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    Giving Thanks

    Ashlee Kopchak- ZANESVILLE, Ohio November is a month for giving thanks. We give thanks for our families, our health, our jobs, our homes, our friends and even our pets but there are so many other things we should be thankful for, such as our natural resources. We assume those resources will always be there and be safe. In some countries they are a luxury. One of the biggest things we take for granted is our water. We turn on the sink or the shower and expect water to come pouring out, clean water at that. Did you know 663 million people on our planet do not have access to safe,…

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    Those That Go Bump in the Night

    Ashlee Kopchak ZANESVILLE, Ohio- Not all winged creatures are as bad as they are made out to be, bats being one of them. Thanks to pop culture we assume bats are rodents, drink your blood, are blind, fly into your hair, and worst of all will give you rabies. These are simple misconceptions. I will start from the beginning; bats are not rodents. They are not even closely related to rodents. In fact, we, as primates, are more closely related to rodents than bats. Their closest relatives are those of the family that stems to cats, dogs, pigs and horses. Bats are an ancient animal and are believed to have…

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    Sustainable Palm Oil

    Ashlee Kopchak ZANESVILLE, Ohio- What is Palm Oil? Palm Oil is an edible vegetable oil that comes from the fruit of oil palm trees. There are two kinds of oil that can be produced: crude palm oil comes from squeezing the fruit and palm oil kernel oil, which comes from crushing the kernel in the middle of the fruit. Oil palm trees are native to Africa but were introduced to South-East Asia as an ornamental tree crop. Palm Oil is in nearly everything. It is in almost all packaged goods, from chocolate to deodorant to makeup. It is also used in animal feed and as a biofuel in many parts…

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    Bee a Honey and Save Bees

    Ashlee Kopchak ZANESVILLE, Ohio- Bees have been a topic for conservationists throughout the country but do people know why? Sure, we know they make honey, but many do not know their importance of pollinating. Over recent years the decline in bee populations has been alarming. To counteract the decrease the National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Farm Service Agency (FSA) have devoted millions of dollars annually to encourage and help farmers and landowners to plant and maintain pollinator habitats on private lands. Over 90% of all flowering plant species rely on insect pollination. Specifically, 35% of all global food production is from crops pollinated by bees alone. Those numbers may…

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    Saving the Monarchs

    Ashlee Kopchak ZANESVILLE, Ohio- As many know, our Monarch populations are dwindling away. This is due to a number of reasons, but the majority of questions asked are focused around how we can help. There are small steps you can do in your own backyard to help. Many times people hear the word “conservation” and immediately jump to save the elephants or the sea turtles. Yes, those are important as well; but many do not know there are so many conservation practices you can do in your own backyard or community. Conservation is not just the preservation of animals, it’s also the preservation of plants and natural resources as well.…

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    Fireflies

    I live pretty far from most civilization. Fairly common around here, it’s where the gravel road meets the dirt road and then you drive a little further. The kind of place where you go to sleep with the sounds of bullfrogs and crickets and the sound of cars is disruptive. A month or two ago, I had a delivery to my house and when the city boys delivering my order got out of their truck, it was dark and quiet and I chuckled to myself as I heard one of them say “Man, I ain’t ever been anywhere this dark before.” When I moved to my home, one of the…

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    Bringing Back the Rain Barrel

    Lisa Crock ZANESVILLE, Ohio – Although 70 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered in water, only 2.5 percent of it is fresh water. Of that number only a fraction is accessible to use as drinking water. The remainder is encapsulated in ice caps and glaciers. With so very little fresh water on Earth and the demand increasing all the time, it makes sense to conserve as much as possible. There are numerous ways to conserve water, including using a rain barrel. As far back as 2000 years ago, rainwater was collected in clay containers; they progressed to the rain barrel, which remained a common sight until the 1940’s. With…

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    Eat Locally Grown Foods

    By Lisa Crock: We all eat; it’s a fact of life. What we chose to eat is up to us, whether we decide to hit a fast-food drive through on our way home or whether we head home after work to a pot roast and vegetables in the slow cooker. Why not make the choice to eat at least some locally grown food? Growing produce yourself is one option. Nothing could be fresher than when you walk into your back yard garden, pick some lettuce, tomatoes and a cucumber, and immediately prepare yourself a salad. If you don’t have the room in your back yard, but want to try growing…