Did you know that our pets have an impact on the environment? While we, humans, have carbon footprints, our pets also have what's called a "carbon paw print." In fact, a dog's carbon paw print is two times that of a typical SUV, according to a 2009 study by New Zealand’s Victoria University of Wellington. So what can we do to reduce our pet's impact on the earth? Here are a 15 ways to go green with pets for eco-friendly and sustainable living as a dog owner:
Recycle empty dog food cans and any packaging from products you do buy. In addition, try to buy products made from recycled materials, such as toys.
Pro Tip: If you buy canned dog food, go for the biggest cans to save metal.
2. Use Green Products
Use eco-friendly alternatives to cleaning products and dog shampoos. This also reduces the risk of your dog ingesting toxic cleaner ingredients and chemicals in cleaners.
3. Go Biodegradable
Consider using biodegradable poop bags to pick up after your dog.
Pro Tip: You can reduce the number of plastic bags you use by scooping the yard with just two per week. One bag acts as a glove, while the other is the poop holder.
4. Reuse & Repurpose
Reuse and repurpose as many items as you can. Opt for cloth bags for the pet or grocery store, rags or old towels to clean up messes, reusable water bottles, and any plastic bags you already have for poop bags.
Pro Tip: If you do use plastic water bottles, make sure you recycle them.
6. Buy In Bulk
Buying in bulk reducing the amount of packaging and the number of trips you make to the store. Not to mention it saves you money.
7. Walk More
Dogs love walks, so why not take advantage of that. Opt to walk with your dog, rather than taking a car ride, whenever you can.
8. Air Dry
When the weather is nice and temperatures are warm enough, you can save energy by letting your pet air dry after a bath.
9. Groom Outside
You can also brush your dog outside, when the weather is nice enough. You can leave their fur on the ground, as birds will use it to build nests and you won't waste any energy vacuuming or use plastic bags.
10. Spay And Neuter
Neutering and spaying your dog will reduce the chance he or she contributes to dog overpopulation, which will reduce carbon paw prints in the long term (as well as canine suffering).
One of the best ways to "recycle" is by adopting a dog from a shelter or rescue. Doing so provides a home to an animal already in need of one.
12. Limit Pesticide Use
Avoiding pesticides for your lawn and grass is not only safer for your dog, but also reduces the potential pesticide run-off into waterways.
Did you know that you can compost old dog food? Composting can drastically reduce your waste and simultaneously fertilize your garden.