You've switched from incandescent bulbs to low-wattage LEDs. You drive a hybrid and bring your own bags to the grocery store. You care about greenhouse gases and your carbon footprint, but what about your pet's carbon pawprint? Is your pet living a green, eco-friendly life? With just a few simple changes, you can make sure that your pet's living green, too.
- Waste Management. Anyone who has ever had a pet knows that they create lots of waste. It is estimated that 10 million tons of waste from pets fill landfills yearly. What can you do? Instead of using plastic bags to pick up and dispose of your pet's waste, try using recycled biodegradable pet poop bags.
- If you have a cat, switch from a clay-based litter to a biodegradable litter. Not only will you be using a chemical-free, all-natural and flushable litter, but by switching to a biodegradable litter, you can cut down on the estimated 2 million tons of clay litter that end up in landfills per year.
- Give a Hoot, Don't Pollute. Always pick up after your pet and follow the backpacker's motto of leaving only footprints. Leaving your pet's waste behind is not only rude, it can pollute water sources when washed into the storm drains that empty into streams and lakes.
- Buy Green. Purchase pet beds, furniture and toys made from recycled or sustainable materials such as hemp. Environmentally friendly hemp can be used to make almost everything, like leashes, collars, beds and toys.
- Buy in Bulk. Buying pet food and pet supplies in bulk not only saves money, it also conserves fuel and lowers emissions by saving you extra trips to the store.
- Don't Support Pet Overpopulation. Make sure your pet isn't adding to the pet over-population problem, by having your pets spayed or neutered.
- If you are thinking about adding to your family, think about getting a pet from the shelter. There are tons of "recycled pets" in need of good homes. While adopting one of these deserving pets may not lower emissions or save fuel, it can save a life. By adopting these tips, you and your pet can live green and make the planet a better place.