Having a pet and being an environmentally conscious human being can be very contradictory. Lots of waste packaging is generated by the sales of toys, treats, food packages, and poop bags. However, a pet parent can do many things to reduce their pet’s effect on the environment.
Shop in Bulk
Look at the packaging in which your pet food is sold. If you buy kibble in bulk, you can reduce the amount of packaging that ends up in landfill. Buying in larger quantities can also be more cost effective. When it comes to purchasing treats for your pet, bring your own bag so that you don’t need to use a plastic bag from the pet store.
Choose Food Carefully
Consider the protein sources in your pet’s food. If your budget permits, buy ethically sourced pet foods that are gentler on the environment. Researchers from a number of institutions including Yale University studied a number of protein sources to evaluate how much they contributed to global warming. They found that beef production needs far more resources than chicken or pork. The researchers admit that their numbers may not be perfect, but they’re a starting point for discussions about the effect of food production on the environment. If you switch to a pet food that’s based on a protein other than beef, it may well contribute in some small way to protecting our environment.
Buy Toys Made From Recyclable Products
Rubber dog toys are a huge offender when it comes to living an environmentally conscious life. The rubber can persist in landfill for quite some time. Why not choose toys made from recycled materials? You can also buy products that are more durable so you don’t need to replace them as often. Alternatively, make your own toys. Weave together strips of fabric to make tug toys for your dog, or put a tennis ball in the end of an old sock and tie off the other end to make a great throw toy.
Compost Dog Poop
Biodegradable poop bags are a much more environmentally friendly alternative to using plastic bags to pick up your pup’s droppings. An even better alternative is to compost their stools. The University of Florida Online Composting Center suggests that dog waste should be mixed with sawdust and should ideally be kept at a temperature of 140 degrees F. However, there’s no guarantee that this will kill worms and other pathogens in the compost so it shouldn’t be used on food producing plants. It’s ideal for spreading around flowers, shrubs, and other decorative plants.
When it comes to being environmentally friendly, the key is to reduce, recycle, and replace. Reduce packaging in food and treats, recycle dog poop into compost and rags into toys, and replace beef with more environmentally proteins such as chicken. Being more aware of how we as pet parents can better care for our world and making better choices may be a bit more expensive; however, by doing so, your small efforts will combine with those of others to have a much bigger impact on our future. Reduce your carbon paw print by checking out these eco-friendly products.