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In 2010, a slumping economy had people searching for attractions close to home, which meant record attendance for many zoos. If you’re looking to observe wildlife usually seen only in far-off places, try to visit a zoo accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). These zoos must meet the highest standards for animal care, education and conservation, and many follow the “environmental immersion” model with exhibits designed to mimic animals’ natural habitats. Following are a few AZA-accredited zoos:
Philadelphia Zoo. “America’s first zoo” opened in 1859, although the Civil War kept it closed to the public until 1874. It’s the first in the country to implement a carbon-offset program. www.PhiladelphiaZoo.org
San Diego Zoo. Its Institute for Conservation Research is the largest zoo-based research team in the world, dedicated to preserving rare and endangered wildlife and habitats. www.SanDiegoZoo.org
Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo. The Lied Jungle is the world’s largest indoor rainforest, and the Center for Conservation and Research conducts state-of-the-art research in animal care and nutrition. www.OmahaZoo.com
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. The zoo funded more than 60 conservation projects around the world in 2009 and was named the No. 1 zoo in the country that year by USA Travel Guide. www.ColsZoo.org
Imagine that a loan as small as $100 could change the life of one person, eventually helping her family and entire village. Sound impossible? It’s not, and it’s already happening in poor communities around the world. Microfinancing—the extension of credit to low-income people—is considered to have begun in the 1970s with Grameen Bank in Bangladesh. Now it has spread around the world and is helping thousands of people become self-sufficient entrepreneurs and climb out of poverty. Most of the loans go to women. This not only helps them build businesses—it helps their whole families, as women are more likely to spend their income on their families. They send their kids to school, improve their nutrition and get them health care. Proponents say the loans have even helped curb domestic violence, because a husband is not as likely to abuse a wife who provides for the family. There have even been cases where a woman’s business has been so successful she could hire people from her village, helping an entire community overcome poverty in the process. Poor communities still often have to contend with bad roads, poor water quality and lack of health care, but microﬁnancing is a strong tool to help end some suffering.
A 2-ounce serving of whole-grain pasta contains 5 to 6 grams of dietary fiber, compared with only 2 grams in the refined, white variety.