You want to give your pet everything they need to make their life wonderful, but your efforts could unknowingly expand your carbon footprint. Standard supplies and habits can hurt the planet even if they’re good for your pooch, so every animal lover should learn how to go green.
Check out these simple steps you can use to become more sustainable. You will minimize your environmental impact and become more mindful of your pet’s well-being.
Make Organic Pet Food
Most people trust their local pet supply stores to stock safe food for their furry friends. Even though you might have researched ingredients and auto-shipped the same brand for years, it could result in pollution. A recent study from the University of Edinburgh found that pet food production companies emit more greenhouse gases than some countries, directly contributing to climate change.
Instead, you can make homemade organic pet food with sustainably sourced ingredients. Talk with your vet about balancing the nutritional profile of whatever recipe you choose. As long as your pet still gets the protein, calories and nutrients they need, you can buy the ingredients from local farmers and organic meat companies that fight environmental pollution.
Donate Old Supplies
The next time you deep-clean your home, collect your pet’s old supplies. Puppy collars, forgotten toys and Halloween costumes that don’t fit them anymore could easily become a great donation.
Dropping these supplies off at a donation center or animal shelter keeps them out of landfills. As these places collect more junk, they produce gases like ammonia and methane that contribute to ground-level ozone. This displaces oxygen and contributes to a warmer climate.
It’s better to donate what your pet doesn’t need anymore. Shelters always need extra blankets, bowls and collars. Even donation stores that collect clothes and household goods usually have space for pet supplies. As long as what you own isn’t broken or otherwise unusable, donating things will help your community and the environment.
Groom With Green Ingredients
Your pet needs to bathe sometimes, but the shampoo you use could result in runoff pollution. Some additives don’t naturally break down when they drain into waterways. It adds toxins to aquatic environments that already deal with oil spills and floating trash.
Research groomers who use green products. You’ll make a small dent in the massive pet services industry, which makes over $6.1 billion each year on services like grooming. Add your voice to the people who want sustainable grooming options, and the industry will make room for more eco-friendly businesses to meet customer demands.
Sustainably Dispose of Waste
Dog waste fills landfills with plastic bags, and cat litter breaks down into chemicals that pollute the soil. Pet owners can go green by sustainably disposing of refuse and avoiding traditional alternatives.
Use a compost bin to recycle the waste in your garden or yard. Deposit what your dog leaves behind with a small shovel, and learn to break down cat litter with a biodegradable wood-based product. You’ll keep additional waste out of local landfills so the environment is better off.
Make Homemade Toys
Production companies overproduce pet toys because owners throw them away regularly. The factories add to climate emissions because they run on electricity and fossil fuels. Make homemade toys instead of funding an unsustainable business sector.
Turn your old clothes into stuffed animals and curtains into beds. Research pet-focused crafts to express yourself creatively and give your dog or cat a source of fun that doesn’t hurt the planet.
Consider Your Routine
Now that you know how to go green, consider your routine. Thinking about how you take care of your pet will point out which of these sustainable steps you should take first. With a few changes and a bit of time, you’ll become an eco-friendly pet owner.
Conservation and Sustainability Writer