Happy Earth Day! As we celebrate 49 years since Walter Cronkite devoted an entire night's news broadcast, we should be pondering how to reduce our own carbon footprint. As good and responsible pet parents, we should also look at ways we can reduce our pet's carbon pawprint, as well.
When we consider how our pets affect the global climate, think to transportation of pets themselves, the goods they require for nutrition, packaging of said nutrition, and so on. It's been documented, a dog's pawprint is similar to that of an SUV, yearly. And a cat is about the same as a compact car. Here are some ways to start to reduce:
1. Buy a digital ID tag for your pet – Instead of throwing out your pet’s tag and getting a new one every time you move or get a new phone number, get one that you can use over and over again. A digital ID tag, like one from PetHub.com, links to an online profile you can update every time your contact information changes.
2. Don’t overfeed your pet – The production of meat, and beef in particular, takes a large toll on the environment because of the resources it takes to produce that meat. In addition to potentially making your pet fat and hurting their health, feeding your pet more than they need (check the package for feeding recommendations) uses more “protein-producing resources” than are needed. As a bonus, feeding your pet less means they will produce less waste so you’ll be picking up the back yard or scooping the litter box less.
3. Consume less things – Don’t buy your pet things they don’t need and choose products with less packaging. Ask yourself if they really need that extra collar or that fifth costume. Choose to order online from companies that use less shipping materials or use recycled packing materials.
4. Recycle – Donate gently used pet supplies like toys, bowls, blankets, coats, etc. to a shelter or rescue to reduce the need for new materials and help keep stuff out of landfills. Also, be sure to recycle the packaging of what you do buy and choose products that are made with recycled materials when you can.
5. Shop locally made – Buying what your pet needs from a local pet store reduces shipping and transportation over ordering stuff to be delivered directly to your door. However, a lot of products on store shelves still may have had a long journey to get there. You can further reduce the need for transporting these items by buying dog food, treats, toys, beds, etc. at local farmers markets or from a local company.
Remember, it’s not about doing everything right, it’s about doing one or two simple things right.
Our challenge to you today is, find a few things you can do, to help reduce, reuse, recycle. They say it takes three weeks to form a new habit; give yourself 30 days to make a permanent change. And, of course, any change you create towards making your pet's life as chemical and toxin-free as possible, is always the best thing. Switching cleaning products to all natural, and feeding more raw and organic foods, are both excellent ways to achieve an over all well-being. Let us know how we can help!