April 22nd is Earth Day, our yearly reminder to reflect upon how our actions impact the planet. However, as pet parents, we need to also think about how we can reduce our pet’s carbon pawprint. How can we ensure that our pet is eco-friendly?
Anyone who has ever had a pet knows that pets make lots of waste. Whether you are picking it up, or scooping it, it is estimated that 10 million tons of waste from pets fill landfills every year. How can we make a difference? If you have a dog, use biodegradable poop bags instead of plastic bags to pick up your dog’s poop. Even better, use an in-ground waste disposal system. In-ground waste disposal systems are mini septic systems that allow you to dispose of your dog’s waste right in your back yard. There are several companies that sell kits you can buy to create your own environmentally-friendly dog waste disposal system. If you have a cat, switch from a clay-based litter to a biodegradable litter like ökocat to cut down on the estimated 2 million tons of clay litter that end up in landfills yearly.
Always pick up after your pet. Besides being inconsiderate, leaving your pet’s waste behind can pollute water sources from runoff. Follow the backpacker’s motto and pack out what you pack in and leave only footprints (or pawprints) behind.
Buying green can include purchasing products made from recycled or sustainable materials, or buying products that are chemical-free. Nowadays, you can buy beds made from reclaimed memory foam scraps and recycled plastic water bottles, or leashes and collars made from sustainably grown hemp. You can even buy eco-friendly dog treats! Jiminy’s dog treats are made from crickets, a sustainable source of protein and omega fatty acids. And dogs (and even cats) love them!
Buy in Bulk
Buying pet food and pet supplies in bulk not only saves money, it also conserves fuel and lowers emissions by saving you extra trips to the store and cuts down on packaging.
Make sure your pet isn’t adding to the pet over-population problem by having your pets spayed or neutered.
Adopt a Shelter Pet
Don’t forget about your local animal shelter or pet rescue if you are thinking about getting a pet. There are lots of “recycled pets” that need a good home. While adopting one of these deserving pets may not lower emissions or save fuel, it can save a life.
By adopting these simple tips, you and your pet can live green and make the planet a better place.