Our Wholesome Culture team loooooves pets (and all animals) fiercely. And while we make efforts to be as eco-friendly as we can with our own individual habits, it can be easy to overlook that our animal friends also have a BIG impact on the planet.
So, how can we love our pets while also showing love to Mother Earth? Here are 10 ways to be the most pawsitive planet-friendly pet parents ever.
10 Ways to lower your pet’s carbon “pawprints”
1. Adopt don’t shop
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These sweethearts go together like Yin and Yang! ☯️ 😍 . . . #SaveThemAll #adopt #adoptdontshop #cute #adorable #kittens #cats #catsofinstagram #kitty #cat #kitten #catstagram #catlover #instacat #meow #catlovers #love #pets #petstagram #photooftheday
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Between overcrowded shelters and lots of strays wandering around without regular food/housing, millions of animals are euthanized because they don’t have a permanent place to call home.
Adopting is a beautiful way to not only gain a lovable companion, but also open a space for an animal friend in need.
2. Pick up after your pet *properly*
According to a study, dogs and cats in the U.S. produce 30 percent as much poop as Americans. And pet feces is one of the big ways they spread pathogens.
So, the headline is: never just leave pet waste as it is. That’s how it ends up contaminating local waterways. But after that, things get a little controversial as to what’s best for Mother Earth.
The three primary options are: flushing, composting, and landfilling.
Option 1: Landfilling
This may seem counterintuitive, but when in doubt… biodegradable bags/litter are a good option. This gives the waste a better chance of breaking down in the landfill while not exposing creatures to anything harmful. We like Earth Rated’s PoopBags that come in a refillable dispenser.
Option 2: Flushing
For dog poop, if your local water treatment center can handle pet waste and your plumber gives you the “go ahead” — flushing may be a good way to go. (This is where compostable flushable poop bags can come in handy.) But if you’re in an older house, you may want to skip this route to avoid clogged pipes.
However, for cat poop, experts say it shouldn’t be flushed because it has different pathogens and doesn’t break down in the same way.
Option 3: Composting
As a general rule, composting pet waste is something that should be heavily researched and very possibly could cause more harm than good depending upon where you live. Especially if you’re planning on composting waste near edible plants — that’s a big no-no (for most pets, rabbits are an exception!).
But if you’re really serious about wanting to reduce your pet waste, with patience and some precautions, you may be able to compost it. For example, Doggie Dooley makes different sizes of pet compost containers that can help lower your pet’s carbon footprint and save the landfills from plastic. But again, this is something that needs to be researched.
3. Purchase planet-friendly food
A UCLA study estimates that the food we give pets creates the equivalent of about 64 million tons of C02 a year. That’s about the same environmental impact as a year’s worth of fumes from 13.6 million cars!
So consult your veterinarian about eco-friendly, healthier alternatives to find the optimal diet for your pet.
Also, buy food in bulk, look for recyclable or (even better) reusable packaging, and remember your reusable bag!
4. Make homemade treats
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Friends! These 3-ingredient homemade dog treatsfrom @flora_and_vino are made with old-fashioned rolled oats, natural peanut butter, and bananas! Perfect for your pups and human-friendly, too! * Follow the link in our profile to get the #recipe. * * #floraandvino #easydogtreata#s #mealprep #refinedsugarfree #veganbaking #oilfree #tiuapproved #tiucheckin #tiumealprep #eeeeeats #plantbasednutrition #mealprep #veganfoodshare #veganrecipes #foodphotographer #positivevibes #postworkoutsnack #mealplanning #veganbaking #summertoneup #sugarfree #homemadedogtreats #dogbirthday #dogbiscuits #humanfriendly #glutenfreerecipe
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From this recipe for PB Banana Dog Treats to these DIY cat treats, there are lots of simple ways to whip up something yummy for your pet. Of course, be sure to talk with a vet first to make sure the ingredients are safe for your pet’s health.
And get inspired with these 5 yummy dog treats you can easily make at home.
5. Green the grooming routine
Protect your pet’s skin and the environment by switching to organic and natural shampoo (that’s also free of dyes and parabens). Some products we like are: 4-Legger Certified Organic Dog Shampoo and Earthbath All Natural Pet Shampoo.
Just remember to first check with a vet to confirm your products are appropriate for your pet.
If you aren’t ready to take on the commitment of a puppy or kitten, the safest option is to spay or neuter your pet. That way, you’ll be a part of the movement to stop pet homelessness.
And the ASPCA lists a range of benefits from spaying/neutering — like helping prevent testicular cancer and breast tumors (to name a few!).
7. Be mindful of how your pet treats other creatures
We’re not suggesting you have to keep your animal friends cooped up inside, but if your pet is frequently out unattended for whatever reason, consider removing bird baths or other features that would attract birds or other creatures. And try to keep an eye on your pet whenever possible– which is safer for everyone.
8. If it’s for YOU and not your pet — rethink it
We’re looking at you, doggie tutus, cat bows, and bird sweaters (yes, they exist). We have lots of thoughts about treating animals like dress up dolls, but when it comes to Mother Earth, things that are mostly unnecessary — even if you think they look cute — add to your pet’s carbon footprint fast.
9. Walk more
There’s a reason (most) dogs love to go on walks! It’s good for the health of humans, animals, and Earth alike!
10. Play mindfully
Look for toys made from recyclable, non-toxic, earth-friendly materials. We love West Paw, which uses recyclable, durable materials, and Green Toys EcoSaucer Flying Disk, which is made from 100% recycled plastic milk containers.
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I tend to destroy toys very quickly, and while I love my Kong I do get bored if I don’t have other things to play with🎾 My parents solution is: – buying natural ethical dog toys when they find them (not so easy!) – buying second hand toys from charity shops So here’s Will, my second hand mouse! I love him so much that I’ve already ripped one of his ears hihi #zerowastedog
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Want to go the extra mile? Look for toys from second-hand shops to give old materials a new home and purpose. Just remember to wash them first to be sure they’re hygienic and safe!
Are you an animal lover? Then, we know you’ll love these reads, too!
- 4 Inspiring animal rescues you have to know about
- 18 Cute and meaningful gifts for all the animal lovers in your life
- Quiz: Do you have a cat or a dog personality?