When we examine parts of our lives that could use revamping under the lens of sustainability, pet ownership can be an easy one to overlook. Seemingly closer to the natural world, our pets feel free of the environmental responsibilities humans face. But, like us, pets leave a carbon pawprint and impact the health of our planet.
Check out the different ways pets impact the environment and the changes you can make as a pet owner to ensure your furry companion is living as green as you are.
Examine Cleaning Products
Much like we would recommend for humans, start by taking a closer look at the labels on your pet’s shampoo and cleaning products. These can contain harmful chemicals that head straight down the drain, contaminating the water system. Switching to biodegradable natural products or experimenting with DIY recipes checks the box of not only being good for the planet but also your pet’s skin.
Learn About Your Pet Food
Your pet’s diet is the main culprit when it comes to their ecological impact. Pet food is estimated to be responsible for a quarter of the environmental effects of meat production in terms of the use of land, water, fossil fuels, phosphates, and pesticides. Acknowledging this heavy ecological toll is a big step towards more sustainable pet ownership.
Although cats and dogs need protein in their diets, keep the following in mind when shopping for your pet’s dinner.
- Avoid products that contain red meat or fish as they have a higher environmental impact. Food made from chicken or rabbit is a better option.
- Research local, independent companies to reduce the miles your pet food has to travel to reach the pet bowl.
- Be aware of packaging and opt for recyclable options whenever possible.
- Explore making your pet’s food and treats yourself.
Dispose Of Waste
Reframe cleaning up after your pet as a common courtesy to both your neighbours and the planet. Pet feces carry diseases that can negatively impact wildlife and pollute waterways when it’s not disposed of correctly. For dog owners, decomposable bags are a must. Like getting into the groove of bringing your reusable bag to the grocery store, make sure your pup has their decomposable bags before heading to the dog park. It might not be the most convenient option, but the best environmental solution to disposing of your dog’s waste is actually flushing it down the toilet.
Check Your Litter Box
If you’re a cat owner, do some digging into your litter brand. Clay litter is the most convenient, but its production has a costly toll on the environment. Clay is extracted through strip mining, a harmful process that eliminates existing vegetation, alters the soil profile, and kills native wildlife. Then once the litter leaves the box, the only option for disposal is the landfill. If this leaves you wanting to avoid your litter box more than before, look into more sustainable options. There are eco-friendly alternatives made from recycled newspaper, wood shaving, and other biodegradable sources that are kinder to the trees.
Look at Carbon “Pawprint” Offset
While making small changes is the best way to get the ball rolling towards your pet being more eco-friendly, there’s a way to go the extra mile!
Enter tentree’s Climate+ Paws Offset package. This one-time purchase considers the amount of food your pet will consume in its lifetime and plants trees to offset the resultant carbon emission. Beyond just offsetting carbon emissions, the Paws Offset package provides ecosystem rehabilitation and jobs for people worldwide. We’ve done the math for you, and with one click, both you and your pet can earn the instant praise of being a “good girl/boy!” when it comes to sustainable living.