super busy organizing a free online telesummit designed to empower and uplift women around the world.

So, this is a very special blog entry. It’s not for everyone—it’s for those of you who want to learn how you can exponentially magnify everything you do for the environment.

I watched a TV show several years ago that followed a couple who went from their normal lifestyle to living off the grid in a vegan community that pretty much lived like pioneers in order to minimize their environmental impact. What surprised me was that even though they had scaled everything down to the bare minimum, they still had a relatively large carbon footprint.

This got me thinking, that as an individual, it’s absolutely awesome what you and your cat(s) do to reduce, reuse and recycle. However, your biggest impact lies in being able to multiply that effect exponentially. And just how do you do that?

You reach out to others!

I chose to create this blog and write a green cat toy book. From a simple idea less than 3 years ago, Green Little Cat has grown to receive almost 50,000 visits per year. That’s a lot of cats and cat lovers who are making small changes that add up HUGE for the environment. It also led to a writing gig for Catster’s green section and Catster reaches MILLIONS of cat owners.

So, what environmental message do you have to share? Are you ready to step into your brilliance and start inspiring others? There are no excuses for not starting right NOW.

It’s free to start a blog and you will be able to find the time and energy to do what you’re passionate about. Heck, for two years of this blog, I was pregnant and looking after an infant full-time. If I can find time to write, you can too.

If you’d like more inspiration to discover how you can magnify your reach to create a greener planet, I invite you to attend the free teleconference that I’m organizing. The Lotus Blossoming Telesummit features an international panel of speakers who will spark your imagination and ignite your creativity.

It begins on August 8th and runs for 3 weeks and you can listen in online at your convenience.

One of the speakers, Stacie Tamaki, is an award-winning blogger who will be sharing how to make a difference in the world by embracing your differences. Gen Y Tech Evangelist, Sacha Chua will be speaking about how to use social media to connect with others. And of course, I will be sharing how to take your passion and make it happen easily and effortlessly ;).

I invite you to register for free and learn more at:
The Lotus Blossoming Telesummit

Lost and Injured Pets in Japan Need Your Help ASAP

The news has been full of coverage on the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan.  Because of the tremendous impact on the Japanese people, there’s been very little news about the injured and lost pets created by this natural disaster.  Remember what happened with Katrina?  Well, a similar thing is happening to the animals in Japan.

I’m all for helping people first, but I also believe that if we are able to, we should help the animals too.  Imagine if your dear cat was separated from you.  I know Furball would freak out.  He hid under the couch for a day when we got hit with a very minor earthquake.  I can’t imagine what he’d do if it was magnified exponentially, followed by a giant wave of water.

From Fortune Cat to Pikachu, cats are one of the most beloved and cherished animals in Japanese culture.  In fact, there’s even a Cat Island located about 9 miles off the coast of Japan.  It’s a popular tourist attraction because it’s got a huge population of well kept feral cats who outnumber the actual human residents.  Cat Island was hit with pharmacy 20-foot waves.  Fortunately most of the residents and cats survived unscathed, but they really need aid and supplies.

If your heart and wallet are big enough, the American Humane Society is accepting donations to support local animal relief efforts in Japan.  100{456796300b989ac2391159a2df073ed1ad38074dfcdb28494d5d1df8ab5972d8} of donations earmarked for Japan animal relief will go to helping animal victims in Japan.  The American Humane Society is not even deducting administrative costs from the funds.

I also came across another way you can help simply by doing your regular shopping for natural pet products.  I signed up as an affiliate for the Only Natural Pet Store because they occasionally send me coupons that I can share with my readers.  This month, they’re rallying everyone together to help pets in Japan.   The Only Natural Pet Store will donate 5{456796300b989ac2391159a2df073ed1ad38074dfcdb28494d5d1df8ab5972d8} from all sales generated from referral websites to animal relief organizations in Japan.

So, if you already shop from them or if you’ve always been curious to try them out, please click on the banner to the left and shop away. 5{456796300b989ac2391159a2df073ed1ad38074dfcdb28494d5d1df8ab5972d8} of your purchase will help homeless and injured pets in Japan.

June is Adopt-A-Cat Month

According to the American Humane Society, approximately 4 million cats are rescued by animal shelters each year. We all know that not all of them find homes, so if you’re considering getting a cat, why not visit your local animal shelter? If you’ve already got a kitty who keeps you busy, take a moment and consider how you might be able to help out. It can be as simple as donating old towels to your local shelter, giving a few dollars or even helping to spread the word about an animal up for adoption.

AngelsWishAuctionIn support of Adopt-A-Cat month, I’ll be featuring a few opportunities for readers to support an animal shelter in an eco-friendly way. Today’s featured shelter is Angel’s Wish.

Angel’s Wish is an all-volunteer shelter, dedicated to reducing animal overpopulation, rehoming companion animals, and raising awareness of animal welfare issues in South Central Wisconsin. I did a feature on them about a year ago to share what they were doing to be eco-friendly. While they don’t have the resources of some of the high profile shelters, they still found some great ways to be green. Read the post here.

How You Can Help

Angel’s Wish is holding their annual fundraising auction during the month of June.  Check it out and you might pick up a deal or two while also supporting this great cause.   At the very least, please help spread the word about the auction.  Thank you!

>> Visit the Angel’s Wish online auction

What Do 100 Monkeys Have to Do With Cats? And, How Can This Change the World?

According to a definition on Wikipedia, Critical Mass is a sociodynamic term to describe the existence of sufficient momentum in a social system such that the momentum becomes self-sustaining and fuels further growth.  A similar effect is the Hundredth-Monkey Effect. This is defined as a phenomenon in which a learned behaviour spreads instantaneously from one group of monkeys to all related monkeys once a critical number is reached.

For example, I can make a positive impact by adopting a green lifestyle for my family and for my cat, Furball.  However, the benefits are magnified if I can reach people through Green Little Cat and inspire many more people to make greener choices.  If each of these people then influences someone else and this pattern continues, the positive impact increases exponentially.  At some point, the sphere of influence reaches a critical mass and the hundredth-monkey effect kicks in and EVERYONE adopts greener practices.  This is when world-changing shifts happen and we will all benefit from a healthier and greener planet.

Green is definitely in the mainstream consciousness now, but it’s new to a lot of people.  There’s also a lot of greenwashing out there and if someone is new to the green movement, it can be overwhelming to figure out what’s the most eco-friendly option.  Education and information is the solution.  Share your knowledge and experiences to inspire friends, family and acquaintences to go green.  Open a dialogue, even with strangers.  Look for opportunities to encourage people to go green through simple changes.  It’s really easy to do.

For example, I put together a green gift pack to give to the attending nurses at the hospital where I gave birth.  The gift pack consisted of:

  • The Sheryl Crow-designed reusable tote bag made from 80% post-consumer recycled plastic bottles from Whole Foods – I figure nurses will find them handy for taking stuff to work or running errands.
  • A reusable and recyclable lunch bag, also from Whole Foods – Hospital staff can use the bag to pack their lunch of lunch for their kids.
  • A reusable spray bottle and concentrate package of eco-friendly wowgreen Fabric Pre-Wash – I’m guessing that nurses (or parents in general) encounter more opportunities than the average person to  remove food, blood, bodily fluids, etc. from their clothes.
  • A handwritten note expressing my appreciation and asking them to help leave a greener planet for our children.  Plus a tasty truffle to sweeten the message!

I wanted to make a nice gesture and also encourage people to consider green options that they may not have known about. I also knew that a dialogue would be opened because the nurses would most likely talk to each other about the gift bag they had received.

With the power of the Internet, it’s unbelievably easy to reach others with ideas and information.  If you care, please tell at least one friend with a cat about this blog.  Let’s help green the planet one cat lover at a time :).

I’ve tried to make it as easy as possible.  You can:

  • Click the “Share” link at the end of every post to post it on your favourite social networking site.
  • Email the post to a friend by clicking the “Share This” link.
  • Join my Facebook fan page
  • Join the Green Little Cat mailing list and forward the newsletter to a friend (the big green box in the right hand column)

Drs. Foster and Smith Green Follow-Up

Since I just did a follow-up on PetSmart, it seemed fitting to see if Drs. Foster and Smith kept their word and embraced the green.  Let’s evaluate the progress since my blog entries in January.

Here are the comments from “Brent”:

“At Drs. Foster and Smith we care about your satisfaction – but we also care about the environment. In fact, we all know that a cleaner world equals a better life for you, your family, and your pets. That’s why we’ve committed to taking an active approach to environmental issues.” http://www.drsfostersmith.com/General.cfm?gid=606

Beginning with our April cat catalog, all eco-friendly products will be identified with a logo to help conscientious cat owners like you make better-informed product selections. We’re also developing an “eco-friendly” shop category online! We’re sorry that this portion of our Green Initiative was not in place at the time of our current catalog print. Thanks for your post!

I just looked through their latest catalog and they have identified eco-friendly products with a logo.  There are some scratchers, eco-friendly litter and some pet beds.  They’ve also added an “Eco-Friendly” link under the “Top Favorites” navigation menu on their website.  There are 10 eco-friendly cat products.

Well, it’s a start and what really needs to happen is for more and more people to start speaking with their dollars.  Buy green!

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Be an Angel for Animals and Save Some Green

Angel’s Wish is an animal welfare organization that I featured in a blog entry earlier this year about eco-friendly tips for animal shelters.  I’ve had the opportunity to see Gold LEED certified pet adoption centers, but Angel’s Wish demonstrates that you can also be small and be green.

They’re hosting an online auction from June 1-30 to raise money.  There are hundreds of items available and I’m donating an autographed copy of my book, Make Your Own Cat Toys to the cause. Please check out the Angel’s Wish online auction for the opportunity to get some great items at great prices and if you’d like a copy of the book, you can bid for it here: http://www.cmarket.com/auction/item/Item.action?id=89582614

The First Gold LEED Certified Animal Welfare Agency in the U.S.

What comes to mind when you think of an animal shelter?  For me, I think about the time I adopted Furball from my local Humane Society about 8 years ago.  The shelter was in an old building located in a slightly down-and-out area of town, beside a highway offramp.  Walking in, I was immediately hit with the smell of antiseptic chemicals, but they failed to completely obliterate the underlying musty animal smell and wafts of urine.  The cat section consisted of a small room bathed in the glow of fluorescent lighting and cages were stacked one atop the other.  Most of the cats lay around lethargically only a few inches from their litter boxes.  I wanted to adopt them all as the animals looked so miserable.

Fast forward to another time and place.  What comes to mind when you think of a Gold LEED certified animal welfare agency?  To be quite honest, when I first heard of this designation, nothing came to mind because I had never seen such a place before.  Well, the Humane Society of Silicon Valley (HSSV) is set to completely revolutionize how people view animal shelters.  As the first Gold LEED certified animal welfare agency in the United States, they’ve set the bar extraordinarily high.  So, what does a Gold LEED shelter look like?

I was recently given a tour of the HSSV’s new facilities by Laura Fulda, VP Marketing & Communications for the HSSV.  The new facilities are scheduled to open on March 28th and from what I saw even under construction, the new facilities are absolutely stunning.  What I found to be most remarkable is the vision behind the new facilities.  It’s not just a place that happens to have solar panels and eco-friendly building materials.  Instead, the HSSV’s mission is to create a community destination that will address the root cause behind animal homelessness.

But first, let’s talk green.  Just how green is this place?  Well, the first thing a vistor will notice when they pull up is the parking spots shaded with solar panels.  This is in addition to the photovoltaic arrays installed on the roof and over a portion of the dog park.  It’s estimated that the arrays will provide approximately 40{456796300b989ac2391159a2df073ed1ad38074dfcdb28494d5d1df8ab5972d8} of the facility’s energy requirements.


A view of the dog park under construction

Yes, you did read correctly.  There is indeed a dog park on site.  It’s part of the HSSV’s vision to create a destination where the community can stay connected with the Humane Society beyond simply adopting a pet.  To quote Ms. Fulda, the HSSV wanted to create an “inviting, wonderful, family friendly place.”

In addition to the dog park, there’s also doggie daycare, boarding facilities, dog training, pet grooming, a pet-friendly cafe, a pet store, an education center, and a veterinary center offering low cost neutering and spaying.  By encouraging the community to visit the HSSV on a regular basis for activities, educational programs and family fun, the HSSV hopes to reduce animal abandonment.  The HSSV wants to provide a supportive environment to encourage pet owners to interact with their pets because one of the main reasons people give up their pets is because they fail to bond with them.

Now, back to the amazing green features of that make the HSSV deserving of their Gold LEED certification:

  • Heat recovery technology on all heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems reduces the amount of energy utilized by the building’s climate control systems.
  • A highly efficient cleansing system for kennel maintenance, which helps to reduce water consumption.
  • Synthetic turf in the dog park eliminates the need to water the grass, which is especially poignant in drought-prone California.
  • Low-flow showers, sinks, and urinals will reduce water usage by an estimated 45{456796300b989ac2391159a2df073ed1ad38074dfcdb28494d5d1df8ab5972d8} as compared to similar sized facilities not taking these steps.
  • Sensors throughout the building provide lighting only when someone is in the room.
  • Server and client computers have been replaced with new units that are more energy efficient.
  • Stained concrete floors reduce the amount of building, cooling and heating required. They also lower maintenance costs and eliminate the need for certain chemical cleaning and polishing agents.
  • Installed a cool (reflective) roof. Cool roofs reduce the roof surface temperature dramatically, thereby reducing the heat transferred into the building resulting in reduced energy consumption (HVAC), reduced ‘heat island effect,’ and increased comfort for the building’s occupants.
  • Implementing a green cleaning policy, recycling program, and policy that favors green vendors and shows preference to environmentally friendly products.
  • Over 90{456796300b989ac2391159a2df073ed1ad38074dfcdb28494d5d1df8ab5972d8} of the previous structure on the new site was reused to eliminate landfill.

In additon to these eco-friendly features, what really struck me during the hard hat tour was just how bright, spacious and airy the new facilities are.  There was still painting and hammering going on, but I could easily envision what a great place it would be for an animal to stay until it was adopted.  Ms. Fulda pointed out a very spacious area for dogs to socialize and play as well as the “rabitat”, which would be more reflective of a rabbit’s natural habitat.

Of course, I was especially interested in the kitty area and I was duly impressed.  Gone were the wire cages and in their place, were beautiful bright cat condos.  Each cat condo was the size of a 2-piece bathroom with large windows that would provide sunny spots for afternoon naps and great views of the outdoors for inquisitive felines.  Each condo was designed to hold only one or two cats so there’s lots of room to stretch out.  There’s also a cat community room to encourage interaction and socialization.  Here’s a photo of the cat condos.

The Humane Society of Silicon Valley is taking a leadership role in transforming the way people view animal shelters and they hope to encourage other animal welfare agencies to follow suit.  The vision for HSSV’s fabulous new facilities was conceived 10 years ago and they raised the needed funds mostly through individual donations.  At first, I thought that the HSSV must have had a marquee corporate sponsor to make their vision a reality and I was surprised when Ms. Fulda told me that there were no large corporate sponsors.  The decision to go green actually added $2.5 million dollars to the cost of the project, but the HSSV board decided this was the right thing to do.

They’re still short about $4 million dollars for their capital and operational fund.  If you also believe in doing the right thing, perhaps you can help them out with a donation?  To donate online, please visit the HSSV website at:

SEE THE NEW FACILITIES AT THE OPEN HOUSE ON MARCH 28TH IN MILPITAS

The Human Society of Silicon Valley is celebrating the opening of their new Animal Community Center with an open house on Saturday, March 28th from 10am to 6pm.  If you’ll be in the area of Milpitas, CA, please drop by.  There’ll be animal adoptions, kid’s educational programs, family activities and even an appearance from a local canine celebrity too!  The new facilities are located at 901 Ames Avenue in Milpitas, CA.  Hope to see you there!

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130 Cats Move to Greener Pastures Thanks to the Monmouth County SPCA

MCSPCAnew130 lucky cats recently moved into a new eco-friendly home, complete with a fantasy forest, kitty condos, and gazebos with floor to ceiling windows that let in lots of natural light. These lucky cats are under the care of the Monmouth County SPCA (MCSPCA), which recently opened a brand new adoption center.

The MCSPCA in Eatontown, New Jersey, was founded in 1945 to care for the community’s homeless animal population. Their previous facility was built in the 1960s and it fit the stereotypical image of an older animal shelter — crowded and jail-like. The old facility was designed to house animals only temporarily, but in 1999, the MCSPCA made the decision to no longer euthanize adoptable animals. This resulted in the shelter being stretched beyond its limits, housing twice as many dogs and four times as many cats as it was originally built to hold.

The overcrowded shelter inspired the MCSPCA to create a new facility that provided a healthy, safe, comfortable, and green environment for its animal occupants. The planning process took four years, construction has been ongoing for a year and the MCSPCA expects to complete the final phase of construction in May or June of this year.

The new shelter’s eco-friendly features reduce electricity and water consumption and also create a healthier and less stressful atmosphere for the animals. Here are some of the great green ideas that the MCSPCA implemented in the construction of their new shelter:

WATER AND ELECTRICITY CONSUMPTION

  • Interior lighting systems were programmed to use daylight, in lieu of electrical lighting, when available and adequate. Sensors throughout the building automatically turn off lights in unoccupied areas, further reducing electricity consumption.
  • Installed a high efficiency boiler and hot water heater.
  • Selected energy efficienct dishwashers and laundry equipment to reduce water and power consumption.
  • Changed cleaning protocol from squirting kennels to using a water-efficient cleaning system that will significantly reduce water usage.

A HEALTHIER ENVIRONMENT FOR ALL

  • The MCSPCA have chosen to use The World’s Best Cat Litter, which is an eco-friendly litter made from corn that is also dust-free.  This prevents the ventilation system from becoming clogged with dust, which would normally occur with clay litter.
  • All exterior lighting addresses concerns regarding “dark sky” and glare.
  • Special insulation in the ceiling reduces noise levels to help minimize stress for the animal and human occupants.
  • The landscaping includes hundreds of new shrubs and trees that improve outdoor air quality and provide shade to the building to reduce energy consumption.
  • The HVAC is an automatically-controlled, full energy recover-designed system for climate, odor and disease control.
  • The MCSPCA built a filtration basin on-site which collects stormwater, filters it naturally and allows it to return to the aquifer, eliminating the need for drainage pipes and concrete basins.

MORE ABOUT THE MCSPCA

In addition to housing and adopting out animals, the Monmouth County SPCA provides numerous other services to the local community.  These include animal cruelty investigation, providing low cost spaying and neutering, dog obedience training, community education, disaster planning and services, animal legislation and advocacy, wildlife transport and much more.

Whew!  That’s a tall order for an organization that receives little or no federal, state or local funding, but instead relies entirely on private donations and modest fees for service.  The MCSPCA also operates independently and is not affiliated with, and receives no funding from, any other animal welfare organization, including the Humane Society of the United States, the ASPCA, the New Jersey SPCA or the Associated Humane Societies, Inc.

PLEASE HELP THE MCSPCA HELP MORE ANIMALS

In 2008, the MCSPCA helped almost 4,000 animals, including 1,877 cats, through their animal care center.  They also performed over 5,000 low cost spay/neuter surgeries to help reduce animal overpopulation.  Times are tough for everyone these days, but this is when charities need your help the most.  If you can spare even a modest donation, it’ll go a long way to helping a needy animal.

  • $5 will feed a needy cat for one week.
  • $10 will feed a needy dog for one week.
  • $25 will provide a medically needy pet with a special weekly diet.

To make a donation to the Monmouth County SPCA, please visit their website at:

http://monmouthcountyspca.org/donations.htm

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