Earth Day is today, April 22, 2011 and you may already be doing lots of things that are “green” such as buying cleaners that are safe for our environment and recycling plastics, glass, and cardboard. You probably also donate used clothing to your local second hand store and use canvas bags for grocery shopping. But what about your pet?
What are you doing with your cat, dog, bird, ferret, or other pet to be “green?” There are products we can buy, changes we can make to our daily routine, and behavior changes we can instill in our pets to aim for a healthier environment.
Here are 7 ways we can become greener pet parents:
1: Buy local. Support independent businesses and local farmer markets. It supports your local economy and cuts down on the gas used to transport groceries. Plus your pets may love the fresh snacks and you may find some amazing tasting food for yourself!
2: Kitty litter made from clay and other materials often contain chemicals that are harmful to our pets and us. Instead of using clumping or other tough litter, wean your cat onto cedar, corn, or pine litter. The litter is biodegradable and flushable without ruining septic tanks or can be used as compost.
3: Look for pet toys that have been made from sustainable materials such as organic cotton, hemp, and other materials that are eco-friendly. Beds made from recycled materials such as plastic, cotton, and other materials are easier to find now than a few years ago.
4: Feed your pet high quality food that is organic. These foods contain nutrients that are minimally processed and tend to avoid the use of pesticides, hormones, and other ingredients that can harm our environment.
5: Instead of driving to the dog park or doggie daycare, put on those running shoes and take a jog, long walk, or jump on your bike with your furry friend at your side. It’ll save gas and you’ll be getting some more exercise with your buddy.
6: Protect your local wildlife by keeping your cat indoors. Cats have a prey drive and can impact the birds in our neighborhoods. Keeping them inside also protects your cat from dangers such as parasites, injuries from fights, and cars.
7: When giving your pet a bath, don’t let the faucet run. Use warm water instead of hot water and use a handheld attachment that can turn on and off with the squeeze of a trigger to decrease the amount of water used during bath time. Buy pet shampoos that are phosphate free to keep the bath water as environmentally friendly as possible.