It’s tough to have a completely eco-friendly pet in the house. I buy organic, all-natural, sustainable pet products when I can, but the truth of the matter is that I’ll probably never compost his you-know-what (yes, people do that) or make his dog food. I make small changes where I can. Here are some simple ways (with perhaps the exception of number 3) you can green your pet.
1. Clean pet fur with a wet glove. Instead of buying lint rollers with removable tape sheets, try a regular old kitchen glove. Get it wet and mop up fur. It works particularly well with cat hair and longer pet hair, however, not so much with my dog’s short hair.
2. Avoid clumping cat litter. My cats (RIP) used clumping cat litter. It is bad. Not only does it contain silica, which is a carcinogen when inhaled (and you know how the cats can kick up that litter dust), but clumping cat litter also contains sodium bentonite which clumps up to 15 times it’s size. Think of that non-biodegradable yuck hanging out in the landfills. Read more about it on Moderncat.
3. Potty train your cat. Fur-real, people. Experts might argue that flushing cat you-know-what down the toilet isn’t totally eco-friendly, so it depends on what your alternative is. Clumping cat litter seems to be especially awful for the environment so if non-clumping or natural cat litter is too difficult for you, order up a cat potty training book. And, then come back and tell us if it really works!
4. Buy biodegradable poop bags They cost ever so slightly more, but we like (I have a little bit of trouble opening them up sometimes, however, but I’m ok with it) Poop Bags Biodegradable Bags.
5. Repurpose old things. I almost bought a sewing machine after I read an article in Martha Stewart Living about how you can take old baby socks, insert catnip and sew them closed to make a baby sock cat toy. It’s ridiculously cute, too.
6. Donate unwanted items to local animal rescue or shelter. It saves the organization from spending unnecessary money on items they need and helps you repurpose things you don’t need. Animal rescues typically need blankets, old bedding, pet bowls, towels and other household items. Check the website of your local rescue or shelter to see if they have a wish list.
7. Make your own pet food. Or, if you don’t want to go to that extreme, find a dog food company with eco-friendly practices and/or recyclable packaging. We’ve been happy with Honest Kitchen and though it’s more expensive, it’s human-grade food and you get a free box after approximately 10 boxes. I also have a dog treat recipe from Honest Kitchen that your entire family can eat. Humans might want to add a dollop of honey on top, however. Jiving your pet’s eating with your helps save packaging waste as you’ll buy less treats, etc.
How do you green your pet?