For all of the innumerable benefits our pets bring to our lives, as we think about ways to green-up our own lives this Earth Day, it makes sense to educate ourselves a bit more about how to make our pets “greener” too. After all, we’re responsible, earth-loving pet parents, right?
You might already recycle or use natural cleansers, but you can continue your sustainability efforts when taking care of your pets. We asked our earthbath family how they try to be more earth friendly in their day-to-lives and have shared their tips below. From homemade toys to being a more conscious consumer, follow these easy ideas for the environment, and they may help your pets be healthier, and save you money too!
1. Choose eco-friendly dog supplies
Shopping for pet supplies or accessories can be overwhelming. To help, here are a few things to look for: biodegradable materials, material that has been or can be recycled, material that wasn’t treated with flame retardants, and products that are free of plastics.
Of course, recycle any packaging that you can. It only takes a few minutes to check packaging and it’s one of the easiest ways to be a more eco-friendly pet owner. Did you know that our shampoo bottles and wipes packaging can be recycled? Just make sure to remove the lids before placing them in your recycling.
When your dog’s tired of his toys, do as earth- and budget-conscious parents do, and swap with your dog-parent friends rather than throwing them out. (Or if they are just too ratty to give to a friend, try donating your old dog toys, beds, blankets, towels, and accessories to your local animal shelter). Animal shelters are also a good place to donate your old towels and blankets.
2. Be a green pooper-scooper
The ideal situation is to flush your dog’s poop after you pick it up in flushable, biodegradable poop bags. How difficult is it to bag the doo and simply carry it back to your toilet, instead of carrying it to a trash can? By flushing your dog’s (and cat’s) waste, it gets the same sewage treatment as your own. It’s really not a good option to fill up landfills with (non-biodegradable) plastic bags full of doggy doo.
If you can’t stomach carrying a bag of your doggy’s business around with you, or if you’re on a marathon walk and can’t feasibly tote poop all those miles home, the next best option is to toss that biodegradable poop bag in the trash. And you can make sure you're never without a bag by using our waste bag holder that fits two bags inside!
For cats, use biodegradable cat litter or make your own from newspaper shavings or sawdust. Did you know that most commercial “clumping” cat litter is made of clay and you might be surprised to learn that it’s obtained via extremely environmentally-damaging methods, and then piles up in landfills without breaking down. However, there are many eco- (and cat-) friendly litters available made from wheat, corn or recycled newspaper.
3. Make your own toys and treats
All natural pet foods aren’t only better for your pet, but for the environment as well. While you’re cooking dinner for yourself, make something for your pet too. Making your own pet treats and even pet food eliminates waste from cans and bags. Rachael Ray has several free pet food recipes available. If you’re not sure which ingredients are safe for your pet, talk to your vet first.
Also, instead of buying brand new toys that may not last, consider turning things you already have into pet toys. For instance, boxes from online deliveries make great cat playhouses. Buy old balls from yard sales or tie knots in old t-shirts to make pull toys. For more ideas read our blog that has six DIY pup-approved dog toys.
4. Read the labels on your grooming products.
Use natural and biodegradable grooming products that are safe for the planet and your pets. Of course, earthbath pet products use natural plant-based cleansers and never contain parabens, harsh soaps, phosphates, artificial dyes/fragrances, or toxins, so you don’t have to worry about what might be left behind on your pet or the environment.
Also, our formulas are concentrated, meaning you may dilute to ten parts water to one part shampoo if desired. This results in a 90% impact reduction across all the environmental impact factors reducing GHG emissions and water usage.
5. Stay green when away from home
When heading out the door for an adventure with you dog think of small actions you can make to help your environment. You could walk to the dog park instead of driving. Or turn you daily walk into an opportunity to pick up garbage in your neighborhood. On your way out the do you may want to grab our new and improved flexible wipes container. It's perfect for taking with you on the go, it also has at least 44% less impact across all environmental indicators while also being more recyclable than the old rigid container. In fact, we're excited to share that the new wipes packaging uses 79% less plastic than the old packaging!
Happy Earth Day! Being mindful of these issues and taking small but measurable steps to greening your life (which includes your pet’s life too) will benefit your health, your dog’s and cat’s health and, ultimately the planet’s! Make a few changes today for a better environment tomorrow. Are you an eco- friendly pet parent? Share your tips with us on Instagram!