Dog = man’s best friend. Man = great waster of resources. By the transitive property of geometry (sort of), dogs (and other pets for the matter) = great waster of resources.
We spend so much time figuring out ways to make our own lives a little greener, we sometimes forget how much pet ownership impacts the environment.
So why not make your pets a little greener? And no, I don’t mean spray painting them green, no one likes an actual green pet, it’s really not a flattering color on any animal. I do mean however, taking a minute to look through our list of 5 ways that you can get your pet involved in the green movement.
1. Clean up the poop: Do your part! Clean up the mess while saving the planet by refusing to use plastic bags and investing in bio-degradable poop bags. As for cats, consider using environmentally friendly kitty litter. Solid waste will still need to be flushed, but the actual litter can be composted when it comes time to change it out.
2. Get creative with pet toys: Most pets aren’t actually too picky about what kind of toy they playing with as it turns out. In fact, sometimes the simplest of toys turn out to be the favorites. What cat doesn’t love an empty box or bag more than any catnip filled fake mouse? Homemade toys can be as easy to make as retrieving an empty water bottle out of the recycling bin or braiding strips of old clothing together (that is my dog’s favorite toy). Cheap and environmentally friendly. Plus, when the creature inevitably ruins the toy, it’s not exactly hard to find a replacement in a hurry.
3. Donate the old, usable toys to a shelter: Provided the old pet toys haven’t been completely demolished, donating them to shelter animals is always a good idea. The shelters will appreciate it and the toys find a new home that is not a landfill.
4. Use environmentally friendly pet cleaning products: Pets are messy, but cleaning them off doesn’t have to be. Look into eco-friendly shampoos. And for cleaning up after your furry friends, again consider using green cleaning products. Even just a simple vinegar and water solution can work wonders.
5. Make a food snob out of your dog: Buy organic food for your pets. This may seem like overkill, but when you really look at what most pet food is made out of, the contents are, well, just plain gross. Besides, by buying organic, as with your own food, you support humane living environments for the meat.
Really these are just a few ways to be an environmentally conscious pet owner. There are a number of steps you can take, and if you have any other ideas, please feel free to share them here!
(Photo by Emery Way)