Earth Day is coming, and environmental awareness is high! Humans and animals share the planet, and we all benefit from green initiatives. So how can we humans make pet ownership an environmentally friendly adventure? Here is a list of ways you can “go green” with your pet.
A Classic Approach: The Three R's
- Reduce unnecessary waste by purchasing some pet items, such as kitty litter, in bulk. Avoid single-serving food and treat packages and utilize reusable water bottles. You'll drastically cut down on the amount of packaging that will end up in a landfill. Fewer car trips to the pet store also mean less harmful air pollution!
- Get crafty! Repurpose tired household items to make exciting new pet toys. Have a look at our articles for great tutorials for making recycled DIY pet toys. You'd be surprised what fun you can create when you reuse common household items. Note: Remember to supervise your pet while they play to ensure that the toys don’t fall apart and become a hazard.
- Many pet brands are now offering environmentally responsible products. You'll find that a lot of product packaging is now made from biodegradable and recycled materials. Some companies have taken steps to mitigate their environmental impact and publish their green initiatives. Choosing these items over others on the store shelf is a small decision that can have a big impact on the environment.
A Greener Household
- Potty accidents happen, especially with a new puppy in the house. Consider swapping out your usual cleaning products and detergents for safer, more environmentally friendly alternatives. Consider using newspapers or washable towels rather than diapers or disposable puppy pads.
- Bath time can be a fun routine for pets and their owners, but soaps, detergents and shampoos end up in our wastewater and can be harmful to the environment. Most healthy pets do not require regular bathing with soap. Dogs and cats don’t sweat, so most pets only need the occasional rinse with tepid water to get the grime away. If your pet has rolled in something stinky, or requires a more thorough bathing, reach for gentle, environmentally friendly shampoos and conditioners.
- Going out for a walk? Don't forget to pack biodegradable bags! They're a better solution for picking up dog waste than plastic bags since they will break down and allow for natural decomposition. Make sure to dispose of pet waste bags responsibly.
- If you're a cat owner, try looking for eco-friendly kitty litter the next time you need to stock up.
Donate, Don’t Dispose
- Why let your pet's unused toys and supplies end up in a landfill when you can donate them? If your adult pet has outgrown their toys, consider giving them to a new pet owner or donate them to your local animal shelter.
- Do you have a bunch of old towels or newspapers lying around? Before tossing them, you may consider donating them to a local pet shelter or animal hospital. They'll be used to line the crates and rooms that their furry residents stay in. Shelters are always in need of supplies and will be incredibly grateful for your generosity.
Going green with your pet doesn't have to be complicated. We hope we've given you some Earth Day inspiration to reduce, reuse, and recycle your pet-related items.