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Tips on Sustainable Pet Ownership (12/12/2019)

Apr 11, 2023 Caitlin Ellen

Even the most eco-friendly among us can succumb to the temptation to spoil our pets. But making sustainable purchases for your furry companions is integral to minimizing your carbon footprint, so we pulled together some earth-conscious tips around pet ownership.

 

1. Choose sustainable food options

A 2017 study reported that pets in the US consume 25 percent of the country’s meat calories, which equals the emissions of 13.6 million cars in just one year. Just like yourself, when sourcing food for your pets, try looking for healthier and more ethical options that prioritize humane farming, organic products and always consult with your veternarian. You can also choose foods that use meat byproducts that aren’t consumed by humans, like bone meal or organ meat, which often goes to waste otherwise.

 

2. Don’t Buy Plastic Toys

Plastic pet toys will create more waste and they usually end up in landfills. Instead, buy toys made of natural fibers and textiles. Your most sustainable source for animal toys is your own closet — you can use old t-shirts and turn them into homemade chew toys. Otherwise, you can buy used toys in the children’s section of most thrift stores. If you want to purchase new toys for your pet, Harry Barker is a great source for toys — their products are made out of hemp and recycled fabrics. 

 

3. Choose Your Grooming Products Wisely

Buy sulfate, and paraben-free shampoo for washing your pets. Also, make sure the bathing products you buy don't have plastic microbeads in them  these can end up in the ocean or other waterways, which contaminates the water and is also dangerous to marine wildlife.

Additionally, try to refrain from buying chemical-filled pest repellents. The National Resource Defense Coalition says that soap and water can work just as well as synthetic flea and tick products, as long as you give your pets regular baths. 

 

4. Be Conscious About Waste Disposal

If you're a dog owner, try purchasing biodegradable waste bags. BioBag makes compostable bags that won’t stay in a landfill forever. If you're a cat owner, choose your litter wisely! Watch out for the very environmentally-detrimental strip-mined chemical sodium bentonite, and look for litter made of natural, non-mined materials like corn, wheat, and old newspapers. Cedarific makes litter from wood, and Purina sells a litter made from recycled newspapers.

 

We hope these tips helped! Let us know in the comments what you do to make owning a pet a little more sustainable.

 

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