Ten Ways for Your Pet to Be Eco-Friendly
Today, with the topic of climate change having a more noticeable impact on our everyday lives, the need to appreciate our home has never been more critical.
For pet owners, the call to live greener should be poignant. Authors Robert and Brenda Vale wrote in "Time to Eat the Dog: The Real Guide to Sustainable Living" that a medium-sized dog has a carbon footprint of 2.1 acres, compared with slightly more than one acre for a standard sport utility vehicle. While the carbon footprints of cats are comparable to those of small Volkswagens, two hamsters have the same carbon footprint as a plasma television, and those of goldfish are nearly equal to those of a pair of cell phones.
So what can you do to maintain an earth-friendly pet household? Follow Zootoo's Top 10 List for being a greener pet owner:
1. Choose recyclable litter, based from plants or old newspapers.
2. Groom with products free from phosphates, sulfates and other chemicals.
3. Clean-up pet messes with eco-friendly soaps and recycled products.
4. Buy pet supplies (such as clothes, scratching posts, or litter pans) made from sustainable materials.
5. Use a long-lasting pet food/water bowl, such as one made from stainless steel or ceramic.
6. Apply natural ingredients and chemical-free pest control solutions.
7. Stock up on supplies, products, and food to lower your shopping trips' emissions.
8. Pick supplies, products and food made locally to support greener manufacturing and shipping.
9. Scoop poop (and with recycled bags) so that waste's harmful bacteria doesn't enter the water system.
10. Carry your own bottled water when traveling with your pet.
Giving Back to Wildlife
As an animal lover, the compassion that you feel most likely extends beyond domestic pets. You can help Mother Earth's pets by getting involved in wildlife protection and habitat restoration. The Humane Society of the United States suggested that Zootooers can make their backyards greener and more welcoming to wildlife. Here's how:
Restore natural habitat and spare yourself some mowing by removing some of your lawn to add habitat "islands" and border gardens.
Choose native plants, grasses and flowers, which need little or no watering and are resistant to native pests. This will eliminate your need for pesticides and attract birds and butterflies as well.
Eliminate the need for fertilizers, which harms aquatic life when it washes into streams and ponds, by planting hearty grasses meant for your region and leaving clippings on the lawn after mowing. Instead of using chemical herbicides to kill weeds, mulch around plantings with shredded leaves and twigs from your yard.
Avoid cutting down dead trees in springtime whenever possible. Old, decaying trees provide important habitat for wild animals, who nest in them during spring.
Use tree trimmings to create a brush pile, which will provide shelter for birds, rabbits and other small animals.
Use humane methods to solve conflicts with wild animals, who are likely to have young at this time of year. Learn about alternatives to trapping at humanesociety.org/wildneighbors.
In honor of Earth Day, you can also show your love of animals by attending various animal events, HSUS told Zootoo Pet News. For more information on events, visit HumaneSociety.org.
How do you and your pet stay eco-friendly? Tell us below!
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