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Environmental Action Speaks Louder than Words, Even in the Pet Industry -- Guest Post

Today we're excited to present a guest blog post by Gail VanWart, owner of Peaked Mountain Farm in Dedham, Maine.

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Since everyday is like Earth Day on Peaked Mountain Farm, it amuses us that eco-superiority is a new “trend” being talked about for 2011. Our fields of native Wild Blueberries are organic, we generate wind power and package our products responsibly. Our products are so minimally processed, a Wild Blueberry plant can be grown from our Bite O’ Blue® dog treats—true achievement of natural sustainability.

There’s an old saying that “actions speak louder than words”. Apparently, that’s how it is with sustainability. It seems as if everyone is concerned about the environment from all the rhetoric we read. However, when I read some statistics from Giving USA Foundation, 1/23/08, I was surprised to learn corporate philanthropy in America actually averages only about one-tenth of 1% of sales. Though it contributed $306 billion to charities in the United States in 2007, the environment was a low-end receiver reaping less than 2% of the total. Obviously, the words natural, eco-friendly, and sustainable need to be more than catch phrases; they need to honestly define consistent functions in every work place—for all products and services. True change requires action beyond charitable contribution if we really want to get the job done.

According to the 2009/2010 National Pet Owners Survey, 71.4 million households in the United States own pets and an estimated 45.4 billion USD were spent on pets specifically. If all that product isn’t produced and disposed of in a carbon neutral manner and the services aren’t run in an eco-conscious way, it will leave our pets owning a huge carbon pawprint. By making eco-smart choices, 71.4 million pet owners can contribute to the planet’s health and welfare while simply purchasing with sustainability in mind.

Having done this ourselves, we feel it’s our obligation, small as we are, to encourage all companies and consumers to join the action. If everyone reading this simply pledges an act of green on Act.EarthDay.org and honors their pledge, it will speak volumes.