The green scene has gone beyond the garden and now includes litter boxes and doggie treats. You do not need a green thumb on Earth Day to help the planet. If you have an animal companion who eats, sleeps, plays and poops, you have got plenty of opportunities to cut down on waste, raise your pet’s quality of life and colour your corner of the world green.
Empty out the dark corners of your closets, basement, and attic, but before throwing dusty treasures away call your local shelter and ask if they need old towels, bedding, leashes, litter boxes, and pet toys. They may even need unused printers and computer monitors.
Give your pet filtered tap water instead of bottled to drink. If you must use bottled water, be sure to recycle.
The Power of Poop
Scoop your dog poop into biodegradable bags instead of plastic bags from the grocery store. If you are a suburbanite (or urbanite with a lawn), it is important to do your research on doggie septic systems to keep your lawn free of smelly surprises and to break waste down into a liquid that the ground can absorb. For kitty parents, go for eco friendly cat litters and avoid brands that contain mined minerals.
Use earth friendly pet shampoos and grooming products whenever possible.
Garden of Delights
If you have the space, consider growing your own garden for your fruit and vegetable loving reptiles and small mammals. Before using insecticides, research mulching and other gardening practices that will help reduce the amount of insecticides and herbicides you might need.
Should your furry friend leave a little dribble (or more) on the carpeting or floor, do not reach for the bleach, use vinegar instead. This environment friendly liquid can act as an effective odour remover and can kill mold and bacteria. Please remember that vinegar must be diluted correctly with water.
Cutting Back is Going Green
There are plenty of small ways to cut back on energy and materials:
- Instead of using your blow dryer to dry your freshly bathed pet, towel or air dry her.
- Walk your dog to the doggie park instead of driving there.
- Cut down on paper products–clean up with rags or recycled paper towels.
- Put light and heating bulbs in your reptile and fish habitats on timers.
Put Your Foot Down
Do not wear shoes in the house. Your footwear can bring in extra pesticides, fungicides, and dirt inside the home. Pets are exposed enough when they lick their paws after walking outside on treated surfaces (you should always wipe all your pet’s paws before letting them back in the house).
Consider making your own healthy dog and cat treats and storing them in reusable containers. If you purchase store bought treats, buy them in cardboard packaging and be sure to recycle.
Buy pet supplies in bulk or the largest available size. This will make for fewer trips to the store and will cut down on packaging to discard of.
Adapted from the ASPCA, 2010.