Our pets can have such a positive impact on our lives. But owning and caring for a pet also impacts our environment. This month we look at how we can bring more sustainability to pet ownership, with just a few simple steps.
Your pet is a part of your family, and keeping them happy and healthy is a priority. So when we look at the different areas of our lives we’d like to bring into balance, it makes sense that we include our pets. Just like us humans have a carbon footprint, pets have a carbon paw print. And there are some simple ways we can help reduce it:
There are far too many stray animals going without food and shelter, and many times animal shelters need to euthanize animals due to lack of space and resources. So before shopping for your next pet through a breeder, consider adopting one of these animals first and give them the love and care they deserve. Once the pet is yours, making sure they are spayed or neutered will also help eliminate the stray population.
Do your best to buy your pet’s food from a sustainable brand and look for recyclable packaging. Making your own pet food or treats can cut out a lot of processed ingredients and fillers, just like cooking our own food is healthier for us humans. But whether you decide to make your own pet food or buy ready made, be sure to keep your pet’s dietary needs front and centre.
You have probably noticed a trend through all our A Year for Earth challenges thus far: Reducing plastic. Investing in non-plastic toys for our pets will reduce a huge contributor to plastic pollution. Instead, choose toys made from recyclable materials or natural fibers like hemp.
Keeping them Clean
In our Personal Hygiene challenge we talked about the benefits of switching to shampoos made with all natural ingredients. These benefits apply to your pets too! Skipping products with dyes, parabens and toxic ingredients will be better for your pet’s skin, and for our water systems.
A Cleaner Waste
While nature takes care of animal waste in the wild, we have to take responsibility for cleaning up our pet’s waste. Choose a greener cat litter without toxic silica dust (there are brands that use recycled newspapers or cedar chips), and clean up your dog’s waste using decomposable plant-based materials.
Nature Aligned Pet Action Steps
1. When considering getting a new pet, look to adopt instead of shop!
2. Choose sustainable food brands in recyclable packaging - or make your own.
3. Reduce plastic by choosing toys made from recycled or natural materials
4. Swap cleaning products like shampoos and waste removal for greener options