American Pet Products Association estimates that in 2012 there are more than 72.9 million homes with pets. They are a big part of our lives, but can also have a big impact on the environment around us.
There’s a lot of waste that can be reduced effectively by choosing green pet products. Here are some ways that you can decrease the carbon footprint your pet leaves, and make pet ownership more responsible.
The Planet-Conscious Pooch
What dog doesn’t love a good game of fetch? Whatever toys your dog loves best, there are eco-friendly versions to make their play more eco-friendly. EcoChoices offers a wide selection of dog toys, from nontoxic balls to hemp-stuffed toys.
When you take your dog on walks, the responsible pet owner carries baggies to pick up any little deposits Fido makes along the way. Many municipalities even require cleanup by law. Make those walks more eco-friendly by using biodegradable bags like BioBag.
The Green Kitty
One of the biggest waste products cat owners face is litter. You can be more eco-friendly by using litter created from renewable sources such as wheat. Swheat Scoop makes a 100% biodegradable kitty litter made from wheat by-products. It is free of clay and chemicals, and is completely fragrance free. It clumps firmly and even works in automatic litter boxes.
If you like to use pan liners to make disposing of kitty litter easier, make sure you choose biodegradable cat pan liners like those from BioBag (see above).
Dog and cat owners know what a horror a flea problem can be. Getting rid of those little pests often involves the use of dangerous chemicals that are bad for both pets and people.
Instead of slathering chemicals on your pet and spraying or spreading chemical treatments around your home, consider using diatomaceous earth. It takes more work to spread these products over all of the fabric and carpet in your home, and apply it to pets, but the effects are long-lasting, and much safer for all involved. Another option is an herbal spray to repel fleas, such as Natural Flea and Tick Defense.
Eco-Friendly Feathered Friends
Birds bring a lot of joy to our lives. You can make your indoor bird’s antics more fun by giving them lots of toys to play with, but birds are excellent at destroying toys, and plastics fill up landfills.
Giving your bird eco-friendly toys such as natural fiber shredders and coconut hideouts that are empty coconuts with entry holes hung from rope made of coconut fiber. You can also find them made with cotton rope, pine cone hideouts instead of coconuts and other natural materials.
For those big birds who love to chew, buy natural wood products made from bamboo, pressed coconut and banana leaves for a tasty play toy that is environmentally conscious.
For Eco-Friendly Fish Owners
While it’s not exactly a pet product, here’s a tip for fish owners. Fish lovers know that it is hard to conserve water and keep their fish healthy. However, you can do something that makes all those water changes more eco-friendly. Use fish emulsion (that stuff you vacuum up from the bottom of the tank) in your garden for amazing results. Simply vacuum out the tank and pour it in your garden. Many common fertilizer brands use fish emulsion and now you can create your own.
More tips for keeping your fish tank eco-friendly:
- Keep small tanks: they use less heat and less water
- Ask where the fish you are buying came from: protect wild fish and buy farm-raised, or tank-bred fish whenever possible.
Finding Eco-Friendly Pet Products
Sometimes getting eco-friendly products in a local store can be difficult. Most products can be found online, but don’t be afraid to let your local pet stores know that you care about the environment, and want them to carry these types of products for your pet. You may help start the trend toward more eco-friendly pet responsibility.